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Published: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 1:03 a.m.

High Springs man molested girl, police say

  • A High Springs man was arrested Wednesday after authorities said he molested a young girl.

    The girl told authorities she was sleeping on a couch at a High Springs home early Wednesday morning when the man molested her, according to court records.

    The man admitted being on the couch with her, hugging her and telling her he liked her, court records state.

    J.E. Sweat Jr., 44, was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation, reports said.

    - Kathy Ciotola

    State NAACP meeting in area kicks off tonight

  • The quarterly meeting of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP Branches kicks off tonight in Gainesville with a gathering at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 718 SE SE 11th St.

    It's the first time in the 63-year history of the NAACP's Alachua County branch that it has hosted this meeting, according to Evelyn Fox, first vice president of the local branch.

    Tonight's "mass meeting" starts at 7 and will feature a performance by the University of Florida Mass Choir and a message from Marie Herring of Dayspring Missionary Baptist Church in Gainesville. The public is invited.

    The actual meeting begins Saturday morning at 9 at the Paramount Resort on SW 13th Street and will include two workshops. A session on parliamentary procedure will begin at 10:30 a.m., led by Earl Matthews, parliamentarian for the national board of the NAACP. A workshop on civil rights law begins at 2 p.m., led by Allison Bethel, director of civil rights for the Florida Attorney General's Office.

    For more information on the meeting, call Fox at 870-7013.

    - Sun staff report

    Voucher company head faces theft charges

  • TALLAHASSEE - The head of a voucher provider was arrested Thursday on charges that he stole more than $268,000 in state money intended to send poor children to private schools.

    James Isenhour, of Ocala, chairman and director of the Silver Archer Foundation, had been under investigation by the office of Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

    Isenhour, 56, was booked into the Marion County jail in Ocala on a charge of grand theft. Robert Altman, a lawyer who has represented Isenhour in the past, didn't return a phone call.

    ''Mr. Isenhour should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for denying parents the opportunity to pursue a better education for their children,'' Gallagher said in a release issued by his office.

    - The Associated Press

    Court rejects appeal of condemned prisoner

  • TALLAHASSEE - The state Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the appeal of a Death Row inmate scheduled to be executed next week for the murder of a Plant City woman 19 years ago.

    The unsigned unanimous decision came a day after the high court heard oral arguments.

    Beverly St. George was traveling from Plant City to Virginia in August 1985 when her car broke down on Interstate 95 in northern Florida. Johnny Robinson drove up, took her prisoner at gunpoint, handcuffed her and took her back to his car. She was raped, then shot twice in the head. Her body was found in a St. Johns County cemetery the next day.

    - The Associated Press

    Ex-boyfriend indicted in college student's death

  • PENSACOLA - A grand jury has increased the severity of a murder charge from second- to first-degree against an Alabama man accused of strangling a University of West Florida student.

    The panel Wednesday indicted Robert James Griffin, 30, of Millbrook, Ala., for the Jan. 4 death of his former girlfriend, Abigail Moorer, 22, of Pensacola.

    The only penalties possible for first-degree murder are death and life in prison without parole. Penalties for second-degree murder typically range from 20 years to life.

    - The Associated Press

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