Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero

Tony Marrero covers breaking news and general assignment stories in Hillsborough County. A Baltimore native, he joined the Times in 2009.

Attorney Mike Moore talks at a news conference Tuesday about the details of the lawsuit Hillsborough County is filing against opioid makers and distributors.   Also pictured is Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman, Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew Warren. [TONY MARRERO/Times]

‘Pill spill’: Hillsborough officials announce details of opioid lawsuit

TAMPA — Attorney Mike Moore has a legal analogy for the lawsuit Hillsborough County filed Tuesday against 14 drug makers and distributors.When oil giant BP’s rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, killing 11 people and spilling millions of...
Updated: 10 hours ago
The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office decided to dimiss the case against Alexander Craver, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputy arrested last month on a charge of boating under the influence. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Prosecutors drop BUI case against Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy

TAMPA — A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy arrested on a boating under the influence charge last month is in the clear after prosecutors declined to move forward with the case.Still unclear, however, is whether Alexander Craver will get his...
Published: 08/13/18
Rescue crews had to cut off the roof of the Ford Focus at left to free LaShay Waiters and his fiancee Yvette Alexandre after a wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 on Thanksgiving Day. Waiters, Alexandre and Justin Lakin, the wrong-way driver who was behind the wheel of the Toyota Corolla, right, were pronounced dead at Tampa General Hospital. [Florida Highway Patrol]

No drugs. No alcohol. What caused three people to die in a wrong-way crash on I-75?

GIBSONTON — Paul O’Neal was driving down a darkened stretch of Interstate 75 on Thanksgiving when he spotted white lights in the center lane ahead of him. He figured the lights were on a tow truck picking up a stranded car. But when brake...
Published: 08/10/18
What would you do if this sign appeared before you on a highway? State highway officials suggest that drivers slow down, shift to the right lane and pay close attention, while being prepared to pull of the road if a wrong-way vehicle is sighted. [Florida DHSMV]

Wrong-way driver alert? Here’s what to do

TAMPA — Anyone who has spent much time on Florida highways has probably seen those seven disconcerting words that occasionally flash on electronic road signs: "Wrong-way driver alert. Use extreme caution."Yes. They mean...
Published: 08/10/18
The obituary for Je'Hyrah Daniels, the daughter of a woman accused of abandoning her to drown in the Hillsborough River last week, calls her a

Funeral set for 4-year-old girl who drowned in Hillsborough River

TAMPA — The young girl who drowned in the Hillsborough River last week, leading to the arrest of her mother on a murder charge, will be laid to rest this weekend.
Published: 08/09/18
Singer Chris Brown's attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf in Hillsborough County circuit court on Thursday. [Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office]

Singer Chris Brown pleads not guilty in Tampa battery case

TAMPA — Singer Chris Brown’s attorney was in court Thursday to enter a not-guilty plea on his client’s behalf.Brown, who waived his appearance at his scheduled arraignment in a Hillsborough County courtroom, faces a felony battery charge after...
Published: 08/09/18
Shakayla Denson listens to a witness testimony during the pre-trial detention hearing at Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa on Wednesday. Denson is charged with first-degree murder after police say she left her 4-year-old daughter, Je'Hyrah Daniels, to drown in the Hillsborough River on Thursday. [BRONTE WITTPENN   |   Times]

Witnesses recount behavior of mom, denied bail after 4-year-old left to die in river

TAMPA — As she cleaned the porch of a home near the Hillsborough River last week, Maira Artigas spotted something strange.A woman was walking to the river’s edge with a young child. When Artigas looked again, the woman was walking in the water,...
Published: 08/08/18
Updated: 08/09/18
Arthur Showley was piloting this 16-foot aluminum boat with two other men on board when he collided with another boat on the Little Manatee River on Feb. 23, authorities say. Showley, 75, was struck by the other boat, thrown into the water and died at the scene. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission report released this week says both captains made futile efforts to avoid a head on-collision. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission]

Report: Before fatal crash on Little Manatee River, captains made futile attempts to change course

RUSKIN — On a clear, cool morning in February, two small boats on a collision course sliced through the calm waters of the Little Manatee River.Arthur D. Showley sat in the back of a 16-foot Sea Nymph, steering the aluminum boat west using the...
Published: 08/07/18
Updated: 08/09/18

Tampa woman arrested on DUI manslaughter charge in fatal January crash

One early morning in January, 23-year-old Camaren Edson tried to steer her Nissan Murano around a curve on a stretch of Morris Bridge Road, court records say.She didn’t make it. The small SUV veered off onto the shoulder, then back across the...
Published: 08/07/18
Stephanie Ragusa was accused of probation violation.

State drops probation violation case against Tampa teacher who had sex with students

TAMPA —Stephanie Ragusa, the former Davidsen Middle School teacher who spent six years in state prison after having sex with two students, escaped more sanctions Tuesday when prosecutors dropped a probation violation case against her.The...
Published: 08/07/18