Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater murder suspect Craig Wall on jail suicide watch

ST. PETERSBURG — The man police suspect killed his girlfriend and 5-week-old son was on a suicide watch Sunday at the Pinellas County Jail.

Craig Wall Sr., 34, was transported to Pinellas County after a judge in Sumter County, where he was arrested last week, denied him bail Sunday morning.

Wall was booked around noon on a charge of first-degree murder after police said he stabbed Laura Taft, 29, to death early Wednesday at her Clearwater apartment.

He was placed on watch in a single-person cell at the jail's health care facility, said Pinellas sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha. Those deemed at risk for suicide must wear a paper sheet for clothing and are monitored constantly.

A booking report states he has a knife wound, an old scar unrelated to the last week's events, Pasha said, though a week-old report does not declare the wound.

Wall's baby, Craig Jr., was in his care on Feb. 5, a day before the child died. Clearwater police, who are investigating the baby's death, said last week they are awaiting a final report from the medical examiner's office.

Wall has not been charged in that case, though a police report calls him a suspect.

Wall was last in the jail a week ago on a charge he violated a domestic violence injunction sought by his girlfriend by attempting to attend a memorial service for the baby in Largo.

At a hearing to decide on bail for that offense, he was let go after paying $1,000.

Neither the arrest report for the violation that noted he was suspected in his baby's death, nor the 14 years he spent in prison for armed robbery charges, were brought up in that hearing.

Within 33 hours of his release, Taft was dead. Clearwater police said Wall kicked through a door and stabbed her several times.

Hours later, Sumter County deputies found Wall passed out in his car near Interstate 75. He was taken to Citrus Memorial Hospital and then to the Sumter jail. On Sunday, he was sent to Pinellas, where he will face the murder charge.

The state attorney for Pinellas and Pasco counties, Bernie McCabe, said late last week he was "dumbfounded" by the way his office had mishandled the domestic violence hearing that led to Wall's release.

His chief assistant met Friday with prosecutors who handle such cases to review the procedures they should follow.

Drew Harwell can be reached at dharwell@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4170.

Clearwater murder suspect Craig Wall on jail suicide watch 02/21/10 [Last modified: Sunday, February 21, 2010 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.