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

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.

Florida Appeal Court Approves Weekly Check-Ins for Homeless Sex Offenders

| June 10, 2013

In a case that may have ramifications beyond the Florida Panhandle, where it originated, a state appeals court Monday approved a Bay County Sheriff’s Office policy that requires homeless registered sex offenders to report by 10 a.m. each Monday about where, through a detailed log, they expect to spend the next seven nights.

Watch Live: George Zimmerman Trial

| June 10, 2013

Live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the George Zimmerman on a charge of second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. We have the NBC and WFTV news feeds.

Argument and Death Threat Preceded Store Clerk’s Murder By a Week, Lawsuit Alleges

| June 6, 2013

A lawsuit filed Wednesday on behalf of Zuheili Roman Rosado, the store clerk murdered at the Palm Coast Mobil convenience store in February, alleges that the gas station owner had witnessed an argument at the store between Rosado and a man who threatened to kill her, a week before the murder. The suit seeks compensatory damages from the gas station owner over claims of negligence and fraud.

Paul Miller Is Found Guilty of Murdering Dana Mulhall; He Faces Life in Prison

| May 24, 2013

Paul Miller was found guilty of second degree murder in a quick verdict by a jury Friday afternoon. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison, essentially meaning that the 66-year-old Miller will never walk free again.

Jury Deciding Whether Miller Killed Mulhall Out of Vengeance and Hate or Self-Defense

| May 24, 2013

Jury deliberations began this morning after prosecution and defense made closing arguments in Paul Miller’s murder trial, portraying Miller either as a vengeful, angry and hateful man or an unsophisticated old man fearing for his life, and acting in self-defense.

Jaquez Roland, Found Guilty on All Charges In Sharps Liquor Robbery, Faces 30 Years

| May 23, 2013

Jaquez Roland, who’d served 10 years in prison for armed burglary, will serve at least another 30 as he was found guilty Thursday of three charges, including armed robbery and false imprisonment, stemming from the Sharps Liquor robbery in Palm Coast in October 2011, one of three robberies implicating Roland. His victim cried with relief as the verdict was read.

Defense Rests in Miller Murder Trial After Laying Down Further Markers of Self-Defense

| May 23, 2013

Paul Miller’s defense team rested its case just past noon today, but closing arguments will take place Friday morning. Only then will the jury deliberate. A verdict is likely sometime Friday.

Taking Stand in His Defense in Murder Trial, Miller Projects More Surliness Than Sympathy

| May 22, 2013

If it was sympathy that Paul Miller was trying to elicit from the jury Wednesday afternoon, his nearly two-hour performance was not a model. He may have hurt his case more than he helped it when he elected to take the stand in his defense in his trial for the killing of Dana Mulhall in March 2012.

Miller Trial Turns to 5 Bullets’ Paths, Mulhall’s Last Moments–and Blood-Alcohol (0.188)

| May 22, 2013

Paul Miller, accused of murdering Dana Mulhall, looked away or closed his eyes for the first time in the now-three-day-old trial as images of the bloodied and shot Dana Mulhall were placed on an easel for the jury to see and the prosecution to analyze with witnesses Wednesday morning. The defense takes up its case in the afternoon.

Miller Trial: As Shooter’s Shows of Affection Are Restricted, Prosecution Draws Victim’s Portrait

| May 21, 2013

The prosecution concluded its first full day in the murder trial of Paul Miller Tuesday by painting a portrait of Dana Mulhall, the victim in the March 2012 shooting in Flagler Beach, as a non-confrontational creature of habit who liked his Miller Lites, his friends and his lottery tickets. The defense laid low.

Miller Killed Mulhall “With Depraved Indifference, With Ill Will, Hate, Spite,” Prosecution Argues

| May 21, 2013

In the second day of Paul Miller’s trial (Monday was devoted to jury selection) the prosecution was piecing together a picture of a shooting no witness actually saw, but that several witnesses described in sounds and sights before, during and after the shots that claimed the life of Dana Mulhall on March 14, 2012 in Flagler Beach.

As Jury Is Seated in Paul Miller Murder Trial, Questions About Guns Weed Out Prospects

| May 20, 2013

The most anticipated trial of the year—of Paul Miller, the 66-year-old Flagler Beach man accused of murdering his neighbor Dana Mulhall last year during an argument over Miller’s barking dogs—began Monday with jury selection, which by day’s end had seated an all-white jury of three men and three women, plus three alternates (a woman and two men, one of them black).

Will Gerald Hofer, Feared School Attacker in December, Is Sentenced to Probation

| May 20, 2013

Will Gerald Hofer, the 20-year-old who led police on a daylong chase in December over fears that he might attack a local school, was sentenced to three years’ probation Monday morning, with possibility of early probation termination. He was freed after spending five months in jail.

Juvenile Detention Cost-Shifting Arguments in Appeals Court, With Implications for Counties

| May 15, 2013

Counties argue they currently pick up 75 percent of some juvenile detention costs, but should be paying less. The state claims in in court filings that the Legislature actually intended for the counties to cover 89 percent of the costs.Either way, local governments are groaning under the burden.

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