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Man who disrupted newspaper out of jail

Published Nov. 29, 2006

A freelance cartoonist arrested after brandishing a real-looking toy gun and making demands in the Miami Herald building has been released from jail.

Jose Varela, 50, posted $75,000 bail Monday night. He is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

Varela surrendered peaceably more than two hours after entering the building Friday and demanding to see an editor of the Herald's Spanish-language sister paper, El Nuevo Herald, to express grievances about its coverage of Cuban emigres.


State disputes appeal of condemned man

A jailhouse snitch's recanted testimony is not new and should not be included in an appeal by a death row inmate set for execution Dec. 13, the state argued Tuesday in papers filed with the Florida Supreme Court.

Angel Diaz is scheduled to die for killing the manager of a Miami topless club in 1978. He has asked the justices to consider the recanted testimony or send the case back to a lower court for a ruling on whether he should get a new trial.

Diaz has raised the recanted testimony issue without success for 17 years, wrote Assistant Attorney General Sandra Jaggard. A sworn statement by Ralph Gajus says he falsely testified at Diaz's trial that he implied his guilt during a conversation while both were inmates at the Miami-Dade County Jail.


Suspect subdued with football helmet

A homeowner stopped a man he believes was a burglar by beating him into submission with a football helmet.

Kevin Williams, 44, saw a man outside his window at 3:15 a.m. Monday using a screwdriver to pry at the screen door, he said.

"I got my son's helmet from the garage, went out there and hit him several times. I started from the head and worked my way down to the body," he said.

Michael Elliot Brown, 30, was charged with attempting burglary and having burglary tools.


Indictment: 'Modeling' site posted child porn

A federal grand jury in Birmingham, Ala., has indicted two Fort Lauderdale men and a Web site corporation, accusing them of using interstate commerce in operating a pornographic "child modeling" site.

The 80-count indictment unsealed Tuesday accuses Marc Evan Greenberg, 42, Jeffrey Robert Libman, 39, and Webe Web Corp. of posting depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. An Alabama man, Jeff Pierson, 43, of Brookwood is separately charged with producing and transmitting the pictures via computer.

The defendants "conspired to produce pornographic images of underaged girls posing in lascivious positions for profit, under the pretense of offering professional modeling services," said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher.


Foster parent charged with molesting boys

The president of a foster parent association has been charged with molesting two children.

George Allen Goulde, 61, was charged Sunday with lewd and lascivious molestation and child abuse, after two boys told a Department of Children and Families investigator that Goulde put his hands down their pants several times last year.

Goulde, president of the Volusia/Flagler Foster-Adoptive Parent Association, has been a licensed foster parent since August 2003, and 14 foster children have lived in his home since, said officials, who are investigating further.


Man pleads guilty, will get life in murder

A man will be sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to raping and murdering a department store clerk in 2001.

Joyce Colon, 33, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery.

The decomposed body of Rajini Mahtani, 62, was found in the woods in July 2001, about a week after she disappeared.