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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.

Retreating from Confession in Husband’s Killing, Anna Pehota Vies for Trial: “I’d Rather Take My Chances”

| March 30, 2016

Anna Pehota, 76, had previously confessed to killing her husband in the Hammock last fall, but has since withdrawn her confession and seeks a defense on a second-degree murder charge.

Palm Coast Man Who Avoided Prison in Child Porn Case Is Sentenced to 1 Year Over Gun

| March 29, 2016

Paul Stout, formerly of Palm Coast, had avoided prison when he was placed on 10 years’ probation for possession of child porn last year, but his possession of a .380-caliber gun as a felon sent him to prison.

Palm Coast’s Karl Westgate, 19, Dies in Prison 7 Weeks After Sentence for Child Rape

| March 24, 2016

Karl Westgate, sentenced last summer to 25 years for raping an 11-year-old girl, died in prison 48 days after his incarceration, and five weeks after writing a Flagler County judge to say that his plea had been coerced, and that he wanted his case re-opened.

Court Upholds Prohibition on Married Couple Claiming 2 Separate Homestead Exemptions

| March 23, 2016

Whether in state or out of state, the Florida appeals court found that the plain language of the law meant that only one homestead exemption was allowed, regardless of location.

Waldemar Rivera Found Guilty of Raping His Step-Daughter

| March 23, 2016

The case against Waldemar Rivera went to the jury this morning after two hours of closing arguments that painted two radically different portraits of the same 13-year-old girl who claimed she’d been raped by Rivera, her step-father.

Startling Advice From Judge to Defendant in Rape Case: “I’m Telling You Now, It’s Not Going Well”

| March 22, 2016

After the alleged victim testified, several times in tears, Judge Matthew Foxman suggested to Waldemar Rivera, who is accused of raping his 13-year-old step-daughter, to talk to his attorney, intimating a plea or a change in strategy, as Rivera’s first day of trial went mostly and seriously against him.

In Step-Father’s Rape Trial, Defense Hinges on Doubts Over Credibility of 13-Year-Old Girl

| March 22, 2016

Waldemar Rivera, on trial over accusations that he raped his 13-year-old step-daughter, is hinging his defense over sowing doubts about the accounts of his step-daughter, who was 13 at the time of the alleged attack.

In a Child-Rape Case, Fair Questions Are Weighed Against Inadmissible Evidence

| March 16, 2016

Waldemar Rivera is accused of raping his 13-year-old step-daughter. A hearing today tested the boundaries between justified questions and blaming the victim as a judge ruled on witness statements and what sexual histories may be admitted when the trial resumes next week.

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