Keenan Finkelstein is accused of shooting a deputy sheriff in the leg.
Finkelstein is using Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law as his defense, notes the Pensacola News-Journal.
Deputy Sgt. Shedrick Johnson and other officers were searching for a robbery suspect in Pensacola, Fla. on March 20, 2013.
Police saw Finkelstein walk out from the garage of a home where the suspect, Jonathan Chappell, was living.
Sgt. Johnson, who was hiding behind a tree, told Finkelstein that he was a sheriff’s deputy.
However, Finkelstein pulled a gun and shot Sgt. Johnson in the leg.
Finkelstein claims that he fired the gun after someone shined a light at him, told him to put his hands up, shot a weapon, but did not identify as law enforcement, noted WEAR-TV.
Judge Terry Terrell ruled today that Finkelstein could not use “Stand Your Ground” as his defense and the criminal trial would proceed.
An unidentified man has reportedly been urinating on people near the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Fla.
According to police, "the victims were standing with their backs turned to the suspect when they suddenly felt that they were being urinated on."
The urinating incidents happened on Feb. 22, Feb. 26 and March 1, Gainesville police stated on their Facebook page.
When victims confronted the urinator, he ran away, reports My Fox NY.
Police described the suspect as a black male between the ages of 25-30.
He was last seen wearing a gray or dark hoodie and baggie jeans, noted USA Today.
Florida man Elmer Bowman was convicted last week of kidnapping and torturing a woman for 17 hours.
Though the prosecution had sought chemical castration, Bowman received two life sentences instead.
State Attorney R.J. Larizza argued that chemical castration would have prevented Bowman from threatening the public again.
Bowman repeatedly burned and beat his 25-year-old victim, as well as forced her to perform sexual acts during the process. His victim was hung from a beam with ropes tied around her wrists and neck, all while Bowman threatened to hang her.
"She was choked. He struck her, burned her with a cigarette. There was cutting. There was whipping,” Prosecutor Christina Opsahl said.
After 17 continuous hours of torture, the woman managed to escape when Bowman fell asleep.
A Florida man arrested for driving under the influence told cops he was attempting to “drive it off” after he had an argument with his wife.
Michael Moore, 61, was pulled over for speeding in Hobe Sound, Fla., at 12:35 a.m. on Feb. 13.
The arrest affidavit said that Moore’s breath smelled strongly of alcohol and his speech was slurred.
Moore failed a field sobriety test and then admitted he had “a couple of drinks.”
He told police he left the house after having an argument with his wife about his drinking.
He said he was headed to another bar for “a few” more.
At the Stuart Police Department, authorities gave Moore a breathalizer. His blood alcohol content was 0.104. The legal limit is 0.08.
Cassidy Goodson was sentenced to 18 months in prison for murdering her infant son in December 2012. The now 16-year-old has been held in a maximum security Florida facility since her conviction, but she is getting ready to be released sometime this year.
At some point around June, Goodson is scheduled to appear before a judge yet again. She will either be placed on probation and set free or convicted of additional charges and sentenced to several more years in jail. As of now, however, she is set to be released.
Goodson’s case is an usual one, vastly different than the murder cases found in infamous trials like that of Casey Anthony but equally as horrific. The crime took place after Goodson gave birth to her baby in a bathroom at home. According to WTSP, Goodson attempted to “pry the baby out” using a pair of scissors, successfully delivering the baby into the toilet. She then strangled the baby until it was no longer breathing. Goodson’s mother found the baby in a shoebox three days later.
Goodson’s case was unique because it represented the taboo nature of teen pregnancy and the shame that accompanies giving birth at a young age. Goodson essentially hid her pregnancy from her parents and family. According to the Huffington Post, Goodson explained that she feared she would face punishment if she was found to have given birth at such a young age.
“I wanted it to stop breathing so I wouldn’t get in trouble,” Goodson said.
Goodson committed a terrible murder, but she did so at a young age. The judge may grant Goodson her freedom simply due to her juvenile status and her likelihood of rehabilitation.
A man, who identifies himself as "Mr. Hayes," has placed a KKK flag, Confederate flag, noose and a “Members Wanted” sign in the front yard of his tattered mobile home in Palm Beach County, Fla.
“As many people know, the white families are producing less children because the father and mother work and you have interracial marriages and gay marriages, so there are less and less white children being born every day,” Hayes told Local 10 News (video below). “So we’re against that.”
“Nobody stops the Puerto Ricans from flying their Puerto Rican flag or the Jews from having their yarmulke or whatever it is in the holidays,” added Hayes.
He also claimed that people support his racist displays, despite several neighbors who say they do not.
“Don’t get anybody throwing bottles on my lawn or anything like that,” stated Hayes. “They toot their horn. They stop. They wave. They take pictures.”
Hayes also denied that the noose actually means anything violent.
“We don’t go around committing hate crimes,” claimed Hayes. “We don’t beat up on f------ or black people or burn crosses or any of that nonsense.”
According to CBS Miami, Hayes was asked by a reporter, “Are you recruiting members for the KKK?”
“Where does it say that?” asked Hayes.
“There’s a sign right here that says, 'Members Wanted,'” the reporter pressed.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t say for what, does it?” Hayes insisted.
Three Florida women were booked on child abuse charges after they allegedly beat a 14-year-old girl for getting suspended from school. The girl was bleeding and half-naked following the incident.
According to Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brandon Haught, the women were at the girl’s school to discuss her suspension with school officials. After the meeting, the women began beating the girl in the school’s parking lot.
"The women slapped the victim, shoved her against cars and choked her by grabbing her necklace," a report by Haught said. "They all then got into vehicles and left the school."
As the group neared the girl’s home, she jumped out of the car and ran away. The women chased the girl down and grabbed the hood of her sweatshirt. They forced her inside the house where they proceeded to hit her again. They stripped most of her clothes off so she would “feel the discipline.”
"They then continuously kicked, punched and beat the victim with belts over her entire body until deputies arrived,” Haught said.
Volusia County Deputies arrived at the house after receiving a disturbance call about the property. The women were holding belts and breathing heavily when the officers entered the home.
The victim was taken to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial, where she was treated for multiple lacerations and bruises. She is now in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The relationship between the girl and her attackers is not known.
Alyssia Skinner, 23, will spend the next 17 years in prison after being convicted of child abuse. Skinner subjected her 17-month-old daughter, Isabella, to horrendous treatment prior to her arrest.
Authorities discovered Skinner’s abuse after coming to check on the health of her daughter. When Citrus County, Fla. deputies arrived at Skinner’s home, she tried to hide her identity and claimed she didn't have a child. Authorities found Isabella anyway, and were shocked at the infant’s condition.
According to investigators, Skinner left her daughter in a cold room for long periods at a time and denied her food and nutrition. Isabella now has brain damage resembling shaken baby syndrome. She also has re-feeding syndrome, which occurs when the body has been starved for long periods of time and reacts negatively when re-introduced to food.
Isabella's muscles and tendons fused in the fetal position as she tried to conserve body heat for days at a time in the cold. The room Isabella was locked in was covered in urine and feces. Baby bottles were found on the floor with maggots crawling inside.
The child’s grandmother went into detail about Isabella’s heartbreaking condition.
"Isabella has no skin on her bottom or her thighs from laying in her own human waste,” Rhonda Maser said. “She has a hole in her face. We are not even sure what that is from. Her brain has shifted to one side of her head.”
Isabella is currently being treated at All Children’s Hospital for her injuries. Doctors say that although her condition is improving, she will likely suffer from permanent physical and mental disabilities.
Judge Richard Howard had stern words for Skinner at her sentencing hearing last week.
"You've been sliding through life just like you're sliding through this hearing, just keeping your eyes down, not wanting any interaction just waiting for it to be over," Howard said. "Feed me, house me, keep me from being hurt, and that's where you are going to be for the next long time in the state prison system."
Deputy Nick Hesse first found Isabella in Skinner’s home. He testified in court prior to Skinner’s sentencing.
"This was not, you know, ‘I am having a hard time taking care of my child,’” he said. “This was, I don't want to be a mother. I'm just going to put this problem out of sight, out of mind and carry on living my life."
The U.S. Supreme Court will review a Florida case on Monday that condemned a man with an average IQ of 70 to death row.
Freddie Lee Hall, 68, is awaiting execution for the 1978 murder of pregnant 21-year-old Karol Hurst.
In the state of Florida a person with an IQ of 75 or less suffers from mental retardation and is capable of holding a job. On death row in Florida an IQ higher than 70 means an inmate is not mentally disabled and can face execution.
In nine tests between 1968 and 2008, Hall has scored as low as 60 and as high as 80. According to the state, his most recent test scores are between 69 and 74.
Florida attorney general, Pamela Jo Bondi, says the threshold between being able to work and being susceptible to execution are different because the “the risk of overdiagnosis of mental retardation is particularly pronounced.”
“[They] have every incentive to secure such a diagnosis,” she said.
Hall was on parole in 1978, when he spotted Hurst, who was 7-months-pregnant, at a grocery store. He and his accomplice, Mack Ruffin, abducted and raped the victim, then they beat and shot her to death.
Later that day, the two men drove Hurst’s car to a convenience store where they killed a sheriff’s deputy. In separate trials both men were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
The Florida Supreme Court threw out Hall’s death sentence in 1989, but he was resentenced to death by a new jury in 1991.
The high court is not assessing Hall’s guilt, but rather whether or not IQ tests deem he is intellectually disabled.
The court's 2002 landmark 6-3 decision in Atkins v. Virginia exempted those with intellectual disabilities from execution, but it did not define who is and isn’t considered disabled.
The court cited "diminished capacities" to understand and process information, communicate, learn from mistakes and experiences, engage in logical reasoning, control impulses and understand the reactions of others.
"The Florida Supreme Court has redefined mental retardation so that it means something different — and narrower — than this court's decision contemplated," says Hall's attorney, Seth Waxman. "The predictable consequence of Florida's rule is that persons with mental retardation will be executed. Without this court's intervention, that will happen here."
"If the bar against executing the mentally retarded is to mean anything, Freddie Lee Hall cannot be executed," said Judge James Perry. He said Hall "is a poster child for mental retardation claims."
The state says there is no consensus about the right IQ limit on mental disabilities and no reason for the high court to impose one.
The family of a Vietnam war veteran who died after a stranger turned off his life support is suing a Florida hospital for neglecting to check the man’s identity.
By claiming to be a relation, Richard Leclair was able to pull the plug on his 'friend' Roger MacKinnon and ultimately cash in his life savings.
In May of 2011, MacKinnon began suffering chest pains and was admitted to Florida Hospital Deland. One month later, in June, his wife authorized doctors to put him on life support.
Recently, MacKinnon went under exploratory surgery when he his heart suddenly stopped and he slipped into a coma. Two days later, Leclair signed forms indicating his false relation to MacKinnon, who later died alone.
Immediately after MacKinnon’s death, Leclair claimed the $106,000 in the man’s bank account and removed thousands of dollars of furniture and appliances from Mackinnon’s home.
Though the case was thrown out on a technicality last month, the family’s attorney has asked the court to reconsider the case.