Dan Sullivan - Courts reporter

Courts reporter

I got into this business because I like telling stories. The best stories, I think, are ones that touch on themes of justice and injustice, compassion and forgiveness, choices and consequences. You can find a lot of that in the local court and criminal justice system, which I write about for the Times. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, went to high school in Massachusetts, and came to Florida for college. I graduated from the University of Tampa in 2006. My wife, Meg, is a teacher. Outside work, I enjoy long walks, road trips, and reading public records. I’m a nerd.

  1. Mikese Morse attends a pretrial detention hearing in 2018 in Hillsborough Circuit Court.
  2. Mike Benito, whose legal career spanned 40 years, was best known for his work prosecuting homicides in the 1980s.
  3. In a photo from her Facebook page, Khadeeja Morse poses with her son, Mikese Morse. "You will see other pics of him but this is the one I want you to remember," she wrote. "This is the face of the FAILURE of our mental health system." [Courtesy of Khadeeja Morse]
  4. Cameron Herrin reacts the moment he hears his sentence — 24 years in prison — at the conclusion of his sentencing hearing on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at the Hillsborough County Edgecomb Courthouse before 13th Judicial Circuit Court judge Christopher Nash in downtown Tampa. Herrin was the driver of a Ford Mustang that collided with a mother and daughter on Bayshore Boulevard in 2018, as Herrin, who was then 18, was racing another driver, John Barrineau. The Mustang hit David’s wife, Jessica Reisinger-Raubenolt, who was pushing thier 21-month-old daughter, Lillia, in a stroller across the iconic Tampa roadway. Both Herrin and Barrineau pleaded guilty late last year to vehicular homicide. Barrineau made a plea deal and was sentenced to six years in prison. Herrin has left it up to judge to decide what his penalty should be. He faced a maximum of 30 years in prison. Sentencing guidelines suggested about 18 years.
  5. Kyle Moran poses for a portrait in Tampa on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
  6. A vehicle passes a roadside memorial for Jessica Raubenolt, 24, and her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia Thursday, May 31, 2018 in Tampa. Cameron Herrin, the driver of a Ford Mustang that struck and killed the pair, faces sentencing Thursday in a Tampa court.
  7. Mark Ackett, a former Bloomingdale High School teacher, appears Thursday in a Hillsborough court hearing on Zoom to plead guilty to more than 300 counts of voyeurism.
  8. A Champs Sports store on Fowler Avenue was set ablaze on Sunday, May 31, 2020 in Tampa.
  9. Thomas Elmore said his girlfriend died of a suicide, but investigators determined it was murder.
  10. Keith Gaillard, 24, listens during his first murder trial, which occurred the week of March 1, 2021.
  11. Howell Donaldson, the man accused of four murders that occurred in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in the fall of 2017, appears in a Tampa courtroom last October.
  12. In this Jan. 6, 2021, fphoto rioters loyal to President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  13. Douglas E. Bennett, left, appears in a jail booking photo taken when he was arrested in 1974 in a Connecticut rape case. Passport photos taken in 1982, middle, and 2016, right, show an individual that federal officials say is also Bennett. A wanted man in Connecticut, authorities say he was living as a fugitive in Clearwater under a false identity. These images were included in a federal criminal complaint.
  14. In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo,)
  15. Graham Ivan Clark, 17, of Tampa, was arrested on 30 charges. Authorities say he was the "mastermind" of a July 15 Twitter hack scheme which gave him and two others access to the high-profile accounts of Bill Gates, Barack Obama and many other celebrities with millions of followers. At left is a message sent when Apple's Twitter account was hacked.
  16. Keith Gaillard, 24, listens during his first murder trial, which occurred the week of March 1, 2021.
  17. A roadside memorial is seen Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Brandon. Hillsborough County Sherrif's Master Corporal Brian LaVigne was killed when his police vehicle was struck by Travis Zachary Gabriel Garrett, 28.
  18. The Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in downtown Tampa.
  19. In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters storm the Capitol, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  20. Keith Gaillard, 24, is escorted into a Tampa courtroom during his trial. A jury found Gaillard not guilty Friday in the 2015 shooting death of India Clarke.
  21. Mikese Morse attends a pretrial detention hearing in 2018 in Hillsborough Circuit Court. He is accused of intentionally swerving off the road June 24 and killing a father riding bikes with his two young sons on New Tampa Boulevard. Prosecutors agreed this week that Morse should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. [TIMES | (2018)]
  22. Maria Chapa Lopez fue Fiscal Federal para el Distrito Medio de Florida desde 2018. [Foto: MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
  23. Maria Chapa Lopez was the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. She resigned Friday.