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Date of Issue: December 28, 2006

Cortez killing set for trial

Tammy Lynn George is scheduled to be the first person tried for murder in Manatee County in 2007.

George is accused of murder in the first homicide of 2006.

George, 44, is charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Mimi Marie Pace, 42, who was found lying in a pool of blood in her Sunny Shores mobile home on Jan. 2, 2006.

A trial date has been set for exactly one year to that date - Jan. 2, 2007, before Judge Janette Dunnigan. A docket sounding to review the status of the case is scheduled for Dec. 20. Public Defender Steven A. Schaefer is representing George.

George was arrested at the scene of the killing and allegedly before she was given her Miranda warning confessed. "I stuck her and twisted it all around," George allegedly told law enforcement officers, according to court records in the case.

Court documents detail the morning of Pace's death, beginning with Pace and her boyfriend, Scott Conklin, moving from another residence at Sunny Shores into George's home in the 3700 block of 115th Street Court West. Pace and Conklin apparently had been evicted from Pace's place, ordered to move out by Jan. 1.

Pace, Conklin and George were in George's home on Jan. 2 arranging possessions. Conklin left at about 10 a.m. to retrieve some items from the previous residence, leaving Pace and George alone.

Conklin was sent back to George's home, having been alerted by a neighbor who reported hearing screams.

"Scott, help, she is trying to kill me," Pace was heard shouting, according to a probable-cause affidavit at the courthouse.

Conklin tried to get into the home, then looked through the bedroom window and saw Pace on the floor. He entered through the window and called Pace's name, but she didn't respond.

In the bedroom, authorities found blood scattered and beside Pace's body, a kitchen knife and aluminum bat.

Authorities maintain that George grabbed a knife and stabbed Pace multiple times. An autopsy report indicated Pace suffered 75 stab wounds caused by at least two weapons.

One witness said George, her clothing soaked with blood, smoked a cigarette in the kitchen as Pace lay on the floor in the bedroom.

Sunny Shores residents said both Pace and George were involved in crack cocaine, but authorities have not revealed a motive in the case.

In addition to the knife and the bat, authorities collected blood samples, Pace's wallet and bloody pillowcases from the mobile home for evidence.

Additional evidence, according to court records, includes reports from the investigation, a search warrant, lab-analysis findings, crime-scene photographs, the criminal history for George and a fingerprint analysis.

Potential witnesses for the prosecution include detectives and investigators with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, a lab expert with the University of Florida, representatives with the medical examiner's office, Bradenton Beach police officers, and acquaintances of both Pace and George.