Curtis Krueger, Times Staff Writer

Curtis Krueger

Curtis Krueger is the Pinellas courts reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, and has written for the Times since 1987. He also covers a variety of other issues, including space and science.

Phone: (727) 893-8232

Email: ckrueger@tampabay.com

Twitter: @CKruegerTimes

  1. Man pleads guilty to leaving scene of accident that killed tandem bicyclists

    Criminal

    Christopher Weed pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to leaving the scene of a Clearwater accident in which he struck and killed a couple on a tandem bicycle.

    Weed, 30, is scheduled to be formally sentenced next month to 11 years in prison, followed by three years of probation.

    Robert Lemon, 25, and Hilary Michalak, 27, of Largo were riding their bike in September on Memorial Causeway when a vehicle struck them. The impact splintered the bike and threw the couple feet apart. They were wearing helmets but died of their injuries....

    Defendant Christopher Weed, 30, center, plead guilty, Tuesday, April 16, 2014, at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center. On the right is Assistant Public Defender Adam Pylitt.
  2. Man pleads guilty in BB gun shooting at St. Pete Pride

    Criminal

    ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg man has pleaded guilty to battery for shooting someone with a BB gun at the St. Pete Pride Parade.

    Cornelius Davis, 21, shot Eric Bunzow with the BB gun during the June 2013 event, after shouting anti-gay slurs, St. Petersburg police said at the time. Bunzow was not seriously injured.

    Davis will be formally sentenced April 30, but Bunzow said in an interview that his understanding is Davis will get a six-month jail term along with his felony conviction....

  3. Alex Sink will not run for Congress again this year

    Blog

    Democrat Alex Sink has decided not to run for Congress again this year, meaning there will not be a rematch of the nationally watched and extraordinarily costly campaign that Sink lost in Pinellas County a little over a month ago by less than 2 percentage points.

    “I am so honored and humbled by the outpouring of support our campaign received, but after reflection with my family I have made a personal decision not to run for the 13th Congressional District seat in the 2014 election,” Sink said in a statement. “I want to thank every voter, volunteer and  donor for their support – we can all be proud of the strong campaign we ran. I look forward to finding new, rewarding avenues where I can continue to effectively serve the people of Florida. In the words of Bill, I look forward to continuing to do good. I remain totally convinced that a Democrat can and will win this congressional seat in the fall, and I look forward to helping the Democratic nominee.”...

    Democrat Alex Sink, with daughter Lexi Crawford after delivering a concession speech March 11, says she will not run for Congress again in November.
  4. Alex Sink won't challenge David Jolly for District 13 seat in November

    National

    Democrat Alex Sink has decided not to run for Congress this fall, a move that could benefit newly elected Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly.

    Sink told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that she made a "very personal" choice against running after weighing several factors.

    "I was certainly all in for the special election and at this point in time I just made the decision that I did not want to run again."...

  5. Rev. Manuel Sykes considers congressional run

    Blog

       The Rev. Manuel Sykes, of St. Petersburg's Bethel Community Baptist Church, said he's considering running for Congress in Pinellas County's District 13.

       That's the district in which Republican David Jolly won election March 11, narrowly defeating Democrat Alex Sink, in a special election following the death of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young....

  6. Two sure things for Tuesday: a lunar eclipse and taxes

    Space

    A couple of hours after midnight tonight — you know, right about the time you're starting your taxes — walk outside and look up.

    The view will take your mind off W-2 forms, itemized deductions and general frustration over money owed the government.

    Clouds are predicted to be hovering over the Tampa Bay area, so you might have to find a seam or hole, but you'll be gazing at a sight that has captivated humans for the ages: a total lunar eclipse. ...

    During a total eclipse in 2004, the full moon passes through the Earth’s shadow and appears red as seen from downtown St. Petersburg.
  7. David Jolly votes against GOP House budget to keep promise

    Blog

    Pinellas County's newly elected U.S. Rep. David Jolly summed up the reason he voted against the GOP's Ryan budget proposal today, becoming one of just 12 Republicans to do so:

    "I simply kept my word," he said in an interview. And, referring to the number of phone calls he has gotten from media afterward, he quipped: "It's remarkable how newsworthy it is when a member of Congress keeps their promise.".......

  8. Jolly votes against GOP budget: 'I simply kept my word.'

    Elections

    In his first high-profile vote in the U.S. House, Pinellas County's newly elected congressman David Jolly voted against the GOP's Ryan budget proposal on Thursday, becoming one of just 12 Republicans to do so.

    "I simply kept my word," Jolly said. And, referring to the number of phone calls he got from media afterward, he quipped: "It's remarkable how newsworthy it is when a member of Congress keeps their promise."...

    U.S. Rep. David Jolly says that he kept his word and explained his position to Republican leaders.
  9. That's two very fit judges

    Blog

    Two judges from the Pinellas-Pasco Circuit are about to embark on some endurance sports.

    Judge Cynthia Newton, who handles felony criminal trials, is scheduled to compete Sunday in a "half Ironman" competition in Haines City and Lake Eva. That's a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride and a 13.1-mile run. She also is planning to participate in a full Ironman -- double those distances -- this summer in Idaho....

  10. Pinellas man to get seven years for stealing hundreds of thousands from condo groups

    Criminal

    LARGO — A Seminole man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a financial company where he worked. He is scheduled to be sentenced to seven years in prison.

    Roberto Martin Velez, 46, was the chief financial officer of Total Realty Services, a Madeira Beach company that manages funds for several local condominium associations. At the time of his arrest, the Pinellas Sheriff's Office said he transferred more than $500,000 into accounts he had access to, and wrote checks and made electronic transfers to himself....

  11. Sink still considers another Pinellas congressional bid

    Elections

    As Democrat Alex Sink ponders whether to run for Congress again, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is starting to contact Pinellas voters with automated phone calls criticizing a Republican budget proposal.

    In other words, it might soon feel like campaign season, less than a month after the county's hard-fought special election and right when locals thought it was safe to start answering their phones again....

    Alex Sink narrowly lost in March, her second close defeat.
  12. Pinellas voters will get robo-calls on GOP budget proposal

    Blog

    Just like old times, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced today it is paying for robocalls directed at Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who recently defeated Democrat Alex Sink in Pinellas County's special congressional election March 11. Here is the script for the robo-calls:

    This is Allie from the DCCC, calling with a financial alert. Republicans in Congress are trying to sell you out so that they can help their wealthy contributors. And your Congressman, David Jolly is part of the problem....

  13. Alex Sink says she's still pondering another congressional bid

    Blog

    UPDATE: And the National Republican Congressional Committee has this to say about a Sink candidacy: “Pinellas families rejected Alex Sink already once this year for being Nancy Pelosi’s handpicked candidate. If Sink, the Pelosi-Obamacare supporting candidate, decides to run again this November it will truly be the definition of insanity.” 

    Democrat Alex Sink today said she's still mulling over whether to run again for Congress against David Jolly, the Republican who narrowly defeated her in a special election in Pinellas County in March....

  14. Pinellas man won't represent himself in death penalty case after all

    Criminal

    LARGO — Craig Wall, who is facing the death penalty, originally wanted to represent himself this week on charges that he killed his girlfriend and their baby in 2010.

    On Monday, he said he wants lawyers to handle his case after all. The change means Wall's trial will be delayed until October.

    Wall had two experienced attorneys serving as "standby counsel," meaning they were available to assist him but not officially be his attorneys. ...

  15. Accused of murder and facing death penalty, Pinellas man acts as own attorney

    Criminal

    Craig Wall is a man accused of two murders, a man facing the death penalty, a man who has decided he'll act as his own attorney in trial next week.

    So in a preparatory court hearing on Friday, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip J. Federico asked Wall if he understood the purpose of voir dire, or questioning potential jurors.

    "Picking some idiots to sit over there," Wall said, motioning toward the jury box....

    Craig Wall reacts to the judge at his hearing Friday. He objected to prosecutors’ tactics, also.