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Mercy nurse testifies she thought she heard confession from Julene Simko

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ELYRIA — Laura Ramsey testified Friday that she believes she heard Julene Simko admit she had killed her husband during an interaction the two had in the emergency room the day Jeremy Simko was found fatally shot.

Ramsey, a registered nurse at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, testified in court Friday afternoon about the conversation she had with Julene Simko on the morning of Nov. 18, 2009. Julene Simko is on trial for the fatal shooting of her 36-year-old husband, on that date.

Julene Simko’s hands and face were covered with dried blood when Ramsey walked into the room in the hospital, according to the testimony.

“I asked her, ‘What’s going on today? What brings you in?’ and she mumbled something,” Ramsey said. “She had her head down, and she was soft-spoken. I had thought she had said, ‘I shot my husband.’ I looked up at the Vermilion police officer and then looked back down at Julene and said, ‘What did you just say?’ She lifted her head up a little, looked up at me and said, ‘My husband was shot.’

“I’m not sure what I heard the first time.”

When prosecutor Laura Dezort asked Ramsey if it sounded like Julene Simko had said two different things, she responded, “I feel they were different, but I don’t know for sure.”

Additionally, Ramsey said Julene Simko told her that she’d had trouble sleeping the night before.

“She told me she was having trouble sleeping, and she ended up going downstairs to another bedroom,” Ramsey said. Shortly after that, she heard a commotion and heard a gunshot. She said she ran upstairs and found her husband shot.”

Under cross examination from Julene Simko’s defense attorney, Jack Bradley, Ramsey said she was not interviewed by police about her interaction with Julene Simko until more than a year later. She said she didn’t know why officers decided to question her at that time.

Ramsey also said she had told a physician in the emergency room during her shift about what she’d thought Julene Simko had said.

“You communicated to a doctor a statement you weren’t sure you even heard?” Bradley said. “So, if the doctor then repeated that statement somewhere else, it would be a statement that you communicated to the doctor, when you weren’t even sure you heard the statement yourself.

“The only real statement you’re sure of that you could communicate to anyone was that her husband was shot.”

Ramsey said yes, but then later said she’d told the doctor about what she’d thought she’d heard because “It did catch me off guard.”

The day began with the continuation of the testimony of BCI Special Agent Supervisor Mike Kollar, who started testifying Thursday. Kollar walked the courtroom and judge — Julene Simko has waived her right to a jury trial — through the crime scene’s second and third floors.

Members of Jeremy Simko’s family left the courtroom while Kollar described the bedroom where the body was found using a series of photographs.

When Kollar was being cross examined, Jeremy Simko’s family lowered their heads and closed their eyes to avoid seeing the pictures.

The trial will continue 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in front of Lorain County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.


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