Suspect in North Fort Myers murder kept low profile

Published: Updated:
Brett Pleasant (Photo via Lee County Sheriff’s Office)
Jo Ann Leasure (Photo via Covenant Presbyterian Church directory)

FORT MYERS, Fla. The man accused of killing a 77-year-old North Fort Myers woman is no stranger to jail.

But that was hard to tell for neighbors who saw him live peacefully for the past year.

Brett Pleasant, 51, of Fort Myers, was released from a 25-year prison sentence for armed robbery on May 24, 2016. Less than 13 months later, on June 21, Jo Ann Leasure was found dead at her home at the Parkway Apartments in North Fort Myers.

Pleasant is back in jail and being held without bond. He faces second-degree murder and robbery charges in Leasure’s death. He also faces a charge of violating his parole.

He has a litany of arrests dating back to 1985, and he’s been accused of crimes ranging from attacking an officer to escaping jail.

But between his release last year and his arrest last week, he kept to himself and seemed to work a lot, those who lived near his home on the 2600 block of Broadway Avenue said. He was pulled over a few times, but largely stayed out of trouble.

Until Thursday, when he was arrested in the case of Leasure’s murder.

“You know what they always say, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” nearby resident Connie Edwards said. “Well, obviously he was found guilty, he served his time, was given a second chance and pretty much blew it.”

Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives said they found Pleasant’s fingerprints on a foreign object wrapped around Leasure’s neck and hands. They didn’t elaborate on what that object was.

It’s unclear whether there was a connection between Pleasant and Leasure before the killing. No motive has been identified.

Pleasant is due in court July 31.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.