State to seek death penalty for man accused of dumping Fleming Island woman in landfill
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The state will try to put a Fleming Island contractor on Florida’s Death Row for killing an unhappy customer who was threatening to report her, according to notices filed in court last Tuesday, May 4.
Corey Louis Binderim, 46, was indicted in April for first degree murder of Susan Mauldin after investigators said she was reported missing by a neighbor. Binderim was paid $12,000 to remodel her bathroom, but he refused to finish the job.
Mauldin’s body was uncovered at the Chesser Island Road Landfill in Folkston, Ga. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said they have evidence that shows Binderim buying heavy duty construction bags and concrete at the Home Depot on Fleming Island. County records show Binderim dumped 300 pounds of materials at the Rosemay Hill Landfill on Oct. 24. 2019 – a day within investigators said Mauldin was either beaten or choked to death at her Harbor Island subdivision home on the same day. Trash from Rosemary Hill is transferred to the South Georgia landfill.
Investigators said they used residential surveillance video to show Binderim was the last person to see Mauldin alive. Those videos also reportedly show him loading a bundle of trash into the back of his truck.
Binderim pled not guilty. He also told investigators, “I didn’t do what you think I did.” When CCSO asked what happened to Mauldin, Binderim said, “I don’t know. I don’t have any clue.”
Binderim was at the Duval County Jail after being charged with taking money and not completing a project for another client when CCSO, the State Attorney’s Office, FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement found her remains. He was returned to Clay County on March 3, 2019, after originally being charged with second-degree murder.
The grand jury decided first-degree charges, as well as tampering with evidence and assault and battery during robbery also were part of the indictment.
The state filed notices of aggravating circumstances and a request for notice of mitigating circumstances, as well as a notice of intent to seek the death penalty on Tuesday.
Binderim’s next pretrial court appearance is June 30.
Former SJCDS coach arrested for online exploitation of child
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The former swim coach at St. Johns Country Day School was arrested on May 3 after the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said he used his computer to seduce a 17-year-old girl.
Mitchell Jacob Bentz, 24, of Green Cove Springs, was charged with using a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child for sex, as well as cruelty toward a child by transmitting harmful materials.
According to the arrest report, Bentz made contact with the girl on April 27 on a local bulletin board service. Bentz met the girl at her job and solicited her for “unlawful sex acts and sent lewd material, via an electronic device,” CCSO said.
CCSO’s Internet Crimes Against Children were alerted last month of Bentz’s outreach. The agency said several illicit images were sent to the girl online.
The school said none of its students was involved.
Bentz met with detectives and he eventually turned himself in at the Orange Park substation. He is being held at the Clay County Jail without bond. His next court appearance is June 1.
Man on probation for attempted murder back in jail
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A man who was convicted for attempted first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in 2016 botched robbery was arrested in Hillsborough County for violating his probation by not remaining confined to his house and not keeping an hourly accounting of his activities.
Dahlis Jaedin Smith, 21, was returned to the Clay County Jail on April 30. He is being held without bond.
Smith and LeDarius Kardi Smith, were accused on shooting someone in the hand and neck while the victim sat on the front porch drinking beer near Ridgeview High. Michael William Kolb of Orange Park was charged with being an accessory to attempted murder and armed robbery.
Dahlis Smith was sentenced to 36 months of probation by Judge Don Lester. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office was notified Smith failed to fulfill the conditions of his probation.
Woman faces several drug charges following traffic stop
ORANGE PARK – A woman faces a multitude of drug charges after she was stopped because a Fraternal Order of Police badge blocked the last letter on her license tag.
Lindsey Nicole Pearce, 30, of Jacksonville, was charged with possession of fentanyl, Xanax, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, along with tampering with evidence, introducing contraband into the Clay County Jail and resisting arrest after Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies called in K-9 Ory to conduct a sniff search of the car after Pearce became irate and cursed at deputies.
The dog indicated the presence of narcotics, according to the arrest report. They found marijuana in the passenger door, and pills inside a plastic bag that was stuffed in her bra. Pearce started banging her head against the cage and kicking the doors once she was in custody, prompting deputies to use a hobble restraint. While she was being booked, Pearce removed a glass pipe and 2.5 grams of marijuana from her underwear. She smashed the pipe on the concrete floor, CCSO said.
Pearce’s bond was set at $46,518.
Three killed in Middleburg plane crash
MIDDLEBURG – A 76-year-old Middleburg man was one of three people who died after his plane crashed shortly after takeoff on April 30.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Carl “CJ” Powell’s single-engine Beechcraft C23 Musketeer crashed into a wooded area off Violet Way near Spencer’s Airpark.
Two passengers also died at the scene.
“Shortly after collision a small fire occurred at the crash site, engulfing the wreckage and also the surrounding area,” FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan said. "... Due to the severity of the crash and of course the aftermath, the wreckage is basically unrecognizable.
“Three souls were on board. Unfortunately, all three perished in the crash, and then shortly after the collision, a fie ensued, which basically ignited a woods fire in the area as well.”
The highway patrol didn’t release the names of the passengers.
The National Aviation Administration said it likely will issue a preliminary report next week.