Around the Region, March 3

Published: Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.


Son in drunk mom’s car, deputies say

A Gainesville mother was arrested Friday night on child abuse and other charges for driving under the influence with her young son in the car, authorities reported.

Deanna Shawntan Crawford, 22, of 6724 SW 52nd Ave., was charged by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office with child abuse, DUI and possession of less than 20 grams for marijuana.

A deputy wrote in the arrest report that Crawford was sitting in a car on the side of road in the 600 block of Northwest 122nd Street at about 10 p.m. Friday.

Crawford told the deputy she stopped because she was intoxicated. The deputy wrote in the police report that Crawford slurred her speech and would intermittently vomit. The deputy reported that an unopened can of Steel Reserve beer was in the center console. Her son was in his car seat in the back seat of the car.

The report states that Crawford performed poorly on field sobriety exercises. Crawford was taken to the Alachua County jail, where she registered a .116 and .119 on breath tests. The legal standard is .08.

— Cindy Swirko


Everglades hosts Vintage Day events

HOMESTEAD — Visitors to Everglades National Park explored the early history of Florida’s swamps through a series of events at the Homestead park.

The national park is hosted its third annual Vintage Day celebration on Saturday; entry fees wiere waived at the Homestead entrance.

The theme this year is: “The Battle to Preserve Paradise.” History professors and other experts were on hand to give tours on “The Early Evergaldes” and “African Ancestors in Everglades National Park.” The day included historical re-enactors as well as special presentations and others tours.

— The Associated Press

Four men arrested in grow house bust

FORT MYERS — Cranking the air conditioner when it’s cold outside led Lee County authorities to arrest four men operating a marijuana grow house.

Acting on a complaint, detectives with the sheriff’s office narcotics unit went to a Fort Myers home this week. Authorities found water hoses and pipes on the walls in the back of the home and three air conditioners hooked up to the pipes.

After obtaining a search warrant, four men were arrested on Friday on marijuana trafficking charges. A sheriff’s office statement says having the air conditioners turned on in 64-degree weather “was just one of the many telltale signs” that this home was a grow house.

— The Associated Press

Convicted killer to face death April 10

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott signed a death warrant Friday for a man convicted of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl more than three decades ago.

Larry Eugene Mann is scheduled to die by lethal injection at Florida State Prison near Raiford at 6 p.m., April 10, the governor’s office reported.

According to court records, Elisa Nelson was riding her bike to school on Nov. 4, 1980. She was late because of a dentist appointment and was carrying a note from her mom. She never made it to school and her bicycle was found later that day.

On that day, Mann tried to kill himself by slitting his wrist and was hospitalized. He told police he had “done something stupid.”

The following day, Elisa’s body was found in an orange grove. She had died from a skull fracture.

On Nov. 8, Mann’s wife went to retrieve his glasses from his pickup truck and found the note Elisa’s mother had written. It had blood stains. She called police and Mann was arrested on Nov. 10.

He was convicted the following year of first-degree murder and kidnapping.

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