Two people were scheduled to be sentenced Monday for their roles in a fetish web site that featured videos of women beating up men.
The problem, prosecutors said during the trial, was that Jeffery Williams, 61, and Zuzu Vargo, 27, convinced a mentally disabled, schizophrenic man to participate a beating video, and then hurt him.
"They took a man who was clearly disabled, put him in a ring, told him you can't fight back, and proceeded to kick and punch and beat him down on the ground, and continued to kick him while he was down," Assistant State Attorney Kendall Davidson said during the December trial....
In the murder case against William S. Coffin III, a grim life-or-death negotiation came to the surface last week.
Coffin, 32, is considering pleading guilty to fatally stabbing a Largo woman and spending the rest of his life in prison, a prosecutor said in a court hearing. Coffin wants something in return: no death penalty.
This might sound like the ultimate choice between bad alternatives, but it's not as rare as it may sound....
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....
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....
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 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."...
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....
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. ...
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.".......
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."...
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....
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....
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....
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....
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....