Ricky Nelson, via DOC
This week a man working a prison-work detail walked away from his job and escaped into the woods near FGCU, only to turn himself in about 45 minutes later after succumbing to the Florida heat. Ricky Nelson, in prison for multiple drug charges, was with a work detail on the FGCU campus to control melaluca trees on the campus nature preserve. He ended up turning himself in to officials, sweaty and apologetic. He passed out from the heat after just a little while before coming back. But not before a major manhunt got underway, complete with K-9 officers and helicopters.
The escape attempt is even more poorly considered because Mr. Nelson was scheduled to be released in less than two months. Now he’s looking at a new second-degree felony for escape, and possibly more jail time. Oops.
Kudos to Fox4 for the additional details.
Missouri held an extradition hearing today, and granted Florida’s request for Curtis Wayne Wright to be extradited to stand trial for the murder of Dr. Theresa Sievers in a Fort Myers court. Wright ended up waiving his extradition fight, though it is unlikely he could have defeated the request.
Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy “The Hammer” Rodgers
The case is a long way from going to trial, if it does, and this is an early step in the process. It also means that we are closer to being able to see the discovery documents on the case that will shed more light on the case against Wright and his co-defendant, Jimmy Rodgers, who is serving a Federal sentence before his extradition issue is heard.
Possible Hit Man, Jimmy Rodgers, “The Hammer”
Jimmy Rodgers, of Missouri, is the man that an arrest warrant was obtained for arrest in the murder of Bonita Springs doctor, Theresa Sievers. According to NBC-2, who has owned this story, there are reports out of Missouri that people knew him as a hit man, and that he went by the nickname, “The Hammer.” While details about the murder have been closely guarded by authorities, neighbors had heard that a hammer may have been the murder weapon. Sheriff Scott previously referred to the murder as a targeted killing. NBC-2 is also reporting there is a known connection between Rodgers and Sievers’ family.
Rodgers is already in jail in Missouri on a Federal probation violation.
UPDATE: Sheriff Mike Scott has announced that another Missouri man has also been arrested in relation to the murder. Curtis Wayne Wright is apparently a childhood friend of Sievers’ husband, according to NBC-2. Also, NBC reports that Rodgers was spotted Lee County at the time of the murders, and made admissions to people in Missouri about committing the murder.
Curtis Wayne Wright’s possible Facebook photo, per NBC-2
Investigation Discovery has a preview of tonight’s episode from Fort Myers, “Sunshine State of Delirium” It’s on at 9:00 pm on Investigation Discovery, Chan. 111 or 387 on Comcast Xfinity in Fort Myers. Check it out, I’m on it! The episode deals with the Gateway murder (Fred Cooper) and the cases of Dustin Jaye and Billy Retherford, who killed Debbie Striano.
Attorney Spencer Cordell on “Deadly Sins”
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL
Tagged billy retherford, deadly sins, dustin jaye, estero, fort myers, fred cooper, gateway, North Fort Myers, spencer Cordell
LCSO Captain Keith Day with his Rescued Kitty
Deputies Keith Day and Justin Adams rescued an entire boxful of little kitties that had been abandoned in the middle of nowhere. Looks like the kittens will be fine. Great save, guys!
Convicted co-defendant Christopher Neuberger took the stand today against Shane Simpkins, in the trial for the murder of late Estero resident Mary Ann Zarb. Reports seem to indicate he wasn’t the strongest witness, but he was an important one for the state. First, while he didn’t describe the murder, he basically pinned it on Simpkins. Secondly, he had to convince the jury that he had nothing to do with the killing, as Simpkins had previously claimed. We won’t know how effective the jury found his testimony until they get a chance to render their verdict, probably later this week.
Today’s events also took a turn when Mr. Simpkins attempted to fire his attorney mid-trial. He was apparently not satisfied with the questions his attorney was asking. His attorney had specifically been barred from bringing up Mr. Neuberger’s own previous charges for murder, for which he was acquitted a few years ago. The judge has not allowed Mr. Simpkins to replace his attorney at this time.