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

link
  1. Would-be ninja rapist crashes during getaway and gets caught, deputies say

    Crime

    PALM HARBOR — A 29-year-old Dunedin man was arrested and accused of breaking into a home and attempting to rape a 52-year-old woman while wearing a ninja mask.

    Pinellas Sheriff's deputies arrested Nick James Nardelli on charges of attempted sexual battery, burglary and other counts.

    Nardelli is accused of entering the woman's Palm Harbor home through an unlocked door, attempting to pin her down, and tying a zip-tie around one of her wrists. But the woman fought back and her attacker eventually fled....

    Pinellas Sheriff's deputies arrested Nick James Nardelli on charges of attempted sexual battery, burglary and other counts. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Man in fatal motorcycle crash identified

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — The man who died in a fatal motorcycle crash on Friday has been identified as Randall Justin Petterson, 53, of St. Petersburg.

    The Florida Highway Patrol said Petterson was riding south on 37th Street on a dirt bike when he crossed into the path of a sport utility vehicle driven by Yun Ping Teng, 50, of Pinellas Park who was driving east on 54th Ave. N. No charges were filed in the crash....

  3. Workers attempting to bypass broken St. Petersburg sewer line

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — As rain pelted them, workers on Monday night were digging, pouring concrete and preparing to begin a kind of bypass operation to stop thousands of gallons of sewage from gushing into Joe's Creek and, ultimately, Boca Ciega Bay.

    Meanwhile, Pinellas County officials sent an armada of "vacuum trucks" that has sucked up a half-million gallons so far from the leak, which may take until Wednesday to plug....

    The scene of a break in a sewer line that caused wastewater to be released into Joe's Creek and neighboring areas Monday afternoon at 7780 62nd Ave. N in St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Charlie Crist keeps quiet on his signature accomplishment

    Blog

    On the campaign trail, Charlie Crist rarely, if ever, mentions a 1995 law that was arguably the most far-reaching legislation of his entire political career — and which used to be a key feature of his tough-on-crime persona.

    The law requires Florida prisoners to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, and it continues to affect thousands of people today.

    Crist sponsored the law when he was in the state Senate and touted it repeatedly in his past campaigns as a Republican. But now, campaigning as the Democratic nominee for governor, his website makes no mention of the law — or, for that matter, any other specific criminal justice issue besides medical marijuana....

  5. Crist's signature accomplishment is one he never mentions

    Elections

    On the campaign trail, Charlie Crist rarely, if ever, mentions a 1995 law that was arguably the most far-reaching legislation of his entire political career — and which used to be a key feature of his tough-on-crime persona.

    The law requires Florida prisoners to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, and it continues to affect thousands of people today.

    Crist sponsored the law when he was in the state Senate and touted it repeatedly in his past campaigns as a Republican. But now, campaigning as the Democratic nominee for governor, his website makes no mention of the law — or, for that matter, any other specific criminal justice issue besides medical marijuana....

    1997: Charlie Crist, then a Republican state senator, makes a point by holding up chains on the Senate floor while debating the bill that led to his nickname of “Chain Gang Charlie.”
  6. Marco Rubio endorses Bill Young

    Blog

       Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has endorsed Bill Young, a Republican candidate in House District 68, which which covers much of northeast St. Petersburg and eastern Pinellas Park. Young hopes to unseat incumbent Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg.

       From a news rellease:

       “I proudly endorse Bill Young and his campaign to be the state representative in HD68,” Senator Rubio stated. “The Young family has a history of devotion to our veterans that Bill will carry on with dignity. His dedication to ensuring our economy is thriving and our government is accountable will serve Pinellas County and Florida well for years to come.”...

  7. There were many witnesses to St. Petersburg man's Sept. 8 shooting death

    Criminal

    Devin Dixon

    Devin Dixon, 30

    ST. PETERSBURG — They call him "Smooth" or "Devin the Dude."...

  8. Jolly to Congress: Let's work more

    Blog

    U.S. Rep David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, says Congress ought to spend more days at work. Specifically, he's calling for the Congress to be in session more days than it is now. 

       This is from a news release explaining the letter Jolly recently sent  to the House Rules Committee:

       “A work week in Washington should be no different than a work week in every other town across America.  A change in the rules of the House to reflect that very basic principle is one that we as a House, as Republicans and Democrats, and most importantly as representatives of our neighbors and fellow Americans, should swiftly adopt,” Jolly wrote in his letter.  

    This year the House will be in session for only 110 days.

    “We should be in session more. We cannot rightfully address the many concerns of the American people like the national debt, tax reform, national security and education if we are not in session,” Jolly said.

    Jolly says he wants Congress to not only work more days, but also make sure they are putting in a full work week like most Americans. 

    “I would respectfully request that your subcommittee require for any week that Congress is in session in Washington D.C. that such session run from 8:00 a.m. on Monday until 6:00 p.m. on Friday.  Simply put, a work week is a work week.  Our efforts should reflect those of every other working American,” Jolly added in his letter.
    ...

  9. Clearwater man serving life in child sex case gets new trial

    Criminal

    CLEARWATER — Henry Keith Cavaliere has been accused repeatedly of sex crimes against children and seems to have nine lives in the legal system.

    The 50-year-old former Clearwater contractor was arrested four times between 1995 and 2009, accused of sexual battery, lewd assault, sexual performance by a minor and other crimes. Twice he faced charges that could have given him a life sentence. Yet he had never been to prison, or included on state sex offender databases....

    Henry Keith Cavaliere, 50, will remain in prison until his case is retried.
  10. St. Petersburg teen who killed at age 14 is found guilty of first-degree murder

    Criminal

    ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg teenager was found guilty on Thursday of murdering 20-year-old Jeremy Mayers, a St. Petersburg College student.

    Franco Harris Thomas, who was 14 at the time of the killing and is 16 now, is set to be sentenced Nov. 25. He faces a possible life sentence.

    Mayers was found in 2012, dead on the lawn of a home in the Coquina Key neighborhood of St. Petersburg. Police said two other teens participated in a scheme to lure Mayers to the home and rob him. Thomas and one of the other teenagers were going to kill Mayers by shooting him with the shotgun, but they forgot ammunition, so they beat him with it instead, authorities said....

  11. Clearwater condo fraud case leads to federal indictments

    Criminal

    CLEARWATER — Back when everybody seemed to be making money in real estate, Fred Davis Clark and Cristal Clark helped to assemble multimillion dollar development plans that stretched from Clearwater to the Florida Keys, Las Vegas and the Caribbean.

    But a new federal indictment claims the Clarks were making their money the old-fashioned way: with a Ponzi scheme.

    The Clarks helped build "a $300 million fraud scheme involving the sale of vacation rental units to approximately 1,400 investors," according to a statement this week from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Florida's Southern District. They have been charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud....

  12. In Pinellas, House District 68 candidates say Duke needs to shape up

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — State Rep. Dwight Dudley says comparing Duke Energy to a flock of vultures just wouldn't be fair — to the vultures.

    "Vultures have the common courtesy to fly off when the bones are cleaned, unlike Duke," said Dudley, who in two years has arguably become the Florida Legislature's leading critic of big utilities

    Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, has blasted Duke for a series of well-publicized messes that include botched repairs, charging customers for plants that were never built and changing billing cycles. But he now faces a challenge of his own....

    Speaking to the media in January, state Rep. Dwight Dudley, backed by supporters, calls for a repeal of a tax that charges customers for energy they are not receiving.
  13. Bill Young's big get: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch

    Blog

    Republican Bill Young has a big endorsement this morning: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch.

    Busch appears in a brief video touting Young, who is battling Democratic Rep. Dwight Dudley in the state House District 68 race: "Hi, I'm NASCAR champign Kurt Busch. I'm endorsing Bill Young for Florida state House. I knew his father very well, and he did a lot for our military, and I know that Bill will not let us down. Vote for Bill Young."...

  14. Dramatic home invasion video of a 'case built on tattoos'

    Criminal

    CLEARWATER — The three robbers burst in like commandos, with masks covering their faces and gloves on their hands, as they waved guns and ransacked the home.

    They ripped down surveillance cameras. They pointed their weapons at peoples' heads. They stole cash, televisions, video games and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun.

    And then they disappeared, without ever showing their faces or leaving a fingerprint....

  15. Will three Pinellas 'Young Guns' become a new GOP machine?

    Elections

    To anyone with a long memory in Pinellas County politics, there's a question worth asking about three young Republican state House candidates.

    Could the trio — Chris Latvala, Chris Sprowls and Bill Young — be the start of a new "ICY machine?"

    The nickname doesn't resonate much today, but in the 1960s, three men — Jack Insco, William C. Cramer, and Young's father, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young — led Pinellas County Republicans to unprecedented victories in this formerly Democratic stronghold. Because their last names started with I, C and Y, this group of Republican insurgents became known as ICY....

    Chris Sprowls, 30, is running in District 65.