James Jules Pepe, Valrico, Florida (arrested Sept 2012) [accused of hiring hit man]

Discussion in 'Other Improper Behaviors' started by TMP, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    pepe james jules.jpg

    James Jules Pepe (1850 Providence Lakes Blvd., No. 907, Brandon, Florida) aka “Doctor Professor Pepe”, teacher at Bloomingdale High School [Hillsborough County Public Schools], Valrico, Florida, "accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill a teacher at Strawberry Crest High School [Hillsborough County Public Schools] in Dover, Florida

    Previously taught at:
    Plant City Courier: Police: Hillsborough teacher tried to have another teacher killed (Sept 27 2012)

    The man on the phone with Plant City police had a strange tale to tell. A Bloomingdale High School teacher, the man said, had tried to hire him to kill someone. He was pretty sure the teacher, a longtime friend, wasn’t joking. If police didn’t get involved, he was afraid someone would wind up dead. And there was more. The target was another teacher. That was on Aug. 8. On Thursday, Plant City police arrested James J. Pepe of Brandon on a charge of solicitation of first-degree murder. Pepe, who was arrested at Bloomingdale High School, is being held in the Hillsborough County Jail with no bail.

    Tampa-area (mostly former) educators with issues:
    Tags:
     
    James Jules Pepe, Bloomingdale High School, Strawberry Crest High School, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Valrico, Florida, Dover, Tampa Bay Technical High School, Durant High School, Tampa, Plant City
  2. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    First Coast News: Plant City police: Teacher at Bloomingdale High School, has been charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill a teacher at Strawberry Crest High School (Sept 27 2012)

    Plant City Police say they've arrested a high school teacher for trying to hire a hitman to kill another teacher he used to work with. Detectives say they were contacted by someone out-of-state who told them that James Pepe, a social studies teacher at Bloomingdale High School, attempted to hire him to murder Robert Meredith. Meredith, who is also a social studies teacher, is currently listed as faculty at Strawberry Crest High School.
     
  3. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    Tampa Bay Times: Hillsborough teacher accused of soliciting hit man to kill another teacher (Sept 27 2012)

    Authorities would not say who or what initiated the feud, but said that by last year, [James Jules] Pepe apparently had enough and transferred to Bloomingdale High School in Valrico. [Robert] Meredith, an economics teacher, stayed at Strawberry Crest. "This relationship got to a point where Pepe felt that any negative thing that happened to him at work, he thought Meredith was behind it," said Officer Tray Towles, a spokesman for the Plant City Police Department. The breaking point came, Towles said, when Pepe suspected Meredith was spreading rumors about him. "Meredith was allegedly telling everybody (Pepe) was a child molester," Towles said.
     
  4. TMP

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    WTSP: Bloomingdale teacher, James Pepe, dials 'M' for murder (Sept 27 2012)

    According to cops, [James Jules] Pepe called a good friend in Georgia asking him to do the deed, but he ratted Pepe out, calling police instead. The feds set up a sting and arrested Pepe on a warrant with probable cause ... Neighbor Ella Patton said, "We had a confrontation and he threatened me, so I stayed away from him and blew it off." We also stopped at [Robert] Meredith's home for his reaction. Meredith wouldn't go on camera, but did say he had no idea why Pepe wanted him dead. Police say Pepe thought Meredith was spreading nasty rumors.
     
  5. TMP

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  6. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    ABC Action News: Bloomingdale High School teacher James Pepe accused of hiring hitman faces judge in first appearance (Sept 27 2012)

    The witnesses claimed [James Jules] Pepe tried to hire him to murder [Robert] Meredith. Detectives with the Plant City Police Department then enlisted the help of the FBI, who reached out to Pepe. Detectives contacted Pepe via telephone on September 13th. On that call, Pepe told the undercover officer that he "had an issue that he might need taken care of" and he was willing to pay $2,000. FBI agents said they tried to have Pepe meet them but he wouldn't. Instead, Pepe allegedly kept repeating he wanted Meredith dead.

    ...

    Meredith said he knew of Pepe but never socialized with him. "When you are at school you have limited time to talk to co-workers period. So, as far as going out an having a drink, never," Meredith explained. Meredith also told ABC Action News he never exchanged words with Pepe or engaged in a scuffle. "This came as a complete shock," he said.
     
  7. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    My Fox Tampa Bay: Bloomingdale High teacher arrested in murder-for-hire plot (Sept 27 2012)

    Undercover detectives contacted [James Jules] Pepe, and over the course of several phone calls, he said he was willing to pay $2,000 to have [Robert] Meredith killed, police said. Pepe was arrested Thursday, and is charged with solicitation of first-degree murder.
     
  8. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    Brandon Patch: Bloomingdale High Teacher Accused Of Soliciting Hitman (Sept 27 2012)

    James Jules Pepe, 55, of 1850 Providence Lakes Blvd., No. 907, was arrested at 1700 Bloomingdale Ave., according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office's jail report. The Plant City Police Department reported that Pepe, a history teacher, attempted to hire an out-of-state associate to kill Robert Meredith, a teacher from Plant City, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.
     
  9. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    I strongly recommended going to the Tampa Tribune site & reading the whole article.

    Tampa Tribune: Jailed teacher's past behavior described as hostile, 'volatile' (Sept 29 2012)

    Throughout his career as an educator, James Pepe thought that fellow teachers were plotting against him. Even before he was arrested Thursday on charges that he tried to hire a hit man to kill another teacher, Pepe thought administrators and co-workers were spreading rumors about him. He first made his feelings known in 2001. Pepe, then a history and psychology teacher at Tampa Bay Technical High School, "caused a disruption of a school function and created an uncomfortable and hostile situation," records show. Pepe interrupted a teacher training session in order to rail "against administration in matters not related to the assigned task," according to a letter sent to Pepe from the district's office of professional standards. His colleagues said Pepe was so hostile, aggressive and "extremely volatile" that they feared for his safety and their own, the letter said. One teacher confronted Pepe and told him he seemed proud of his disciplinary record. "They can't get me," he replied ...
     
  10. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    New York Daily News: Florida teacher James Pepe accused of soliciting hit man to kill rival Robert Meredith (Sept 28 2012)

    Things escalated when [James Jules] Pepe called a childhood friend of over 40 years several times and asked if he would kill [Robert] Meredith, offering $5,000, according to Plant City Police Department records. Instead of killing Meredith, the childhood friend — whose identity has not been disclosed — called the police in early August and informed them of Pepe’s drastic plans. In response, the police teamed up with the friend and the FBI to set up a sting. Initiating the operation, Pepe’s childhood friend called again, and the two eventually agreed the friend would find a hit man to kill Meredith. Later, Pepe was led to believe his friend had found a hit man — who was really an undercover officer. That officer eventually spoke with Pepe on the phone in September, when the teacher told him he “had an issue he might need taken care of” for $2,000. Calling Pepe a second time, the officer tried to arrange a meeting with the educator. During that conversation, Pepe declined to meet, but said he still wanted Meredith murdered.
     
  11. TMP

    TMP Registered Member

    Tampa Tribune: Plenty of warning signs here (Sept 29 2012)

    Never mind that at a district-wide training session in 2001, his conduct was labeled by colleagues as aggressive, hostile, extremely volatile and alarming. [James Jules Pepe] was suspended for that. Or that on his original application for a teaching job here, his failure to list a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge was considered "a serious breach of professional ethics," according to school records. Or that in a rambling, borderline incoherent response to what he considered a subpar teaching evaluation for the 2008-09 academic year, he blamed just about everyone except little green men from Mars for his problems. In that letter, he referred to someone trying to "sabotage" his class. Um, a moment please. What, exactly, does it take to get fired in this school system?
     
  12. TMP

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    WTSP: James Pepe teacher arrested: Students return as teacher in murder-for-hire plot faces judge (Sept 28 2012)

    We talked off-camera with the man [Robert Meredith] police say was the target of this plot. He said he was stunned and had no idea why [James Jules] Pepe would want to hire a hitman to go after him. When that victim got a phone call from police telling him he was the target of a murder-for-hire plot... at first, he thought the call was a prank by some high schoolers.
     
  13. TMP

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    CBS News: High school teacher tried to order hit on former co-worker, Fla. police say (Sept 28 2012)

    Police have arrested a high school social studies teacher in Florida for allegedly trying to hire an assassin to kill another teacher he used to work with. James Pepe, 55, was arrested by Plant City police on Thursday and charged with solicitation of first-degree murder, Bay 9 News reports. CBS affiliate WTSP reports detectives say they were first contacted by someone out-of-state who told them that Pepe attempted to hire him to murder Robert Meredith, also a Florida social studies teacher.
     
  14. TMP

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    Gather: Florida Teacher Arrested for Attempting to Hire a Hitman to Kill Former Co-Worker (Sept 28 2012)

    A social studies teacher at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County was arrested on Thursday for allegedly attempting to put out a hit on a former co-worker. What James Pepe, 55, didn't know is that he was negotiating the hit with an undercover officer. Easy mistake? According to an ABC news affiliate, during a phone call on September 13th, Pepe offered the officer $2,000 for "an issue he might need taken care of." Is that the asking price for a hit these days? The "issue" that he spoke of was Robert Meredith, who also teaches, and used to work with Pepe at Strawberry Crest High School, also in the Hillsborough school district.
     
  15. TMP

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    UPI: Police: Teacher tried to hire hit man (Sept 28 2012)

    The Plant City Police Department said James Pepe, 55, was arrested Thursday outside of Bloomingdale High School on a charge of solicitation of first-degree murder, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times reported Friday. Police said Pepe and Robert Meredith were initially on friendly terms when they bought taught at Strawberry Crest High School in Dover, but they started feuding for reasons not revealed by officers and Pepe eventually transferred to Bloomingdale High. "This relationship got to a point where Pepe felt that any negative thing that happened to him at work, he thought Meredith was behind it," Officer Tray Towles said. Towles said Pepe came to believe Meredith was spreading rumors about him.
     
  16. TMP

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    Brandon Patch: Former Students React to Arrest of Bloomingdale Teacher for Trying to Hire Hitman (Sept 28 2012)

    Marissa Williams said she and her friends at Bloomingdale weren’t surprised by the news. Williams, who had [James Jules] Pepe as a sociology teacher last year, said the 28-year Hillsborough County teacher exhibited some unusual behavior in front of his students. “He was very paranoid,” she said. “He thought everyone was out to get him. He told us the administration had it out for him and that his next-door neighbor kept trying to break into his house. He said he kept changing the locks and finally had to move out.
     
  17. TMP

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    My Fox Tampa Bay: Teacher arrested in murder-for-hire plot described as ‘odd’ (Sept 28 2012)

    [James Jules] Pepe was taken into custody at Bloomingdale – out of view of the students. And those students aren't as shocked as you may think. "It was kind of shocking at first, but then once I kind of processed it, it was kind of, you could kind of see it happening," said Bloomingdale senior Jason Gardner. They pointed to what they called "odd" behavior in the classroom. "He would stereotype. I'm pretty sure he played favorites in the class. There were some kids he always got on, and there were some kids he didn't really care about," said Bloomingdale senior Johnathan Hamilton. A spokesperson for the Hillsborough County School district says Pepe has been informed he is not allowed to return to the classroom.
     
  18. TMP

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    Huffington Post: James Pepe, Florida High School Teacher, Arrested In Murder-For-Hire Scheme Against Rival Teacher (Sept 30 2012)

    A Florida high school teacher was arrested last week as a suspect in a murder-for-hire scheme against a fellow teacher. He was also fired by another school district for disciplinary problems 11 years ago. James Pepe, a 55-year-old teacher at Florida's Bloomingdale High School, was arrested Thursday in an undercover operation in which agents said he offered $2,000 to kill Robert Meredith, a teacher at Strawberry Crest High School and former co-worker, according to ABC News.
     
  19. TMP

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    Tampa Tribune: Recording captures Bloomingdale teacher's hitman discussion (Sept 30 2012)

    A Bloomingdale High teacher stood silently in court as a recording him discussing hitman options was played before a judge. In the recording played in court Saturday, James Pepe, 55, of Brandon talks about hiring someone to kill Robert Meredith, another teacher who Pepe once worked with at Strawberry Crest High School.
     
  20. TMP

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    ABC News: James Pepe: Accused Murder For Hire Teacher Considered Hiring Student (Sept 30 2012)

    James Pepe, 55, a social studies teacher at Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County who liked students to call him “Doctor Professor Pepe,” was arrested at school on Thursday. He is accused of trying to put out a hit on Robert Meredith, a former co-worker. The two men had apparently worked together at Strawberry Crest High School. On Saturday, prosecutors played in court a phone conversation allegedly between Pepe and a friend, who later tipped off police. “What do you want done with Bob Meredith?” the friend asked. “I want him killed,” the man, who prosecutors say is Pepe, replied.