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Ex-husband of slain Hernando teacher surprised by arrest

SPRING HILL — Ed Shoeman has little to say about his ex-wife.

But when it comes to her boyfriend, Jerome "Jerry" Sheridan, he only has unkind words, based largely on a domestic violence incident involving the couple in the late 1990s.

Still, Shoeman was surprised to hear that authorities arrested Sheridan, 49, in the slaying of Shoeman's former wife, Central High School teacher Lee Anne Shoeman, 55.

"He had to have snapped or something," Ed Shoeman said.

Central High officials said they knew something was wrong when Lee Anne didn't report to school Monday. Later that morning, deputies found her dead in her Spring Hill home, which Sheriff Al Nienhuis said she shared with Sheridan. The Sheriff's Office has not said how she was killed.

About 6 p.m. Monday, Hillsborough County deputies found Sheridan in the parking lot of the Westfield Citrus Park mall attempting to cut his wrists, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. He was taken into custody, treated at the hospital and then charged with first-degree murder. Deputies booked him into the Hillsborough County Jail, where he will remain until he's transferred to Hernando County.

The charge stems from physical evidence gathered during the investigation and statements Sheridan made to deputies, according to a Hernando Sheriff's Office release.

Standing in the doorway of his home a few streets away Tuesday morning, Ed Shoeman, 56, said he and Lee Anne ended their 14-year marriage in 1994 because of "irreconcilable differences."

She moved to Spring Hill soon after to be with family members, including her father and sister, Shoeman said. He moved to the Tampa Bay area in 1998 to be closer to their three children, Erin, Brian and Beth.

"She raised three absolute freaking phenomenal kids," he said.

He said he didn't know Sheridan well but remembered reading a story in the Times about a domestic violence incident in 1997. In the story, authorities were looking for a man who hit his girlfriend, Lee Anne Shoeman, on the head with a bag of presents on Christmas night. Days later, she filed a domestic violence injunction against Sheridan, according to court records.

At Lee Anne's home Tuesday, yellow sheriff's tape weaved through trees in the front yard, blocking the brown wooden home, the white statues in the front yard, the tan Honda Civic in the driveway.

Neighbors, including Merland Bates, 83, said Sheridan used to do yard work around the neighborhood.

Scott Stone, 60, who lives across the street, said he used to talk about cars with Sheridan.

Both said he's a nice, normal guy.

No one seemed able to fathom what could have led to the killing of the respected teacher and mother.

Staff writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report. Kathryn Varn can be reached at kvarn@tampabay.com or (352) 754-6114. Follow @kathrynvarn on Twitter.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: In a story Wednesday about the death of Central High School teacher Lee-Anne Shoeman, the name of neighbor Merland Bates was reported incorrectly.

Ex-husband of slain Hernando teacher surprised by arrest 05/20/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014 1:51pm]

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