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Cape man found guilty in fatal home invasion robbery

April 21, 2012
Lehigh Acres Citizen

A second man charged in connection to a 2010 home invasion robbery that ended in a fatal shooting was found guilty Thursday by a panel of jurors.

It took almost two hours of deliberations for the jury to convict Timothy Wayne Tuttle Jr., 24, of Fort Myers, of manslaughter with a firearm, attempted home invasion robbery with a firearm and burglary while armed.

Tuttle faces a maximum sentence of 30 years on the manslaughter charge and a minimum of 10 years on the attempted home invasion robbery.

The burglary while armed charge is punishable by a life felony.

"We are very pleased with the resolution of this case," Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office, said Friday.

"We have filed a notice to have him sentenced as a PRR - prison releasee re-offender - which increases the potential sentencing," she said.

Tuttle's sentencing is scheduled for May 22.

Assistant State Attorneys Carrie Pollock and Stephanie Russell prosecuted the case. Defense attorney Adam Oosterbaan represented Tuttle.

Oosterbaan did not return a message seeking comment.

In July 2010, Tuttle and a second man, Terry Frank Ragland, 27, of Fort Myers, allegedly entered the home of Eric Leigh Stuebinger, 28, of 511 N.W. Second Ave., wearing masks. They allegedly demanded money and drugs.

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 hand-held shock device 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.

Last week, Ragland was sentenced to life in prison on his conviction.

Following the 2010 robbery, police say they 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.

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.

 
 

 

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