A jury found Michael Bowling, formerly of the Mondex, guilty in 2017. Representing himself, he argued in court today on three grounds that he received ineffective counsel. But there was little doubt about the outcome of the two-hour hearing: the judge denied the motion.
Circuit & County Court
Chad Cordoma, 21, of Palm Coast, who’s had numerous mental health issues, was sentenced to 13.5 months in prison and 18 months on probation for texting his younger brother a death threat and the picture of a gun he was carrying. His parents called 911 thinking they were getting him help. He was arrested, charged with two felonies, and sentenced today, despite the family’s plea against a prison sentence.
A felony assault charge against Reba Johnson, now 20, an autistic student who had attacked her teacher at Matanzas High School, was dropped today after she was continuously found incompetent to stand trial,. It’s a sharp contrast with the ongoing charge against Brendan Depa, who faces a more severe felony charge after he attacked a paraprofessional last February, though Depa’s and Johnson’s profiles parallel each other in many, but not all, respects.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Taylor Renee Manjarres, 20, to 12 years in prison for her role in the armed home invasion that resulted in the shooting death of 23-year-old Zaire Roberts at an R-Section house in Palm Coast in December 2021. Her co-conspirator, Kwentel Moultrie, got 35 years in addition to 10 years for a separate charge.
Troy Victorino and Jerone Hunter were convicted in the murders of six people in a Deltona home in a case that drew national attention. The case became known as the “Xbox murders” because it involved a dispute about some of Victorino’s belongings, including an Xbox video-game system. A panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal ruled a unanimous jury is not necessary in the two men’s death-penalty re-sentencing.
Brenan Hill was convicted on Friday for the murder of Savannah Gonzalez, 22. Shanell Torchia was a previous victim of Hill’s violence, and the mother of his child: he was a fugitive from justice, and the charges she had filed, when he shot Gonzalez. Torchia speaks out about her experience, her friendship with Savannah, and the dangerous leeway granted abusers.
The panel of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission filed what is known as a “notice of formal charges” against Judge Nancy Jacobs, who unseated then-Circuit Judge Jared Smith in the 2022 election.
A jury of four women and two men found Brenan Hill guilty of second degree murder and two other charges in the shooting death of Savannah Gonzalez, 22, after deliberating two hours and 45 minutes today. He faces life in prison when Circuit Judge Terence Perkins, who presided over the five-day trial, sentences him at a later date.
It was not an exactly calm man the jury saw when Brenan Hill took the stand this afternoon in his own defense. Not the sort of man who helped himself much in his trial on a second-degree murder charge that could send him to prison for life if he is convicted: when the prosecution cross-examined him, he was angry, exasperated and at times barely responsive.
Kwentel Moultrie, the 24-year-old former Palm Coast resident convicted last year of raping a 16-year-old girl, this morning pleaded guilty to a second degree murder charge and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. He will serve that sentence consecutively to the 10-year sentence for the rape charge.