Around the Region - Jan.23


Published: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 12:34 a.m.

POLICE BEAT

Police search for robbery suspect

The Levy County Sheriff's Office arrested one man and was searching for another after a robbery in which the victim was repeatedly hit in the head Wednesday afternoon.

Deputies arrested Nicholas Lee Bailey, 19, of Bronson, on a strong arm robbery charge, the Sheriff's Office reported.

Bailey is accused of attacking a man as he was walking down the road at Main Street and Glover Street, deputies reported.

Two men came out of the woods. The victim was hit in the back of the head several times by one of the suspects, who was armed with a pipe. The robbers rummaged through the injured man's pockets and took an undisclosed amount of money, the Sheriff's Office reported.

A deputy saw the injured victim and Bailey running from the area and stopped Bailey. He was identified as one of the robbers, according to deputies.

Investigators have information about the second suspect, who left the area in a white car, but still were searching for him late Thursday.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 352-486-5111 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-349-8477.

Lise Fisher

STATE

Records panel to issue final report

TALLAHASSEE A group reviewing and making recommendations on the state's laws on public access to government meetings and records is ready to finalize its report.

Gov. Charlie Crist created the Commission on Open Government in June 2007, and its nine-member commission will hold a conference call Monday to approve its final report. The report makes recommendations on how to strengthen government transparency.

The commission spent more than a year taking comments from the public and evaluating the state's open government rules.

To listen to the 1:30 p.m. conference call, members of the public can dial (888) 808-6959, meeting code 0109642.

The Associated Press

Man arrested for 190th time

BOCA RATON Police say a 46-year-old man was arrested for the 190th time in Florida this week.

Authorities arrested Henry Farrell after he tried to carjack a man outside a Boca Raton coffee shop. Police said Farrell threatened to kill the man after he refused to give Farrell a ride.

Officer Sandra Boonenberg, a police spokeswoman, said authorities have spent years dealing with Farrell, who "lives locally and apparently likes Boca Raton."

Farrell is being held without bond on charges of carjacking, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

The man's mother says her son has struggled with severe mental illness since his teens and is diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

The Associated Press

Pizza killer gets new hearing

TALLAHASSEE A death row inmate who fatally shot a bystander and wounded two customers while robbing a Pizza Hut will get a new sentencing hearing.

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday vacated the death sentence of 47-year-old Dwayne Irwin Parker for the 1989 slaying of William Nicholson in Pompano Beach.

The justices ruled 5-0 that Parker's lawyer failed to fully investigate and present mitigating evidence about his childhood and mental health.

It was his sixth appeal to the high court, which again upheld his conviction.

The only alternative penalty is life in prison.

Parker already is serving life sentences on multiple counts of armed robbery and 30 years for attempted murder.

The Associated Press

Poll: State OK with gays adopting

TALLAHASSEE A majority of Floridians believe it is OK for gays and lesbians to adopt children.

A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,370 Floridians showed 55 percent favor doing away with a state law that prohibits gays from adopting compared to 39 percent who want to keep the ban.

Democrats and independent voters favored eliminating the ban; Republicans and white evangelical Christians supported the law.

Also, a majority of Floridians favored some variation of gay union. Twenty-seven percent said gays should be allowed to marry while 35 percent favored civil unions and 31 percent said there should be no legal recognition of gay unions.

The Associated Press

Floridians like cigarette tax idea

TALLAHASSEE More than seven of 10 Floridians say they want new taxes at least on a pack of smokes.

In a survey of 1,370 voters between Jan. 14-19, 71 percent told Quinnipiac University pollsters that they favored raising the tax on cigarettes by $1 a pack.

Smokers, however, were against paying more by nearly 2-to-1, although half said they'd either quit or cut down if such an increase were approved.

Almost three quarters of those sampled opposed cuts in the state's "Bright Futures" college scholarship program.

The Associated Press

Teen stopped by fake deputy

PENSACOLA Authorities say a man who was impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a 17-year-old girl in Escambia County.

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office said the man who pulled over the teenager Tuesday night was driving a car with lights on the dashboard.

His badge and clothing weren't issued by a law enforcement agency.

The girl's father said he contacted the sheriff's office, and authorities told him a deputy hadn't stopped his daughter.

That's when he said he knew something was wrong.

The Associated Press

Sailor pleads guilty to beating

JACKSONVILLE A Mayport-based sailor pled guilty in a military court to charges stemming from an incident in a prison camp in Iraq.

Seaman Trevor Slane will spend three months in the brig and forfeit $3,600 after pleading guilty on Thursday.

Last May, Slane was a guard in the largest prison camp in Iraq when he said a detainee flung a cup full of feces on him, getting it in his eyes and mouth. Slane told a military judge that he took the man to the ground and later beat him.

A handful of other sailors and a chief petty officer were also accused of mistreating Iraqi prisoners at the camp.

The Associated Press

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