Around the Region for May 11, 2013

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 7:09 p.m.


GPD: Teen kidnapped and raped woman

A Gainesville teenager was arrested Thursday on sexual assault and kidnapping charges after police said he raped a woman who earlier had agreed to have sex with him for money before changing her mind.

Riche J. Ghirawoo, 18, had agreed to have sex with the victim for $200, the Gainesville Police Department reported. But when the woman showed up at the meeting spot in Spring Tree Park, she felt it wasn’t safe, police said, and told Ghirawoo she had changed her mind.

Despite being told that the woman no longer wanted to have sex for money and wanted to leave, Ghirawoo physically restrained the woman and forced her to have sex against her will, police reported. The woman’s injuries and evidence found at the crime scene supported her allegations, police said.

After he was arrested, Ghirawoo admitted to police that he forced the victim to have sex with him despite being told no, officers reported. He was booked into the Alachua County jail, where he remained Friday in lieu of $125,000 bond.

— Staff report

Man killed after car hits tree on State Road 16

A Starke man was killed Thursday evening when he drove into a tree off State Road 16, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Dead is Herbert Adam Green Jr., 58, FHP stated in a press release.

The accident happened at 6:35 p.m. when Green was leaving a gas station parking lot on State Road 16 at Grand Street in a 2000 Chevrolet Camaro.

FHP reported that Green accelerated across the northbound and southbound lanes of Grand Street, drove into the front yard of a home and then into the westbound and eastbound lanes of SR 16.

Green struck a tree on the eastbound shoulder and was declared dead at Shands Hospital at Starke, FHP said.

— Cindy Swirko

Suspicious power leads to lockdown at Buchholz

A white powdery substance fell out of a package delivered to Buchholz High School Friday morning, forcing a 45-minute lockdown of the school.

Alachua County School Board spokeswoman Jackie Johnson said a teacher received a package from a delivery service containing certificates that she’d ordered.

When the teacher opened the package, “white powdery material fell out,” Johnson said. The teacher immediately notified school authorities. Alachua County sheriff’s deputies were already on campus for normal patrol of the school. Deputies then called Alachua County Fire Rescue’s Hazardous Materials Team, which arrived within minutes.

Upon the team’s arrival, the white substance was determined to be a type of “packaging powder,” Johnson said.

The lockdown was over in less than an hour, which allowed classes to resume Friday afternoon.

— Maru I. Opabola


Five nominees to replace outgoing Judge Lott

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has announced a field of five nominees to fill the vacancy that will be left by the retirement of Judge Martha Ann Lott, currently the circuit’s most senior judge.

The nominating commission held public interviews of applicants for the judgeship on Wednesday at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center located at 220 South Main Street in Gainesville.

From the applicant pool, the commission nominated James M. Bessinger Jr., James M. Colaw, Denise R. Ferrero,. Dean Galigani and Francis T. Williams.

Judge Lott’s last day is May 31.

— Staff report

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