Natalie Weber - Pinellas Criminal Justice Reporter

Pinellas Criminal Justice Reporter

As the Pinellas County criminal justice reporter, my goal is to inform readers about our local legal system and the major players shaping criminal justice on this side of Tampa Bay. When I’m not puzzling over the perfect lede for my story, you can find me experimenting with a new recipe or with my nose in a book. Have a tip or think there's something we should cover? Don't hesitate to reach out.

  1. Jacques LaPread, 50, of Safety Harbor, has filed two racial profiling lawsuits against the Clearwater Police Department.
  2. Sam Caudle, 33, of New Port Richey, attempts to dry the floor of the home he owns in Tarpon Springs after it flooded due to Hurricane Idalia on Wednesday.
  3. A man and woman kayak past an abandon vehicle in the intersection of Boca Ciega Drive and Pasadena Avenue Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023 in St. Pete Beach.
  4. This map from shows Pasco County's evacuation zones. County officials on Monday issued mandatory evacuation orders for some areas and suggested evacuations for others ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia, which is expected to strengthen to a major hurricane.
  5. From left: Jarod Jones, Sedrick Spencer, Arthur Hopson, Rodney Washington and Steve Young assist with sandbag distribution at MacFarlane Park in Tampa on Monday in preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia.
  6. A picture of Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, far right, hangs on the wall in the Pat Collier Frank Courts Building in Tampa on Aug. 4, 2022, the day Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he had removed Warren and replaced him with County Judge Susan Lopez. A review under way to decide whether to consolidate judicial circuits has drawn criticism from some who believe the move is motivated by a desire to gerrymander circuits to favor Republican candidates.
  7. A deputy at the Falkenburg Road Jail was exposed to a powdery substance and taken to Tampa General Hospital, according to the Sheriff's Office. The agency said the substance was fentanyl.
  8. Forecasters were watching five tropical disturbances in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 20.
  9. A 9-year-old boy driving an ATV was hurt in a crash in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  10. A man in his 40s was shot and killed at a birthday party in Plant City on Saturday, deputies said.
  11. A doll wearing a Sleep Me This Side Up onesie is displayed in a crib at the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County earlier this year. U.S. health officials say this is the safest way for babies to sleep. They discourage parents from sharing a bed with their babies. A Gulfport mother lost two babies while sharing a bed. She was initially arrested in the second death but the charge was later dropped.
  12. Social workers with a St. Petersburg Police Department unit that responds to nonviolent calls respond to a call earlier this year.
  13. Social workers Bill Li, left, and Angela Catton respond to a call and talk with a couple on their porch.
  14. The entrance to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office administration building at 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo. Prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a child protection investigator there who was accused of falsifying records.
  15. Ethan Martin, 13, was killed during what police described as an illegal street racing event on Jan. 28, when a speeding motorcycle struck the boy while he was crossing a St. Petersburg street. Three people were charged in the boy's death, including Ethan Martin's father, Johnny Martin, who brought him to the event. But prosecutors have decided not to prosecute Johnny Martin and also will not prosecute the motorcycle's owner. The man who was riding the motorcycle still faces multiple charges and is awaiting trial.
  16. Clarisa Gerlach-Purks, left, comforts Kelly Dorsey, the daughter of Janine Dorsey, during the sentencing hearing for Cory Corrado on Friday in Clearwater. Corrado pleaded guilty in January to charges related to the crash that killed Janine Dorsey and her boyfriend, Peter Yore.
  17. Dorice Donegan “DeeDee” Moore writes while Assistant State Attorney Ronald Gale questions a witness during a hearing at the Hillsborough County Courthouse Annex in Tampa on Wednesday.
  18. Tomasz Kosowski will be held at the Pinellas County Jail while awaiting a first-degree murder trial in the death of missing Largo attorney Steven Cozzi, a Pinellas circuit judge ruled Tuesday.
  19. Traci Hudson, center, receives copies of the terms of her probation from Assistant State Attorney Rene Bauer, right, while appearing before Pinellas-Pasco 6th Circuit Judge Susan St. John for her plea and sentencing hearing on Monday, July 10, 2023, at the Pinellas County Justice Center in Clearwater. At left is Hudson’s attorney, Richard McKyton.
  20. Police said they found masks, sedatives, a taser, brass knuckles and duct tape in the car of Dr. Tomasz Kosowski, who was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in the death of attorney Steven Cozzi.
  21. LaDonna Butler, co-founder of The Well for Life speaks to those gathered at the launch of the organization's Liberated and Living Well campaign, on Feb. 22, 2022 in St. Petersburg. The Well has been selected as the lead nonprofit for a project starting Community Support Hubs across the city.
  22. Former Clearwater deputy police chief Eric Gandy will take over as the city's next police chief on July 29, the agency announced Wednesday.
  23. Judge Shawn Crane presides over adult drug court in Pasco County in 2019. Crane was elected in February to serve as Pinellas-Pasco's next chief judge and he took over the role on Saturday.