Sunday, October 21, 2018

Writers

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan covers Hillsborough County courts for the Tampa Bay Times. Since joining the Times in 2010, he has written about unsolved crimes, the opioid epidemic, gun control, and Florida's death row, among other topics. In 2014, he was a Livingston Award finalist for a story that examined a legal loophole that allows Florida to hold mentally challenged criminal defendants without trial. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, he is a 2006 graduate of the University of Tampa, where he earned a degree in writing.



Lakeland commissioner charged with murder in shooting of suspected shoplifter

Lakeland commissioner charged with murder in shooting of suspected shoplifter

LAKELAND — A Lakeland city commissioner surrendered Friday to face a second-degree murder charge in the Oct. 3 fatal shooting of a suspected shoplifter at a military surplus store.Michael Dunn, who has served on the City Commission since...
Published: 10/19/18
Updated: 10/20/18
Tony Daniel faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon following a clash that erupted after a woman slapped his inflammatory sign. [Tampa Police Department]

For race-baiter Tony Daniel, speech is free but a lawyer won’t be

TAMPA — Tony Daniel needs a new lawyer.A judge this week pulled the plug on Daniel’s public defender after deciding the client has sufficient assets to hire his own attorney in a misdemeanor battery case.Daniel, 61, is widely known in...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/20/18
Tony Daniel faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon following a clash that erupted after a woman slapped his inflammatory sign. [Tampa Police Department]

State objects to public defender for Tampa race-baiter Tony Daniel, saying he can afford to pay

TAMPA — Should the public have to pay for the defense of racial provocateur Tony Daniel?Tampa prosecutors don’t think so. And they’re trying hard to convince a judge to give Daniel’s public defender the boot.Daniel, 61, is widely known...
Published: 10/11/18
Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn, left, shot and killed Christobal Lopez, right, on Wednesday in the parking lot of an army navy surplus store Dunn co-owns, according to Lakeland police. Authorities are investigating to determine what, if any, charges Dunn might face. {City of Lakeland; Hardee County Sheriff's Office]

‘My brother didn’t need to be killed like some animal,’ says sister of man shot by Lakeland commissioner

LAKELAND — The man who was shot to death Wednesday by a Lakeland city commissioner had a history of arrests, but no convictions for violent crimes.It remained undetermined whether Commissioner Michael Dunn would face criminal charges in the...
Published: 10/05/18
Updated: 10/20/18
Lakeland City Commissioner Mike Dunn's official City of Lakeland photo and an image of his Vets Army Navy Surplus store.  [DAN SULLIVAN  |  Times]

Did Lakeland commissioner need to kill suspected shoplifter? Investigation under way

LAKELAND — A man pocketed a hatchet at a store in Lakeland on Wednesday. He paid for it with a confrontation that ended in his death.Now, authorities are investigating whether a Lakeland city commissioner was justified in his use of deadly...
Published: 10/04/18
Updated: 10/20/18
Tony Daniel stands at the corner of Kennedy and South Hyde Park Park Avenue, three days after he was arrested on the same corner and charged with assault. The charge stems from a physical altercation with two Brandon women who objected to the use of the n-word on his sign. The sign he held Monday, redacted by Times, also included the word and a demand to fire a former city building official who now works for Hillsborough County. Daniel, 61, said he was defending himself and plans to fight the charge. [TONY MARRERO/Times staff]

Stand your ground motion says Tampa racial provocateur was victim of vicious attack

TAMPA — Florida’s stand your ground law has famously come up amid the most perplexing of circumstances.There was the retired Tampa cop accused of shooting a moviegoer over cell phone use in a Pasco County theater. There was the Valrico man who...
Updated one month ago
Linda Faye Hollins, 26, lower right, was living in Tampa's Ponce de Leon Courts public housing complex in 1998 when shot to death. Police later charged her boyfriend, Preston Clarke, but he was found incompetent to stand trial. Twenty 20 years after Hollins' death, he remains in a mental hospital, never tried. [Tampa Housing Authority photo courtesy of Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Times files]

Charged with a Tampa murder 20 years ago, he still awaits trial

He lives in a dorm room in a tan and white building surrounded by metal fences and razor wire. The institution sits on a grassy patch south of Miami, at the edge of the Everglades, almost at the edge of the Sunshine State.His days are spent in...
Updated one month ago
In this May 6, 2018, photo, Shaman Pablo Flores pours ayahuasca into a plastic cup during a session in Nuevo Egipto, a remote village in the Peruvian Jungle. At right is Gustavo Vargas of Tampa, who pleaded guilty to possession of DMT, a substance found in ayahuasca.  [AP Photo/Martin Mejia. Inset: Hillsborough County Jail]

Probation ordered for Tampa man who brought South American spiritual ‘tea’ to airport

TAMPA — Since he was 17, Gustavo Vargas has taken part in spiritual ceremonies of the indigenous people of his native Colombia. The rituals involve music, star-gazing, and the drinking of a specially brewed tea.The tea was where his troubles...
Updated one month ago
Tony Daniel stands at the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and South Hyde Park Park Avenue  three days after he was arrested on the same corner. The charge stems from a physical altercation with two Brandon women who objected to the use of the n-word on his sign. [TONY MARRERO  |  Times]

Tampa provocateur claims stand your ground in July megaphone beating

TAMPA — Tony Daniel, the Tampa provocateur known for his racist roadside displays, is claiming self-defense under Florida’s stand your ground law in a case where he’s accused of beating two women with an electronic megaphone.Hillsborough Clerk...
Updated one month ago
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is looking for two men they believe committed a sexual battery on Sept. 15 inside a vehicle at the Quality Inn & Suites at 10007 Princess Palm Ave. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200. Tips can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-TIPS (8477). [HCSO]

Deputies seek two men wanted in sexual battery at Tampa motel

TAMPA — Deputies are asking for the public’s help to identify two men they believe committed a sexual battery on Sept. 15 near an east Tampa hotel.The attack took place inside a vehicle at the Quality Inn & Suites at 10007 Princess Palm Ave.,...
Updated one month ago