A con woman agreed to a plea deal Monday in exchange for three decades in prison for fatally shooting a Florida college student in front of his horrified girlfriend after they stopped to help her.
Yasmine Hider, 21, will be required to plead guilty to murder, robbery and kidnapping in Alabama federal court for the August 14, 2022, attack on Adam Simjee and Mikayla Paulus. A judge still has to approve the agreement.
Shortly before Hider made the deal, Paulus wrote a heart-wrenching tribute to Simjee, 22, on the anniversary of his murder.
“This is just the first year of many without him, but I see him everywhere,” she wrote on Facebook. “There is never a moment that goes by where he’s not on my mind. The rest of my life will be a love letter to him. I’ll miss you and love you forever sweet boy.”
The tragic shooting unfolded after Hider flagged down the University of Central Florida students, who had been driving through Alabama’s Cheaha State Park looking for waterfalls.
Hider told the couple that her XB Scion had broken down about an eighth of a mile away and asked for their help.
The students followed her to her car and tried to use jumper cables to get it started, as Hider sat in the driver’s seat.
Paulus even called her dad, who is a mechanic, for advice. Little did the couple know that the Scion had actually broken down weeks earlier, and that this was a ruse to rob them.
Hider suddenly pulled a gun on the duo and ordered them to “empty their pockets and walk further into the woods,” according to the plea agreement.
“Everything we have is in the van. You can have it,” Simjee told her before pulling a pistol from his waistband and ordering her to drop her weapon.
“Are you serious?” Hider responded and then opened fire. A wild gunfight ensued, and both Hider and Simjee were struck.
“Why did you shoot me?” asked Hider, who was slumped against a fallen pine tree with three gunshot wounds to her abdomen and one to her leg. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
Hider’s alleged accomplice Krystal Pinkins briefly emerged from the woods and then fled.
Paulus called 911, as she frantically tried to save Simjee, who was hit once in the abdomen.
As Simjee lost consciousness, Paulus removed her shirt to staunch the bleeding and started chest compressions. But Simjee stopped breathing.
The suspects had been living “off the grid” in the Talladega National Forest near the crime scene and allegedly had connections with cult leader Rashad Jamal White.
Investigators tracked Pinkins to a base camp of tents, and her five-year-old son allegedly ran from the woods wielding a loaded gun, according to court papers. He put the weapon down, and police arrested Pinkins.
She allegedly told FBI agents that she’d given the gun to Hider. They had tried the same ploy on an older woman the day before, but their target refused to follow them to the car, Pinkins allegedly said.
Her case is still pending.