Law & Order

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.

The numbers are impressive: 50,000 visitors, including 15,000 members of the media from around the world. But what concerns Tampa police are the relative handful of people whose mission is to disrupt the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Bay News 9

When does a prank become a crime?

That’s the question people across Tampa Bay are wrestling with after three young men were charged with hitting a runner on Bayshore Boulevard with an egg.

Noah Grant, 17, expected his evening run on Bayshore Boulevard to go off without a hitch– until the egg struck him on the head.

It’s a seemingly innocuous object, but when fired from a moving vehicle at a high rate of speed, it becomes a perilous missile.

Courtesy of University of Tampa

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says dogged police work by Detective Sal Augeri helped them crack the 2009 murder of University of Tampa runner Ryan McCall.

Police charged 22-year-old David Earl Williams, Junior with the murder.  He's already behind bars in South Florida.

McCall and a friend were walking home to the university in the early morning of August 19, 2009.  On the bridge on South Boulevard, they were approached by a robber who pistol-whipped his friend and shot and killed Ryan McCall. 

New Law Changes the Rules for Domestic Violence Cases

May 25, 2012

A new provision for domestic violence laws had been proposed by several groups interested in protecting abuse victims. It will allow previous interviews with the victim, like 911 calls, to be used in the proceedings, even if the victim refuses to testify.

Bradenton State Senator Mike Bennett was among the interested parties who helped pass the law. He said that the new law allows cases of domestic violence to proceed.

"Too many times on domestic violence, the victim is absolutely afraid to testify, for one reason or another,” he says.

Tampa Police Department

Tampa police have arrested a third teenaged suspect linked to the unprovoked attack of a soldier in South Tampa last week.

A security camera captured the beating and robbery by four young men that left the victim, an Army sergeant, with a broken nose and a knocked-out tooth. The black and white grainy video went viral and was picked up by national news media.

Sergeant Johnny Aparicio, based with Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, was walking home after his car had broken down during the early morning on May 13th.

Ashley Drive in Downtown Tampa Reopens

May 18, 2012
Google Maps

According to the Tampa Bay Times, one northbound lane and two southbound lanes of Ashley Drive are reopened  Friday at Polk Street. A railroad construction project in Downtown Tampa is moving along ahead of schedule.

CSX is replacing railroad tracks along Polk Street. The project was expected to take three weeks to complete. Ashley Drive was closed since May 7.

Officials say they expect to reopen all Ashley Drive lanes by next week. 

A huge trove of documents has been released by prosecutors in the Trayvon Martin case. Among the biggest revelations so far is that the autopsy reveals Martin had THC in his system. But police said the shooting was "ultimately avoidable."

ABC News, which is digging through the documents, reports:

"The autopsy report shows traces of the drug THC, which is found in marijuana, in Martin's blood and urine.

The new city ordinance regulates how many people - and which groups - are allowed to assemble in a large area around downtown Tampa during the GOP convention. That doesn't sit well with some people, including Mathew Medina of Tampa.

"I think the purpose of this ordinances is to give the police the power to arrest anyone they want at any time," he told council members, "by criminalizing everything."

Tampa Times

Two Tampa Bay area men, including one who was investigated for ties to an alleged September 11th hijacker, have been charged with taking part in an alleged $17 million tax fraud scheme.

In a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, Osama "Sam" Mustafa, 47, and Khaldoun "Tony" Khawaja, 48, along with Khawaja's brother, Muawia "Mike" Abdeljalil of Virginia, are accused of stealing Social Security checks, filing false tax returns and lying to the federal government.

Pages