Around the Region - Jan. 17
Published: Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 16, 2009 at 11:26 p.m.
Most Wanted' to feature area case
A Columbia County convenience-store murder will be featured on an upcoming episode of the television show "America's Most Wanted."
Producers for the program were in northern Columbia County this week filming a dramatization of the shooting death of convenience store clerk Linda Raulerson.
The 55-year-old Raulerson was murdered during an armed robbery on July 22, 2008, inside the Joy America Food Store on U.S. 441 North, near I-10.
Based on evidence at the scene, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office determined that a man walked into the store brandishing a small handgun and demanded money. Raulerson was shot once in the arm and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash. Before walking out, the man fired a second, fatal round into Raulerson.
The suspect was described as a black male, 25 to 35 years old, standing 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet, with an average build. He was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, white sneakers and long shorts during the shooting.
Investigators are also looking for a 1993 to 1995 four-door Buick Regal with white paint and black trim.
It was not immediately known when the episode on Raulerson's murder would air on the television program.
Area house fire called suspicious
An early-morning house fire on W. University Avenue on Friday has been declared suspicious and is under investigation.
At about 3 a.m., a resident reported seeing flames coming from the attic of the home at 2356 W. University Ave. Police said the house has been empty for about five months.
Gainesville Fire Rescue crews found two fires on the property, one that appeared to have started in the attic and another in the unattached garage, where clothing was burning.
GFR fire investigator Sandy Ellison has been assigned to the case. Investigations of possible arson can take months to complete, officials said.
Man indicted in fatal shooting
A Gilchrist County grand jury indicted a 26-year-old man Friday on a charge of first-degree murder.
Samuel Lane Pittman of Trenton was arrested in late December on a warrant in the shooting death of Willie James Ellison, 38, also of Trenton. Shortly after Pittman was indicted, State Attorney Bill Cervone said he would not be seeking the death penalty in the case.
Pittman is accused of using a large-caliber weapon to shoot Ellison, whose body was found on June 4 along the side of Tyler Grade Road east of Trenton. Investigators said it appeared Ellison had been dead several days before his remains were discovered by a passer-by.
Pittman is scheduled to be arraigned on the first-degree murder charge within a few days.
Ellison's death was the first known murder in unincorporated Gilchrist County in several years, although the city of Trenton had two unrelated murders in 2006.
A motive for Ellison's death had not been released by Friday afternoon.
Two appointed to juvenile panel
Longtime advocates for children in Gainesville and Lake City have been appointed to the state's Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group.
The appointments were made by Gov. Charlie Crist to the panel, which advises him and other state officials on juvenile issues.
Those appointed include:
Tony Jones, 52, of Gainesville, community relations coordinator, Gainesville Police Department, succeeding Sheldon Gusky.
Charles Jenkins, 64, of Lake City, executive director, Columbia and Suwannee County Teen Courts, succeeding Susan Tholl.
Anthony says she is the victim
ORLANDO The Florida mother charged in the killing of her toddler daughter described herself as a victim when talking to her parents during a jailhouse visit last August.
Casey Anthony, 22, told her parents she was just as much a victim as anyone else in the case during the recorded visit at the Orange County Jail in Orlando. Copies of the visit were released this week. At the time, Casey was in jail on charges related to the disappearance of her daughter Caylee. She was charged with first-degree murder in October.
In the video, Casey Anthony cried and got angry when pressed by her parents for information about Caylee's whereabouts. She even threatened to end the conversation.
"This is seriously the first time I've been angry, that I've been frustrated to the point where I can't even think straight at this moment," Casey Anthony said. "The worst part is nobody can see my side and I have to keep my mouth shut."
Caylee's remains were found in December.
The Associated Press
Crash didn't stop hair appointment
BOYNTON BEACH Police say an elderly woman in Palm Beach County crashed into a man on a scooter and then kept driving to make her hair appointment.
Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater says 77-year-old Louise Davidson of Boynton Beach was arrested Thursday for leaving the scene of an injury crash. The man suffered abrasions all over his body. His injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
The Associated Press
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article