Thursday, January 18, 2018
News Roundup

Witness says woman, rather than man, charged in death of Brooksville teen "did all of this"

INVERNESS — Kevin Shields sat on the stand Wednesday and recalled the day last December when Byron Boutin and Crystal Brinson showed up at Shields' house in Floral City.

Brinson was jumpy and said they had something to tell him. She said 18-year-old DeAnna Stires had freaked out, ransacked Boutin's house and stolen his methamphetamine.

"She said, 'I had to whoop her ass, Kevin,' " Shields recalled. "I said, 'Where the hell is DeAnna?' and she says, 'She's in the trunk of the car.' "

The first witness on the second day of Boutin's murder trial, Shields seemed to bolster both sides. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Boutin, but defense attorneys say Brinson is responsible for Stires' death.

Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino told jurors during opening statements that Boutin, 42, and Brinson, 36, were angry that Stires had stolen Boutin's methamphetamine, and Boutin told Brinson to "do something about it." Magrino said Boutin is guilty of first-degree murder even if it was Brinson who hit Stires in the head with Boutin's handgun and injected her with morphine.

Defense attorney Charlie Vaughn hopes to convince jurors that Boutin just wanted Stires out of his Homosassa mobile home on Dec. 26, 2012, and Brinson took matters into her own hands.

Vaughn repeated what Boutin told investigators after his arrest:

He and Brinson had left Stires alone for about an hour and returned to find drugs missing, the trailer in disarray and an agitated Stires. He said Brinson pistol-whipped Stires after finding the meth in her purse and injected her with a shot of morphine. Boutin said he thought the shot was consensual.

Boutin claims that Stires, who lived in Brooksville with her father, was snoring when Boutin and Brinson put her into the back of his Lincoln Continental and drove to his father's house west of Brooksville. Hoping she would sober up, they bound her to a table in the garage, taped her mouth shut and left. He said they returned a short time later to find her dead. Boutin admitted to dumping Stires body in a remote wooded area of Levy County a couple of days later.

A medical examiner testified Tuesday that Stires died of acute morphine intoxication.

Shields said he did methamphetamine with Stires in Brooksville on Christmas Eve before Boutin and Brinson came to pick her up. When the pair showed up at his house two or three days later, he said, Brinson was clearly in control.

"There was nothing mentioned by the defendant about permanence or loss of life," said Shields, who has known Boutin for about 20 years. "Miss Brinson did all of this."

Later Wednesday, forensics experts testified that Stires' blood was found in the trunk of Boutin's car and on the rear passenger door.

Brinson faces the same charge as Boutin and has yet to stand trial.

Comments
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 18

Thursday’s scoreboardGirls basketballNortheast 64, Largo 24Boys soccerIndian Rocks Chr. 3, Berkeley Prep 2Palm Harbor U. 7, Tarpon Springs 0Girls soccerCountryside 5, Pinellas Park 0Palm Harbor U. 5, Tarpon Springs 1...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

Police presence at Martin Luther King Jr. Day after-party raises ire

ST. PETERSBURG — One after another, speakers stepped to the lectern at City Hall on Thursday and described the same image: police cruisers on every corner in Midtown, uniformed officers lined up across the roadway, souring what should have been a joy...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

Tampa Bay record lows burst pipes, threaten berry and fish farms

In winters past, when they ran the irrigation system at Parkesdale Farms to preserve the berry crop in a protective shell of ice, the icicles measured inches.But on Wednesday night, one of the coldest nights in years, the icicles hung more than a foo...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

Crystal Lagoon planners cut the ribbon on a chilly day (w/video)

WESLEY CHAPEL — Mother Nature seems to have a way of putting a chill on one of the hottest amenities in residential real estate development.Members of the business community, elected officials and executives with Metro Development Group and Crystal L...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Booty and books on Blackbeard’s ship; critics warn new Trump offic would allow doctors to discriminate; more in U.S. news

Booty and books on Blackbeard’s ship; critics warn new Trump offic would allow doctors to discriminate; more in U.S. news

North CarolinaBooty and books on boardDead men tell no tales, but there’s new evidence that somebody aboard the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship harbored books among the booty. In an unusual find, researchers have discovered shreds of paper bearing legib...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Consumer agency to spend rainy day funds

NEW YORK — The Trump-appointed acting director of the federal government’s consumer watchdog agency requested zero dollars of funding for its second-quarter budget, saying he intends to first spend down the agency’s rainy day fund. In a letter to the...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

Man free on bail during DUI manslaughter appeal arrested for drinking alcohol

A Tampa man convicted of DUI manslaughter for drunkenly running down a tourist and released on bail while his case winds through the appeals process was arrested Tuesday.Brock Troutman, 34, violated the conditions of his release from jail by consumin...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

Family recalls troubled youth for teen killer, now 39, who seeks new sentence

TAMPA — The bearded man with shackled hands sat weeping as he listened to witness after witness — his mother, aunt and sister among them — recount his childhood of poverty, abuse, and depression.Kyle Moran leaned forward occasionally, stretching to w...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

Tropical Breeze patron rides shuttle to check on crew

PORT RICHEY — Loretta Santini was one of a small group of customers boarding a Tropical Breeze Casino shuttle Thursday afternoon as the company sailed for the first day since another of its shuttle boats burned to the water Sunday, killing one woman....
Updated: 8 hours ago