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Ex-Cop Stavris Pleads, “I Wouldn’t Make It Out of State Prison,” and Gets 3 Years for Lewd Facebook Use Involving Children

| July 26, 2016

Ex-Bunnell cop Michael Stavris had fabricated a Facebook page under his girlfriend’s daughter’s name, solicited boys’ naked pictures and said he wanted to break up his daughter’s relationship because she was dating a black boy.

Anna Pehota Is Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in Husband’s Killing and Sentenced to Life

| July 22, 2016

A surprisingly quick verdict reflected the jury’s belief that Anna Pehota had killed her husband with intent, even though there’d been no argument or abuse that day, only her fear that he’d leave her.

2nd Trial Day Curdles for Pehota as 3-Hour Tape Shows More Resolve Than Remorse in Husband’s Killing

| July 21, 2016

The defense rested without calling a single witness in Anna Pehota’s murder trial today, and what dementia issues may have played a role in her husband’s killing could not be introduced before the jury. Closing arguments are Friday morning.

Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey Faces Allegation of Racist and Demeaning Comments

| July 20, 2016

Hulsey “offhandedly observed” to an aide that African Americans “should go get back on a ship and go back to Africa,” according to the notice of charges, and of of referring to a female staff lawyer as a “bitch” and worse.

“A Hair Between Sanity and Insanity”: Pehota’s Anguished Account of Killing Husband Marks 1st Trial Day

| July 20, 2016

A video interview of Pehota describing the killing of her husband and the circumstances surrounding it underscored the first day of her trial. She faces a second-degree murder charge. Nothing happened today to shake an aura of sympathy–even empathy–around Pehota.

In Jury Selection for Anna Pehota Trial, Pronounced Sympathies for the Killer

| July 18, 2016

Anna Pehota, 76, facing a second-degree murder charge for shooting her husband in the Hammock last September, is benefiting from inherent sympathy going into her trial, which began with jury selection Monday and starts in earnest Wednesday.

Challenge to Florida’s DUI Breath Test May Be Moot After U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

| July 13, 2016

A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court said a law similar to Florida’s, in Minnesota, allowing breath tests for DUI, does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures.

Trial in Gas Station Murder Likely in Late Summer But Suspect, On Meds, Still Unpredictable

| July 5, 2016

Joseph Bova, the impenetrable 28-year-old suspect in the execution-style murder of a Palm Coast’s Zuheili Roman Rosado at a gas station in 2013, appeared in court today for the first time in almost a year, stable but still hinting at the unpredictable.

Victory for Sunshine Law Rather Than Weeks as Judge Tosses 3 of 12 Charges Against Ex-Elections Supervisor

| June 29, 2016

A judge ruled that three of the 12 felony counts against Kimberle Weeks related to a recording that had already been disclosed at a public meeting. Sharing the recording therefore could not illegal after that, even if the recording itself was.

All Charges Dropped Against Charlie Faulkner in Tendentious Arrest Over Political Sign Removal

| June 15, 2016

The case triggered an outcry, not least from Faulkner, his family and his lawyer, who termed the arrest and jail booking of the 63-year-old engineer an overreach by a sheriff’s deputy.

Counting the Days, Anna Pehota, Who Killed Husband in Hammock, Welcomes Trial in July

| June 7, 2016

The trial of Anna Pehota, 76, who faces a second-degree murder charge for shooting her husband dead in October, goes on trial on July 18, a date Judge Matthew Foxman said is immovable.

Lawsuit Against Palm Coast’s Golden Corral Alleges Sexual Harassment of 17-Year-Old Girl

| June 2, 2016

The lawsuit and the company’s response raise questions about the extent of a company’s responsibility in protecting its employees from undue hostility and differentiates, in the company’s view, between issues involving peer-employees as opposed to employees and their supervisors or superiors.

Three Years On, Palm Coast Resident Sues Sheriff’s Office Over Wreck With Patrol Car

| June 1, 2016

The t-bone crash involving sheriff’s deputy James Gore, who was going through a red light while answering a call, and E-Section resident John Mitchell at Pine Lakes Parkway and Palm Coast Parkway on Oct. 31, 2013.

Attorney Again Asks for Bova, Accused of Mobil Mart Murder, To Be Declared Incompetent

| June 1, 2016

It’s been almost year since Joseph Bova II’s last appearance in court, but his attorney says he has deteriorated since and should again be judged incompetent to stand trial. His next hearing is scheduled for early July.

Profiling By Computer in Florida: What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Broward

| May 26, 2016

Courtrooms are using computer programs to predict who will be a future criminal, informing decisions from bail to sentencing. Meant to be fairer than human biases, one such program in Florida is particularly likely to falsely flag black defendants as future criminals, wrongly labeling them this way at almost twice the rate as white defendants.

Neighbor Dispute Over Bird Nesting in Palm Coast’s C-Section Escalates Into Lawsuit

| May 25, 2016

Bryan Streetman’s neighbors on Collingwood Lane accuse him of disturbing the neighborhood’s peace and privacy by busing a drone, laser lights and screeching noises to scare off Purple Martin birds as they nest.

NRA Pressuring Gov. Scott to Block Rep. Charles McBurney’s Bench Bid

| May 24, 2016

McBurney, R-Jacksonville, angered Second Amendment advocates during this year’s legislative session when his committee did not move forward with a measure tied to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Ex-Traffic Homicide Prosecutor Ray Lee Smith Joins Flagler Bench as Family Law Judge

| May 23, 2016

Smith, 43, a Ponte Vedra Beach resident, will preside over family law cases. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge J. David Walsh earlier this year.

Flagler Takes 1st Step To Pot Decriminalization With Broad Agreement on Principle, Less So on Details

| May 11, 2016

All of Flagler’s major law enforcement and government agencies agree that marijuana decriminalization for first-time offenders is a good idea. The county next will develop an ordinance all can agree on. That step may be more difficult.

Dacotah Clarke Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison Over Armed Robbery

| May 10, 2016

Dacotah Clarke, 19, was sentenced Monday to 15 months in state prison by Circuit Judge Matthew Foxman after pleading guilty to armed robbery on Sept. 5 in Flagler Beach.

South Florida Judge Declares State’s New Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

| May 9, 2016

While the decision is not necessarily controlling in Flagler County and the rest of Florida, it again muddies the fate of a law barely eight weeks old, and further sheds a harsh light on Florida’s outlier system of executions.

Florida’s Death Penalty Alive and Willed as Guzman Is Sentenced to Die For 3rd Time in Daytona

| May 3, 2016

A jury in Daytona Beach today voted 11-1 to recommend death for James “Chico” Guzman in the hacking to death of David Colvin, 48, at a motel on Ridgewood Avenue on Aug. 10, 1991.

As Trial Is Set In 65-Year-Old’s Alleged Sex Assaults of Girl, 13, Some Evidence in Limbo

| April 28, 2016

Robert Zetrouer, 65, faces three 2nd-degree felony counts in the sex assaults of the 13-year-old daughter of his then girlfriend in Palm Coast, but lawyers agreed to possibly exclude some testimony involving the girl’s brother in the early portion of the trial, set for July 18.

Palm Coast Man Accused of Slamming 4 Year Old to Ground Is Committed to State Hospital

| April 27, 2016

A judge today determined Christopher Williams, 22, incompetent to stand trial just yet, but his commitment to a psychiatric hospital may be temporary. The judge will reevaluate his condition at an undetermined date.

Jonathan Canales, Accused of Shooting His Wife in Mondex, Will Not Face Trial Just Yet

| April 27, 2016

Committed to a psychiatric hospital a year ago, Canales, a PTSD-suffering Iraq veteran, was judged still incompetent for trial in alleged shooting of Tiffany Norman, but today’s hearing suggested that such a trial is now a matter of time.

Waldemar Rivera Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison Over Step-Daughter’s Rape

| April 26, 2016

Waldemar Rivera, 37, was sentenced last month in a rape of his 13-year-old step-daughter in their P-Section home in Palm Coast. Judge Matthew Foxman expressed surprise at the contrasting demeanor of Rivera in court with that of the man being sentenced for the crime.

Right to an Attorney Often a Myth as Public Defenders Are Overworked and the Poor Bullied to Plea

| April 24, 2016

There is a lack of funding for public defense in every state, and people charged with low-level misdemeanors, often poor minorities, suffer the most as public defender offices focus their few resources on felony cases.

Anna Pehota’s Defense Takes Fresh Turn Down Memory Lapse in Husband’s Killing

| April 13, 2016

An unexpected statement by Pehota, 76, who faces a 2nd degree murder charge, that she doesn’t remember her interrogation opened the way for a defense on psychological grounds, and a request for a delay in her trial, initially scheduled for next week.

Palm Coast Man Who Shot Wife With AK-47 Continues to Fight His 25-Year Sentence

| April 8, 2016

William Carson Merrill shot and killed his wife as he played with the assault rifle in their home four years ago. He is battling in court for a new trial, arguing that he tendered an involuntary plea to the manslaughter charge.

Criminal Immunity: Prosecutors Are Rarely Punished for Mistakes and Misconduct

| April 4, 2016

The Innocence Project alleges that prosecutors across the country are almost never punished when they withhold evidence or commit other forms of misconduct that land innocent people in prison.

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