NEW PORT RICHEY
Man who beat pregnant teen is sentenced
When the pregnant 17-year-old begged Andres Luis Marrero to stop beating her, he said, "This is how much I care, (expletive)." And he continued punching and kicking her in the stomach. Authorities say Marrero, 20, was hired by his friend, Devin Nickels, to make the girl miscarry. The beating — which Marrero staged as a robbery — happened Jan. 1, 2011, outside a New Port Richey apartment complex. The girl and her son survived. Both saw Marrero sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty to robbery and aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. The State Attorney's Office requested a significant amount of prison time. Circuit Judge Michael Andrews gave Marrero two years in jail, followed by 10 years of probation. At the time of the crime, Marrero was a 19-year-old University of Tampa student who had no criminal record. Nickels, a Florida State University student, was the girl's boyfriend. His trial is slated for February. He told friends the pregnancy was "ruining his life," authorities said.
Sheriff seeks clues in disappearance
Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding a woman who hasn't been heard from since Monday. Diane Pasela, 38, of 14233 Avalon St. in Hudson called her family early Monday and said she was on her way home. She never arrived, and her family reported her missing Tuesday, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office. Pasela's phone signal was located near U.S. 19 and Ridge Road about 4 a.m. Tuesday. But deputies say she has not responded to calls and the phone is now inactive. According to her family, Pasela has no history of addiction. She is 5 feet 3, about 130 pounds with long brown hair. She was driving a 2006 light green Mercury Montego with the Florida license plate J109KY. The front plate has a picture of Oscar the Grouch and a veterans' sticker is on the passenger-side windshield. On the back, under the plate, she has a sticker that says, "These Colors Don't Run." The Sheriff's Office urges anyone with information to call (727) 844-7711
New hire plans to sell Pasco's market
The Pasco Economic Development Council has hired Summer Martin as its new marketing and events coordinator. "Pasco County has so many opportunities, and I am really looking forward to telling the Pasco story," Martin said. She is responsible for marketing, event organizing and publicity for the nonprofit. She holds a degree in public relations and advertising from Lee University. She was previously marketing director for B-21 Fine Wine and Spirits in Tarpon Springs.
A seminar being offered by the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at the Cotee River Homeowners Association Inc., 561 Oak Ridge Ave., New Port Richey, regards cooperative enterprises, also called co-ops. An item in Friday's Times incorrectly described the topic. For information, contact Jan Shekitka at (850) 717-1482 or send a message to jan. firstname.lastname@example.org.