Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

Taylor Swift expected to testify in groping case in Denver

DENVER — A few moments at a backstage photo session four years ago are about to be relived, as lawyers for pop star Taylor Swift and a former disc jockey she accuses of groping her begin picking jurors Monday in their dueling lawsuits.

Radio host David Mueller sued the singer-songwriter, saying he was falsely accused and that she should have called police instead of his bosses, who fired him soon after the June 2013 encounter. He's seeking up to $3 million in damages.

Swift countersued, claiming sexual assault, setting up the civil trial where she is expected to testify amid tightened courthouse security.

Opening statements could begin Tuesday in the case that could last two weeks. Court documents say it is unlikely that either side will settle.

Swift is seeking a verdict that awards her $1, while holding Mueller responsible and "serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts," her lawsuit says.

Mueller is also expected to testify, along with Mueller's former boss and members of Swift's entourage.

Mueller, then 51, was a morning host at a country music station when he was assigned to attend Swift's concert at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Mueller was backstage with his girlfriend when they met with Swift, then 23, in a curtained enclosure. They posed for a photo and left.

Later, Swift's bodyguard confronted Mueller with the allegation that he had reached under the singer's dress and grabbed her buttocks.

Mueller denied the allegation and asked that they call the police. He and his girlfriend were escorted out of the arena and a member of Swift's team called his boss.

Swift never went to the police. She tried to keep the situation "discreet and quiet and confidential" and was upset by Mueller's claim that "for some reason she might have some incentive to actually fabricate this story," her attorney, Douglas Baldridge, has argued in court.

Mueller's attorney, Gabriel McFarland, argues that Mueller may have been misidentified after someone else touched Swift.

Swift's mother and a member of her team are also defendants in the lawsuit filed by Mueller.

Comments
Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

Dade City man killed in early morning hit-and-run, police say

A Pasco County man was struck and killed in an apparent hit-and-run early Saturday, police said.Thomas Michael Burdeshaw, 53, who lived on Sundance Drive in Dade City, was hit about 1:45 a.m. on the 36000 block of Blanton Road, police said.Witnesses ...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

Police searching for person who shot a man to death in Largo

CLEARWATER — Police are looking for a person who shot and killed a man late Friday at the Melrose on the Bay apartments on Bolesta Road. Ricardo Guzman, 32, called 911 just before midnight and told the operator he had been shot, said Lt. Randall Chan...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

Motorcyclist dies after crash on Memorial Highway

TAMPA — A motorcyclist driving north on Memorial Highway died after he crashed into a guard rail late Friday, police said."The man failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a guard rail," said Lt. Brett Owen. "No other vehicle was involved i...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely unable to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother,...
Updated: 5 hours ago
After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

After months, no action on Hillsborough’s substitute teacher problem

TAMPA — Confronted in late 2017 with reports of misconduct by substitute teachers hired through a contractor, Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins said he would ask tough questions and demand answers. He had his lawyer, Jeff Gibson, ...
Published: 04/21/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe that’s just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

Cops used dead man’s finger in attempt to access his phone. It’s legal, but is it okay?

LARGO — Most people agree what the Largo detectives did at the funeral home was legal.What they diverge on is whether it was appropriate."I just felt so disrespected and violated," said Victoria Armstrong, whose fiance, Linus F. Phillip, was shot and...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

Clearwater Central Catholic tops Dunedin Spring Tournament host in extra innings

DUNEDIN — After losing a four-run lead thanks to a bad sixth inning, it would have been easy for Clearwater Central Catholic to fold against Dunedin in the final of the 49th annual Dunedin Spring Tournament. But quality relief pitching from Gar...
Updated: 12 hours ago