Law & Order

Law & Order
7:58 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Florida Man Kills Daughter, 6 Grandchildren

This undated image provided by the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office shows Don Spirit, who's suspected of killing six of his grandchildren, his daughter and himself near Bell, Fla.
Credit AP Photo/Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office

A man who spent time in prison a decade ago for the shooting death of his young son killed six of his grandchildren, including an infant, his adult daughter and himself in a rampage at a home where authorities in the small town of Bell, Florida, say they had been called to in the past.

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Law & Order
12:16 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Girl Accused in Polk Bullying Case Plans to Sue

File photo of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. The Polk County Sheriff's Office is being sued by the family of a girl arrested for allegedly bullying a classmate who later killed herself.
Credit The Ledger

Lawyers for a 13-year-old girl accused of bullying a classmate have filed notice that they intend to sue Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and his office.

WTSP reports the family accuses the Sheriff's Office of defamation and invasion of privacy, saying Judd had no probable cause to arrest the girl last year.

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Law & Order
12:15 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Small Plane Crashes in Vinoy Park

A small plane made a crash landing in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park Monday morning.
Credit Nathanael Paul / Bay News 9

UPDATE 12:15 P.M.: St. Petersburg Police identify the victims in this morning's plane crash in Vinoy Park as Grant Jordon, 67, the plane's pilot; Aloysious Ryan, 52; Eamonn Harnell, 48; and a 17 year-old female.

Jordon and Ryan are both listed in serious, but stable condition at Bayfront Hospital. Harnell and the female passenger had minor injuries. All four are believed to be from Ireland.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators are already on scene.

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Law & Order
4:31 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

A Piece of New York in Ybor City to Remember 9/11

The sculpture designed by Becky Ault is called "Fearless Champions."
Yoselis Ramos WUSF News

A steel beam from the second World Trade Center Tower is the centerpiece of the "Fearless Champions" sculpture which now stands by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Ybor City. It was designed by artist Becky Ault to honor the first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks 13 years ago.

"The sacrifice and patriotism September 11th inspired in our country can never be allowed to fade, no matter distance nor passing of time," emcee Don Germaise said.


The keynote speaker was retired Navy Captain Jeff Cathey, and he said it is appropriate to have the sculpture right by the sheriff's office.

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Law & Order
8:57 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Judge Sets Trial Date in Pasco Theater Shooting

Curtis Reeves in a recent court appearance, flanked by his attorneys
Credit Brendan Fitterer / AP Photo/Pool, Tampa Bay Times

A Florida judge set a tentative trial date on Wednesday in the case of a 72-year-old man accused of fatally shooting another man during an argument in a movie theater.

Judge Pat Siracusa set a March 2 trial date and said he wants to move the case along as quickly as possible for the sake of the families involved. Another hearing to confirm the date is set for Oct. 15. Siracusa said he expects the trial to last three weeks and garner significant national media attention.

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Law & Order
12:11 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

FSU Investigates Jameis Winston For Title IX Violations

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 9:43 am

Florida State University is investigating its star quarterback for possible federal Title IX violations. The investigation stems from a December 2012 incident where Jameis Winston was accused of, but never charged with sexual assault.

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Law & Order
8:58 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Man Wanted in Pasco Deaths Found in Tampa; Boy, 4, Rescued

Law enforcement officers take Adam Matos into custody outside a downtown Tampa hotel early Friday. Matos, a suspect in the deaths of four people in Pasco County, currently faces an aggravated assault charge in a different case.
Credit Tampa Police Department

A man being sought in connection with four deaths in Pasco County was taken into custody early Friday morning in Tampa.

The Tampa Bay Times says Adam Matos was arrested at a downtown Tampa hotel after a day-long manhunt.

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Law & Order
10:30 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Legal Troubles Dog Famed Spanish Architect Santiago Calatrava

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 7:43 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



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Law & Order
8:39 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

What Might Future Florida Human Trafficking Legislation Look Like For 2015?

The logo for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 10:26 am

Florida is ranked number three in the U.S. for the number of calls received at the nation’s human trafficking hotline. To curb that trend, state and local officials have worked with lawmakers over the years to put new laws in place. And, a newly-formed council is hatching plans to build on the state’s past progress and propose new legislation for next year.

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Law & Order
5:07 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Sarasota Police to Acquire Body Cameras

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:26 pm

The Sarasota City Commission said the Sarasota Police Department can buy body cameras for its officers on Monday.

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Law & Order
4:58 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Bondi Hopes To Build On Past Efforts With Newly-Formed Human Trafficking Council

Attorney General Pam Bondi during the first meeting of the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Monday. She's holding up the panel's new logo.

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:38 pm

Attorney General Pam Bondi hopes to build on past anti-trafficking efforts with her new Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. She led the panel’s first meeting Monday in Tallahassee.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Florida is ranked third in the nation for the number of calls received by the center’s human trafficking hotline.

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Law & Order
6:29 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Giving Dozier Victims Their Names Back

A poster with a picture of a young George Owen Smith playing the harmonica.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

Ovell Krell was only 12 years old when her brother died -- but what she remembers most about him was his musical ability.

"He could walk into a music store and pick up any instrument they've ever made and within two minutes, he could play it," she said.

George Owen Smith, 14, tried to teach his sister how to play music, but those lessons stopped in 1940 when he was sentenced to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys after being caught in a stolen car with a 19-year-old friend.

Shortly after arriving at the reform school in Marianna, Fla., Smith reportedly escaped, but was found dead several months later under a house two miles away.

"Though the family told authorities to hold his remains at a local funeral, as they made their way on the long journey from Auburndale in a borrowed car, they arrived to be shown a mound of dirt by a superintendent who said that they had just buried him in an unmarked burial ground," according to University of South Florida associate professor of anthropology Erin Kimmerle.

That superintendent promised that a name plaque would be placed on Smith's grave -- a promise that was never met. Because of the mysterious circumstances of his death and the nature of his burial, Smith's mother refused to believe her son was indeed dead. That led Krell to make her parents a promise.

"I was searching for him, not only out of my love, but for a vow that I had made my mother and father on their deathbeds that I would find my brother if it was in my power, I would look till I died," Krell said.

Now, Krell has found her answer, thanks to a team of USF researchers.

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Law & Order
11:31 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Mother of Bullied Polk Girl Files Lawsuit

Rebecca Sedwick killed herself last year allegedly in response to bullying by a pair of classmates. Sedwick's mother filed a lawsuit against the Polk County School District and one of those classmates Monday.

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who authorities say jumped to her death because she was bullied is suing the Polk County School Board, a construction materials company and a teenager accused of stalking her daughter.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Polk County.

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Law & Order
3:43 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Bipartisan Bill to Reduce Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

Credit Associated Press

Eight U.S senators including Florida's Marco Rubio introduced legislation Wednesday they say will iprove the way colleges handle sexual violence.

Rubio said he is troubled by how many students experience sexual violence on campus.

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Law & Order
2:39 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Girl Hit By Plane on Beach Dies

Ommy and Oceana Irizarry were killed when a plane made a crash landing on a Sarasota-area beach this past Sunday.
Credit Family photo / All Children's Hospital

A 9-year-old girl who was struck by a plane that crash-landed on a Gulf Coast beach near Sarasota while she vacationed with her family has died from her injuries, law enforcement officials said Tuesday.

Oceana Irizzary's father also was killed Sunday. The two, from Georgia, were walking along a beach in Venice on Sunday afternoon when the 1972 Piper Cherokee plane made an emergency landing after reporting problems.

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