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Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

Largo business owner still not happy with birth control rules under Obamacare


— Although the federal government has officially dropped its appeal of a ruling exempting his company from having to provide employees certain types of birth control, Thomas Bec...

Bondi fights to prevent lesbians’ divorce

- Attorney General Pam Bondi may be fighting to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in Florida, but she is also taking a legal position that has the effect of forcing gay couples who married elsewhere to stay married, lawy...

Court may unmask Hillsborough drug informant known as 'Mr. X'

- For more than two years, a prosecutor has fought to keep the man's identity a secret. Judges have repeatedly sided with defense lawyers, who describe him not as a confidential informant but a cooperating defendant.

Trial date set for former Tampa cop accused of food stamp fraud


— A former Tampa police sergeant and another woman are scheduled to go on trial for food stamp fraud in December.

Voting purge protester sentenced for letters to Republicans


When James Webb Baker Jr. read about Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter registration roles of ineligible voters, he got mad.

No prison for Seattle man who intimidated GOP donors in Florida


— When James Webb Baker Jr. read about Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to purge voter registration roles of ineligible voters, he got mad.

Menendez helped Hillsborough Courts rise from chaos, scandal

- When Manuel Menendez Jr. took the helm of Hillsborough Courts as chief judge, he inherited a system in chaos.

West Palm Beach DUI manslaughter case coming here


— The case of a West Palm Beach area polo mogul accused of killing a man with his Bentley is coming to Tampa.

Lesbian couple from Tampa will have to wait for ruling on divorce


A lesbian couple from Tampa will have to wait for the Florida Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the state’s gay marriage ban before the women’s divorce case can be settled.

Crackdown helps Florida heal from pill mill epidemic

- The “patients” used to pour into Florida from across the country as doctors passed out Oxycodone like candy, making it the unofficial pill mill capital of the U.S.

Florida Supreme Court asked to rule on gay marriage


— The case of a same-sex Tampa couple wanting to dissolve their Massachusetts marriage was sent to the Florida Supreme Court Wednesday by a state appellate court that took the u...

Hillsborough judicial candidates face runoff in November


— Hillsborough County voters were asked to select four new circuit court judges Tuesday but will have to finish the job in November because no one captured more than 50 percent ...

Smart on Crime early-release plan reverberates in Middle District


As federal officials embark on programs designed to grant early release to thousands of federal inmates, the Middle District of Florida is expected to be one of the most affec...

Hillsborough survivalist to take plea deal on weapons charges


Martin Winters, a survivalist who authorities say fled fr...

What can parents do?


— Experts say parents should have a continuing conversation with their children about the threat of strangers who can victimize them online through any device that connects to t...

Predators target kids via apps, police say


— In March, a 14-year-old Tampa girl got on a bus headed to Mexico with a 25-year-old

Attorney general: Company taking advantage of underwater homeowners


— The attorneys general for Florida and Connecticut say a group of businesses fronted by a Tampa lawyer perpetrated a multi-million-dollar scam on thousands of financially strap...

3 doomsday preppers to plead guilty to charges


— Three members of the so-called River Otter Preppers survivalist group have agre...

Judge sentences McTear to life in prison

- Richard McTear Jr. will spend the rest of his life in prison but won’t face the death chamber for murdering an infant by throwing him out a car window on Interstate 275 five years ago.

Violent past emerges as jury ponders McTear's fate

- As the prosecution and defense presented evidence over whether Richard McTear should be sentenced to death in the murder of a 3-month-old boy, a picture of violence emerged.

Jury faces life-or-death recommendation for McTear


— For the last two weeks, jurors have heard how Richard McTear brutally beat his girlfriend and

McTear guilty of tossing infant onto I-275

- Convicted of murdering a baby by throwing him out a car window on the interstate, Richard McTear Jr. will find out next week if jurors want him put to death.

Finally, jury deciding McTear’s fate

- Jurors began deliberations this morning after receiving legal instructions from Circuit Judge William Fuente, who gave them information about the charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse.

Defense rests in McTear murder trial

- Attorneys for Richard A. McTear Jr. rested their defense Tuesday after presenting testimony designed to raise questions about Jasmine Bedwell, the mother of the baby McTear is accused of murdering by throwing him out a car ...

Prosecution rests in baby-tossing trial

- After presenting DNA evidence showing the dead infant’s blood on the defendant’s clothes, the prosecution in the Richard McTear trial rested.

Expert: Baby found on side of road had awful injuries


— The baby’s injuries were so severe, they were ...

Man describes finding dead baby on I-275


— At first, the news photographer thought the dark mass he saw on the side of Interstate 275 on his way into work was garbage.

Mom testifies, 911 call heard in McTear trial

- An emotional Jasmine Bedwell took the witness stand this morning in the trial of Richard McTear, the man accused of killing her baby and beating her, as details emerge on her 911 call.

Prosecutor outlines evidence against McTear in infant’s death

- Not even 4 months old, Emanuel Wesley Murray Jr. was found dead on the side of Interstate 275 five years ago, covered head to toe in “road rash,” a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday morning.