criminal justice


The Florida Clemency Board has unanimously pardoned four African American men known as the Groveland Four.

The men were accused of raping a white woman in 1949, but evidence suggests they were innocent.


Floridians voted to put protections for crime victims in the state constitution, but lawmakers and officials are grappling with how to put the measure into practice.

Ron DeSantis speaking at the podium.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Advisers to Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) are discussing school safety policy. This comes after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission published the first draft of its report.

Denise Williams’ attorney Ethan Way says there is  “not enough evidence” to support a guilty verdict against his client, Denise Williams. Williams was found guilty of murder, conspiracy and accessory after the fact on Dec. 14 in the death of her first husband Mike Williams 18 years ago. In court documents, Way is asking for a new trial.

It took a 12 member jury about eight hours of deliberations to return guilty verdicts on all three charges Denise Williams faced in the death of her first husband, Mike Williams, 18 years ago. Mike Williams disappeared the day of the couple's wedding anniversary and was initially presumed to have drowned and been eaten by alligators during a solo hunting trip at Lake Seminole.

A jury is weighing the fate of Denise Williams. She’s accused of planning the murder of her first husband 18 years ago. If convicted of the most serious 1st degree murder charge she could face life in prison. 

Florida Supreme Court
Nick Evans / WFSU News

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that police officers qualify for immunity under the state’s Stand Your Ground Law. Previously, officers had a right to act with force, but could not seek immunity from prosecution.

Image of a lock in front of a computer screen with code

Bitcoin scammers sent bomb threats to five Tallahassee businesses. The threats are under investigation, but the Tallahassee Police Department reports no bombs were uncovered.

The prosecution and defense in the murder trial against Denise Williams have wrapped up and the jury will hear closing arguments Friday morning. Williams is accused of planning the murder of her husband Mike Williams 18 years ago with his best friend, Brian Winchester. 

Brian Winchester
Leon County Jail / LCSO

Brian Winchester says Denise Williams told him they would be like “David and Bathsheba” and that the killing of her husband Mike Williams 18 years ago would be kept a secret. Wednesday saw further testimony and cross examination of Winchester, who confessed to killing Mike Williams in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Denise Williams is facing three charges of felony insurance fraud relating to the murder of her ex-husband.
Leon County Sheriff's Department

Twelve jurors are hearing testimony in the murder trial of Denise Williams. She’s accused of orchestrating the disappearance and murder of her first husband 18 years ago. Tuesday the jury heard opening arguments with the prosecution and defense laying out their cases.

Denise Williams is facing three charges of felony insurance fraud relating to the murder of her ex-husband.
Leon County Sheriff's Department

A Tallahassee woman accused of orchestrating the murder and cover-up of her then-husband goes on trial this week. Jury selection is underway and arguments are expected to begin Wednesday.

Department of Juvenile Justice

Juvenile arrests in Florida have reached the lowest number in 43 years, according to a report from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Holiday Gift

Heroes and Helpers is bringing holiday cheer to Tallahassee youth tomorrow, December 6. It’s a partnership with the Tallahassee Police Department and Target.

Active shooter training
Shawn Mulcahy / WFSU

Researchers at the University of Miami’s Gordon Center are unveiling a new protocol for active shooter situations. Tallahassee first responders are some of the first to receive this groundbreaking training.

A Central Florida man has been sitting on death row awaiting execution for 42 years. But new DNA testing offers the hope of exonerating him. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Leonora LaPeter Anton, who is chronicling the plight of Tommy Zeigler in a six-part series this week in the Tampa Bay Times.

Leon County Sheriff's Office

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an inmate’s death at its jail. Unice Emanuell Gallaway, 52, had a history of mental health issues and had been found incompetent by the County court several times.

Leon County Sheriff's Office

Tallahassee police gave a brief update on the ongoing investigation following yoga studio shooting in Tallahassee this month. 

Leon County Sheriff's Office

Leon County Schools has confirmed the gunman in Friday’s Hot Yoga Tallahassee shooting worked as a substitute teacher for nearly a year.

Jimmy Patronis
Florida CFO Archives

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is cracking down on cell phone spoofing. Scams continue despite new laws aiming to stop them.

Emerson George / Courtesy Ron DeSantis For Governor

Republican candidate for Governor Ron DeSantis picked up an endorsement from Florida’s largest police union. 

Police officers talk together.
City of Tallahassee

Democrats and Republicans are using Tallahassee’s crime rate in political attacks, but experts say that could mislead voters. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is going after his opponent Andrew Gillum. He says the city’s crime rate has topped the state during Gillum’s term as mayor. 

Marsy's Law for Florida

Voters will decide whether to place victims’ rights in the Florida Constitution this November.

Advocates say it’s necessary to give victims a voice in the criminal justice process. But opponents argue these rights already exist under Florida law. 

Police sirens
Pixabay / Pexels

A bystander was mistakenly bit by a K9 dog during an incident caused by a fleeing suspect. The Leon County Sheriff’s Department is looking into the situation.

Former Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christy Daly
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice website

The former head of Florida’s juvenile justice system has a new job. After four years at the helm of DJJ, Christy Daly left her post at the end of last month. The following is some of the highs and lows of her tenure.