Trial to begin in Florida in Dedham man’s death

Posted Feb. 03, 2011, at 10:12 p.m.
Tamra Suzanne Leasure
Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff
Tamra Suzanne Leasure

BANGOR, Maine — A Florida woman who is facing a second-degree murder charge in the 2009 shooting death of Dedham resident Arthur “Art” Tilley Jr. is scheduled to go to trial Monday, the secretary for Florida Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale said Thursday.

Tamra Suzanne Leasure, 45, of Riverview, Fla., will face a judge and a jury in Florida’s 13th Circuit Court. The pretrial hearing was held Tuesday, Gale’s secretary said.

Several family members and friends of Tilley are leaving Maine on Sunday to fly down for the trial, Holden resident and friend Peter Golding said.

“They are going to pick the jury Monday, and the trial is supposed to start Tuesday,” he said.

Tilley, a longtime Bangor resident, was staying with Leasure when he was shot and killed in her home March 5, 2009. Leasure was arrested 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 was president of Page Answering Service and Com-Nav Inc., both based in Brewer, where he worked for more than 30 years.

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