Man gets life in fatal home invasion robbery
A man convicted last month of fatally shooting a Cape Coral man during a 2010 home invasion robbery was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.
Terry Frank Ragland, 27, of 314 N. Morgan Circle, Fort Myers, was found guilty Feb. 11 of second-degree murder with a firearm in the death of Eric Leigh Stuebinger, 28, of 511 N.W. Second Ave., as well as with attempted home invasion robbery firearm causing death or great bodily harm.
On Wednesday, Ragland received life on the murder charge. On the home invasion robbery, he was sentenced to a separate 30 years in prison.
“And he was sentenced as a habitual felony offender,” Assistant State Attorney Stephanie Russell, who prosecuted the case, said Wednesday.
The maximum sentence that Ragland was facing was life in prison.
“We’re very satisfied with the sentence,” Russell said. “It’s finally some closure for the family.”
In July 2010, Ragland and a second man, Timothy Wayne Tuttle Jr., 24, of 4481 Goegel Road, Fort Myers, allegedly entered Stuebinger’s home wearing masks. The men reportedly demanded money and drugs from Stuebinger.
Stuebinger, whose ex-girlfriend and 17-month-old son were present in the home at the time, fought back against the two men, allegedly pulling Tuttle’s mask off. He was then beaten, zapped with a Taser and shot in the chest.
Ragland and Tuttle fled the scene in a truck, according to documents.
The woman, Jamie Thorpe, and the toddler, Eli, were not injured.
Defense attorney Joe Cerino represented Ragland.
“My client and I were disappointed in the sentence,” he said Wednesday. “We were hoping for something at the low end of the guidelines – 290 months.”
Cerino said they plan to appeal.
“We were hoping to have a light at the end of the tunnel for him, but it didn’t work out that way,” he said.
Following the 2010 robbery, police allegedly located marijuana, cocaine and prescription pills inside of Stuebinger’s residence during a search of it.
Ragland was later arrested and a warrant was issued for Tuttle’s arrest. Tuttle was eventually captured following a local manhunt that lasted about 24 hours and covered the San Carlos Park area north toward the airport.
Tuttle faces the same charges and maximum sentence as Ragland.
He has a trial date scheduled for next week.
During the manhunt, two people were arrested by law enforcement for accessory after-the-fact to second-degree murder for reportedly helping Tuttle by giving him money, water and food, even after being told not to.
The State Attorney’s Office decided not file charges against Carl Robert Dugo, 25, and Sarah Christine Lampila, 23. According to official records, the two cases would have been legally insufficient to prosecute for the state.
Assistant State Attorney Carrie Pollock also handled Ragland’s case.