Court Cases

Iris Moreland Case Postpond by Unknown

BONITA SPRINGS — A trial date has been postponed for one of the pair of siblings accused of taking part in a robbery and fatal shooting at a San Carlos Park convenience store last year.

A 20-year-old store clerk working the night shift, Gerald Rabon, was shot in the head during the Aug. 25, 2007 robbery at a Pik-N-Run gas station. He died from his injuries several days later. Rabon, a Fort Myers resident, was a graduate of Cypress Lake High School, and he had taken part in the Explorers program with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, a law enforcement training program.

An investigation report in the case shows that Rabon tried to fight off the two people who rushed into the store with a gun that night. The robbery was caught on the store’s surveillance video, and two Fort Myers residents who had been in jail before — Iris Moreland and her brother Chad Moreland — were arrested Aug. 26, 2007. Iris Moreland had been out of jail for about a month at the time of the shooting, and she had been arrested multiple times, often on drug-related charges.

Both Iris Moreland, 28, and Chad Moreland, 25, were indicted last October on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery and grand theft of a motor vehicle. Iris Moreland had been scheduled to face trial in November, but that date was pushed back as the siblings appeared together in a hearing room Tuesday afternoon at the Lee County courthouse in Fort Myers. David Brener, her public defender, had requested a confession expert in her case, which the court appointed. Brener told the judge he would be filing a motion to suppress parts of a long statement Moreland gave based on the expert’s views.

Circuit Judge Ed Volz set Iris Moreland’s next court date for Dec. 9. Chad Moreland’s next court date will be Feb. 17, 2009. He could face the death penalty if convicted. The state is not seeking the death penalty in Iris Moreland’s case.