Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Victim's memory lives on in benefit for CASA

Stacey Jane Plummer focused on family law and had adopted three children from Russia.

Courtesy of the Plummer family

Stacey Jane Plummer focused on family law and had adopted three children from Russia.


By all accounts, she was a powerful advocate. Having built a successful legal practice in St. Petersburg, Stacey Plummer wanted something more. She loved to sing Janis Joplin songs as a member of the band Legal Limit. She adopted three children from several orphanages in Russia, taking on older youngsters because she thought they had greater needs than babies. She loved showing their photographs to colleagues in the Pinellas County Courthouse.

Plummer met Dermot Reid in 2005. They dated six months before marrying in December of that year outside the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant on Pass-a-Grille in St. Pete Beach. She continued her family law practice, and he maintained their house on Tierra Verde, did the food shopping and coordinated many of the children's activities.

By the next summer, the couple were struggling. Plummer filed for divorce, citing her husband's erratic behavior; he had verbally abused her and physically mistreated Molly, the family's Weimaraner, she said.

Reid wanted another chance, and Plummer agreed he could come back. They would get counseling in the hope that things would work out.

Their friends and family couldn't believe it when they learned what happened next: On a Sunday in September 2006, Reid shot Plummer dead, then turned a .38-caliber handgun on himself. He died a week and a half later.

"My sister was well-educated," her brother, Jeffrey Plummer, says today. "She was an attorney. We couldn't have been a closer family. She had 100 percent love and support. She was a great advocate for clients. No one would ever have envisioned that someone as strong as my sister" would have come to such an end.

Which is why Jeffrey Plummer and his wife, Tammy, have set up a memorial fundraiser. The sold-out black-tie event, "The Many Faces of CASA Masquerade in Memory of Stacey J. Plummer," takes place in the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Friday.

Seven years after her death, and weeks after what would have been her 50th birthday, Stacey's family "thought we had healed enough" to organize a benefit, Jeffrey Plummer says.

"Frankly, had I known how therapeutic it would be," he says, he might have done so sooner. "It really has been remarkable, because of how kind and generous and wonderful people have been."

The proceeds will go to Community Action Stops Abuse, a nonprofit St. Petersburg domestic-violence shelter, crisis-intervention and advocacy group, where lawyer Stacey Plummer often referred clients.

Her death, CASA executive director Linda Osmundson says, "was a big loss for all of us. Because of her position, people were really shocked."

Hence, the disguises that guests at Friday's masquerade will wear, drawing attention to the fact that "there are many faces" to domestic abuse, Jeffrey Plummer says.

The violence happens in neighborhoods where people are struggling to make ends meet, sure. It also happens in gated communities whose residents own top-of-the line appliances, exquisite jewelry and luxury cars.

"For a lot of professional women, it's a well-hidden secret," Osmundson said. "As professionals, we tend to think, 'I should be able to handle this.' "

"The last three months have taught me that it literally is everyone," Jeffrey Plummer said. "People do put forth the face they need to: a strong face, a brave face."

They lived in Pinellas County for three years after her death, but Stacey Plummer's parents, William and Barbara, eventually moved back to Maine, where they care for her children. Julia is 19; Jane, 15; and Jacob "Jake," 13. Stacey's sister, Julie Plummer, and her husband, A.J. Shiben, moved to Maine as well.

"It's been a rebirth for them all," Jeffrey Plummer said.

The entire family plans to be at the gala on Friday, embodying the motto for the evening: "From Tragedy, Hope: From Awareness, Change."

fast facts

If you need help

CASA's 24-hour hotline number is (727) 895-4912. The statewide crisis line number is toll-free 1-800-500-1119.

Victim's memory lives on in benefit for CASA 09/27/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 10:41am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 12 FSU, freshman QB James Blackman struggle in 27-21 loss to N.C. State


    TALLAHASSEE — Whatever was left of No. 12 Florida State's College Football Playoff hopes suffered a massive, likely fatal, blow Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.

    Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Nyqwan Murray (8) carries during the first quarter of the Florida State Seminoles game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack on September 23, 2017, at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.  At the half, North Carolina State Wolfpack 17, Florida State Seminoles 10.
  2. Trump tells Warriors star Stephen Curry that White House visit is off


    SOMERSET, N.J. — Stephen Curry and President Donald Trump agree on one thing: The Golden State star is not going to the White House anytime soon.

    Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. [Associated Press]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, facing another old friend in Jeremy Hellickson


    UPDATE, 3:29: Here is the Rays lineup, with Duda at 1B and Morrison the DH:

  4. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Charles Bradley, acclaimed Florida soul singer, dies at 68


    Acclaimed Florida R&B powerhouse Charles Bradley, whose raw, pained voice earned him the nickname the Screaming Eagle of Soul, has died of cancer at 68, his representatives announced Saturday.

    Charles Bradley performed at the 2016 Gasparilla Music Festival.