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Anna Pehota, 76, had previously confessed to killing her husband in the Hammock last fall, but has since withdrawn her confession and seeks a defense on a second-degree murder charge.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

For 1st Time in 9 Years, Bonding Out of Jail in Flagler Made More Expensive for Most Suspects

| March 9, 2016

The new bond schedule in some cases doubles bonds or eliminates them for many offenses, but the schedule applies for only a brief period between arrest and first appearance before a judge, when any amount bond (or no bond) can be set.

As Judge Calls Pot Laws “Harsh,” Sheriff and Public Defender Will Propose De-Criminalization Ordinance

| February 15, 2016

Flagler Sheriff Jim Manfre and Public Defender Jim Purdy will craft a proposal to de-criminalize pot and move to a civil citation program. The proposal will first be vetted by the Public Safety Coordinating Council before heading for the county commission.

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 Manfre’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.

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