News at Noon: Alleged former neo-Nazi returns from state mental hospital; more witnesses in John Jonchuck trial; and more

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and developments.
Published March 26

Here are the top five latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.

Suspect in shooting death of two North Tampa roommates returns from state mental hospital

Devon Arthurs, the alleged former Neo-Nazi who is accused of killing two of his roommates when they mocked his conversion to Islam, has been released from a state mental hospital. He has spent more than a year at the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, undergoing treatment to make him competent to face trial. Last week, doctors there approved his return to court. A hearing is scheduled for April 3.

The Trial of John Jonchuck Day 7: Watch prosecutors establish their case

The trial of John Jonchuck continues this morning, with prosecutors expected to walk through more details of Phoebe’s killing and the immediate aftermath. State attorneys are calling more witnesses to testify about what they saw the night Phoebe died. Follow our live blog for the latest information.

Adam Kolarek gets final spot in Rays bullpen; Emilio Pagan optioned

Lefty Adam Kolarek won the final spot in the Rays bullpen as right-hander Emilio Pagan was optioned to the minors. Keeping Kolarek gives the Rays a situational lefty in the pen to join Jose Alvarado, who is going to be saved for high-leverage situations; Jalen Beeks, who will primarily be used for longer stints; and Ryan Yarbrough, who is slated as a bulk-inning guy pitching behind an opener and occasional starter.

Florida’s ban on texting while driving may get tougher on violators

An effort to put more teeth into Florida’s ban on texting while driving continued its Senate journey Monday, after lawmakers stripped out proposals that could have allowed police to pull over motorists for potential distractions such as talking on cell phones, eating hamburgers or self-grooming. The Senate version, which was approved by the Judiciary Committee, would shift texting while driving from a “secondary” offense to a “primary” offense. Currently, police can only cite motorists for texting if they are pulled over for other reasons. By making it a primary offense, police could pull over motorists for texting behind the wheel.

Charges dropped against 'Empire' actor Jussie Smollett

Attorneys for "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett say charges alleging he lied to police about an attack have been dropped. Smollett attorneys Tina Glandian and Patricia Brown Holmes said in a Tuesday morning statement that Smollett's record "has been wiped clean." Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs.

Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected] Follow @danuscripts.

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