A five-day jury trial got under way Monday in the 26th Judicial Circuit Court in Laclede County for a man accused of murdering his girlfriend in 2006 in Miller County.
The case is being heard on a change of venue from Miller County.
Kelley R. Simino, 44, of Eldon, was charged with the second degree murder of Brandi June Matthews, who was first reported missing on March 19, 2008. Her remains were not found until Jan. 3, 2009, under a low-water bridge in Miller County. Simino was not charged until Jan. 5, 2011.
Simino, who has been held on a $500,000 bond, waived his preliminary hearing and entered a not guilty plea on April 11. At the same time, public defender David Roy Wallis of Columbia filed a motion for a change of venue, which was granted on May 18. Twenty-sixth Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden is hearing the case.
Online court records do not specify the type of bond placed against Simino, but shows that he currently is being held in the Laclede County Jail.
On March 19, 2008, the Osage Beach Police Department received a report that Matthews' family had not seen her since September 2006, when she and Simino were in Lincoln, Ark. The last known sighting of Matthews alive was on Sept. 22 or 23, 2006, when she was with Simino at a residence in Eldon, according to a probable cause statement filed with the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
More than two years later, partial remains were discovered beneath a low-water bridge in Miller County. A comparison of dental records showed that the remains belonged to Matthews, according to the statement.
Investigators stated that there are six documented instances when Simino was "violent or abusive" to Matthews, ranging from a threat to an assault that resulted in her seeking medical treatment.
Matthews provided law enforcement officers with information that led to Simino's arrest on drug-related charges in August 2006. Shortly after his arrest, Matthews filed for an order of protection against Simino in August 2006 in Pettis County, according to the statement.
For the complete article, see the Tuesday edition of The Daily Record.