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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

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  1. Self-defense argument made in drug deal murder case

    Crime

    LARGO — The drug dealer and the addict argued over a rock of crack cocaine, and it ended when the dealer shot his customer.

    Defense attorneys say the man who fatally shot a cocaine buyer in a Largo parking lot should not be prosecuted for first-degree murder because any "reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances" would have done the same thing.

    This new argument on behalf of Byron Jackson sounds a lot like — and relies on — Florida's controversial "stand your ground" law....

    Byron Jackson, 33, is charged with first-degree murder during a 
drug deal. 
  2. Citing new witness, attorney and family seek retrial for St. Petersburg man convicted of murder

    Criminal

    ST. PETERSBURG — A week after Artez Hooker was convicted of murdering a man outside a nightclub, his attorney says he should be granted another trial, partly because a new witness has come forward.

    The new witness — who emerged after Hooker's Nov. 7 conviction — says someone other than Hooker has confessed to the killing, according to defense attorney Kelly McCabe.

    McCabe spoke at a news conference Friday with about 30 family members and friends of Hooker's. Their message: In spite of his extensive criminal record, Hooker would not have done something so reckless that would separate him from his family. ...

  3. Linda Osmundson, CASA director and Christian Scientist, prays for healing without medicine

    Health

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Linda Osmundson is a domestic violence survivor who has helped thousands of women break from their abusers and find new lives.

    She took up cycling in her 50s, pedaled across the country and became a triathlete.

    She has a record of beating the odds.

    But now she is struggling with a new challenge, and she's doing it in a way that few can fully understand, and many would even find irrational. ...

    Osmundson, center, smiles during Academy Prep’s Five Fabulous Females award presentations at the TradeWinds resort in St. Pete Beach in February 2013.
  4. Man convicted of murder in St. Petersburg killing

    Criminal

    A St. Petersburg man was convicted Friday of first-degree murder for shooting another man at a local nightclub.

    Artez Hooker, 31, was sentenced to life in prison for shooting 32-year-old Doncaro Small on June 16 during a brawl at the Hollywood Nites Club, 1201 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S in St. Petersburg. The case took an unusual twist when police also accused Hooker, 31, of offering to pay someone $20,000 to take the blame for the killing. Hooker was also convicted of witness tampering in the case....

  5. David Jolly easily wins first full-term in Congress

    Elections

    Less than a year after David Jolly narrowly won a bruising and expensive special election for a Pinellas congressional seat, he cruised to re-election on Tuesday against a Libertarian candidate.

    Jolly, a Republican, defeated Lucas Overby by a commanding margin.

    After winning in March, Jolly said, "If I do my job, the politics will take care of itself." He felt that Tuesday's result proved that point, and he will continue with that same approach in the next two years....

    David Jolly
  6. Four times in three months, Pinellas-Pasco judge removed from cases

    Criminal

    Four times in the past three months, Pinellas County Judge Susan Bedinghaus has been asked to remove herself from criminal cases because of questions about her fairness, according to court documents.

    St. Petersburg Bar Association president Lucas Fleming said he cannot remember a local judge facing so many disqualification motions in a brief period. However, he added that in his dealings with Bedinghaus, he always thought she had been fair....

  7. Duke Energy claim stirs bipartisan mudslinging in Pinellas

    Blog

    With Election Day one week away, some Pinellas candidates have reached an odd moment of bipartisanship: Democrats and Republicans are slinging the same mud at each other.

    In a biting new campaign commercial, Republican state House candidate Bill Young falsely claims his opponent, state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, voted to let Duke Energy charge fees for nuclear plants that may never be built....

  8. In Pinellas, Duke Energy claim stirs bipartisan mudslinging

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — With Election Day one week away, some Pinellas candidates have reached an odd moment of bipartisanship: Democrats and Republicans are slinging the same mud at each other.

    In a biting new campaign commercial, Republican state House candidate Bill Young falsely claims his opponent, state Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, voted to let Duke Energy charge fees for nuclear plants that may never be built....

  9. Rap song may contain evidence in Pinellas murder trial

    Criminal

    LARGO — If Eddie Jonathan Todd Walker is convicted of first-degree murder this week, it may very well be because of a rap song he wrote, text messages he sent, and the things he told his girlfriend.

    Walker wrote lyrics to a rap song, which were recovered in the Pinellas County Jail by detectives. The song mentioned the drug trade and "snitches." Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said in court Tuesday that some of the lyrics will be introduced as evidence. Walker also told his girlfriend that he killed a man, and made incriminating comments in text messages, Rosenwasser told the jury....

    Eddie Jonathan Todd Walker is accused of shooting a man in the head over a drug transaction.
  10. For the second time, a hung jury in Pinellas murder case

    Criminal

    LARGO — A jury could not decide on Friday whether Dwayne M. Bailey killed a man outside of a St. Petersburg pool hall, the second time Bailey has gone through a murder trial that ended in a hung jury.

    "This is unreal. How much can I take?" said Peggy Burge, whose son Marquell Burge, 30, was shot in the head in March 2011 behind the Game Room, a pool hall and club at 1149 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S. ...

    Bailey
  11. U.S. House of Representatives: District 13

    Kyc

    U.S. House | District 13

    Republican David Jolly was elected to Congress earlier this year in a special election to fill the term of longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died in office. Now Jolly is running for re-election. Libertarian Lucas Overby also ran earlier this year, collecting nearly 5 percent of the vote, and he too is running again. An independent write-in candidate, Michael Levinson, also is running. The Democratic Party did not field a candidate. By Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer...

    Overby
  12. State House of Representatives: District 67

    Kyc

    State House | District 67

    A Republican who is a former legislative aide and a Democrat who is president of a local union are running against each other for this North Pinellas legislative seat. Both say their backgrounds make them well-suited to help the people of this district. By Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer

    Steve Sarnoff, 62...

    Sarnoff
  13. State House of Representatives: District 68

    Kyc

    State House | District 68

    Incumbent Rep. Dwight Dudley has been one of the Legislature's leading critics of Duke Energy. He is opposed by first-time candidate Bill Young, who says he would continue the public service tradition of his father, the late U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young. By Curtis Krueger, Times staff writer

    Dwight Dudley, 60...

    Dudley
  14. Pinellas man found guilty of running sex trafficking ring

    Criminal

    LARGO — Peter Kitt recruited his prostitutes from Tampa Bay's strip joints and street corners, and drove them to cheap hotels in Clearwater, Largo and Tampa to trade sex for money.

    He fueled their addictions to pills and cocaine so they would keep selling their bodies. And if the drugs weren't enough, Kitt kept the women in line by choking, beating and raping them, all the while telling them to make more money, make more money....

    Peter Kitt was convicted of racketeering and conspiracy in running a prostitution ring.
  15. Women give harrowing testimony of Tampa Bay human trafficking ring

    Criminal

    LARGO — Peter Kitt is accused of driving prostitutes from hotel to hotel in Clearwater, Largo and Tampa, setting them up in cheap rooms and supplying them with a steady stream of customers, pills and crack cocaine.

    Some say he actually liked one of his nicknames: Willie the dumb--- driver.

    But why would Kitt favor a name that made him sound like a low-level nobody?

    "Throw people off," one of the people who testified against him said....

    Peter Kitt, 42, of St. Petersburg has been charged with racketeering and conspiracy.