Julie Schenecker, a woman from New Tampa, faces the trial that will determine the rest of her life today. Schenecker had been found lying on the patio of her New Tampa home in 2011, with blood on her hands and bathrobe. Her two children were also found that day: her 16-year-old daughter Calyx was upstairs with two gun shot wounds to the head, and her 13-year-old son Beau was found fatally shot in her family van, still belted into the passenger seat. Will the jury find her defense of insanity viable? Or will she end up in prison for the rest of her life?
Two men from Clearwater have recently been charged with sex trafficking of children. Specifically, it is alleged that the two men drugged a 16-year old girl and then offered her for sex to more than ten different men. One of the men, Mayham, has admitted to authorities that he drugged the young girl. However, he alleges that "any of the sexual acts performed were committed on her own accord."
In June 1989, three bodies were found floating in Tampa Bay. All three of the bodies had their hands and feet bound, as well as concrete blocks tied to their necks and duct tape placed over their mouths. These three bodies were identified as a mother, Joan Rogers, and her two daughters. The man who murdered these three people was executed in 2011. Now his DNA has been linked to a cold case.
A 27 year old woman lost her unborn child when boyfriend John Andrew Welden gave her a fraudulent prescription for a drug called Cytotec. A drug commonly used to prevent ulcers is also used, in combination with another drug, to terminate pregnancies. Welden was first charged with first-degree murder of the unborn child under the 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act. Since then, that charge has been dropped and replaced with mail fraud.
A recent Florida case certainly wasn't the first time law enforcement agents have used social media to track criminal suspects. Over recent months, media stories have revealed that the tactic is growing common among both state and federal law enforcement agencies.
In Stracar v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2209a (Fla. 4th DCA 2013), Stracar was convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide. Stacar argued that the trial court erred in denying her motions for judgment of acquittal on the basis that the State's evidence failed to show that Stacar was driving in a reckless manner sufficient to prove the charges.
The testimony of a man accused of running an allegedly fraudulent Tampa charity called has been delayed due to the birth of his defense attorney's child . The 66-year-old defendant has been charged with theft, fraud and money laundering because, prosecutors claim, little of the $100 million raised over 8 years by the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was actually used to assist veterans. The trial should resume next week.
In Moore v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2184a (Fla. 2nd DCA 2013), a trial court order was reversed due to the fact that the trial court judge relied on outdated law.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Tampa Police Department. On. Sept. 27, the department fired a detective for allegedly stealing from the evidence room and a DUI supervisor for lying during an investigation into whether the DUI arrest of a local lawyer was a set-up, as we discussed in August.
It's worth pointing out that not all crimes begin with nefarious intentions. In many cases, defendants accused of causing harm are shocked to find themselves facing criminal charges. It's the job of a criminal defense attorney to accurately and convincingly present a client's case in court so the defendant is treated fairly.