Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Briefs: Body in car appears to be suicide, deputies say


Deputies: Body in car appears to be a suicide

A body was found inside a car at the Mystic Oaks Plaza on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Wesley Chapel on Saturday afternoon.

Pasco County sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said the woman appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A passer-by saw the woman inside a four-door Nissan, slumped over the back seat. The woman's name was not released Saturday evening.


Slain informant was not on officials' radar

The Tallahassee Democrat reported Saturday that neither the defense attorney for Rachel Hoffman or the State Attorney's Office knew that she was acting as a police informant.

Hoffman, a 2007 Florida State University graduate who grew up in the Clearwater area, disappeared Wednesday as she posed for the Tallahassee Police Department as a buyer of drugs and a handgun. The 23-year-old's body was found Friday, and charges are pending against the two suspects police arranged for her to meet.

Johnny Devine, Hoffman's attorney, said he would have advised against her assignment.

"My job is to keep her out of harm's way, but I didn't have an opportunity because I didn't know," Devine said, according to the newspaper.

Willie Meggs, a state attorney, said his office is commonly told when someone in the justice system is acting as an informant.

"I am not aware of that ever happening before," Meggs said about not receiving notification. "Typically, we do know."

Tallahassee police responded by saying they try to restrict who knows the identities of their informants. Spokesman David McCranie said police tell Meggs' office when they recruit someone on probation, but Hoffman was participating in a drug diversion program.

Information from the Tallahassee Democrat was used in this report.

Briefs: Body in car appears to be suicide, deputies say 05/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 12, 2008 1:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Taco and Beer Fiesta set for St. Pete, followed by the Ooze and Booze Fest

    Food & Dining

    The Gulf to Bay Food Truck association recently announced a trio of events for mobile comfort food lovers.

    The big a-- nachos are tortilla chips topped with pulled pork, chili, cheese sauce, salsa, chopped jalenpenos, feta cheese and cilantro sour cream from Maggie on the Move. [Gulf to Bay Food Truck Association]
  2. After monument vote, Confederate activist named to Hillsborough County diversity council


    TAMPA — Moments after Hillsborough County commissioners made uncertain a previous decision to move Tampa's Confederate monument, they voted to put the area's most vocal advocate of Confederate causes on a citizen committee to promote diversity. 

    David McCallister won a spot on Hillsborough County's Diversity Advisory Council on Wednesday.
  3. Prisoner escapes from Hernando County landfill


    BROOKSVILLE — An inmate has escaped from a Hernando County landfill where he and two other inmates were assigned to a work detail, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Joshua Holmes, 35, escaped while working at a Hernando landfill. [Hernando County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Mayor of historic African-American city endorses Chris King for governor


    The mayor of Eatonville, a town near Orlando that was incorporated in 1887 as one of America's first all-black cities, today endorsed Winter Park businessman Chris King for governor. Mayor Eddie Cole said he has seen King's character first hand:

    Eddie Cole
  5. For starters: Rays at Jays, looking for some carryover


    The six runs and 13 hits the Rays posted on Tuesday were a positive, but the true test if they are out of their historically bad hitting slump will come tonight and in the coming days as they try to build on their success.

    "Hopefully,'' manager Kevin Cash said after Tuesday's 6-4 win, "there is a …

    Daniel Robertson is expected to make a third straight start tonight, likely at shortstop.