LEBANON, Mo. – An Eldon man was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday for the murder of Brandi June Mathews. Kelly Robert Simino, 44, was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury on Oct. 31, 2011, in a Laclede County courtroom and was formerly sentenced Friday by Judge Kenneth Hayden.
During an address to the court, Mathews’ mother Deanna Roberts thanked Simino for asking for a speedy trial.
“I know it was not your intent to consider Brandi’s family in this decision,” Roberts said. “But again, by the grace of God, this journey for justice for Brandi is done because we can walk out of this courtroom and begin our lives again with a smile knowing that Brandi will live in our hearts forever.”
Roberts said it has been more than five years since she was able to say something to Simino and what she was saying today was far different that what she would have said five years ago.
“Our family has been through a living Hell and if that brings you pleasure then I guess you have a lot because of your actions in killing Brandi,” Roberts said. “God took something horrific and used Brandi as a message that touched many lives and guided us, her family, through that living Hell to today when we know justice is being served and Brandi is at peace.”
Roberts, in closing, quoted the Bible (Mathew 6:14) For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
“…with that said, Kelly, our family forgives you of your evil actions,” Roberts said.
Mathews was last seen by her family in September 2006. At the time of her disappearance Mathews was involved in a relationship with Simino.
In March 2008, Roberts filed a missing person report on her daughter in Osage Beach after pleading with several area law enforcement agencies for 18 months to open an investigation.
Simino has been in custody since January 2009, when Mathew’s partial remains were found under a bridge one mile north of Eldon.
Two years later Simino was charged with second-degree murder just as he was to be released from the Missouri Department of Corrections on an unrelated charge. Shortly after charges were filed, Simino petitioned the court for a speedy trial under his Constitutional rights.
Miller County Prosecutor Matt Howard said, “We were out of time and the Attorney General’s staff was in the middle of a weeklong murder trial and unavailable to meet with us. I spent a rather long evening with investigators being briefed on the case and we concluded it was unlikely that any more evidence or witnesses would be developed and that we couldn’t risk allowing the suspect to be released for even a brief time.”
At that time, Howard decided to take the case back from the Attorney General’s Office and charged Simino with murder.
Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott noted the coincidence that Simino was sentenced exactly one year to the day he was arrested on murder charges. “…and now he’s got his sentence to go back where he needs to be, and Brandi’s family can finally move on with their lives.”
Simino was convicted of murder on Oct. 31, 2011, which would have been Brandi Mathews' 28th birthday.
Judge Hayden turned down a motion Friday, Jan. 6, for a new trial argued by Simino’s defense attorney David Wallis.
Simino is currently serving 11 years on existing sentences for illegal drugs, resisting arrest and driving without a license. Judge Hayden ordered that Simino’s convictions be served consecutively for a total of 31 years. Hayden also noted that state laws require that Simino serve a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence before parole can be granted because of the violence involved in taking the life of another human being.