Law & Order

Interim Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri won his first election last night, trouncing former Sheriff Everett Rice. It put an end to a campaign that had turned personal between the two lawmen.

It was Gualtieri's maiden trip to the polls - he was appointed by former Sheriff Jim Coats after he resigned. And that didn't sit too well with Rice, who claimed during the campaign that Gualtieri had never earned his stripes. But the voters apparently didn't agree.

Courtesy CBS Tampa

Two eerily similar deadly pile-up's, years apart, are raising questions about how law enforcement responds to extreme fog and smoke - and why their procedures haven't been updated.   

Thick smoke and fog blanketed the road the morning 11 were killed in a deadly pile-up on I-75 near Gainesville earlier this year.   

tampagurdwara.com

The suspected shooter in the slayings of six Sikh worshippers was a 40-year-old white supremacist. But Sikhs in Florida say their religion is based on the opposite of hate.

Sikhism was founded more than 400 years ago in south Asia . It’s founded on the ideas of equality – including between men and women – service to others – and peace.

Or as the leader of the Tampa Gurdwara, Mihan Singh, told Fox 13:

The FBI is conducting what it calls an aggressive manhunt for fugitive Aubrey Lee Price. 

He is a white male, 5-foot-7, with green eyes and light brown hair. 

He is believed to be somewhere in Central Florida.  FBI Spokesperson Dave Couvetier says he was last seen getting on a ferry boat from Key West bound for Fort Myers.    

"He has been charged with devising a scheme of defrauding the bank where he was the director, of about $21 million," he says. "And that's affected obviously not only the financial institution but the stockholders and clients." 

This Is Not A Photo of Trayvon Martin

Jul 31, 2012
PolitiFact Florida Photo

There's a photo being circulated in a chain email that shows Trayvon Martin was a lot more 'gangsta' than we've been led to believe.

He's much older and has tattoos on his face.

There's one problem.

The photo is not of Trayvon Martin, the teenager shot and killed in February by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

PolitiFact Florida checked out the photo and found that it is really a publicity shot of the rapper "Game."

Steve Newborn / WUSF

It's been buried in the news by the presidential race and the Republican National Convention, but the primaries are only two weeks away. One of those races has turned personal. The two Republican candidates for Pinellas County Sheriff clearly don't care for each other.

There's apparently no love lost between Everett Rice and Bob Gualtieri. The two verbally jabbed at each other during much of a recent debate at a Clearwater church.

Steve Newborn / WUSF

It's called Freedom Park, and for the past several months the West Tampa square has been the home of Occupy Tampa. But a group of local business people aren't happy with that, and today Tampa City Council members agreed to take a look at whether they're running afoul of city codes.

A handful of tents now occupy the space along Main Street that is owned by Joe Redner, the strip club magnate. But that hasn't gone over too well with some West Tampa business owners and residents. They signed a petition asking the city to relocate Occupy Tampa.

A judge in Florida this morning set bail at $1 million for George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

screen grab / baynews9.com

More than a year after the shootout that left two St. Petersburg police officers and his brother dead, boxer Jeff Lacy is speaking out in a new interview with Bay News 9.

Back in May, we told you that Miami Police suspected that a man who was shot dead while he bit off another man's face was high on "bath salts."

A Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's report released today, however, disproves that theory. According to the AP, the only drug found in Rudy Eugene's system was marijuana.

UCR Today

If you're on twitter or have access to any other form of media, you are no doubt hearing all sorts of drips and drabs about today's U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

But plain English explanations of just what the decision are hard to come by. We found this on the SCOTUS blog.

 

From Amy Howe, of SCOTUS blog:

She became known as the girlfriend of Dontae Morris -- the man accused of gunning down Tampa Police Officers Dave Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab in June 2010. 

Now, Cortnee Brantley will go to trial on federal charges that she knew Morris was a felon in possession of a gun and did not report it.

Police say Brantley was driving the car when the shooting took place. Curtis and Kocab conducted what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, which ended with the two officers dying by the side of the road.

FBI.gov

Federal prosecutors have charged a Miami man with laundering millions of dollars stolen from the Medicare program and funneling the money into Cuban banks. According to a Miami Herald report, this is the first time the Medicare money laundering scheme has been directly linked to Cuban banks.

Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

The judge in George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial asked nearly 30 jurors Friday to go home and come back Tuesday.

It means attorneys are getting closer to selecting a jury for the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer who says he shot and killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense. 

After attorneys narrow the pool, potential jurors will face more questioning on issues like guns.

Judge Debra Nelson's request that these potential jurors return Tuesday indicates that might be when the next round of questioning begins.

BayNews 9

The 19 member task force, set up by the governor in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, held a day-long public hearing in Longwood to discuss the Stand Your Ground Law.

Neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old Martin. Zimmerman was not immediately arrested because he claimed immunity under stand your ground.

Five ‘Stand Your Ground’ Cases You Should Know About

Jun 8, 2012

The Stand Your Ground law is most widely associated with the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old killed in Florida by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who claimed he was acting in self-defense.

Courtesy of Polk County Sheriff's Office

The final victim of that plane crash in Polk County Thursday has been found.  Sheriff Grady Judd says searchers recovered the body of 13-year-old Boston Bramlage this afternoon.

"There was no other wreckage in the immediate area of Boston, it was just him, in the woods, underneath some trees," Judd said.

"So he would have been impossible to find, except for some very experienced men from FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission)," he said.

BayNews 9

Tampa's Chamberlain High School is scheduled to be under modified lock down until school's out Friday. Police say a man had serious thoughts of committing a Columbine-style shooting there.

The man, Freddy Velazquez, turned himself in to a mental health center last week.

Tampa Police Corporal Curt Rojka says Velazquez told the counselor his plans.

"He checked himself in to the mental health crisis center last week stating that he was hearing voices in his head to do something at Chamberlain High School," Rojka said.

Sarah Pusateri / WUSF

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor dropped by the WUSF studios this morning for a talk on how preparations are going for the upcoming Republican National Convention. More than 50,000 people are expected to descend on Tampa for the four-day event.

While Castor says the majority of people who come to the convention will be peaceful, police are prepared for the minority whose intentions are anything but.

"The eyes of the world will be upon us," she says.

Abuse Victim Logs Onto Facebook for Help

May 31, 2012

A west Volusia County woman was being abused by her boyfriend and she had no means of calling 9-1-1 herself, so she logged onto Facebook instead.

Rhonda Torres told officials that her boyfriend, Edwin Otero, continued to beat her and she couldn't call 9-1-1 because he tore the phones from the wall and took her cell phone.

That's when she logged onto Facebook and instant messaged a friend for help. The friend then called the police.

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