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‘I’m going to do time, right?’: Killer agrees to decades in prison for faking car trouble and murdering Florida college student hiking with girlfriend in national forest

Yasmine Hider, Adam Simjee and Mikayla Paulus

Yasmine Hider (Clay County Sheriff’s Office), Adam Simjee and Mikayla Paulus (GoFundMe)

A woman charged as the individual who shot and killed a Florida college student hiking with his girlfriend in Alabama’s woods more than a year ago has agreed to go to prison for more than three decades as part of a plea agreement with the government.

Yasmine Marie Adel Hider, from Oklahoma and now 21, admittedly kidnapped and murdered 22-year-old Adam Simjee on Aug. 14, 2022, during a robbery in Cheaha State Park, which the government notes is located in Talladega National Forest — explaining the concurrent federal jurisdiction of the case though the crime also took place within Clay County, Alabama.

Simjee was hiking that day with his girlfriend Mikayla Paulus, a fellow college student at the University of Central Florida.

As part of the deal, Hider has agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Simjee (Victim #1), kidnapping Paulus (Victim #2) but not resulting in death, and robbery. A fourth count was dismissed.

According to the agreed upon facts of the case, the feds swarmed the scene of the crime after receiving a 911 call about a shooting in the woods. There, Mikayla Paulus identified Hider as Adam Simjee’s killer.

“Upon arrival, agents observed a white male victim, Victim #1, lying dead from one gunshot wound to the abdomen. The killer, Yasmine Marie Adel HIDER, a black female, was seated several feet away against a fallen pine tree with four gun-shot wounds, three to the abdomen and one to the upper right leg,” the plea agreement said. “Victim #1’s girlfriend, a white female, Victim #2, had witnessed the crime and was being comforted by responding officers. Victim #2 pointed at HIDER and told the responding officers, ‘she shot him.'”

When the feds started talking to Hider, she was already demanding to know how much prison time she was going to serve.

“HIDER stated to the responding officers that she and her family lived in the woods, and she was asking for a ride to get food. HIDER asked the officers, ‘I’m going to do time, right? I just want to know how much time?'” the plea agreement said. “This was recorded by the agent’s body cam.”

Mikayla Paulus told investigators that that she and Simjee were “traveling and sleeping in Victim #1’s 2010 white Chevrolet Uplander van” and “looking for waterfalls in Cheaha State Park, when HIDER flagged the couple down and said she needed help with her broken down vehicle, a blue XB Scion, which was located about an eighth of a mile away.”

“Victim #1 and Victim #2 followed HIDER down a dirt road to the Scion,” the plea agreement said.

Simjee and Paulus tried to help someone they thought was in need, but Simjee also had a pistol in his waistband in case Hider was, in fact, plotting to rob them, court docs said.

“Victim #1 tried using his jumper-cables, but the Scion would not start. Victim #2 called her father, who was a mechanic, for some advice. Victim #2’s father sent some YouTube videos, and Victim #2 searched for others on her phone that might be helpful. Still, Victim #1 and Victim #2 could not get the Scion to start,” the agreement said.

Suddenly, the defendant pulled a gun and ordered the victims to “empty their pockets and to walk further into the woods.”

Simjee, still armed but unbeknownst to Hider, said “everything we have is in the van, and you can have it.” Then he pulled his gun and a shootout ensued.

Hider blamed the victim immediately:

At one point, HIDER looked away and lowered her guard, Victim #1 pulled his pistol from his waistband and ordered HIDER to drop her weapon. HIDER said, “Are you serious?” She cocked her gun and started firing, and Victim # 1 returned fire simultaneously while falling to the ground. While on the ground, Victim #1 said, “You shot me,” and fired one last time at HIDER. After the shooting stopped, HIDER said, “Why did you shoot? It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

The defendant’s friend and co-defendant Krystal Diane Pinkins, a now 37-year-old from Tennessee, was allegedly nearby and asked Hider, “What do you want me to do?” before running into the woods.

Adam Simjee died a short time later, despite Paulus’ efforts to save his life.

“While Victim #2 was on the phone with 911, Victim # 1 began losing consciousness. The emergency operator advised Victim #2 to apply pressure with a cloth and begin chest compressions if Victim # 1 stopped breathing,” court documents said. “A distraught Victim #2 removed her shirt to use as the cloth and started chest compressions when Victim # 1 stopped breathing.”

Authorities said that Hider incriminated herself when she was interviewed five days later at the hospital and read her rights:

On August 19, 2022, at UAB Hospital, agents interviewed HIDER, who was advised of her Miranda rights. After HIDER waived her rights, she stated she was waiting on the side of the road to get someone to stop so they could take a car to go get food. HIDER also stated PINKINS was with her when she got shot. HIDER asked agents, “Did he die?” and stated, “I didn’t want to hurt anybody.” Additionally, HIDER stated, “I took his whole life away; now he can’t tell his story.”

The Hider plea agreement includes a stipulated sentence of 35 years (420 months). A judge will have to sign off on the 11(c)(1)(C) agreement, and jurists do not always like to because doing so ties their hands. As of Tuesday morning, a hearing has not been set.

As for Pinkins, a federal magistrate judge found her competent to stand trial in July. U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor followed that up on Aug. 31 with order setting a jury trial for Sept. 25.

Krystal Pinkins

Krystal Pinkins (Clay County Sheriff’s Office)

Officers reportedly located Pinkins a short distance away from the crime scene at a “base camp” of tents. When they made contact, her 5-year-old son reportedly ran out of a wooded area wielding a loaded shotgun. The child put the weapon down after reaching his mother and she was reportedly taken into custody without further incident, authorities said.

Read the plea agreement here.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.