Friday, April 20, 2018
News Roundup

Appeals court overturns conviction of Ridge Manor man in death of his father

BROOKSVILLE — Two and a half years ago, a prosecutor stood before a Hernando County jury and read portions of Stephen Horne's damning confession.

" 'I killed my father. I shot my father. I planned it all,' "Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino said.

Earlier during the four-day trial in August 2011, jurors saw video footage of Horne matter-of-factly describing to a detective how he shot 47-year-old Ivan Horne in the back, then shot him three more times as he lay dying outside a vacant Ridge Manor home in May 2010.

The jury convicted Horne, then 20, of first-degree murder, robbery and possession of a short-barrelled shotgun. Hernando Circuit Judge Daniel B. Merritt Sr. levied the mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Now Horne of Ridge Manor could be headed for a new trial. And if it gets that far, jurors won't hear the confession that served as the foundation of the state's case.

Last month, the 5th District Court of Appeal reversed Horne's conviction, finding that Merritt should have granted a motion to suppress the confession.

In a 12-page opinion, the appeals court found that Hernando sheriff's detectives violated Horne's right to remain silent by continuing to interrogate him after he told both detectives, in separate interviews, that he was "done talking."

"The cops didn't follow the law," said Orlando attorney Frank Bankowitz, who filed the appeal but is no longer representing Horne. "There's a myriad of cases, as stated in the opinion, that say if you tell them you don't want to talk to them, they have to stop the questioning."

The appeals court opinion notes that Horne initially had waived his Miranda rights before starting the interview with Detective George Loydgren, then told Loydgren he was done talking and wanted to go home. Loydgren left and Detective Bryan Faulkingham, who was watching a video feed in another room, took his place.

"No sooner than Detective Faulkingham entered the room and greeted Horne, Horne stated, 'I want to go home' and 'I'm done talking,' " the opinion states. "Despite unambiguously reasserting his right to silence with Detective Faulkingham … Faulkingham continued to interrogate Horne."

Horne eventually said he lured his father from Tampa with plans to steal his prescribed oxycodone pills. Horne said a man named Angel Gonzalez drove him and Ivan Horne to Ridge Manor, where Horne shot his father. Horne and Gonzalez, 28, divided the cash and pills they found in his shorts.

Gonzalez of Holiday was convicted of murder a month before Horne's trial and sentenced to life in prison.

Horne's first pretrial status hearing is set for Tuesday in front of Circuit Judge Stephen E. Toner. He has not yet been assigned an attorney.

The appeals court ruling "does have an effect on the case, but the case is still legally sufficient, and we're prepared to go to trial," Magrino said Friday.

Gonzalez did not testify during Horne's trial. Asked if he would be called in a new trial, Magrino replied: "Anything's possible."

Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Comments
Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

Man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death

TAMPA — After David Brunson murdered an 18-year-old Freedom High School senior, he told a witness the victim was "just some ghetto kid nobody will miss."But people do miss Eion Gustitis.More than two years after Gustitis was shot in the head in a rem...
Updated: 26 minutes ago
Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

Tampa Bay students voice opinions on gun laws during school walkouts today

High school students from around the Tampa Bay area are participating in the National School Walkout today commemorating the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 and calling for gun law reform.A large group of students from St. Petersburg High g...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

One injured, suspect in custody in Ocala school shooting

OCALA — One student shot another in the ankle at a Florida high school and the suspected shooter is in custody, authorities said Friday.The Marion County Sheriff’s Office reported that the shooting happened Friday morning at Forest High School, which...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

Rowdies prepared to press on without defender David Najem

SAINT PETERSBURG — When describing the loss of defender David Najem, Rowdies head coach Stuart Campbell and the player who will replace Najem chose the same word.Gutted.That settled over the Rowdies last weekend, one that was bad enough based o...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Flight attendants say ‘appalling’ Southwest flight photo confirms it — you’re not paying attention to the safety demo

Mario Nunez called it a "huge shaking my head moment" when the photo inside the cabin of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 appeared on his TV.The story was about a terrifying emergency landing after an engine exploded 20 minutes into a trip from New Yor...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

It’s "Mueller Time," as the nation grows ever closer to a confrontation with the truth.Was collusion with the Russians an illusion? If not, who was involved, what was done, and when? Did it impact the 2016 campaign, the fate of Hillary Clinton and no...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties

The man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his own life has ties to the Tampa Bay area.Deputies say John Hubert Highnote, 59, of Bell — who was found dead outside ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Top 5 at noon: Suspect in Gilchrist deputies’ slayings has Tampa Bay ties; man gets life sentence in Freedom High student’s 2015 shooting death; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:SUSPECT IN GILCHRIST DEPUTIES’ SLAYINGS HAS TAMPA BAY TIESThe man identified as the suspect who fatally shot two Gilchrist County deputies in a restaurant Thursday afternoon before taking his...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

Today: Area high school students to join national walkout in memory of Columbine

High school students from both sides of Tampa Bay will commemorate the anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings on Friday, although in very different ways. In St. Petersburg, students from several schools will gather at noon at City Hall f...
Updated: 1 hour ago