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Andrew Warren
Hillsborough State Attorney's Office

The Hillsborough County state attorney announced Wednesday that the convictions of 17 people will be overturned because their cases hinged on three arresting police officers.

State Attorney Andrew Warren said the convictions will be vacated because his office cannot verify the testimony of the officers who were later fired. His move comes after an investigation by the new Conviction Review Unit, which was formed last year to give people a voice when they believe they have been unfairly convicted.

A North Miami police officer has been found guilty of culpable negligence but was acquitted by a jury on two more serious felonies in connection with a 2016 shooting that wounded the caretaker of a man with autism.

Officer Jonathan Aledda was found not guilty of two counts of attempted manslaughter in the shooting of Charles Kinsey, who was caring for Arnaldo Rios Soto, who has severe autism and had wandered away from his group home for mentally disabled adults.

Man in jail garb faces another man
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

Going to jail can mean losing everything, including your identification card. Traffic tickets and fines can pile up, and bureaucracy can be tough to navigate. And sometimes, people can’t get jobs, or housing, and end up back in jail.

The Sarasota County Jail has a new program that helps inmates get proper identification before they are released. The hope is that these basic steps will cut down on repeat jail terms.

Ex-Deputy In Parkland Shooting Out Of Jail On Reduced Bail

Jun 6, 2019
Mug shot of former deputy Scot Peterson
Broward County Sheriff's Office

A former Florida deputy charged with 11 criminal counts after failing to confront the gunman in the Parkland school massacre was released from jail Thursday after a judge reduced his bail and lifted some restrictions.

Mark Edward Allen
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

A 60-year-old U.S. Army veteran from St. Petersburg is facing up to 10 years in prison for placing an improvised explosive device at the Bay Pines VA in Pinellas County.

A federal criminal complaint said Mark Edward Allen made his first court appearance on June 4 and he's currently being detained.

Deputy Charged For Inaction During Parkland School Shooting

Jun 4, 2019
Wikipedia.com

The Florida deputy who knew a gunman was loose at the Parkland high school but refused to go inside to confront the assailant was arrested Tuesday on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction during the massacre that killed 17 people.

State Attorney General press conference on new price gouging app
Susan Giles Wantuck, WUSF Public Media

According to State Attorney General Ashley Moody, Florida is number one in the nation for fraud. And that includes price gouging.

It can present in a number of different ways, whether it's when you are trying to buy lumber to board up your windows when a hurricane's bearing down, or whether you find you're paying much more at the pump for gasoline than you usually pay. 

Serial Killer Who Took 10 Women's Lives Executed In Florida

May 23, 2019
Mug shot of convicted serial killer Bobby Joe Long
Florida Department of Corrections

A serial killer who terrorized Florida with a 1984 spree that claimed the lives of 10 women was put to death Thursday, his execution witnessed by the woman who survived one of his attacks and aided in his capture.

Inmate Bobby Joe Long was pronounced dead at 6:55 Thursday after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, authorities said. Long had no last words, simply closing his eyes as the procedure began, witnesses said.

Serial Killer Who Once Terrorized Tampa Bay Area Set For Execution

May 22, 2019
Mug shot of convicted serial killer Bobby Joe Long
Florida Department of Corrections

Cindy Brown remembers when she decided to divorce Bobby Joe Long, the serial killer facing execution as a result of a murderous spree that claimed 10 women's lives and terrorized Florida's Tampa Bay area in 1984.

The man who was her childhood sweetheart and the father of their two children is set to receive a lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison in Starke. Brown said she believes Long, now 65, is getting what he deserves.

John Jonchuck was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier in April for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge in 2015.
Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times pool photo

John Jonchuck, who was found guilty of first-degree murder for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge four years ago, is asking for a new trial.

The new law, which increases penalties for killing or seriously injuring police dogs, is in honor of Jacksonville Police K-9 Fang, who was killed by a carjacking suspect last year.
Jacksonville Police

People who kill or seriously injure police dogs in Florida will now face tougher penalties.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday making that crime a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It was previously a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

John Jonchuck is fingerprinted by deputies after he was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Pinellas County jury in the death of her 5-year-old daughter four years ago.
Scott Keeler/ Tampa Bay Times Pool Photo

A Pinellas County jury on Tuesday found John Jonchuck guilty of first-degree murder for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge four years ago, despite arguments from his attorneys that he was insane and thought his actions would actually save her. He was automatically sentenced to life in prison.

John Jonchuck was found guilty of first-degree murder earlier in April for dropping his 5-year-old daughter off a bridge in 2015.
Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times pool photo

A Pinellas County man who threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago knew what he was doing was wrong and should be found guilty of first-degree murder, a prosecutor told jurors Monday during closing arguments of his trial.

Test Taker Pleads Guilty In College Admissions Bribery Scam

Apr 12, 2019
Mark Riddell seen in photo from IMG Academy bio (since removed), pleaded guilty Friday for his role in a college entrance exam scandal.
IMG Academy / IMG Academy

A former Bradenton prep school administrator pleaded guilty Friday to taking college entrance exams for students in exchange for cash to help wealthy parents get their kids into elite universities.

University of South Florida researchers in 2013 unearthed graves at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. Now, crews may have found more graves.
Pool Photo - 2013

A company doing pollution cleanup at a shuttered Florida reform school may have found more graves of the nearly 100 boys estimated to have died there.

Marsy's Law
Marsy'sLaw.org

A bill in the legislature that would implement Marsy's Law may be going nowhere this session. That could mean continued confusion over what the intent of the victim's rights bill is.

Mark Riddell seen in photo from IMG Academy bio (since removed), pleaded guilty Friday for his role in a college entrance exam scandal.
IMG Academy / IMG Academy

IMG Academy in Bradenton is confirming that a former student mentor has lost his job. The firing happened shortly after his indictment in a national college admissions scam.

Mark Riddell has been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and mail fraud for providing exam answers for students.

Jurors in the John Jonchuck trial on Monday began debating whether he was insane or not when he threw his daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago.
Pinellas County Jail

The trial of a Pinellas County man accused of killing his five-year-old daughter by throwing her off a bridge is temporarily on hold.

John Jonchuck's lawyers claimed Tuesday that their client has been suffering from “auditory hallucinations” – hearing voices in court and in jail the last few days.

Sergeant Steve Kim of the Sarasota County Schools Police Department with students at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.
Sarasota County Schools

Within weeks of the mass school shooting in Parkland, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The law requires a police officer or sworn school guardian be present on all public school campuses.

Law enforcement panel on human trafficking at the University of South Florida.
Ashley Lisenby | WUSF

Law enforcement say changes in policies and technology are helping them find human traffickers.

Officials from the Tampa Police Department, Pasco County Sherriff's Office and the Department of Homeland Security discussed the advances in and challenges of finding victims of sex trafficking and their abusers at a conference at the University of South Florida in Tampa Tuesday.

Jurors in the John Jonchuck trial on Monday began debating whether he was insane or not when he threw his daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge four years ago.
Pinellas County Jail

A murder trial is moving forward for a man who threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay area bridge. 

Updated 8:54pm E.T.

As New Zealand grapples with the aftermath of the attack on two Muslim congregations in Christchurch, the mass shootings on the other side of the world have struck fear through Muslim American communities and renewed calls for action against the rise of bigotry in the U.S.

The issue is set to be discussed at the City Commission’s March 18 meeting.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

People caught with small amounts of marijuana or drug paraphernalia in Sarasota could soon avoid arrest.

On Monday night, the city commission will discuss the possibility of allowing law enforcement to issue civil citations instead.

Mug shot of Port Richey vice mayor Terance Rowe, who was arrested Wednesday on obstruction charges.
Pasco County Sheriff's Office

The vice mayor of Port Richey has been arrested on obstruction charges.

Terance Rowe had been serving as acting mayor since former mayor Dale Massad was suspended three weeks ago for his own legal issues.

A jury in West Palm Beach, Fla., has convicted a former police officer in the shooting death of a black motorist. It's the first time in 30 years that an on-duty police officer in Florida has been convicted in a shooting.

Corey Jones, a housing inspector and part-time musician, was on his way home from a nightclub in October 2015 when his van broke down on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach Gardens. He was on the side of the road in his SUV when he called for roadside assistance.

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Local law enforcement in five parts of Florida have reached agreements to work with federal agents by detaining suspected criminals longer if they are in the country illegally.

Florida was among the first states to pass mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws in 1979.

The Legislature loosened those requirements in 1993, then reinstated them six years later.  Now, a sweeping proposal of criminal justice reforms in Tallahassee would again make changes.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

The mayor of Port Richey, accused of shooting at deputies trying arrest him on allegations of practicing medicine without a license, has been removed from office.

A Broward County judge wants the case against the confessed Parkland school shooter to head to trial in January 2020. 

Nikolas Cruz, 20, faces the death penalty if convicted of 17 counts of first-degree murder for the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. He's been charged with another 17 counts of attempted murder.

Pasco County Sheriff's Office

The mayor of Port Richey faces two counts of attempted murder after firing shots at police outside his home early Thursday. Police say Dale Massad, 68, shot a handgun, injuring no one, before he was taken into custody.

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