Court watchers have a couple of choices as 2018 gets underway. Two major murder trials have started in Lee and Collier Counties, and that’s after the former Naples Officer was acquitted at trial last week.
In Fort Myers, the trial of Placido Moreno-Torres started yesterday: he’s on trial for murder for a 2016 incident in Lehigh Acres where he shot his wife and the neighbor who tried to intervene in their domestic dispute. It will be an interesting case, as he is likely to claim self-defense, because the neighbor came onto his property trying to break up the altercation, and only then did he retrieve the firearm. He will claim self-defense (and previously filed a stand your ground motion that was denied), but he has an uphill battle if he brought a gun to a fistfight. He is also charged with attempted murder, because after he shot the neighbor and his own wife, he held the gun to his neighbor’s sister’s head and tried to shoot her, only to have the gun misfire. There’s no self-defense argument there. He faces life in prison with a 25-year minimum under 10-20-Life. NBC-2’s Jaclyn Bevis is in the courtroom with live coverage on Twitter.
In Collier County, jury selection is underway for Lisa Troemner who is charged with killing her live-in boyfriend at their Marco Island apartment in 2014. They had apparently been arguing for a while, when it became physical, and she stabbed him. She tried to resuscitate him unsuccessfully, then went to a nearby convenience store to summon help. Again, self-defense is likely to be argued here. Also, a review of the court file indicates the Defense has sought the assistance of a false-confessions expert to challenge her statement, a blood spatter expert, presumably to challenge the findings at the crime scene. The case has been going on for more than three years, including an appeal of some matter while it was pending. She has been in custody the whole time, and is facing life in prison. There are some 150 witnesses listed, and the trial will take weeks, maybe five or more. Patrick Riley from the Naples Daily News is on this one, and has been tweeting from the courtroom as well.
Posted in 10-20-Life, Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL, Naples / Collier / Southwest Florida, Stand Your Ground
Tagged collier, donald day, jaclyn bevis, lehigh acres, lisa troemner, murder, naples, patrick riley, placido moreno-torres, self defense, stand your ground, swfl, trial
- Noe Dejesus was arrested for DUI in Collier County after being clocked at 109 coming across Alligator Alley
- Dejesus was butt naked when cops pulled him out of the car
Law enforcement received several calls of a car driving recklessly, and soon thereafter, troopers spotted Mr. Dejesus’ Cadillac going about 110 on I-75 Alligator Alley. Troopers pulled him over, and observed alcoholic beverage containers in the car. When they asked him to step out, they found out that he was completely naked.
Also inside the car were three women, several beer bottles, and a nearly empty bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey. They asked Dejesus to complete field sobriety exercises, but he declined to do so, and was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, both misdemeanors. Judging by his mug shot… he might have decided it was worth it.
It is unknown where he was coming from, but he was heading in the direction of his home in Lehigh Acres, and from the direction if he had been in Miami. No information was given about his lady friends.
Posted in Criminal Law, DUI, Florida, Miami / South Florida, Naples / Collier / Southwest Florida, Uncategorized
Tagged alligator alley, collier, crown royal, dui, lehigh acres, miami, mug shot, speeding
- Melissa Smith ran a day care where a child died in a kiddie pool last year
- She was acquitted of the most serious charges
Melissa Smith Mug Shot
The jury found Melissa Smith guilty of one count of child neglect and three counts of culpable negligence this afternoon. She could’ve received 45 years in prison as originally charged, with Aggravated Manslaughter being the most serious charge. She still faces up to five years when she is sentenced July 3. The trial featured tearful testimony from both the victim’s mother and Ms. Smith, in an undoubtedly tragic case.
Michael Spiegel Mug Shot
In a creepy twist to a gruesome double homicide at Fort Myers Beach last night, the deputies say they found a vibrator, lubricant, and sexual arousal medication on suspect Michael Spiegel, in addition to a gun, bloody knife, zip ties and duct tape. Spiegel, 70, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife Marilyn Spiegel and her fiance Harry Carlip. The couple was supposed to get married tomorrow (May 17).
Deputies caught Michael Spiegel walking away from the boat where the couple resided, wearing a long trenchcoat and carrying a briefcase. Witnesses indicate he was at the marina the day before, asking which boat was theirs. The stove burners were left on, which started a fire that deputies were able to extinguish. Spiegel is being held without bond on both murder counts, plus an additional arson charge.
Coupled with the capture of most-wanted fugitive Wesnel Isaac, on the lam for seven years, Lee County may have picked up two death penalty arrests in one night.
Wesnel Isaac Wanted Poster
Wesnel Isaac Now
#sexcrime #swfl #graymenace
Posted in Criminal Law, Florida, Fort Myers / Lee County / Southwest Florida #SWFL, Gray Menace
Tagged arson, gray menace, haiti, lehigh acres, michael spiegel, murder, sexcrime, wesnel isaac
Two NBC staffers were following up on a burglary story in Lehigh on Wednesday, when a man pulled up, got out of a car, and pulled a gun on them. The man was Jeremiah Mayo. the brother of the burglary victims. He told cops that he had a couple of friends killed recently, and says he was spooked by the burglary the night before. Mayo and his sister claim that while he had the gun out, he didn’t point it at the reporters. Both reporters say he pointed the gun at them until they drove off.
This is going to be a fascinating case. Mayo does not have any local history of violence or felony charges, and he was presumably in lawful possession of the firearm. Due to the break in and friends who had been killed, the fear that the strange vehicle in his driveway could have been someone wanting to hurt him may have been reasonable. Since he didn’t fire the gun, he did not rise to the level of using deadly force. Plus there is a fact question about whether he pointed the gun at the vehicle. His argument will be that he had a reasonable fear of harm, and was justified in using minimal force to scare off the unknown subjects. On the other hand, since the reporters were not making any threats, he may not have been justified.
NBC Reporter Meaghan Smith bio pic
Just because someone is on your property is not legal justification to pull a gun on them. Reporter Meaghan Smith and her cameraman were certainly afraid for their lives and had no ill will prior to being threatened. There has to be some actual threat so as to give someone a reasonable fear of harm. It requires more than having a car parked in your driveway. Mayo may be able to demonstrate that fear due to the crimes that had recently affected him.
I urge everyone that if there is a reason to be afraid, the last thing they should do is confront someone. Mayo may ultimately be found to be justified in his actions, but right now he is out on a $30,000 bail and facing 2 second degree felonies. He would be far better off if he had just kept driving and called the Sheriff’s office.