The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Wife charged with murder

Five years later, Julene Simko indicted in husband’s murder

- Kaylee Remington kremington@MorningJou­ @MJ_KRemington

It’s been a little more than five years since Jeremy Simko was shot and killed in his home.

And now his wife, Julene Simko, has been charged with his murder.

Julene Simko, 36, was indicted Dec. 19 on multiple charges in con- nection with the early morning homicide on Nov. 18, 2009, in Vermilion.

She has been charged with one count of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of tampering with evidence.

She was booked into Lorain County Jail Dec. 19 and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Bob Simko, Jeremy Simko’s father, was emotionall­y charged Dec. 19 after he received the news about the arrest. He said family members have called all day, but added that he was feeling good in the morning.

“It’s been a long time and we’re glad that maybe we are getting close to some closure, he said. “No matter what happens here, nothing is going to change about missing Jeremy.”

Bob Simko hopes the family gets justice for what happened to his son. Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will’s Office always kept the family updated, Bob Simko said.

“They always reassured us that they were working on the case, so we felt good about that,” he said. “It’s time, it’s been over five years and I think it will put an end to it one way or another.”

Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung said he didn’t even know where to begin.

“We’re relieved, it has been a long run,” he said.

Hartung said he is appreciati­ve of Will’s tremendous amount of assistance in making the indictment happen.

“It’s one of the most serious crimes that we deal with so we want to make sure we took our time and thoroughly covered it,” Hartung said. “Ever since I was made chief in 2011, I’ve been working on

it. I met with Prosecutor Will to outline our strategy.”

The problem with a small department like Vermilion’s, there’s always other things happening and it can be hard especially with a case of that magnitude, he said.

Julene Simko’s attorney, Jack Bradley, said that she will continue to maintain her innocence.

“We welcome the opportunit­y to have all the evidence presented in court,” he said.

Jeremy Simko, 36 at the time, was found fatally shot in the head as he slept in the second-floor bedroom of his home on North Ridge Road in Vermilion.

Julene Simko was sleeping on the third floor and said she heard gunshots coming from the second-floor bedroom, Bradley has said, noting she assumed her husband was shooting out a bedroom window to scare off coyotes. Upon entering the secondfloo­r bedroom, Julene Simko said she fired two warning shots after hearing an intruder and she found her husband dead in his bed about 6 a.m. Police have said Julene Simko was known to be the only other person inside the home.

On the morning of the murder, neighbor Craig Hettel has said he was outside between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. He was with his mother, feeding his farm animals when he saw police cruisers rush up to the Simko home. He said he told police he never heard a gunshot.

Hettel, who lives about 300 feet from the Simko house, has said he also did not hear the Simkos’ German shepherd dogs barking that morning. According to Hettel, the dogs were always barking, so when the neighborho­od was quiet that morning, Hettel found it strange. Neighbors had always won- dered why they did not hear gunshots, or why the four German shepherds never made a sound.

The shooting was ruled a homicide days later by thenLorain County Coroner Dr. Paul Matus.

During the week following the murder, the home was broken into twice, a large sum of cash taken and a gun safe severely damaged, according to police.

Jeremy Simko was a 1991 graduate of Clearview High School and attended Hocking Technical College in Nelsonvill­e. He owned the Simko Tree Service, which his father said was very successful.

Hillary Duran, Jeremy Simko’s sister, said in an interview in 2012 that Jeremy Simko was an outdoorsma­n, hard worker and someone who could cheer you up.

Bob Simko also talked about his son in the same 2012 interview and said that his son liked to fish, hunt and liked the outdoors overall.

 ??  ?? Julene Simko
Julene Simko
 ??  ?? Jeremy Simko
Jeremy Simko

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