Law & Order

Law & Order
9:07 am
Thu October 30, 2014

State Attempt to Reopen Medicaid Case Draws Fire

With a federal judge possibly close to ruling in the case, plaintiffs' attorneys are objecting to a state attempt to offer new evidence in a lawsuit about whether Florida has adequately provided care to children in the Medicaid program.

The lawsuit, which has been spearheaded by the Florida Pediatric Society, was filed in 2005. A trial ended in 2012, and federal judge Adalberto Jordan is expected to issue a ruling soon, according to court documents.

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Law & Order
10:21 am
Tue October 28, 2014

2 Killed in Wrong-Way Crash in Crystal River

The Florida Highway Patrol says two people died when they were struck by a wrong-way driver on U.S. 19 near Crystal River.

The crash happened Monday night near Crystal River when 51-year-old Marianne J. Campbell of Fort Lauderdale was driving southbound in a northbound lane of U.S. 19. She struck a car driven by 74-year-old Ruby Pearl Ray of Nixa, Missouri.

Troopers say Ray died at the scene. Her 75-year-old passenger Greta Overbay of Roachdale, Indiana, died later at a hospital.

Campbell was airlifted in critical condition to a hospital in Ocala.

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Law & Order
9:12 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Hazing Trial Starts for 4 FAMU Band Members

Robert Champion

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 9:10 am

Florida A & M University's Marching 100 had played at a Super Bowl and before U.S. presidents. But one of the nation's most-celebrated marching bands had a dark secret: members were occasionally beaten with mallets, fists and drumsticks in a hazing initiation known as "crossing" Bus C.

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Law & Order
5:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

FL Prisons Chief: Bad Guards Won’t Drive Future of Corrections

Mike Crews, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections
Credit State of Florida

Gov. Rick Scott tapped Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews two years ago to oversee an agency that is responsible for more than 100,000 prisoners and supervises nearly as many people in the community.

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Law & Order
5:28 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Dunn Sentenced To Life In Prison

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:22 pm

The man convicted of fatally shooting a Jacksonville teen at a Gate gas station in November 2012 will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Circuit Judge Russell Healey has sentenced Michael Dunn, 47, to life in prison for the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

Dunn will serve an additional maximum sentence of 90 years in prison for three counts of attempted murder as well as 15 years for one count of firing a deadly missile into the vehicle where Davis and his friends sat.

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Law & Order
6:37 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Fl. Supreme Court Rejects Cell Phone Tracking by Police

Pointing to privacy rights, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said police need to get warrants before using cell-phone information to conduct "real-time" tracking of criminal suspects.

Justices, in a 5-2 decision, sided with a man who was arrested in 2007 in Broward County after a search of his vehicle uncovered a kilogram brick of cocaine hidden in a spare-tire well. Police tracked the man, Shawn Alvin Tracey, through location information given off when cell-phone calls are made.

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Law & Order
3:41 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

FHP Starts Wrong-Way Driving Campaign


The Florida Highway Patrol is kicking off a campaign to prevent wrong-way crashes around the Tampa bay area, after five crashes led to eleven deaths so far this year.

An additional 30 troopers from across the state will be located around I-75, I-275 and other roadways to arrest wrong-way and DUI drivers.

FHP spokesperson Sgt. Steve Gaskins said drivers should make good decisions before they start drinking.

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Law & Order
6:05 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Defense Attorneys Say Hazing Death Of Drum Major Was A 'Contest'

Robert Champion died in 2011 due to injuries sustained in a hazing ritual.

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 6:11 pm

The four remaining defendants in the hazing death of a Florida A&M University marching band drum major are about to go on trial, and their attorneys argue what happened to Robert Champion was part of a contest.

Defense attorneys are making a case that Florida's anti-hazing law is so vague that what happened to Champion wasn't hazing but part of a contest.


The defense is asking a judge for a hearing challenging the anti-hazing law. Circuit Judge Rene Roche set a hearing a week before the defendants' Oct. 27 trial.

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Law & Order
8:55 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

Ex-DOC Employee Gives Take On Florida Prison Reforms, Inmate Abuse Allegations

"Getting Away With Murder" is a book by former DOC employee, George Mallinckrodt, speaking about his experiences in the psychiatric unit of Dade Correctional Institution.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 7:12 pm

Florida’s prison system has been in the news a lot lately, between suspicious prison deaths, allegations of inmate abuse, and new reforms meant to address such abuses. But, some say the reforms are not enough and a change in leadership should be in store.

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Law & Order
3:08 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Dozier School Victim's Casket Opened; No Body Found

USF anthropologist Erin Kimmerle inspects the casket
Katy Hennig/University of South Florida

Both the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Times are reporting that USF researchers sent to exhume the body of a boy who was killed at the infamous Dozier School for Boys in Marianna and buried in a Pennsylvania cemetery found nothing when they opened the casket.

Nothing, except for a few pieces of wood.

Here's what the Times wrote:

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Law & Order
9:21 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Attorneys Parks, Crump Call On Feds To Investigate Recent Florida Prison Death

The family of Latandra Ellington, 36, is hoping for answers into her death last week.

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 10:14 am

A recent inmate death at a North Florida Correctional facility has some calling for federal officials to step in and address what they call a “culture of inmate abuse” within the Florida prison system.

Latandra Ellington was an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, serving about two years in prison for fraud. Weeks ago, Tallahassee Attorney Darryl Parks says the 36-year-old sent two letters to her aunt, saying she felt threatened by guards. So, he says Ellington’s aunt called the facility and left a message.

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Law & Order
5:59 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Students Weigh In on Midterm Elections

USF students took part in a straw poll Tuesday.
Credit Yoselis Ramos / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida conducted a straw poll on its Tampa campus to measure students' political opinions ahead of the November 4th midterm election.

92 percent of the 1,096 votes came from students and if the midterm elections were held now, 49 percent of the votes would go towards gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. 

A majority of students preferred George Sheldon for Attorney General. 

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Law & Order
2:21 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Two Men Rescued from Sea Plane Crash

A seaplane is submerged three miles south of Peter O'Knight Airport after crashing into Hillsborough Bay Monday morning.
Tampa Police Marine Patrol

You seldom use the word "lucky" to describe a plane crash, but a pair of men picked a fortunate place to crash their sea plane Monday morning.

The single-engine amphibious aircraft left Peter O'Knight Airport around 11:30 a.m. Authorities said the plane apparently flew low enough that the landing gear hit the water, causing the aircraft to crash into Hillsborough Bay.

The two men aboard the plane, pilot Robert Kerrigan and passenger Eric Olinger, were rescued by a pair of off-duty Hillsborough County firefighters who were on a nearby boat fishing.

Law & Order
12:30 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Corrections Officer Gets Prison for Inmate Faud

A former Florida corrections officer is going to prison himself for a tax fraud scheme in which he acknowledged stealing inmates' identities.

U.S. District Judge James Moody sentenced 26-year-old Jerry St. Fleur to more than four years behind bars. St. Fleur pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

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2:30 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

In Campus Rape Cases, Victim Often Blamed for Failure to Prosecute

Lead in text: 
This lack of prosecution in campus rape cases is a statewide phenomenon. Records collected from USF and eight other Florida universities found that prosecutions are nearly nonexistent. In 2012 and 2013, only two cases out of more than 50 reported have faced prosecution. Both of those cases involve the same suspect at Florida Gulf Coast University. Victim advocates and some state attorneys say the rate of prosecution for campus rapes is lower than sexual battery cases that happen outside the collegiate setting. Local prosecutors say uncooperative victims often stymie their efforts. They question whether investigators place too much responsibility on victims as a way to avoid pursuing difficult cases.
TAMPA - Since 2007, only one of 19 rape cases involving students investigated by the University of South Florida police has faced prosecution. That case resulted in 10 years of probation and no prison time for the assailant, who pleaded guilty to raping his roommate's friend.