Thursday, July 19, 2018
News Roundup

State will re-try Heidi Quinn in buried guns case following mistrial

TAMPA — The state has decided to re-try Heidi Quinn, the Valrico mother whose evidence tampering trial last week ended with a hung jury.

Assistant State Attorney Nicki Mohr announced in court Thursday morning that a new trial would be held for Quinn, who is accused of hiding guns after her teenage son fatally shot a Brandon High School basketball player in a botched drug deal.

The new trial date is Dec. 4.

Quinn, 52, was arrested in April, four months after her son, Cody, shot 17-year-old Jayquon Johnson in their garage. After hearing the shot, Quinn went into the garage and found Johnson lying on the floor beside a handgun, her son standing over him with his own firearm, according to court testimony.

Quinn picked up both guns and buried them in dirt inside a trash can before sheriff's deputies were called, according to court testimony.

Prosecutors did not charge Cody Quinn with homicide because they said they could not refute his claim of self-defense. He was charged, though, with being a minor in possession of a firearm and several drug-related offenses.

At Heidi Quinn's trial, a detective and crime scene investigator explained that the way the guns were handled rendered them almost useless as evidence.

The state argued that she hid the guns in an effort to stop her son from getting in trouble. But defense attorneys contended that her intent was to protect her son from the danger of the unsecured weapons.

A jury of two men and four women deliberated for less than three hours before telling Circuit Judge Nick Nazaretian they were unable to reach a verdict.

The jury forewoman later told the Tampa Bay Times their indecision may have been influenced by the notion of a parent protecting a child. But she declined to detail the jury's discussion. Several of the jurors were parents, according to their questionnaires.

Johnson's mother and father, who attended Quinn's trial, were also back in court Thursday to hear the state's announcement. Both wore T-shirts bearing their son's image.

Comments
Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome shoots 78 in PGA Tour debut

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome shoots 78 in PGA Tour debut

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome survived her first round on the PGA Tour at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky., on Thursday, and she can't wait to do it again Friday.Though Lincicome shot 6-over 78 and will likely miss the cut — she ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Longtime Tampa Catholic athletic director Nick DiMaggio dies

Longtime Tampa Catholic athletic director Nick DiMaggio dies

Nick DiMaggio, the longtime athletic director at Tampa Catholic who was a fixture at the school's sporting events for more than 50 years, died Wednesday (July 18, 2018) from complications related to a stroke. He was 86."Nick was an icon, a walking en...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A Florida mayor is being asked to resign after citizens allege his chief of staff ‘preys’ on homeless black men

A Florida mayor is being asked to resign after citizens allege his chief of staff ‘preys’ on homeless black men

ST. PETERSBURG — At Thursday’s City Council meeting, seven residents called for the resignation of Mayor Rick Kriseman and Kevin King — one of his closest confidants — over allegations that King "preys" on homeless black men.Jesse Nevel, the vice pre...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete residents storm City Council with allegations against Kevin King

St. Pete residents storm City Council with allegations against Kevin King

ST. PETERSBURG — At Thursday’s City Council meeting, seven residents called for the resignation of Mayor Rick Kriseman and Kevin King — one of his closest confidants — over allegations that King "preys" on homeless black men.Jesse Nevel, the vice pre...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Chickens remain free to range in Ybor

Chickens remain free to range in Ybor

TAMPA — Ybor City chickens have escaped the political chopping block — again.The Tampa City Council on Thursday declined to do anything about a wild flock of poultry that drew a loud, strong throng of supporters to City Hall to ask council members no...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Activists camp out in protest at Tampa’s Homeland Security, ICE offices

Activists camp out in protest at Tampa’s Homeland Security, ICE offices

TAMPA — The national movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency came to Tampa on Thursday night — and it’s in tents.Approximately 25 local activists gathered next to Cypress Drive in front of the local Department of Homeland S...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

Marc Topkin: Rays should trade Chris Archer

ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer wants the Rays to get going.Trade more veterans. Bring back Willy Adames and bring up the next group of kids. Get on with getting better, and get back to reaching the postseason, as they did four times over six yea...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Florida State defensive forecast not that simple

Florida State defensive forecast not that simple

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — His debut at the ACC kickoff attracted a wholly unsurprising assortment of topics. New FSU coach Willie Taggart was asked about his culture, his quarterbacks, his catch phrases.He handled each question deftly, hardly devi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

Rays journal: Catcher needed with Wilson Ramos on DL

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays did not have any answers Thursday about the state of their catching situation as to how long Wilson Ramos will be out and who will be added to replace him Friday against the Marlins.Ramos was placed on the DL Wednesday...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Police: Pinellas infant on life support after father stuffs balled-up baby wipe down his throat

Police: Pinellas infant on life support after father stuffs balled-up baby wipe down his throat

TARPON SPRINGS — Cali’yah Anderson heard a scream Tuesday night and she thought someone was dying. "Help me! Help me! I can’t get it out!" Anderson sprinted into the living room at 1410 Starlight Cove two doors down from her own apartment and found a...
Updated: 3 hours ago