BARTOW — Dreek Drayton spent nearly a decade locked up because of a crime he says he didn't commit.
He never faced trial. No jury ever convicted him. And ultimately, a judge dismissed the charges against him.
Yet, year after year, state authorities held on to him based largely on allegations from an accuser who would eventually refuse to testify.
Most anyone else would have walked free....
TAMPA — A Tampa water department employee who ran into and killed a toddler with a city truck Thursday night was visiting relatives on the job when the accident happened, a policy violation for which he has previously been disciplined, city officials said.
The driver, Robert Fennell, cooperated with investigators after the accident that killed 2-year-old Demetrick Lindsey at the Tampa Park Apartments. The child's death was being called an accident, police said....
PLANT CITY — Orthneil Kelley doesn't remember much about his mother. And for many years, he knew just as little about how she died.
In the snippets of memory he did have, he was 4 years old and alone in their house on Ninth Street in Plant City. He could hear his infant brother crying.
That was in 1979. The relatives who raised him sheltered him from the details. It wasn't until 2006, when Kelley began researching his family history, that he learned his mother's death was Plant City's oldest unsolved homicide....
PLANT CITY — A Plant City teenager who was behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle that collided with a car in February, killing the driver, has been charged with DUI manslaughter.
Jennifer Carvajal, 17, was booked into jail Thursday on the manslaughter charge and a count of driving without a valid license resulting in death — both felonies — and held without bail.
The 4-foot-11, 110-pound high school student was driving north in a Lincoln Navigator at 6:30 a.m. Feb. 5 on Alexander Street, according to Plant City police. Keith Davis, 52, was coming off the eastbound exit ramp from Interstate 4 in a four-door Toyota....
TAMPA — A man who has been on the run since the 2007 shooting death of a 17-year-old Wharton High School student was jailed late Wednesday in Hillsborough County after being extradited from New York.
Rick Elise Joseph, 28, has been wanted on a second-degree murder charge for seven years. A Hillsborough County sheriff's fugitive cold case squad traced him to New York City, where he was arrested in April, officials said. On Wednesday, he was extradited to Florida....
TAMPA — A Tarpon Springs man was shot to death early Thursday morning after he got into an argument inside a downtown Tampa nightclub, police said.
Terence W. Wilson, 23, left Club Underground at 802 E Whiting St. about 2 a.m. and walked to his car in a lot at 901 E Whiting St., police said. When he got to his vehicle, someone walked up and shot him. Witnesses flagged down a police officer....
TAMPA — Linda Maddox, the 63-year-old woman who mistook her young grandson for an intruder and shot him early Tuesday, probably will not face charges, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's officials.
Tyler Maddox, 7, was sleeping in his grandmother's room, next to his twin brother, Tyrique, when he got out of bed about 1 a.m. Tuesday and tried to move a chair that his grandmother had propped against the door for security. Hearing the chair scraping against the wood floor, Linda Maddox assumed that a burglar was trying to break into her Town 'N Country house. She grabbed her .22-caliber pistol from next to the bed and fired into the dark, authorities said....
TAMPA — A woman shot a man inside her million-dollar Davis Islands home Tuesday, a little over a week after seeking an antistalking order against him.
A judge denied Mishay Simpson's Aug. 12 request for protection against Andrew Tyler Noll. Their interaction turned violent late Tuesday when Noll showed up at Simpson's home, Tampa police said.
Gunfire at 420 Riviera Drive prompted a pair of emergency calls just before midnight from the home where Simpson lives with her husband. ...
TAMPA — Lying in bed early Tuesday morning, Linda Maddox heard a noise.
She felt unsafe when her son, Reginald, would work nights, authorities said. So before she went to sleep, she propped a chair against the bedroom door and kept a gun at the ready.
When she heard the chair scraping against the wood floor, authorities say, she thought it was an intruder.
Maddox, 63, grabbed the .22-caliber pistol she kept near the bed. She pointed it toward the door and, in the darkness, fired a shot. The next thing she heard was the scream of her 7-year-old grandson....
TAMPA — Jasmine Bedwell, the state's star witness in the high-profile murder trial of Richard McTear, was arrested Monday morning in Tampa on a domestic battery charge.
Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were called at 9 a.m. to Bedwell's home at 1413 E 139th Ave., an arrest report said. When they arrived, they found Bedwell, 23, arguing with Emanuel Murray Sr., her boyfriend, with whom she shares three children....
TAMPA — After the first deadly shooting, Greg Burgos asked authorities what he could do to make Club 301 a safer place. Their advice: employ more security officers and install security cameras. That was six years ago.
Early Sunday, cameras were rolling and armed officers were on patrol when a second shooting happened. A club regular, Mirabel Sanchez-Garza, 49, of Plant City was left dead. Later that day, 18-year-old Dougie Glidden of Dover was arrested on a second-degree murder charge....
A three-month investigation into the death of a 9-year-old Tampa girl culminated Friday with a murder charge against the man authorities had previously identified as the main suspect in her killing.
Granville Ritchie faces first-degree murder, capital sexual battery and aggravated child abuse charges in the death of Felecia Williams, whose nude body was found May 17 in the waters north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway. The charges came after a meticulous Temple Terrace police investigation in collaboration with a dozen other law enforcement agencies, Chief Kenneth Albano said....
TAMPA — In the third wrong-way crash this year on the same stretch of Interstate 275, a man died early Friday when he drove against southbound traffic and ran head-on into an ambulance.
The ambulance was not carrying any patients, although its two attendants were hospitalized with minor injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The dead man was likely under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the patrol said — and, likewise, the two previous wrong-way drivers were also impaired....
RIVERVIEW — Authorities were pursuing a serial bank robber who hit a Carrollwood bank Thursday morning, his third holdup in the last two weeks.
Just after 9 a.m. ,the man walked into the Ameribank at 3702 W Bearss Ave. He approached a teller's counter and passed a note demanding cash, according to Hillsborough County deputies. He ran after receiving money.
In Thursday's robbery, he appeared to be wearing the same white ball cap he wore during a robbery Aug. 4 at Synovus Bank at 4003 W Neptune St. in Tampa. He also wore the same long-sleeved burgundy shirt that he wore during a robbery Aug. 9 at Bank of America at 9810 S U.S. 301 in Riverview....
Jay Wolf, a budding musician and a grandson of Tampa's prominent Poe family, was hit and killed by a car Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas, after attending the Tampa Bay Rays-Texas Rangers game.
Wolf, 24, was the grandson of former Tampa City Council member and Hillsborough County Commissioner Haven Poe and her husband, retired businessman Charles Poe. The Poes both died earlier this year at age 82 and 85 respectively, along with Charles Poe's brother, former Tampa Mayor William F. Poe Sr., 82....