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Circuit & County Court
Category archives for: Circuit & County Court

Grand Jury Declines to Indict Ex-Flagler Beach Cop Bobby MacDonald Over Wife’s Gunshot Wound, But Case May Remain Open for Years

| April 9, 2014

A Flagler County grand jury found no probable cause to go forward with an indictment against Robert “Bobby” MacDonald, who brought his wife Kathy bleeding from the head, from a gunshot wound, to an ambulance in July 2012 in western Flagler County.

Judge Refuses to Revoke $400,000 Bond on European Village’s Would-Be Shooter; Bova Behaves

| March 25, 2014

Daniel Noble, accused of attempted murder in the March 15 European Village incident, was in court today, as were the men who disarmed him, as prosecutor tried unsuccessfully to revoke his bond. Joseph Bova, the accused murderer of Mobil Mart store clerk Zuheily Rosado, was also in court, subdued this time, and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in May.

Judge Craig Indicts Palm Coast’s “Bad Faith” Red-Light Cameras and Exposes City’s Legal Flaws as He Contests Violation

| March 20, 2014

In a half-hour hearing before Palm Coast’s red-light violations officer, Flagler Circuit Judge Dennis Craig on Thursday ridiculed the city’s guilty-until-proven-innocent standard as well as the council’s claim that cameras are intended to improve safety. The city dismissed his citation not on the grounds he raised, but by inventing a case of “prudent” driving that the evidence did not show.

Anthony Fregenti, Palm Coast Ponzi Schemer, Is Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

| March 13, 2014

Anthony Fregenti, 42, was sentenced to five years in prison, followed by twenty years’ probation and ordered to pay restitution of $3 million dollars to his victims. The Palm Coast man must pay $100,000 a year once he is released from prison and on probation.

In a Startling Court Appearance, Mobil Mart Accused Murderer Bova Lashes Out at His Attorney, Judge and Police

| February 4, 2014

Joseph Bova II, accused in the execution-style murder of Roman Rosado at the Mobil station in Palm Coast last February, said in his first public statement that he was framed, that his attorney is not to represent him, and that Judge J. David Walsh “does not care” as more innocent lives are at risk.

Judge J. Michael Traynor’s Alarming Equivalence Between an Attempted Murderer and His Victim

| February 2, 2014

When Judge J. Michael Traynor sentenced Nathaniel Juratovac to four years in prison for the attempted murder of Flagler County firefighter Jared Parkey last week, the judge managed to blame both men for the violent incident that led them to the courtroom, a stunning and immoral leveling of blame in a state that too easily excuses gun violence.

Ex-Flagler Beach Cop Juratovac Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison in Attempted Murder of Flagler Firefighter

| January 24, 2014

Nathaniel Juratovac, the 41-year-old ex-Flagler Beach cop who twice shot an unarmed Flagler County firefighter in what was then termed a road-rage incident by the side of U.S. 1 was sentenced this afternoon to 51 months in prison in a plea agreement. Had he been convicted at trial, he could have faced up to 25 years in prison on the attempted murder charge.

Six Gay Couples and Equality Florida File Lawsuit in State Court Seeking Freedom to Marry

| January 21, 2014

The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.

Your Backpack Please: Florida Appeal Court Rules Legal Search Based on Anonymous Tip

| December 27, 2013

A high school student who took a loaded gun to school argued that the search of his back-pack, based on an anonymous tip, was illegal. A 2-1 ruling of the Third District Court of Appeal disagreed.

Florida Sentencing Guidelines

| December 10, 2013

Overview of Florida’s sentencing policies, guidelines, first, second and third degree felonies, life sentences.

Court Appearance Adds to Puzzles Behind Mobil Mart Murder Suspect as Victim’s Mother Looks On

| December 3, 2013

A Tuesday court appearance by Joseph Bova II, accused of murdering Roman Rosado in an execution-style killing at the Mobil Mart on SR 100 in February, added to questions surrounding his case, including about his competence and a mysterious incident involving him that took place at the jail on Thanksgiving Day.

Hubert L. Grimes, First Black Judge in 7th Circuit, Will Retire After 25 Years on the Bench

| October 19, 2013

Volusia County Circuit Judge Hubert L. Grimes, the first black judge to serve on County Court, will retire from the Seventh Judicial Circuit, effective Jan. 30, 2014, after 25 years on the bench. The Seventh Circuit includes Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties.

23-Year-Old Charged With DUI Manslaughter Over Deaths of Lane Burnsed and Meredith Smith

| October 14, 2013

Louis Prinzo, a 23-year-old resident of Ormond Beach, was arrested on eight charges, including four felonies, in the deaths of Lane Burnsed, 19 at the time of the July 26 wreck on I-95, and Meredith Smith, 17 at the time. Burnsed’s family issued a statement remarkable for its forbearance regarding Prinzo’s arrest.

Flagler’s Public Safety Council Endorses Court-Ordering Ex-Felons to Evangelical Recovery House

| October 10, 2013

The council—a collection of local police, court and other government agencies—provided the endorsement sight unseen and legalities untested, and based exclusively on a brief presentation by Charles Silano, the local pastor. Open Door Re-Entry and Recovery Ministry will be run out of a former church on Booe Street in Bunnell.

Appeal Court Orders New Trial for Marissa Alexander, But No Redo on Stand Your Ground

| September 26, 2013

Marissa Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, was convicted on improper self-defense instructions to the jury, the court ruled. Alexander was serving a 20-year sentence for shooting a gun during an argument with her abusive husband, against whom she had a restraining order.

As a Cat Lay Dying, He Drove Drunk to a Vet, But Court Finds Him Guilty of DUI Anyway

| September 19, 2013

The cat Christopher Brooks was taking to a vet died at roadside as he was being given field sobriety tests, despite its owners’ please to the cop. But his DUI conviction was upheld by a Hillsborough County appeal court that declared that special circumstances don;t apply to cats as they would to human beings.

ACLU Sues Florida DMV for Suspending Licenses of Those Too Poor to Pay Court Costs

| September 18, 2013

More than 200,000 Florida drivers have had their licenses suspended for failure to pay legal fees as of the start of 2013–fees that are unrelated to penalties associated with their sentence. The suspensions disproportionately affect poor people, who, without a car, have even fewer means to hold a job and make good on payments.

In a Surprising Shift, County Commission Finds Money for 2 Jail-Diversion Programs After All

| September 5, 2013

Flagler County commissioners Thursday evening agreed to take on a $100,000 mental-health jail diversion program previously paid for by the state, and a $60,000 pre-trial release program they had opposed in earlier workshops. Both shifts took place during a hearing devoted to approving next year’s tax property rate.

Coitus Prophylacticus: Advocacy Lawsuit Wants Florida Porn Flicks To Wear a Condom

| September 5, 2013

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health, targeting a South Florida-based company it charges with making an adult video without protecting the performers from sexually transmitted diseases via the use of condoms.

Flagler Beach’s Bobby Pace Pleads Not Guilty to Obstruction Charge

| August 28, 2013

Bobby Pace, the 41-year-old Flagler Beach acting fire chief until late July, has pleaded not guilty to an obstruction charge the State Attorney filed against him on July 25 and waived an appearance before County Court Judge Melissa Moore-Stens at an arraignment on Tuesday.

Lonnie Redner’s Life Sentence for Double Murder Ends an Almost 4-Year-Old Case

| August 26, 2013

Lonnie Redner of Palm Coast went to Ormond-by-the-Sea in November 2009 to rob two men of prescription pills. He murdered them instead and stole 50 pills and $20 in cash. In a case that ended last week, he was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Nickel and Diming County Foregoes Program That Would Have Reduced Jail Population

| August 13, 2013

The Flagler County judge and sheriff had supported a proposed pre-trial release program that would have kept low-grade, non-violent offenders out of jail, saving them money in the short term and the county money in the long term, but the county commission eliminated the proposal as part of a $400,000 cut from next year’s budget proposal.

Two Ex-Firefighters Sue Flagler Beach, Charging Their Firing Was Retaliatory

| August 6, 2013

Shane Wood and Jacob Bissonnette say their firing by City Manager Bruce Campbell last February, over an allegation they stored home-made alcohol at the fire station, was retaliation for their role in an investigation that led to a charge of obstruction of justice against Bobby Pace, another firefighter who was briefly acting chief.

James McDevitt Pleads Not Guilty in Flagler Beach Rape Allegation and Gets Public Defender

| August 1, 2013

James McDevitt, the 21-year-old Palm Coast resident accused of raping a 38-year-old woman in an empty lot on South 12th Street in Flagler Beach on June 18, pleaded not guilty to the first-degree felony charge in a brief appearance before Flagler County Circuit Court Judge J. David Walsh. He was assigned assistant public defender Bill Partington.

Middle School Boy Invokes Stand Your Ground in School Bus Fight With Girl, and Court Agrees

| July 17, 2013

Showing the breadth of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, an appeals court Wednesday said the controversial legal defense can be used by a boy involved in a fight with a girl on a school bus. No weapons were involved. The boy making the stand your ground claim was arrested on a battery charge.

Anxieties Over Profiling and Vigilantism as Bunnell Marchers Protest Zimmerman Verdict

| July 15, 2013

Fewer than two dozen people gathered on South Bacher Street in Bunnell Sunday afternoon for a protest march following the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. The group turned its gathering march into an impromptu town hall on the trial, its meaning and its implications for blacks, whites and gun laws.

Jaquez Roland Is Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Sharps Liquor Zip-Tie Robbery

| July 12, 2013

Flagler County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens sentenced Jacquez Roland of Palm Coast to 40 years in prison without parole Friday, the harshest possible sentence he faced after being found guilty of armed robbery, grand theft and false imprisonment at the end of a four-day trial on May 23.

The Zimmerman Trial and Kathleen Parker’s Courtroom Camera Ban

| July 10, 2013

After watching the Zimmerman murder trial, Kathleen Parker concludes that it’s time to ban television cameras from courtrooms again, though not any other type of media. She’s wrong: the distortions of cameras on justice are not nearly as dangerous as the distortions of masked justice.

A Belatedly Apologetic Paul Miller, 66, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole

| June 18, 2013

Paul Miller was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the March 2012 murder of his neighbor Dana Mulhall, ending a 15-month saga that had stunned Flagler Beach and Flagler County for the brazenness of the murder and Miller’s demeanor since.

Grand Jury Charges Erick Niemi With 1st Degree Murder in Leonard Lynn Murder

| June 18, 2013

Niemi was charged with second degree murder when the Flagler County Sheriff booked him on June 2 in the May 29 murder of Leonard Lynn, 76, on Ryken Lane in Palm Coast. The stronger charge makes Niemy, 42, eligible for the death penalty, if he is convicted.

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