Police release details in North Fort Myers murder, suspect faces judge

Posted at 6:15 PM, Jun 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-30 18:15:12-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A man accused of murdering a church volunteer in North Fort Myers last week is being held without bond, Friday, on robbery and second-degree murder charges.

51-year-old Brett Pleasant is accused of suffocating 77-year-old Jo Ann Leasure, a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church inside her North Fort Myers condo on June 21st. Members of her church knew something was wrong when she did not show up to teach Vacation Bible School last week. 

Pleasant's arrest warrant reveals Leasure died of asphyxiation. The state claims finger prints belonging to Pleasant were found on material that was wrapped around her neck and hands. Additionally, her wallet and cell phone were found 4 blocks from Pleasant's residence. Investigators are calling the crime a "random act of extreme violence."

The fact that the crime was seemingly random was chillding for long-time friend and neighbor Krekel Green, who suspects Pleasant followed Leasure while she was walking her dog. "We're very aware we're right here on a major road, people can drive in," he said. "I am very sympathetic because I have a dog like she did. We think that when she was out walking her dog Tuesday night, that's when he ran into her."

Grekel reflected on Leasure's caring nature. He told Fox 4 she used her dog to cheer people up at nursing homes. He said she also volunteered building clinics in Central America. "I miss her, but it does make me feel good at least, that they think they have somebody."

Leasure's friends and family members were seen cleaning out her home. They were devastated, but expressed gratitude to law enforcement for working tirelessly on the case.

Pleasant's next court appearance will be on July 31st.