FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Accused of hiring a hitman to kill his family, 39-year-old Jason Simione insists he is not the scheming, violent, weapons-hoarder he’s been made out to be.
Simione testified in a Broward courtroom Wednesday afternoon at a hearing to determine whether his $5 million bond should be reduced.
“I’ve never been arrested before. I’ve only lived in South Florida and I’m in the process of divorcing,” Simione said.
After spending 15 years as a firefighter paramedic, Simione said he started Bulldog Equipment, a business which contracts with the Federal Government to provide ammunition for the U.S. military.
When asked whether he could make the $5 million bond that’s been set, Simione responded, “I can’t I will stay in jail and request a speedy trial so I can go home to my son.”
Defense attorney David Bogenschutz told the judge that Simione’s net worth has been reduced to 1.2 million dollars.
Simione was arrested August 12th on three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. He was also charged with threatening to discharge a destructive device and child abuse.
Simione’s massive gun and ammunition collection was seized from his Dania Beach home. He had dozens of rifles, handguns and stacks of ammunition.
Prosecutors said Simione’s life started to unravel in July when his wife, Megumi Simione told him she wanted a divorce. After that they said that Simione tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife, baby son, and his mother-in-law.
His wife told authorities he was abusing steroids and it was making him paranoid, delusional and violent.
Judge Geoffrey Cohen has made no ruling yet on whether to reduce bond.