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At Flagler’s Progressive Public Safety Council, a Farewell to Judge Walsh, and a Welcome to Foxman

| February 11, 2016

The largely unheralded but powerfully representative Public Safety Coordinating Council was the scene of a passing of gavels of sorts Wednesday for Flagler County’s judiciary.

In “Fair Sentencing” Push, an Attempt to Reconsider Florida’s Get-Tough-On-Crime Laws

| February 1, 2016

Fair Sentencing seeks to change laws of the 1990s, such as 10-20-Life, mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and habitual-offender laws, as other states have done.

Justin Boyles Gets Life in Prison for Murder of Ed Mullener, Ending Hammock Love-Triangle Case of Torture and Killing

| January 29, 2016

Former Hammock resident Justin Boyles, who with accomplice Charles “Danny” Massey, tortured, murdered and burned Edward Scott Mullener in June 2013, was sentenced today (Jan. 29) to two life terms in prison without possibility of parole.

Case Against Man Accused of Animal Cruelty and Battery Starts Anew as He Reverses Plea

| January 27, 2016

Shawn Higgins previously had agreed to plead no contest to charges of animal cruelty and domestic violence after allegedly forcefully throwing a dog on the floor and strangling an ex-girlfriend. He now has withdrawn his plea even though he faces potentially stiffer punishment.

Man Sentenced to 6 Years for Palm Coast Home Invasion, Accomplice Pleads for Mercy

| January 25, 2016

Daniel Hall was sentenced today to six years in prison and 10 years’ probation for the August 2014 assault and burglary at an older woman’s home as his accomplice, Carisa Hall, has been pleading with the court to lessen her sentence.

Stacy Culotta, Who’d Sought Suicide-by-Cop, Pleads to 36 Months’ Probation

| January 19, 2016

Stacy Culotta is the 36-year-old Palm Coast P-Section woman who last September was at the center of an attempted suicide-by-cop. She’ll serve probation and forfeit all weapons but serve no jail time.

In Case Against Kimberle Weeks, Tactical Motions Lead to Likely Turning Point in March

| January 11, 2016

Ex-Elections Supervisor Kim Weeks’s attorney wants three separate trials on 12 felony counts, and to suppress a search warrant–a motion which, if granted, would unravel the case against Weeks.

Court Uphold 45-Year Sentence for Inmate Convicted of Rape and Robbery When 15

| November 9, 2015

Continuing to grapple with decades-long sentences for juveniles who commit serious crimes, a divided state appeals court refused Monday to order a new sentence for Thomas Kelsey, now 28, but asked the Supreme Court to take up the question.

Rebecca Lawless, 26, Faces DUI Manslaughter Charge in Death of Diane Upton on SR100 Last Year

| October 23, 2015

Lawless, a Palm Coast resident, turned herself into the Flagler jail almost a year to the day when she ran a red light and slammed into Diane Upton’s car, killing Upton and injuring two family members.

Voodoo Man Found Not Guilty in Machete Attack But Still Faces Murder Conspiracy Charge

| October 21, 2015

Jurors found Roodlyn Mompremier not guilty in an alleged attack on his girlfriend’s brother two years ago in Palm Coast, but the two-day trial didn’t end it for him: he still faces a charge of conspiring to commit second-degree murder.

Owners of Dog the County Declared Dangerous for Attacking Child Appeal to County Court

| October 6, 2015

A rare and controversial case involving a dangerous-dog declaration after the dog bit an 8-year-old child enters a new phase, starting with a request from the dog owners that county court determine how the appeal is to proceed.

Repeat Child Molestor Sentenced to Life, Drunkard Faces 15 Years in Killing of Laura Hrobsky

| October 1, 2015

Meshac Abentego, 43, was sentenced to life for molesting a 9-year-old girl, and Sandra Dee Heilman, 44, faces 15 years in the DUI killing of Laura Hrobsky, in November 2012 on Beville Road in Volusia County.

Palm Coast’s William Pedersen, 63, Pleads Child-Rape Charge Down to Molestation, Will Serve 2 Years in Prison

| September 10, 2015

William Pedersen, a 63-year-old resident of 9 Wheaton Lane, had been accused of raping and molesting a close relative when she was between 5 and 12.

In Trial Day 2, Case Against Publix Falters Over Credibility and Tempers of 2 Main Witnesses

| September 9, 2015

Robert Barry ‘s claim of wrongful termination against Publix frayed Wednesday as his temper and questionable veracity proved to be his biggest liabilities, with Publix’s witnesses yet to take the stand Thursday.

Michael King of the Mondex Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison For Soliciting 3 Under-Age Girls on Facebook

| August 19, 2015

Michael King had created a fake Facebook account and solicited girls in the same neighborhood. He’d refused a plea deal that would have kept him in prison only three years.

Driver at Origin of 2 Wrecks That Killed 6 People is Fined $1,000 and Loses License

| August 5, 2015

Roy White, 39, was found to have caused the wreck on I-95 in Palm Coast in June 2014 that killed two people, and that caused a back-up that led to a second wreck in which four people died.

Case Dismissed: No Penalty Against Brian Szmitko, Responsible for Death of Elisa Homen in Whiteview Wreck

| August 5, 2015

Because of a technicality on the careless driving citation, Szmitko walked off free of any penalty or so much as points on his license for the crash, let alone a license suspension.

Not So Fast on Killing Teddy: Conservationists File Suit to Stop Bear Hunting in Florida

| August 1, 2015

With permits for this fall’s hunt going on sale Monday, the Seminole County-based group Speak Up Wekiva filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court Friday challenging the constitutionality of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-approved bear hunt.

Whistleblower Suit Against Sheriff Proceeds as Judge Rejects Latest Attempt to Dismiss It

| July 27, 2015

Circuit Judge Michael Orfinger this morning ordered the whistleblower lawsuit to go forward, putting the case on track for trial next year, in the thick of Manfreā€™s re-election campaign.

Abandoned by Family, Giuseppe Verdone Is Sentenced to Life Without Parole in Carjacking of Chinese Restaurant Owner

| July 15, 2015

Judge J. David Walsh imposed two life terms and two 30-year terms, all concurrently, after denying a motion for a new trial. Verdone, 24, declined to address the court.

A Heavily Medicated Bova, Accused Store Clerk Murderer, Declared Competent for Trial

| July 15, 2015

Joseph Bova, under heavy anti-psychotic medication, will stand trial later this year, a judge ruled, despite arguments from his defense attorney that he can regress and have psychotic episodes triggered by the trial process.

Flagler’s Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, Master of Judicial Temperament, Retiring in February

| July 13, 2015

Circuit Judge J. David Walsh, who addresses the state’s too-harsh sentencing guidelines in an interview, was appointed to the bench in 2001 by Gov. Jeb Bush, and has been in Flagler County since 2012.

Court Will Hear Argument That Guns Should Be Allowed at UF Dorms as They Are At Home

| July 7, 2015

A circuit judge ruled against Florida Carry Inc.’s argument last year that people have a legal right to possess firearms at University of Florida housing just as they do in their homes.

Environmentalists Sue Florida Lawmakers Over Amendment 1, Claiming Misuse of Dollars

| June 23, 2015

The suit seeks a court declaration that money from the state’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund, which will handle all the Amendment 1 funding, may not be substituted for general-revenue funds or used to pay for other services and programs.

Giuseppe Verdone Is Found Guilty on All Charges in Brutal Assault of Chinese Food Delivery Driver; He Faces Life in Prison

| June 18, 2015

The jury took barely 50 minutes to reach a verdict of guilty on all five felony counts in the case of Giuseppe Verdone, the 24-year-old Palm Coast resident who two years ago was accused of assaulting and kidnapping the co-owner of a Chinese food restaurant in November 2013.

Flagler Court Clerk Throws a Switch, and Mass of Criminal and Civil Records Becomes Accessible Online

| June 16, 2015

Flagler County court records, from arrest affidavits to civil, criminal, county and probate court are now all available online, 24 hours a day, in a vast improvement of public record access ordered by the Florida Supreme Court.

Trial Begins for Man Accused of Kidnapping and Brutalizing Chinese Food Delivery Driver

| June 15, 2015

Palm Coast’s Giuseppe Verdone, 24, could face life in prison on charges stemming from the 2013 attack on King Palace co-owner Ming Gong. The trial is expected to last much of the week.

ACLU and Women’s Health Center Sue Florida Over 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period

| June 12, 2015

The lawsuit contends that for women — especially low-income women who must arrange for child care, time off work and overnight travel — the law can push them past the time it is legal to have abortions.

Stupid Pot Busts

| June 5, 2015

The conviction for pot smoking of a Palm Coast resident who’d never had so much as a traffic ticket illustrates the sickness of a police and judicial system’s wrongheaded marijuana fixation.

Judge William Parsons Is Resigning to Join Cobb Cole Firm in Daytona

| June 5, 2015

Circuit Judge William Parsons, twice the chief judge in the judicial district that includes Flagler, will end 17 years on the bench to return to private practice next January.

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