Law & Order

Law & Order
3:34 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

Tampa Council Cannot Sue for I-275 Expansion

Tampa Heights residents are opposed to an I-275 expansion.
Credit By Ben Ostrowsky via Wikimedia Commons

Tampa city council members learned Thursday they can not sue the state for its planned widening of Interstate 275. 


Council members wanted to know if they could sue to stop the Florida Department of Transportation from adding an express lane through Tampa Heights.

 Tampa City attorney Sal Territo said only people can sue, not another governmental body.

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Law & Order
10:19 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Florida Gyrocopter Pilot Rejects Deal

Douglas Hughes spoke Monday after a status hearing in federal court in Washington D.C..
Credit Associated Press

The Ruskin man who flew a gyrocopter through some of America's most restricted airspace before landing outside the U.S. Capitol said Monday that he's rejected a plea deal that would have involved several years in prison.

 He declined to give specifics of ongoing negotiations but said that if prosecutors continue to insist on "significant hard jail time," his case will go to trial.

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Law & Order
9:00 am
Fri June 19, 2015

Pasco Man on Death Row to be Set Free

Florida Supreme Court
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A 55-year-old man on death row for the murder of a Pasco County waitress will soon walk free.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that there wasn't enough evidence to convict Derral Hodgkins for the 2006 murder of 46-year-old Teresa Lodge.

Lodge was found dead in her Land O'Lakes apartment.

She had been beaten, strangled and stabbed multiple times.

Hodgkins' skin was found under her fingernails, but investigators didn't find a weapon or other evidence that placed Hodgkins at the scene.

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Law & Order
5:28 pm
Thu June 18, 2015

Tampa Hosting Gun Buyback Program

Credit Alex Borland, Wikipedia Commons

As a part of a summer initiative, the City of Tampa is hosting an anonymous gun buyback event next week aiming to curb gun violence. Any Hillsborough County resident can bring in their handguns, rifles and shotguns in exchange for $50 cash per weapon, no questions asked. 

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Law & Order
5:11 pm
Mon June 15, 2015

Newly Signed Bills To Build On Florida's Past Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 2:50 pm

A bill aimed at toughening Florida’s human trafficking laws will become law in a few months, following Governor Rick Scott’s signing. It increases the penalties for soliciting another for prostitution.

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Law & Order
11:48 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Bill Seeks to Protect Children Through Polygraphs During Hiring

Polk Co. Sheriff Grady Judd (right) and U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross unveiled the Protecting Our Children Act Monday.
Credit Bay News 9

U.S. Representative Dennis Ross and Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd have introduced a bill that would allow businesses whose workers interact with children to screen potential employers with polygraph testing.

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Law & Order
2:07 am
Tue June 9, 2015

As Criminal Budget Talks Continue, Some Keep Watchful Eye On Funding For Florida Prisons

Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) during initial criminal budget talks Monday morning.

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:29 pm

As Florida lawmakers continue to iron out how much funding will go toward the state’s troubled prison system, some are hopeful there will be enough to cover staffing levels and deteriorating buildings.

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Law & Order
2:05 am
Tue June 9, 2015

Could Florida Be Joining Other States In Looking Into Untested Rape Kits?

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaking to reporters Monday, following criminal budget talks between the House and Senate.

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:02 pm

According to recent national reports, there are thousands of untested rape kits around the U.S.—leading to a backlog of unsolved cases. The Florida Legislature is now considering putting thousands of dollars into a statewide rape kit assessment.

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Law & Order
10:13 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Child Sex Abuse Survey Shows Reporting Problems, People Scared Of Talking To Kids

Lauren Book, a sexual abuse survivor and victims advocate, speaking to a group of kids.

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:12 pm

A new survey commissioned by a sexual abuse survivor says child abuse occurs more frequently than people think, and reporting the suspected abuse does not happen as much as it should.

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Law & Order
1:53 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

Pinellas Still Trying to Get Barrier Island Residents into 'Hurricane Re-Entry' Program

Pinellas County emergency management officials are urging residents and businesses on barrier islands to obtain an Emergency Access Permit that will allow them back on the islands after a hurricane evacuation.
Credit Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Pinellas County emergency officials face some major challenges evacuating about a dozen barrier islands before a hurricane hits. But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says that, in many cases, the trip back after a storm is actually more stressful.

"People, rightfully so, don't know what has happened to their homes and to their properties and their livelihood and their business, they want to get out there and they want to get out there now to assess the damage and try to get their lives back together again," he said.

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Law & Order
1:57 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

St. Pete Officer Recovering from Gunshot Wound by Teen

Austin Goodner, 18, was declared dead at Bayfront Medical Center following a shoot out with police.
Credit St. Petersburg Police Department

St. Petersburg police are still trying to sort out how a local teen got a loaded handgun and ended up shooting a police officer and rattling the department.

St. Petersburg Police Office Michael Cordiviola is recovering at Bayfront Medical Center after being shot in the leg on Sunday. Two other officers at the scene, Matthew Enhoffer and Brian Lynch,  were not injured.

St. Petersburg Police Chief  Holloway said  the wounded officer’s training kicked in and he used a nearby garden hose as a tourniquet until medical help could arrive.

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Law & Order
8:36 am
Fri May 15, 2015

Scott Signs Revenge Porn, Growler and 25 Other Bills

Adam Rudell of St. Petersburg sits near two gallon-sized jugs of beer, known as growlers, at the Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville.
Credit AP

Revenge porn will be illegal, half-gallon beer growlers will be legal and cities like Waldo won't be able to set ticket quotas for police officers under three of the 27 bills Gov. Rick Scott signed on Thursday.

Among other new laws: it will be illegal to use drones to take photo or video of private property without consent of the owner and to impersonate a firefighter. Also, five new synthetic drugs were made illegal.

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Law & Order
3:28 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Police Recover Gun from Zimmerman, 2 Guns from Other Man

A truck is towed at the scene of a shooting involving George Zimmerman, Monday, May 11, 2015, near Trailhead Park in Lake Mary, Fla. The man who called 911 to report he was involved in the shooting appears to be Matthew Apperson, the same person allegedly involved in a road rage incident Zimmerman last year. (Jeff Weiner/Orlando Sentinel via AP)
Credit Jeff Weiner / AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel

Police recovered a handgun from George Zimmerman and took two guns from a man accused of shooting at Zimmerman while both were driving, authorities said Tuesday.

Police also released a 911 call in which the caller says the other man, Matthew Apperson, told him he was forced to fire his gun Monday at the former neighborhood watch leader on a busy street in the Orlando suburb of Lake Mary.

“A guy says he had to shoot a guy through the window and he wants the police to come,” the man said on the call. “He had to shoot at somebody ... He said it was George Zimmerman.”

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Law & Order
11:18 pm
Mon May 11, 2015

George Zimmerman Shooting Linked to Prior Road Rage Incident

File photo of George Zimmerman
Credit Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who has had a series of run-ins with girlfriends, his ex-wife and random strangers since killing an unarmed black teenager, narrowly missed getting shot Monday after a mysterious dispute.

The dispute this time was with the same man that authorities said was involved in a road rage incident with Zimmerman last year. A bullet missed his head, spraying glass from the vehicle’s windshield, said his attorney, Don West. He said the bullet lodged somewhere in the vehicle. He was treated at a hospital and released.

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Law & Order
10:22 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Jameis Winston Files Counterclaim, Denies He Raped Woman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston practices at rookie minicamp in Tampa Friday, the same day his attorneys filed a counter-suit on his behalf against Erica Kinsman.
Credit Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo

Attorneys for top NFL draft pick Jameis Winston contend a woman seeking civil damages from the quarterback after accusing him of rape is trying to tarnish his reputation and tap into the Heisman Trophy winner's newfound wealth.

The former Florida State star practiced again Saturday, the final day of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rookie minicamp, and was not made available to comment on a counterclaim filed on his behalf one week after signing a four-year, $23.35 million contract.

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