Man accused of shooting wife at hospital wants impounded car returned

Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt denies Jeffrey Moretz's request give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. Tristan Spinsk/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI

Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt denies Jeffrey Moretz's request give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. Tristan Spinsk/Staff

Defense attorney Jerry Berry, representing Jeffery Moretz (not pictured) returns to his client after Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt denied Moretz's request give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. Tristan Spinsk/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI

Defense attorney Jerry Berry, representing Jeffery Moretz (not pictured) returns to his client after Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt denied Moretz's request give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. Tristan Spinsk/Staff

Jeffery Moretz appears in court with his attorney, Jerry Berry, not pictured, on Friday afternoon to try and convince Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt to give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. With no one to speak on behalf of the estate of Christine Moretz, Judge Hardt denied the defendant's request. Tristan Spinsk/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI

Jeffery Moretz appears in court with his attorney, Jerry Berry, not pictured, on Friday afternoon to try and convince Collier Circuit Judge Fredrick Hardt to give him back his car, currently being held by the Collier County Sheriff's Office. Moretz is charged with the shooting death of his estranged wife, Christine Moretz, at Physicians Regional Hospital in North Naples on July 5. With no one to speak on behalf of the estate of Christine Moretz, Judge Hardt denied the defendant's request. Tristan Spinsk/Staff


 Name: JEFFERY L MORETZ  
 Charge:  CAPIAS - 2ND DEG MURDER W/FIREARM
 Residence: Naples, FL 
 Age: 54
 Occupation: OWNER
 Case #: 11CF000149A

CCSO


  • Name: JEFFERY L MORETZ
  • Charge: CAPIAS - 2ND DEG MURDER W/FIREARM
  • Residence: Naples, FL
  • Age: 54
  • Occupation: OWNER
  • Case #: 11CF000149A

Accused killer Jeffery Moretz, in the Collier County jail charged with gunning down his estranged wife in July, wants his red, two-door Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder back.

No clear ownership, no dice, Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt told Moretz after a brief hearing Friday.

Moretz, 54, owned the car with his wife, Christine, 53, when investigators say he shot her at Physicians Regional hospital on Pine Ridge Road while she visited a friend, who was a patient there. He then shot himself in the chin in a failed suicide attempt. Moretz faces a second-degree murder charge.

Hardt rejected Moretz’ request for the sportscar, saying it was not his to get back and signing the hastily written and terse order before he left the bench.

Outside the courtroom after the hearing, the Moretzes’ daughter-in-law, Kim Moretz, said Moretz wants the car so he can sell it to pay his legal bills.

“It’s not going to happen,” she said. “It’s blood money. I can’t even begin to say how wrong it is. I think it’s perverse.”

Berry said Moretz probably will drop the matter because he believes his son will get the car in probate proceedings.

All Moretz wants is that his son get the car rather than it be left to deteriorate, Berry said.

Collier County sheriff’s deputies seized the car as possible evidence after the July shooting, but Berry told Hardt that the car is no longer needed as evidence.

The Sheriff’s Office has refused to turn over the car without a court order.

Berry presented paperwork to Hardt showing that Jeffery Moretz’ sister, acting with Moretz’ power of attorney, signed over the car’s title to Moretz on August 21.

Hardt said that was not good enough, pressing Berry on Christine Moretz’ ownership.

“Who had the authority to transfer the wife’s interest,” Hardt asked, repeating the question when Berry did not answer.

“That’s a good point, I don’t know,” Berry said.

The estate of Christine Moretz was not a party to Friday’s hearing and had not received notice of the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Mara Marzano told Hardt.

Jeffery Moretz appeared in court Friday, walking into the courtroom. He is undergoing treatment for a broken jaw and had a tracheotomy tube in his neck. Moretz did not speak.

Moretz was wheeled into court in a wheelchair for another hearing in August.

Connect with Eric Staats at www.naplesnews.com/staff/eric_staats

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