911 Call Released in Balcony Fall Death

By SHANNON 6BUTLER | FOX 35 News
Posted Thursday, 06 Aug 2009

Watch Video: 911 Call Released in Balcony Fall DeathORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Investigators with the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, on Thursday, released a 911 call which was placed after a woman fell more than a dozen stories to her death. The call, dated December 31, was made by then 27-year-old Justin Speegle, who is accused of pushing his girlfriend, 30-year-old Nichole Hammond, off a sixteenth floor balcony of a room at the Marriott World Center.

In addition, dozens of crime scene pictures were released.

According to Speegle's attorney, Mark Nejame, you can't read anything into the 911 call. "It's tragic. It's sad. He grieves. He is crying on the phone. It's raw emotion," said Nejame. "What is the most telling... he's begging and pleading for help to arrive."

Transcript excerpt:

Dispatcher: "What's going on sir?"
Speegle: I don't know. "She was leaning over the side and she just .. I walked inside and I hear … ‘uh,' and then .. God, you've got to come now!"

Hammond was dead. Her boyfriend told the dispatcher that the fall was accidental, but as you can hear in the 911 call, Justin Speegle's story about how she went over balcony railing doesn't match up.

Transcript excerpt:

Speegle: "My girlfriend just fell, jumped off...ugh."
Dispatch: "What's the address sir?"
Speegle: "It's World, um, World Marriott."

Did she fall? Was she pushed? Speegle faces a first-degree murder charges.

Investigators said there is no way Hammond fell, adding that she stood at just over five feet while the balcony railing is almost four feet high. Detectives said finger and hand prints indicate that she attempted to catch herself. Investigators also say Hammond has a young daughter and there were no clear signs that she wanted to end her life.

An autopsy did reveal that Hammond was intoxicated

Speegle, a St. Cloud resident, was found in Lawton, Oklahoma on January 22. He was arrested and brought back to Central Florida.

Speegle was released from the Orange County Jail on May 15 on $50,000 bond. The 28-year-old was let out on bond, then ordered back to jail having his bond revoked without warning, before being released a second time.

Chief Judge Belvin Perry ordered his re-arrest after a grand jury indicted him on second degree murder, but a new judge decided that his re-arrest was wrong. As part of his release, Speegle is required to wear a GPS monitoring device through a private company, Court Programs, Inc.