Around the Region for Jan. 31, 2012


Published: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 10:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 30, 2012 at 10:42 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Sex offender charged with another crime

Police arrested a registered sex offender early Monday and charged him with committing another sex crime.

Robert Lee Leonard III, 35, was arrested on a warrant requested by the Gainesville Police Department. He was charged with sexual battery on a person between the ages of 12 and 18.

A week ago, the victim told a relative what Leonard had allegedly been doing during the summer of 2011, according to court records. A witness told investigators that Leonard claimed what he was doing with the child was normal.

Leonard was booked into the Alachua County jail and his bond was set at $1 million.

Florida Department of Law Enforcements records show Leonard was ruled a sex offender in 2002 for a lewd and lascivious act on a child under age 16. According to Florida Department of Corrections records, Leonard has twice been convicted of violating sex offender requirements and served a state prison term for one of the violations.

— Karen Voyles

STATE

Car theft victim sees stolen car from bus

DELTONA — A Central Florida woman forced to take the bus when her car was stolen helped authorities capture the suspected thieves after watching her car drive past the bus.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the woman reported her car stolen Friday from her Deltona home. But as she was sitting on a bus six hours later, she called 911 to report seeing her black 2002 Saturn in Orange City.

The vehicle's occupants, 29-year-old Aaron Hosack and 20-year-old Amber Jones, were both arrested and charged with multiple counts, including grand theft and burglary.

— The Associated Press

FAMU President discusses another hazing probe

TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University President James Ammons says campus police and the Tallahassee Police Department are investigating another suspected case of hazing.

Ammons briefly discussed the case Monday with FAMU's board of trustees. Board members are meeting weekly to get updates on the investigation into the death of drum major Robert Champion.

Tallahassee authorities acknowledged the new hazing case last week but said they could not provide details.

Ammons said the case is related to a spring 2011 initiation ceremony involving the university chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national band fraternity.

— The Associated Press

Fla. court: You can't burglarize a mulch bed

TALLAHASSEE — An appellate court has reversed a man's burglary of a dwelling conviction because the bicycle he allegedly tried to take was actually parked on a mulch bed.

A three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal ruled unanimously on Monday.

Florida's definition of dwelling includes attached porches. The bike was on mulch covered by an overhang outside the front door of a townhouse. Prosecutors argued the mulch bed should be considered an attached porch.

The court disagreed. It said the area was “open to the general public” and not part of the victim's house. The decision noted that the townhouse's mailbox was right next to where the bike was parked.

— The Associated Press

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