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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Elaine Silvestrini

Tribune Staff

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

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— David Wendel Thompson says he led a double life.

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

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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

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— 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

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— 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

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— 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

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— 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

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— 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

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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

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Tampa military recruiter says he scammed $78,000

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

Catholic school planned for Mary Help of Christians site

- A man who says he was abused at the former Mary Help of Christians School in East Tampa says he received a fundraising solicitation for a new school planned for the site.

Castor headlines Tampa's first Pride parade in years

- Police Chief Jane Castor has always been open about her sexual orientation, but she will also tell you she's “not a flag carrier.”

DUI setup could cost law partner his legal license

- Stephen Diaco has agreed to surrender his law license. He was part of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem's defense team accused of unethical behavior after the arrest of an opposing lawyer during a 2013 libel trial.

Police chief to residents: Help us fight gun violence

- With more guns on the streets and more people being killed in recent weeks, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor implored residents who refuse to cooperate with investigators to help stop the violence.

Tampa mom pleads guilty after infant drowns in bathtub

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— A woman who left her 7-month-old son to drown in a bathtub while she talke...

Agents’ chatter in Osmakac terror sting skirts fine line

- Was Sami Osmakac a mentally ill radical incapable of causing harm or a dangerous would-be terrorist stopped before he struck? Newly disclosed transcripts of private FBI conversations provide fuel for both scenarios.

Former Tampa police informant guilty of tax fraud

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— Rita Girven, the felon whose unusually close relationship with two former Tampa Police detectives was at the center of a scandal at the department, pleaded guilty Monday to fe...

Weight-loss guru fights $1,050 fine for contempt in Tampa

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Victoria Morton’s invention was touted by celebrities from Ellen

Families of autistic children sue Disney over ride access

- After the park was battered by reports of rich people paying disabled people to help them jump long lines, Disney revamped its disabled guest passes and replaced them with passes that some autism advocates say are virtually...

Federal judge dismisses porn charge, criticizes prosecutors

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— Strongly criticizing the actions of federal prosecutors, a federal judge has dismissed a case against a Bradenton woman who had been accused of making pornographic photographs...

Too social: Texting aiding teacher-student sex

- Dozens of Tampa Bay area teachers have been prosecuted for sex with students. Authorities say many communicated with their victims via text messages or social media.