Zachary T. Sampson, General Assignment Reporter

Zachary T. Sampson

General Assignment Reporter

I'm a general assignment reporter, which means I cover pretty much anything depending on the day. Think of me like a super utility player. Local, state, national, crime, weather, politics, and so on. I'm fascinated by where we're from -- how places shape us and how we shape them. I aim to tell stories that matter to you now, or will, or should. One day that might involve a police horse that paints, another how county officials spend your tax dollars. I'm from Rhode Island and will talk to you about it. I've coached youth baseball -- yes, the loud one. Okay, maybe I was checking the score on my phone under the table. I'm sorry. Call me with anything. I'm friendlier than my face suggests.

Hurricane Michael retroactively upgraded to a Category 5 storm at landfall

A growing percentage of people in Mexico Beach and Panana City whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Michael are now seriously delinquency on their mortgages. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
The storm, which tore through the Panhandle in October, is the first hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 since Andrew in 1992

Was it wrong to let jurors talk to witnesses in the Jonchuck trial?

https://www.tampabay.com/storyimage/HI/20190419/ARTICLE/190419600/TS/1/TS-190419600.jpg
Florida law allows for questions but specifies that they should be in writing

John Jonchuck guilty of first-degree murder in 2015 death of his daughter, Phoebe

Defendant John Jonchuck stares straight ahead in court Monday as a video is shown of him being questioned by police the night his daughter was murdered in 2015. His defense lawyers played the video for jurors.  (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
The verdict comes four years after the horrific morning when the region awoke to the inconceivable news that a father had dropped his daughter off the Dick Misener Bridge.

The Trial of John Jonchuck, Day 21: The deliberations ahead of the guilty verdict

Defendant John Jonchuck listens as the judge reads jury instructions in his murder trial Monday. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
The jury had the case for two hours Monday night before deciding to break. They’ll return at 9 a.m. to try to reach a verdict.

5 moments that mattered in the John Jonchuck murder trial

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Chris Helinger has a bench conference with the attorneys in the John Jonchuck murder trial. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
While the jury is deliberating, catch up on testimony that could have turned the case