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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Curran questions demolition of Lacy house



ST. PETERSBURG -- Her voice still scratchy after her return more than a month ago from a bicycle accident, City Council member Leslie Curran has been the most vocal critic yet of Mayor Bill Foster's decision to demolish the house where two St. Petersburg police officers were slain.

Foster ordered the demolition of 3734 28th Ave. S minutes after the body of the gunman, Hydra Lacy, was removed at about 2:30 p.m. "Selective" demolition began between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. followed by full demolition at about 7 p.m., which gave police enough time to clear it as a crime scene, Foster said.

While forensics and SWAT experts across the country have raised serious doubts that a scene as chaotic as this one -- where three people died, a federal marshal was shot, more than hundreds of shots were fired, and more than a third of the house was destroyed in rescue attempts -- could be cleared that soon, no public official in Pinellas County has voiced any criticism. Until Curran did on Monday.

She said the upcoming Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office report into the shootings should address Foster's decision.

"Apparently, and this is what I've heard from the administration, the house was torn down, taken off-site, where it sat there during the storm," Curran said. "I'm not a CSI person, but I certainly would have thought more would have been done before that rubble was taken away and sit. Was it covered during the storm? Was it guarded?"

She said only a thorough investigation into how the evidence was collected, how the house was torn down and how the rubble was maintained before and after getting hauled away, could answer her questions.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 3:35pm]


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