Law & Order

9:47 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Star Player Jameis Winston Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation

Lead in text: 
The prosecutor, William N. Meggs, acknowledged a number of shortcomings in the police investigation. In fact, an examination by The New York Times has found that there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or the university. The police did not follow the obvious leads that would have quickly identified the suspect as well as witnesses, one of whom videotaped part of the sexual encounter. After the accuser identified Mr. Winston as her assailant, the police did not even attempt to interview him for nearly two weeks and never obtained his DNA.
Tallahassee, Fla. - Early on the morning of Dec. 7, 2012, a freshman at Florida State University reported that she had been raped by a stranger somewhere off campus after a night of drinking at a popular Tallahassee bar called Potbelly's. As she gave her account to the police, several bruises began to appear, indicating recent trauma.
Law & Order
4:48 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Dozier Update: DNA Tests, Facial Composite & A Second Graveyard?

A facial approximation of one of the sets of remains excavated at Dozier: an African-American boy believed to be between 10 and 12 years old
USF Dept. of Anthropology

As is fitting for a case that dates back to the early 1900's, progress is slow in coming for researchers looking at the mysteries found on the grounds of the Dozier School for Boys - but it is being made.

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Law & Order
8:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Stand Your Ground Author Says Effort To Tweak Law Could Get ‘Second Life’

Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs), the main author of Florida's Stand Your Ground law. He's also the sponsor of a bill aiming to tweak the law.

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:04 pm

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Law & Order
8:15 am
Thu April 10, 2014

1 Child Dies, 14 Injured in Day Care Crash

Parents with their children are escorted away with Orange County deputies after a vehicle crashed into a day care center Wednesday in Winter Park.
Credit John Raoux / Associated Press

A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care Wednesday, killing a child and injuring 14 others, at least 12 of them children, authorities said.

Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children wasn't releasing any more information on the age and sex of the child who died, said Katie Dagenais, a spokeswoman for the hospital where the most-seriously injured were being treated.

One person at the hospital was in critical condition and five others were in serious condition, Dagenais said.

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Law & Order
11:47 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Emergency Guns Measure Clears Committee on Third Shot

A National Rifle Association-backed measure to allow people without concealed weapons licenses to pocket their guns during emergencies squeaked out of the Senate committee where it has been on hold for two weeks.

The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs, Space and Domestic Security Committee spent less than 15 minutes on Tuesday primarily taking public testimony on the emergency-carry measure (SB 296) before approving it with a 5-4 vote and no debate.

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Law & Order
9:25 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Governor Signs Package Of Sexual Predator Bills Into Law

Scott signing the bills

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:31 pm

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed four sex offender bills into law Tuesday during a public ceremony at the Capitol.  The event brought together a number of Republican lawmakers to show off the first bills passed by the Legislature.

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Law & Order
5:16 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Teen Injured in Clearwater Plane Crash Returns to Illinois

A plane rests in the median on McMullen-Booth Road in Clearwater after crashing March 22. The pilot and a passenger, a father and daughter from Illinois, were killed. A second passenger was released from the hospital in the last week.
Credit Clearwater Public Safety

A teenage girl who was injured in a Clearwater plane crash that killed her friend and friend's father has been released from the hospital and returned home to Illinois.

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Law & Order
2:34 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Dozier Exhumation Request Heads to Pennsylvania Governor

Credit Credit Michael Spooneybarger / Reuters/Landov

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, is asking the governor of Pennsylvania to have state police there work with a team of Florida researchers investigating the circumstances surrounding a young boy’s death at a now-shuttered reform school.

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Law & Order
5:53 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Ex-FAMU Band Member First To Be Sentenced To Jail In Hazing Case

Robert Champion died in November 2011 following injuries he sustained during a hazing ritual.

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 7:40 pm

A former Florida A&M University band member has been sentenced to jail for the 2011 death of a drum major.

In all 13 people were charged in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion. Six have received probation but no jail or prison sentences.

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Law & Order
5:05 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Watch: Hillsborough Deputies' Bovine Rescue

Credit Hillsborough Sheriff's Office

Hillsborough Sheriff's Deputies today rescued a bull that was in danger of drowning in a retention pond.

 

Here's the release from the sheriff's department:

Today at approximately 8:45 am, HCSO was contacted by a man mowing the grass along the county right-a-way about a cow he spotted struggling in a small retention pond. The cow was later determined to be a 20 year old bull that weighed approximately 1000 lbs.

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Law & Order
5:44 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

'Redneck' Road Rage Video Leads to Arrest

A screen capture from the video that Florida law officers identified as Jeffrey White.
Credit Florida Highway Patrol

A video shot by an unidentified female driver who was being tailgated by a driver in a black Ford pickup truck led Florida State Troopers to arrest Jeffrey Travis White, 33, of Tampa for careless driving, failing to wear a seat belt and for leaving the scene of a crash.

The You Tube video, released by the Florida Highway Patrol, is titled, "Redneck Road Rage/Instant Karma." It captures the driver tailgating and eventually passing the unidentified car as they traveled southbound on US Highway 41, just north of Gibsonton Drive.

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Law & Order
10:20 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Daughter of Pilot Killed in Clearwater Plane Crash also Dies

The single-engine plane crashed near McMullen Booth Road and Union Street in Clearwater early Saturday morning.
Credit Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

The teenage daughter of an Illinois pilot who was killed when his small plane crashed in the Tampa Bay area has also died from her injuries.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says 15-year-old Katherine Bronken died Wednesday afternoon.

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Law & Order
10:25 am
Sat March 22, 2014

1 Dead, 2 Injured in Small Plane Crash in Clearwater

A single-engine plane crashed near McMullen Booth Road and Union Street in Clearwater early Saturday morning. One man was killed and two teenage girls were injured.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

UPDATE AT 10:25 A.M.: Federal officials, along with local law enforcement, continue investigating a single-engine plane crash in Clearwater that killed an Illinois man and injured his daughter and her friend early Saturday morning.

Pinellas County Sheriff's officials say the plane, a 1980 Piper, took off from Chicago around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening and was headed to St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport. It crashed around 4 a.m. Saturday, coming to rest in the median of McMullen Booth Road just north of Union Street.

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Law & Order
11:14 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Warning Shot Bill To Be Taken Up This Week On Senate Floor

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:02 pm

A bill allowing someone to threaten to use force in a situation where they feel threatened without fear of prosecution is expected to be discussed on the Senate Floor this week.  And, the so-called “warning shot” bill that was modified at each committee stop may go through another change on the floor.

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Law & Order
8:39 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

'Stand Your Ground' Law Gets Tweaked

The change was sparked by the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case

A bipartisan bill that would tweak the controversial "stand your ground" self-defense law sailed through the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday, passing unanimously with the backing of both the National Rifle Association and Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

The measure (SB 130) by Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, would make several changes recommended in 2012 by Gov. Rick Scott's Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection, which Scott appointed amid a national uproar that followed the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin.

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