Woman charged with murder of college student who stopped to help her near off-the-grid encampment

Adam Simjee and Mikayla Paulus were on a road trip together when the shooting unfolded (GoFundMe)
Adam Simjee and Mikayla Paulus were on a road trip together when the shooting unfolded (GoFundMe)

A 20-year-old woman in Alabama has been charged with murder, robbery and kidnapping over the death of a Florida college student who offered to help her on the side of the road, reports say.

Adam Simjee was killed in a shoot-out on 14 August involving the suspect, Yasmine Hider, who police said was possibly living “off grid” and pretended to need assistance during the fatal encounter on 14 August.

On Thursday, Ms Hider was charged with murder, robbery and kidnapping, ABC News reported of online police records. She is due to go on trial and it was unclear if she had entered a plea or had a attorney.

Simjee, 22, and his girlfriend, Mikayla Paulus, 20, were driving along a road near the Cheaha State Park in east Alabama when Ms Hider and another woman, Krystal Diane Pinkins, 36, allegedly flagged them down, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.

Simjee and Ms Paulus were then forced into the wood at gunpoint by the two suspects when “Adam pulled out his gun and told her to get on the ground and that’s when she started messing around with her gun,” the sheriff’s office said.

Ms Paulus meanwhile told WBMA-TV of the fatal encounter: “It (the gun) jammed once but they both shot at each other and she was shot a few times and he was shot only once”.

Simjee, who was due to return to to the University of Central Florida with Ms Paulus after a summer vacation, afterwards died of his injuries and police were able to locate Ms Hider and Ms Pinkins at a woodland encampment.

Police said Ms Pinkins’s five-year-old son run away from the camp in the Talladega National Forest, near Cheaha State Park, with a loaded gun as his mother was taken into custody, and that both suspects were believed to be living “off grid”.

“He literally was like an angel on earth already. Everyone who met him loved him,” Ms Paulus told ABC3340 earlier this month. “He was always making jokes and being goofy...Him dying a hero to protect me, like that is just so him.”

Last week, an Alabama judge issued a gag order on the case banning any witnesses, law enforcement officers or anyone else connected to the case from commenting on or releasing information about the case to the media to prevent the possibility of prejudice against the defendant.