A circuit judge Friday rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of a Leon County ordinance that requires people to wear face masks in businesses to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Circuit & County Court
Starting at 8 Monday morning, most courthouse and court facilities in Flagler, Volusia, St., Johns and Putnam counties reopened to the public, in line with Gov. Ron DeSantis’s “Phase 2” reopening, but with several restrictions still in place.
Richard Dunn was 46 when he stabbed his 89-year-old father to death at their Palm Coast home in 2006. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and conditions on his release have progressively diminished over the last 14 years.
In a trio of decisions today, the Fifth District Court of Appeal let stand convictions of Sean Whitt, who is serving a life term for raping an 11 year old, and Michael Stavris, who is serving 15 years on charges of felony child abuse, stalking and impersonating a child.
She was eligible for a new trial. But facing daunting evidence against her, Dorothy Singer, formerly of west Flagler, pleaded to second-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband Charles in 2017.
The order extended the suspension of criminal and civil jury trials, jury selection and grand-jury proceedings through May 29. It said circuit and county courts will “continue to perform essential court proceedings.”
State Attorney Jason Lewis had aggressively prosecuted Kimberle Weeks as a crude, arrogant official who had abused her position and flouted the law, insulting other people in office while ironically casting herself as an anti-corruption crusader.
The court system’s new restrictions reveal the potential for extraordinary, court-ordered measures in answer to the coronavirus emergency, pointing to the sort of unprecedented role the courts and law enforcement may be taking on in the weeks and months ahead.
All jury trials have been suspended at the Flagler County courthouse through March 30, and all public schools in the state have been ordered to remain closed through March 30 as well.
The 4-1 decision stunned public defenders, who expressed concern not only about its implications for juvenile sentencing but also about a reshaped court emboldened to revisit issues the legal community had considered settled.