Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two Largo bar patrons and owner recall '87 slaying

Susan Heyliger made her last sale at 1:59 a.m. on June 7, 1987, at the Country Club Lounge in Largo, the cash register noted.

A $1 schnapps shot.

About 30 minutes later, someone pressed the no-sale key and took $600 from the cash register as the 42-year-old bartender lay in a pool of blood on the floor.

The trial of Jeffrey M. Lobik, the man accused of killing Heyliger, continued Wednesday. Lobik, a 41-year-old construction worker, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Heyliger, who was beaten and choked. Her throat was slit, the wound that finally killed her.

Largo police arrested Lobik 16 years after the murder, they say, when he changed his story.

Dorothy Apgar and Charles Prough testified Wednesday that they were the last two people to leave the bar that night.

Apgar said she remembers Lobik sitting quietly, intently avoiding human contact. She watched as he walked into the restroom. She was sure he never came out, she said. "It was a straight line of my vision," she said. "I couldn't have missed it."

Prough said in his testimony that he bumped into Lobik as Lobik entered the bathroom. Later, when helping out Heyliger by checking the bathroom to make sure no one was there, Prough didn't see anyone lurking, he said.

Lobik told officers in 2004 that he smoked crack in the men's restroom ceiling. Sixteen years earlier he denied ever being in the ceiling's crawl space.

Apgar said she asked Heyliger if she wanted them to wait. The cleaning man was running late. Heyliger said no, Apgar said.

They heard her lock the door and Apgar waved goodbye through the window, she said.

A few hours later, janitor Bernard Page called owner Sammy Austin, hysterical, Austin said.

"He kept screaming that Susie was dead," she said in testimony.

Austin said in her testimony that a sales slip showed someone pressed the no-sale key at 2:33 a.m. That was the quick way to open the cash register, Austin said. Prosecutors showed pictures of the untouched tip jar next to the looted cash register. Austin also identified broken marble pieces found by police as a bowling trophy displayed in the bar.

Steve Nelson, a defense attorney, asked several witnesses how they were able to remember a specific night 21 years ago.

"It's very important to me," Apgar said. "It still stays very fresh in my mind."

The trial is scheduled to continue today.

Jackie Alexander can be reached at (727) 445-4167 or .

Two Largo bar patrons and owner recall '87 slaying 07/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 7:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91


    Jerry Lewis, who teamed with Dean Martin in the '50s before starring in The Nutty Professor and later founding the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon has died at 91 at his home in Las Vegas, according to his publicist.

    More to come.

    Jerry Lewis in 1980. [Times Files]
  2. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years


    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501
  3. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike


    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.

  4. No bond for suspect in Kissimmee officers' fatal shooting


    KISSIMMEE — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge

    Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. [Kissimmee Police]
  5. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder


    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]