Dailey sentenced to 20 years for murder of Okeechobee man

OKEECHOBEE – Brandie Dailey – who was 18 in April 2017 when 60-year-old Robert Curtis Joiner was brutally murdered – accepted a plea deal on Friday, Jan. 25. She pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years. She also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and received five years. The terms are to be served concurrently, and she will get credit for the two years she has already served.

According to Assistant State Attorney Don Richardson, Mr. Joiner was strangled to death with a belt in his Okeechobee home.

Mr. Richardson said Mr. Joiner, who was a small man and only weighed about 120 lbs., was sitting in his recliner when Dailey reportedly sneaked up behind him and started strangling him with a belt.

At some point, Mr. Joiner got out of the recliner and onto the floor, where reports indicate Dailey got on his back and continued to strangle him until he died, according to the report.

Brandie Ariel Dailey, 2017 photo

Mr. Joiner was a life-long resident of Okeechobee, suffered from Cerebral Palsy and, according to Mr. Richardson, his health was failing. Dailey and her boyfriend, Michael Raulerson, lived in his home in exchange for housekeeping and cooking for about a year before the murder occurred.

According to the Okeechobee Police Department report, in April 2017, Mr. Joiner’s sister called police because she was concerned when the family had not heard from her brother in several days. Detective Bill Saum responded to the call by going to Mr Joiner’s Southeast Fourth Street home where he was reportedly invited in by Dailey who also gave him and the officers with him permission to search the property.

The report continues, a short time later a call came in about a body found a short distance away on Southeast 32nd Avenue. “I and others at that scene recognized the deceased as Robert ‘Bobby’ Joiner. Mr. Joiner was tied up, hands behind his back and feet tied together. He was wrapped in a blanket,” the report states. At that time, Dailey was arrested and charged with first degree murder with a weapon and tampering with evidence.

Michael James Raulerson,21, and Michael Wayne Jacobs, 35, were also arrested in connection with the murder and were charged with accessory to first degree murder and tampering with evidence. The report states Michael Raulerson is believed to have been in the house at the time of the murder but is not believed to have assisted in the murder. Both men are believed to have helped dispose of the body. Neither has been tried yet.

According to Mr. Richardson, the reason Dailey was offered a plea was because the defense had filed several motions to suppress her statements, including her confessions, and unfortunately, those motions would likely have been granted due to some mistakes made during the investigation. Rather than take a chance on letting her escape with no punishment at all, he decided to take 20 years so some justice would be served.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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