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Three accused in beating, stabbing death of man

By Staff | Nov 10, 2008

The Cape Coral Police Department has three suspects in custody for the brutal beating and stabbing of Raymond Pratt, a 71-year-old amputee living in south Cape Coral, according to officials.

Tuesday’s homicide is the seventh in the city so far this year.

Carl Edward Smith, 40, is charged with second-degree murder while Tyana Jean Kershaw, 39, and Jennifer Lee Simundson, 33, are each charged with second-degree murder accessory after the fact.

At 4:17 p.m. Tuesday, police received an emergency call from James Rose, landlord of 5235 Coronado Parkway, Unit 2, who said he found Pratt face down in a pool of blood.

Rose explained to police that he came to the apartment to make a repair and let himself in when no one answered the door.

He declined an interview with the Cape Coral Daily Breeze on Wednesday afternoon.

Responding medics and officers determined Pratt suffered blunt force trauma to the head and a stab wound in the chest.

Smith later admitted to police after his arrest that he had been in a fight with Pratt, choked him, repeatedly beat him with a golf club and stabbed him, officials said.

Interviews carried out by investigators reportedly determined that the suspects had left Pratt’s apartment early in the morning and returned at approximately 8 a.m. to rob him.

Smith had allegedly entered the apartment with a golf club and pocket knife, while Simundson and Kershaw waited in the car. He came out minutes later and told them to purchase cigarettes and beer.

After they returned to Pratt’s residence, Smith got into the back seat and said, “Ray just wouldn’t die,” according to police interviews. He added that he had to stab Pratt.

The three subjects left the residence moments later in Pratt’s 2004 white Cadillac with $800 they had stolen from his apartment, police said.

Police later found the suspects at the Best Western Coral Bridge Inn and Suites using the car’s On-Star tracking device. They reportedly observed Simundson in the process of dying her blonde hair black and saw the keys to the Cadillac on a table.

Simundson and Kershaw reportedly later told police where to find the golf club and a duffel bug with bloody clothes, shoes, a pocket knife and Pratt’s wallet inside. They allegedly also said all of the $800 had been used for drugs and food.

One neighbor, who preferred not to be identified, said Pratt had only moved in a week-and-a-half ago and that it was sad.

“He had only been there a week-and-a-half,” the woman said. “We saw someone moving him in and that is it. We never saw him again.”

Police had a perimeter surrounding the duplex Wednesday and crime scene investigators were examining Pratt’s unit. A rental sign on the lawn next to the adjoining unit indicated that the other unit may be empty.

According to Rose, the unit on Coronado is rented to another man, Keith Anderssen, who told police that Pratt had been staying with him for “the last few weeks.” Anderssen also said Pratt was using and dealing crack cocaine.

Early Tuesday morning Anderssen left for work leaving Pratt and the three suspects alone in his apartment. He returned and gave detectives a statement.