Woman who planned robbery of slain college student while friend posed as stranded motorist convicted of murder

US

One of two women charged in the 2022 killing of a college student who was traveling with his girlfriend has been found guilty of murder and other federal charges.

Krystal Diane Pinkins, 37, was convicted of murder, robbery and unlawful use of a firearm during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona announced Friday. 

Adam Simjee, 22, and Mikayla Paulus, 20, were traveling to Cheaha State Park in Clay County, Alabama, on August 14, 2022, when Yasmine Marie Adel Hider, 21, flagged them down on a National Forest Service road in Talladega National Forest. Hider pretended to be stranded and asked for help giving Pinkins’ car a jumpstart, but then robbed the couple, authorities said.

Simjee pulled out a gun he was carrying and managed to shoot Pinkins “a few times,” Paulus told ABC affiliate WBMA-TV at the time. Hider, who was also armed, shot and killed Simjee.

Pinkins was found to have provided the gun used to kill Simjee and helped plan the robbery, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama. She also watched the robbery and shooting from nearby woods before fleeing, the release said.

Pinkins was found at a “secluded” campsite about six hours after the shooting, the attorney’s office said. As officers were arresting her, Pinkins’ 5-year-old son ran from the woods with a loaded shotgun, but didn’t fire, The Associated Press reported. The child was taken by child welfare workers, AP reported. Hider was also taken into custody and received treatment for her wounds. 

Hider was among those who testified during Pinkins’ trial. She is expected to plead guilty before the same judge that oversaw Pinkins’ case on Oct. 4, 2023, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama said.

The maximum sentence for robbery is 15 years in prison, and the maximum sentences for the other two charges are life in prison. Pinkins will be sentenced at a later date. 

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