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Judge refuses to reduce former teacher's sentence

(ran PW, PS editions)

A judge on Thursday denied a request to reduce a former Bayonet Point Middle School teacher's 8-year prison sentence.

James Christopher Howard, 42, is in prison for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl who also was one of his students. He pleaded guilty in November to two counts of lewd and lascivious activity with a child under 16.

In May, Howard asked Circuit Judge William Webb to reconsider the sentence. In an order issued Thursday, Webb wrote that the 8-year prison term was appropriate because Howard had committed an "act of betrayal."

Marine Reserve instructor

reports seven guns stolen

NEW PORT RICHEY _ A U.S. Marine Reserve firearm instructor told authorities that his home was broken into Wednesday and seven guns were stolen, according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report.

Christopher Zinno of 6249 Arthur Ave. said that during the day on Wednesday an AR15 rifle, a pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun, an SKS rifle, an AK47, a Ruger rifle and a tommy gun were taken from his home.

He also said he was missing a video game and watch, according to deputies. He said the burglar or burglars broke in through the porch.