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Cops and Courts

Lead investigator continues testimony in Simko murder trial

  • simko-bench-trial-jpg

    Julene Simko waits in court during a break in her trial before Judge Mark Betleski, who is seen leaving the bench.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA – Testimony continued Wednesday morning in the murder trial of a Vermilion woman accused of shooting her husband almost eight years ago.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo resumed his examination of Vermilion Police Det. Sgt. Stephen Davis, the lead investigator in the case, where Jeremy Simko, 36, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head in the morning of Nov. 18, 2009.

Julene Simko, 38, of Vermilion has been charged with murder, aggravated murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence in relation to the slaying.

The bulk of Davis's testimony Wednesday morning consisted of listening to second and third interviews Julene Simko gave officers at the hospital the morning of the shooting and another at her parents' home later in the day.

In the second statement Julene Simko gave Davis, she said she was sleeping on a couch on the third floor of the couple's North Ridge Road home when she heard a noise and assumed it was her husband shooting at an animal.

She told him she then came downstairs and laid down next to her husband and felt blood on the bed before hearing a noise in the hallway, indicating there might have been an intruder in the house.

Julene Simko, who had a concealed carry permit at the time of the shooting, said she took a 9 millimeter handgun from her dresser and fired warning shots into the hallway.

Davis said he conducted a gunshot residue kit on Julene Simko before leaving the hospital to return to the Simkos’ home to get an update on the investigation.

From there, he headed to meet with Julene Simko at her parents' home to conduct a third interview with her.

During the third interview, Davis and Julene Simko discussed that there had been three guns on the property – the 9 millimeter she had fired, the .357 Smith and Wesson revolver that was later determined to be the murder weapon and a third located in one of the couple's cars.

They also discussed that there had been a man walking up and down the opposite side of the street in the days leading up to the incident that both a neighbor and Jeremy Simko had seen.

Julene Simko did not have a lawyer present during any of the interviews.

Testimony will continue Wednesday afternoon. Check tomorrow's Chronicle-Telegram for more information.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieHNix.



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