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Palm Coast Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017 1 year ago

Palm Coast man, 22, charged with with stabbing his mother to death on Woodhollow Lane

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Nathaniel Ryder Shimmel, 22, killed his mother after she threatened to throw him out of the house, according to an arrest report.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Crying and smeared with blood, 22-year-old murder suspect Nathaniel Ryder Shimmel told the detectives preparing to arrest him for stabbing his mother to death that "there is no God who would forgive what he has done," according to his arrest report.

He said he'd killed her at their home at 47 Woodhollow Lane in Palm Coast the night of Aug. 23 after she'd threatened to kick him out of the house because he wasn't getting a job.

Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Nathaniel Shimmel early the morning of Aug. 24 and charged him with first-degree murder after finding Michele Shimmel, 60, stabbed to death in the front yard. 

She had been stabbed multiple times in her throat and other areas of her body. Nathaniel Shimmel is being held at the Flagler County jail without bond.

"This was a very brutal, a very violent and apparently angry murder," Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said.

Nathaniel Shimmel called in the stabbing to 911 at about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23, at first calmly telling dispatchers that his mother had been stabbed by someone else.

He said he'd heard screaming and walked through the house, and saw his mother lying facedown on the lawn with a knife sticking out of her back. A masked man nearby ran from the area, he said.

He told dispatchers he did not try to help his mother, but instead fled to the home of a friend on Wellshire Lane, where deputies later detained him.

When the dispatcher asked him if there was anyone who his mother had had issues with, he mentioned his father and described him.

Later, he changed his story, saying he'd stabbed his mother with a kitchen knife he'd grabbed from the kitchen counter after she'd "threatened to throw him out of the house" and he "panicked," according to the report.

"She was yelling at me, and she grabbed me and I just, I panicked," he said. "I just kept stabbing. ... She tried to get away so I grabbed her. ... I knew I was going to jail."

The stabbing took place inside the house, he told detectives. After he was done stabbing her, "he watched Michele Shimmel as she 'bled out' and he 'watched her die,'" according to the report.

"I think I hit her in the f---king jugular and she just bled out," he said. A detective asked him how many times he'd stabbed his mother. "A lot," he replied.

"Oh my God, the screams. She just kept yelling 'No.' She looked so scared," he said. 

Nathaniel Shimmel then stuck the knife in his mother's back, to make it look like like she'd been killed by the masked assailant, and ran, Sheriff Rick Staly said in an Aug. 24 news conference. There was no one else in the house at the time of the murder, and no neighbors witnessed the crime.

A Flagler County Sheriff's Office spokesman that deputies, acting on the 911 call, had initially been dispatched to the area with a K-9 unit to search for a suspect, but by about 9 p.m. were talking to a "person of interest" — Nathaniel Shimmel.

One of the Sheriff's Office detectives who questioned Nathaniel Shimmel, Detective George Hristakopoulos, wrote in the arrest report that he found the suspect sitting outside the friend's house on Wellshire Lane covered in blood. 

"I observed blood in between Nathaniel's toes, blood on his chest, on his shorts, and a substantial amount of blood on his shirt," Hristakopoulos wrote. "I noticed a small cut on Nathaniel's left cheek, and on the bridge of his nose. I took numerous photographs of Nathaniel Shimmel outside the residence."

Staly said Nathaniel Shimmel had not previously been arrested locally, and that there was no known history of domestic violence calls at the house. Detectives do not believe he was intoxicated at the time of the murder. 

Outside of 47 Woodhollow the night of the murder, city fire police that night closed off a section of Woodhollow Lane, directing nonlocal traffic around the area, while Sheriff's Office deputies set up crime scene tape outside the home. 

Family members of the victim cried as they spoke to a detective along the side of the road outside the area the deputies had roped off.

Staly said the first deputy on the scene tried to resuscitate Michele Shimmel on the front lawn while waiting for the emergency responders, but could not.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's crime scene investigators and homicide investigators from the State Attorneys Office would also be investigating at the scene of the stabbing, Staly said, and the Sheriff's Office was seeking a search warrant to enter the home at 47 Woodhollow.

Staly noted that the homicide is the county's third domestic-related homicide this year, and that it occurred just a day after a committee convened by the Sheriff's Office to address local domestic violence had met for its third session.

Staff writer Ray Boone contributed to this report.

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