Man Charged In Girlfriend's Balcony Death Gets Released

Posted May 15, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The man charged in his girlfriend's fatal 16-story fall from a hotel balcony was released from the Orange County jail Friday afternoon on $50,000 bond with conditions, including GPS monitoring. Jonathan Speegle was in court Friday morning as his lawyer argued for his release.

Speegle's girlfriend, Nichole Hammond, fell from the 16th floor at the Orlando World Center Marriott on New Year's Eve. He was arrested in January and released on bond.

Attorney Mark NeJame walked out of the jail with his client, Jonathan Speegle and spoke briefly to WFTV. NeJame did all the talking for Speegle outside the jail and in the courtroom Friday. NeJame got Speegle's bond reinstated.

"Jonathan did you hurt her? Did she go over?" asked WFTV reporter Melonie Holt.

"I'm not going to let him, I can tell you that's nonsense," responded NeJame.

On Wednesday, Speegle was officially charged with second-degree murder and re-arrested. The judge ruled that second arrest should not have happened.

NeJame claims Speegle was in another room when Hammond fell to her death.

"Now we're going to get the evidence and show that he lost his fiance, this girlfriend, loves her, misses her and he didn't kill her," attorney Mark NeJame said.

NeJame argued that a formal grand jury indictment wasn't enough to toss his client back in jail without bond on the same charge.

Neither was prosecutor Ken Lewis' argument about the conclusion reached by his expert witness.

"This particular victim in this case couldn't have gone off that balcony without help," said prosecutor Ken Lewis.

Speegle convicted, Speegle could face life in prison.