criminal justice

male hands in handcuffs
BortN66 / Adobe Stock

Based on referrals from the Florida Department of Children and Families four arrests have been made in North Florida relation to exploiting seniors and disabled individuals.

Guns, parkland
Jae C. Hong / AP

In the wake of two recent mass shootngs, two local students, one from Leon and another from Wakulla County, have been arrested for making veiled threats of school violence. And an anonymous shooting threat temporarily closed a Gadsden County Walmart. 

This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein is set to return to court Wednesday, July 31, 2019, to face sex trafficking charges just days after he was found injured in his cell.
New York State Sex Offender Registry / AP

Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered the state’s department of law enforcement to take over a criminal investigation reviewing Jeffrey Epstein’s time in a Palm Beach County work release program. Blaise Gainey has more.

Following mass shootings in Ohio and Texas President Donald Trump is calling on states to adopt laws temporarily preventing someone from accessing a gun. Florida already has such a law and is using it. Now two state lawmakers want to see the law expanded.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Former City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Downtown Improvement Authority head Paige Carter-Smith  plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges related to a corruption investigation into the the City of Tallahassee.

Three men sit at a wooden desk and speak into microphones
Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano is ordering a review of mass shootings and gun violence. This, following two mass shootings in two days in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that left at least 30 people dead.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

Florida’s state-run crime labs don’t have the ability to determine whether a product is weed, CBD or hemp and the issue is stopping law enforcement in its tracks.  The state’s new hemp law is creating a patchwork of enforcement efforts and will likely need the legislature to step in.

women holds up a sign that reads #metoo in front of a line of people.
Rick Bowmer / AP Photo

The Tallahassee/Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CSWG) will task its Violence and Safety Subcommittee with explaining micro-aggressions to the public.

A field of hemp plants
P. Solomon Banda / AP Photo

State Attorney Jack Campbell says his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases at the moment. At issue is confusion over a new state law legalizing hemp.

Mirko Cesca walking to the counsel table.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

The bond for Mirko Ceska has been set at $50,000. He is accused of physically and sexually abusing female twins who have been in his custody of for several years. His wife Regina Ceska is also facing charges with the victims describing the couple as “doomsday preppers.”

A police officer in green uniform stands in front of a white vehicle with flashing blue lights
Jackson County Sheriff's Department

It sounds like something out of a crime drama. A dirty cop plants drugs on people, then arrests them. But that’s what state investigators say happened in one North Florida County. There's no official database on the number of law enforcement officers arrested each year, but a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2016 found at least one officer is arrested every day. 

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

A former Tallahassee Police officer accused of raping a motorist has agreed to a plea deal. Vincent Crump was tried twice, but both ended in mistrials.

A former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy has been arrested on several felony charges after planting drugs on people and arresting them. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating 26-year-old Zachary Wester in August.

Tallahassee Businessman J.T. Burnette is asking a federal judge to separate his case from former city Commissioner Scott Maddox and his former aide Paige Carter Smith and dismiss charges against him. In May Burnette was indicted in an FBI investigation into corruption in the city of Tallahassee.

First person perspective of a driver who is texting. The driver holds a phone with a text message displayed on the screen. It reads, "Are you okay?" and "Can you pick up cough drops? I ate my last one." The driver's thumb is poised to start typing.
Roman Pohorecki / Pexels

Beginning July 1, Florida drivers can be pulled over for texting while driving. The act becomes a primary offense, meaning police officers can pull someone over just for texting.

A hallway of jail cells
viperagp / Adobe Stock

Florida lawmakers this year passed a criminal justice reform package. But advocates and researchers doubt it will have a real impact on the state’s justice system. 

University of South Florida

Further investigations into the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys are scheduled to start next month. This comes after the new state budget recently signed by Governor Ron DeSantis set aside more money for the project.

police line do not cross tape
Loren Rodgers / Adobe Stock

The crime rate in Tallahassee during 2018 dropped by more than 7% compared to the year prior, according to the Annual Uniform Crime Report.

Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo submitted a letter of resignation to the city. It's effective July 5th.
talgov.com

The City of Tallassee will soon have a job opening for a new police chief. Mike DeLeo has submitted a letter of resignation effective July 5th. 

This is an image of Bill Shepherd, a lawyer in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C. and West Palm Beach offices. He is the former statewide prosecutor of Florida.
hklaw.com

The Florida Supreme Court issued a surprise ruling in late May regarding expert witness testimony. 

Six years ago, the Florida Legislature adopted the Daubert standard for expert witnesses in court cases. But the state’s high court exercised its right to keep the Frye standard in place, which sets a lower threshold for what can be considered expert testimony.

The makeup of the Florida Supreme Court changed last January when three retiring justices were replaced with appointments made by Governor Ron DeSantis. The newly revamped court quickly decided to implement the tougher standards.

Bret Hartman / AP Images for Marsy'sLawForAll.org

Victims’ rights group, Marsy’s Law for Florida, is launching a social media campaign that it says will help explain 2018’s Amendment 6.

Florida State University Dan Markel
Florida State University College of Law

The Dan Markel murder trial remains set for June 3, after a Tallahassee judge denied the defense’s request to postpone the trial while ordering the prosecutor to turn over key evidence by Friday.

Former TPD Officer Vincent Crump 3/7/2018
Leon County Jail

A plea hearing for a former Tallahassee police officer has been delayed until July. Vincent Crump was twice tried on sexual battery charges and both ended in a mistrial. Crump was accused of raping a woman last February during a traffic stop. 

McNeil at the kick-off for his "All In" program (5/15/19)
Leon County Sheriff's Department / LCSO

Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil has rolled out the latest effort at reducing crime. McNeil says law enforcement isn’t the only way to keep communities safe and is partnering with other city and county departments and local organizations.

Lake City ARNP Matthew Melvin is facing multiple felony charges for soliciting a minor and sexual assault. He's been booked into the Columbia County Jail (5/14/19)
Columbia County Jail / Columbia County Sheriffs Department

A Lake City Nurse Practitioner has been arrested for solicitation of a minor. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Matthew Melvin has been booked into the Columbia County Jail.

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The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says Melvin worked as an advanced practice registered nurse at a Lake City clinic. The Department began investigating him on May 9TH after it received allegations Melvin sexually assaulted a male patient, who is a minor. Investigators say he touched the child and began sending sexual messages to the victim via Snapchat.

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