Woman obtained injunction against man before Nocatee murder-suicide
Deputies: Simon Hanley killed Lynn Bender before taking his own life
NOCATEE, Fla. – A woman obtained an injunction against a man before deputies said he shot and killed her and then took his own life this weekend in Nocatee, according to St. Johns County court records.
The 13-page injunction states that Simon Hanley was to have no contact with Lynn Bender after he had already been arrested for allegedly stalking her.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said Bender, 53, and Hanley, 60, were found dead Saturday afternoon in a home on Southern Oak Drive in Nocatee. According to the medical examiner’s office, the cause of Bender's death was ruled a homicide and the cause of Hanley's death was ruled a suicide.
According to the injunction filed against Hanley, Bender told Hanley their relationship was over on Sept. 4. The next day, she started receiving text messages from Hanley, who was threatening to ruin her professional reputation as a realtor, the injunction shows.
For the next two months, according to the injunction, she was receiving unwanted packages, cards, letter and money from Hanley and she said he would ask for the items to be returned.
At one point, he showed up at the beach while she was walking her dog and attempted to kiss her, the injunction stated. She reiterated the relationship was over and that’s when she said he stormed away.
In November, a trespass warning was issued against Hanley and a deputy spoke to him about stalking, but it did little to keep Hanley from calling, texting and emailing her after she blocked his number and email, according to the injunction.
The injunction was filed in December after Hanley was arrested that month, accused of stalking Bender. The arrest report details repeated events in which Bender said she felt harassed and threatened. According to the arrest report, she told the Sheriff's Office she was afraid he was going to kill her. He was ordered to wear a GPS and have no contact with Bender.
There was a hearing on the case in January, at which time Simon asked to have the GPS removed. It was denied. Then the state attorney’s office decided to drop the stalking charge in March, for reasons unknown. The GPS monitoring was ended.
Neighbor Reese Leguerrier told News4Jax on Monday that he first noticed red flags when Bender and Hanley first started dating.
“He was in the front yard here, and while I was doing my yard, I introduced myself and he was really strange. He kept referring to her as his girlfriend and he was very emphatic about that. When I looked at her standing in her doorway, she had this embarrassed look," Leguerrier said.
He said he was aware that she was trying to distance herself from Hanley since then, but said, "This is actually the first time I was aware of the extent of the stalking."
Despite the injunction, according to investigators, Hanley managed to not only get access to Bender, but kill her before taking his own life.
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