Slain North Fort Myers woman reported intrusion attempt

Brett Pleasant (Photo via Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. A 77-year-old woman found dead at her condo in June said two weeks prior that someone had rattled her doorknob as if to try to get inside.

Jo Ann Leasure brought the matter to the board at The Parkway condos where she lived, according to documents released Monday by the state attorney’s office for Florida’s 20th Judicial Circuit.

Friends told investigators Leasure had a habit of leaving her front door unlocked, the documents show. It’s unclear if that changed after she went to the condo board.

Leasure’s body was found badly beaten, her eyes swollen and bruised, at her condo June 21, according to the documents. She was strangled to death, a medical examiner determined.

Brett Pleasant, 51, is charged with second-degree murder, sexual battery and robbery in the case.

Pleasant began acting in an unusual manner in the day leading up to and after Leasure’s death, co-workers told Lee County Sheriff’s detectives, according to the findings released Monday.

Pleasant didn’t show up to his job with D.N. Higgins, an East Naples underground utility contractor, the day Leasure was killed, the documents show.

The day after, Collier County Sheriff’s deputies showed up at D.H. Higgins for an unrelated case. Pleasant started pacing back and forth and eventually left, co-workers said, according to the findings.

Still, the connection between Pleasant, who lived in Fort Myers and has numerous past arrests, and Leasure, who was active at Covenant Presbyterian Church on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers, isn’t entirely clear.

Pleasant remains in custody at the Lee County Jail awaiting trial.


Reporter:Brooke Shafer
Writer:Chuck Myron