The trial of a man accused of killing a Tampa police officer last year has been postponed. Humberto Delgado, charged with killing Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts, was scheduled to stand trial Oct. 4. Early Friday, Judge Emmett Battles granted a request from defense attorney Christopher Watson to delay the trial, saying he needed more time to prepare. Assistant State Attorney Jay Pruner did not object. A new trial date was not set. But Battles asked for case management plans by the next hearing, Aug. 13. Delgado faces charges that include first-degree murder, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and carrying a concealed firearm.
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Man convicted of bystander's death
For the second time, James D. Gilley of St. Petersburg has been convicted of murder and three counts of attempted murder. And for the second time, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Richard Luce has sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences. Gilley, now 31, was convicted in 2006 of a crime that shocked St. Petersburg: Cynthia Bethune, 41, was shot and killed in cross fire among drug dealers in 2003. She had been on her way to a store to buy a loaf of bread. But the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in 2008 that Luce had erred in the original trial by allowing "a large amount of evidence relating to crimes committed by co-defendants who were tried separately." Gilley's second trial concluded Friday. Because he was convicted of first-degree murder, one of his sentences is for life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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Fire damages industrial building
Authorities are investigating a fire that broke out Friday evening at an industrial building. Fire crews were called at about 6:10 p.m. to the scene of a multialarm structure fire at 3816 De Soto Blvd. The two-story building houses Oscor Inc., a business that manufactures medical equipment. About 10 employees were inside when a woman smelled smoke, said Liz Monforti, a spokeswoman for Palm Harbor Fire Rescue. "She didn't see any flames but encountered a light haze," Monforti said. The group evacuated, and no one was injured. Firefighters battled heavy smoke and flames for about an hour, Monforti said. They first tried an interior approached but were pushed outside by the smoke. The building, which Monforti said was several years old, was not equipped with sprinklers. Crews were able to contain the blaze to three rooms, which totaled about 1,000 square feet. It was unclear how the fire started. "This building potentially could have been a total loss," Monforti said.