Murder trial date set in Florida case

Posted Oct. 05, 2010, at 9:52 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Florida judge on Monday set the trial date for a Florida woman who is facing a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Dedham resident Arthur “Art” Tilley Jr., Florida Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale said Tuesday.

Tamra Suzanne Leasure, 45, of Riverview, Fla., is scheduled to go to trial in Florida’s 13th Circuit Court in four months, he said during a phone interview.

“The case was set for trial for the week of Feb. 7,” Gale said.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for a week earlier, he said.

Tilley, a longtime Bangor resident, was staying with Leasure when he was shot and killed in her home on March 5, 2009. Leasure was arrested on May 4, 2009, after an investigation by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Leasure told Hillsborough County detectives that she “shot the victim three times with her .38-caliber handgun and then placed the gun in the victim’s hand to stage a suicide,” a press release posted on the sheriff’s office website at the time of her arrest states.

Leasure asked the court earlier this year to throw out the case against her under the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows the use of deadly force by victims facing imminent death, but the judge denied her motion.

Tilley, 57, was a well-known and active Bangor Kiwanis Club member who worked for 30-plus years at his family’s businesses, Page Answering Service and Com-Nav Inc., which are both based in Brewer.

Two Bangor Kiwanis Club members and a former relative of Tilley, who asked not to be identified, were in the courtroom on Monday and said they plan to return to Florida in February for Leasure’s murder trial.

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