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New Court Date set for Man Accused of Pushing Girlfriend off Balcony

Jonathan Speegle, 28, faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend last year.

A hearing was held this morning in the case of a man who is accused of pushing his girlfriend over a 16th floor balcony late last year.

Jonathan Speegle, 28, was indicted earlier this year and arrested in Oklahoma where he had been staying. He did not appear in court today.

He is accused of pushing or throwing his girlfriend Nichole Hammond, 30, off of the balcony Marriott World Center near Walt Disney World at the on Dec. 31.

Speegle's lawyers, Mark NeJame and Rajan Joshi, plan to file a motion to get a transcript of a statement an Orange County homicide detective made to a grand jury that led to the charges.

The motion was not filed today. NeJame told Judge Tim Shea he also plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

Another hearing will be set in the next four weeks to address the first motion. A status hearing will be held the third week in January.

Hammond, the mother to an elementary school age daughter, was staying with her boyfriend at the hotel when she died. A bartender told investigators he saw the couple arguing shortly before her death.

Speegle told investigators he was in the room about 12:30 a.m. and heard Hammond scream before she fell.

At first, Orange deputies did not publicly call the death suspicious. But they said Hammond was the mother of an 8-year-old girl, and they had no reason to think she deliberately ended her life.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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