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Plant growing near courthouse was marijuana

Published Sep. 9, 2005

(ran PC edition)

Jim Dome is no dope.

The Pasco County courtroom bailiff recognized an unusual plant growing outside the Pasco County courthouse Monday as marijuana.

The plant, about a foot tall, was growing in a parking lot median on the north side of the courthouse, Dome said.

He plucked it out of the ground and called Dade City police to investigate.

Police Department Capt. Linda Fox said tests showed the plant was indeed marijuana and confiscated it. Fox said it was not clear how the plant got its start on courthouse grounds, and there are no suspects.

Suspect arrested

in 2 arson fires

DADE CITY _ Authorities made an arrest Monday in two arson fires they say were set hours apart at a manufactured home south of town.

Dade City Fire Department Capt. Joey Wubbena said Pasco County sheriff's deputies arrested Franklin Erik Lacy, 44, about 1 p.m. Monday and charged him with arson.

He is accused of setting fire to the single-story manufactured home at 11306 Ewing Drive where he lived, south of Dade City off U.S. 98.

Lacy lived at the home with his wife, Sandra Herrin, 40, and her brother, Jeffrey Herrin, 32, Wubbena said.

According to Wubbena, Lacy confessed Monday to torching the home Wednesday afternoon, setting items on the house afire without using gasoline or other accelerants. Wubbena said firefighters doused the flames Wednesday, but the fire destroyed everything but a shed.

Early Thursday, Lacy returned to the scene and set the shed on fire, Wubbena said.

Deputies were in the process of booking Lacy into the Pasco County jail at Land O'Lakes on Monday night, but said his bail was expected to be set at $15,000.

Fire caused by stove

damages mobile home

ZEPHYRHILLS _ A kitchen fire ripped through a mobile home Saturday night, according to Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports.

According to investigators, firefighters arrived at Palm View Gardens, 3331 Gall Blvd., about 10:30 p.m. and found a mobile home in flames.

William Andrew Powers, 56, said he was visiting the home of friend Debra Britton while she wasn't there, and he fell asleep. He said when he woke up, he was coughing amid thick smoke.

An investigator from the state Fire Marshal's Office determined the blaze was sparked by a burner on the stove.

There were no injuries, according to the Sheriff's Office.