Murdered attorney remembered at kind, generous

9:00 AM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A longtime Twin Cities attorney shot to death in a domestic murder-suicide in Shoreview was remembered as a skilled lawyer and wonderful friends to clients and coworkers alike.

"She will be very missed," Tina Syring-Petrocchi, said of her friend and legal partner Nancy Sullivan Wednesday.

"We all have client-attorney relationships. Nancy's relationship with clients is that they became friends. That's a rare breed."

Sullivan died Tuesday as she was preparing to move out of a home she shared with Johnny Lee Simpson. Investigators believe Simpson shot Sullivan and two other adults before turning the gun on himself.

Sullivan was 57 at the time of the shooting, according to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office. Simpson was 65. 

According to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office, there was no history of domestic disturbance calls to the home in Shoreview.

Court records from Simpson's 2002 divorce revealed that his ex-wife, Laurie Kay Gluesing, accused him of abuse and bullying.

"John physically attacked me March 27, 2001 and I moved out of the house March 31, 2001," Gluesing stated in a sworn affidavit.

In another affidavit she stated, "When he is under stress or surprised by new facts he responds in an angry and abusive manner."

Gluesing said in the same affidavit that she had a permanent scar on her lip from being pushed by Siimpson when their son was a baby. Attempts to reach Gluesing Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Syring-Petrocchi wasn't free to discuss any of the circumstances surrounding Sullivan's death or her relationship with Simpson. She described Sullivan as someone who was never downbeat.

"It seemed she never had a bad day. She came in with a smile on her face everyday."

Sullivan was a specialist in employee benefit law at Barnes and Thornburg in Minneapolis.  A mother of two and grandmother of two, Sullivan prized a nickname given to her by one of those grandchildren.

"The label she liked the most was 'granny fancy pants.' That was her favorite label."

Syring-Petrocchi said that Sullivan was especially devoted to children's issues and had frequency donated her time and legal services to the Children's Law Center.

The two other shooting victims at the house in Shoreview have been identified as Tony Sewell Brown, age 28 of Saint Paul, and Kathleen Maureen Fay, age 29, also of Saint Paul.

Both were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. The hospital staff said that Fay was listed in critical condition Wednesday.

The hospital could not divulge any information about Brown, due to medical privacy laws.

It was not clear Wednesday exactly how Brown and Fay were related to Sullivan or Simpson.

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