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?
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