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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

When it comes to battling child predators, parents the most important authority


—Law enforcement wants to enlist parents in the fight against child predators.

Lawyers accused in DUI setup case offer little defense

- Lawyers Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut did not directly address the majority of allegations made by the Florida Bar, which says they had a paralegal ply attorney C. Philip Campbell with liquor and trick him i...

Details of lawyer DUI setup emerge in trial evidence

- As Tampa police waited for C. Philip Campbell to drive out of Malio’s, the head of the DUI squad relayed information about what to expect. That “intel” was coming from an attorney facing possible sancti...

High court may hear Tampa case on sentencing for young offenders


— Because of a quirk in the law, some people who were convicted of first-degree murder have better chances of one day getting out of prison than some who were convicted of the l...

Gawker sues FBI to obtain records on Hulk Hogan sex video


— A sex video involving Hulk Hogan is the subject of another federal court action as a celebrity gossip website is suing the FBI trying to obtain investigation documents related...

Owner of dog that was shot and tied to train tracks gets probation


— One of two men accused of using the dog Cabela for fighting, then giving her up to be shot because she was “too sweet-tempered,” pleaded guilty Monday and was se...

Judge considered holding DJ lawyers in contempt during trial

- Retired judge James Arnold testified in the administrative trial over whether the three lawyers should be sanctioned over charges of orchestrating another lawyer’s DUI arrest. The arresting officer also took the stan...

Paralegal’s ex: She was told to set up lawyer for DUI arrest

- Kristopher Personius is a key witness is the Florida Bar’s case to discipline Stephen Diaco, Robert Adams and Adam Filthaut for their involvement in the DUI arrest of their partner’s opponent in a high-profi...

Friend says she thinks paralegal had role in DUI setup

- Vanessa Fykes was with her friend, Melissa Personius, the night that lawyer C. Philip Campbell was arrested, and Fykes says she believes Personius was involved.

Lawyer Campbell said DUI arrest came after he tried to be chivalrous

- C. Philip Campbell says he was trying to be polite - old-fashioned, even - when he was looking after Melissa Personius, trying to make sure she wouldn’t drive drunk.

Lawyers on trial for DUI setup: The paralegal did wrong, not us

- Lawyers accused of setting up their opponent to be arrested for DUI are increasingly pointing their fingers at their paralegal, portraying her as out of control, drunk and doing more that night than they knew about.

Recording likely to be key element when DUI setup case begins Monday


— Defending lawyers whose professional lives are on the line, Greg Kehoe threw hard punches at the Florida Bar on Friday.

Bubba’s lawyers accuse Florida Bar of misconduct, want case tossed


— The lawyers accused of setting up another attorney’s DUI arrest are now accusing the Florida Bar’...

Ex-teacher gets 15 years over attempt to lure Belize teens for sex

- Prosecutors say David Thompson, once a teacher at Centennial Middle in Dade City, tried to entice impoverished girls, ages 13 and 15, with tales of American riches such as air conditioning and a magical restaurant called G...

Woman on video admits DUI setup in Bubba case, court records show

- Melissa Personius, a paralegal for the law firm representing Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, tells her ex-husband about getting a "big bonus" for helping to arrange the DUI arrest of an opposing lawyer, documents say.

Tale of 1980s spy ring broken in Tampa getting attention


During the Cold War, when the world was threatened with potential annihilation, when the United States and its allies faced the Soviet Union and its satellites in a high-stakes nuclear standoff, a group of American soldi...

Former Tampa principal gets 10 years for molesting 2 boys

- After admitting he sexually molested two young boys, a former principal of Tampa Day School was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of sex offender probation.

Supreme Court upholds campaign cash limits in Hillsborough case

- In a case that originated in Tampa, the U.S. high court ruled that states may restrict candidates for elected state and local judgeships from making a personal appeal for campaign contributions.

Tampa lesbian couple still trying to get legally divorced

- State Solicitor General Allen Winsor filed a motion asking that the court postpone arguments on the case until after the U.S. Supreme Court decides cases being argued today in Washington over constitutional challenges to fo...

Tampa man to admit defrauding law firms


— A Tampa man has agreed to admit he participated in a scheme that stole millions nationwide, partly by targeting law firms.

Former Spring Hill woman accused of threatening American base in Japan


— Three schools, a day care facility and other busy buildings on an American Air Force base in Japan were evacuated last month following an Internet bomb threat authorities say ...

Prosecutors won’t pursue battery charge against Hillsborough judge


— A Hillsborough County judge whose wife accused him of beating her will not face criminal prosecution, largely because prosecutors concluded the wife had credibility problems.<...

Irony alert: Prisoners becoming victims of identity fraud


— Jails, prisons and the state probation system are turning into treasure troves for identity thieves.

Felon suspected of taking SWAT gear from FBI agent’s vehicle

- On Christmas Day, someone breaking into cars in Riverview hit the mother lode of weapons, body armor and ammunition. Though the burglar likely didn’t know it at the time, the weaponry and armor belonged to the FBI. Ja...

Report: Victims of fake tax refunds still face long waits


— Identity theft affecting taxpayers has exploded nationally in recent years, and victims seeking tax refunds continue to face long waits, according to a recent watchdog report....

UT runner's murder leaves big hole in best friend's life

- The trial forced Michael Harden to relive his last night with friend Ryan McCall, who was shot and killed during a robbery attempt as the college students walked to McCall's home in 2009. David Earl Williams was convicted ...

Williams found guilty of murdering UT runner, gets life

- Jurors found David Earl Williams Jr. guilty of murdering University of Tampa runner Ryan McCall during a botched robbery in 2009.

Defense witness: I saw who killed UT runner

- Rene Garcia Myles, who was between life sentences at the time, says he saw the August 2009 robbery and killing of University of Tampa student Ryan McCall, and David Earl Williams wasn’t responsible.

The more police asked, the more Williams’ story changed

- Bit by bit, David Earl Williams Jr. changed his story about his involvement in the robbery and killing of University of Tampa student Ryan McCall.

Fear, beer negate eyewitness account of UT student’s slaying


Exactly what happened when Ryan McCall was killed on the Eugene Holtsinger Bridge during a robbery in the early morning hours of Aug. 19, 2009, was lost in a fog of intoxicati...

Six years after UT student’s slaying, trial begins

- It took nearly three years to charge David Earl Williams Jr in the killing of University of Tampa student Ryan McCall and nearly another three years for his trial to begin.

Man accused of wielding bat at courthouse, stalking

- When a 66-year-old man showed up at the Tampa’s federal courthouse carrying a baseball bat, a security officer told him to drop the bat, authorities say. The man tapped the bat on the ground and said, “Batter ...

Judge sets trial date for lawyers in DUI setup case


Tampa military recruiter says he scammed $78,000


— The second of two local military recruiters caught up in a nationwide fraud scandal is scheduled to plead guilty to federal charges on Tuesday.