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Woman sentenced in fraud case

The niece of a former public housing activist was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of probation Wednesday for her role in defrauding an insurance company.

After a weeklong trial in July, Deanna Faison, 29, and her aunt, Gussie Livingston, were convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and seven counts of wire fraud. Livingston, who was the president of the residents council at College Hill Homes until she moved from public housing about six years ago, has yet to be sentenced.

They were accused of defrauding the Progressive Insurance Cos. of about $13,900 in 1997 and 1998, according to the indictment.

Faison worked at Progressive as a claims processor. She was accused of creating false claim information concerning non-existent auto glass repairs, then helping prepare payments to two corporations Livingston owned.

Pedestrian hit, badly injured by car

TAMPA _ A Tampa man was critically injured after being hit by a car Tuesday night while crossing Kennedy Boulevard on foot.

Tampa police said John Sculthorpe, 51, of 3820 W San Carlos St., ran south across Kennedy at MacDill Avenue at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday and was struck by a car driven by Daniel Ontero of Brandon.

Ontero, who was headed east on Kennedy in a 1994 Honda, tried to avoid Sculthorpe but struck him with the front of his car, police said.

Sculthorpe was taken to Tampa General Hospital with severe head injuries.

Pinellas law officer arrested

ST. PETERSBURG _ A 43-year-old corporal with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office was arrested and charged with aggravated battery Tuesday after a fight with his pregnant girlfriend, police said.

James C. Martin, who has worked as a detention deputy since 1981, squeezed Jacquelyn D. Williams' head with his hand, bruising her face and cutting her upper lip at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Williams, 44, is four months pregnant and lived with Martin at 2501 Columbus Way S in St. Petersburg.

Martin is on paid administrative leave during a sheriff's internal affairs investigation.

He has been released from jail on his own recognizance.