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Law & Order

TBO.com Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

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Seffner killing suspect extradited from S.C.

A Seffner man wanted in the death of his wife, whose remains were found in a burning car, was extradited Thursday from a South Carolina jail to Hillsborough County.

Christopher Belcher, 43, was picked up by Hillsborough warrant detectives in Greenville, S.C., and returned to Tampa, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Belcher, who is accused of killing Gwendolyn Belcher and torching her car, will be booked into the Hillsborough County jail.

Belcher was arrested Nov. 1 at his sister's house in Greenville, S.C., by members of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office, Greenville City Police Department and U.S. Marshal's Office.

The body of Gwendolyn Belcher, 33, was found in her burned Nissan Maxima at Taylor and Pruett roads in Seffner on Sept. 16. She had been reported missing after fighting with her husband that weekend.

After she was reported missing, deputies interviewed family members, including her husband. Deputies said Belcher told them he got into an argument with his wife on Sept. 15 and slapped her face. Deputies charged him with domestic violence.

He faces charges of second-degree murder and arson.

Suspects soughtin 7 area robberies

Hillsborough deputies said they are trying to find a man who could be responsible for seven similar robberies of fast-food and pizza restaurants in the Tampa area.

In each of the robberies, the suspect shattered a window with a brick and entered a closed business, deputies said. The suspect then demanded cash from employees before fleeing.

Deputies described the suspect as black, 22 to 35 years old, between 150 and 180 pounds and 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall. He was wearing a black ski mask and black long-sleeved shirt.

Five of the robberies happened in Hillsborough, with two in Tampa. One occurred in Largo and one in Hernando County.

Anyone with information should call (813) 247-8200. To be eligible for a cash reward and remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), going online to www.crimestopperstb.com or texting "CSTB" plus your tip to CRIMES (274637).

20-month-old nearly drowns in pool

A 20-month-old boy nearly drowned in a neighbor's pool in northeast St. Petersburg after walking unnoticed out of his home, police said.

A nanny was caring for the boy in the 1900 block of Hawaii Avenue Northeast when the child got out through an unsecured door, police said.

When the nanny discovered the boy was missing, she searched outside and found him in the next-door neighbor's pool, police said. The nanny got the boy out of the pool and called 911.

The boy was taken to All Children's Hospital, where he reportedly was in critical condition, police said.

St. Pete crash kills man, injures 2

An 85-year-old man was killed and two others were injured when the man pulled out of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg and into the path of a pickup, police said.

Robert Earl Shepherd, of 4801 Osprey Drive S., was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he died at 8:55 p.m., police said.

Shepherd was trying to go west on 54th Avenue South from the main exit of Eckerd College about 7 p.m. and pulled in front of an eastbound 2005 Chevrolet 3500 pickup, driven by Robert Kevin McClure, 46, police said.

The crash sent Shepherd's 2002 Buick LeSabre over the median and into the westbound left turn lane, police said.

Two passengers in Shepherd's car were also injured: Frances Sparzani, 88, was taken to Bayfront where she was in critical condition and Aldo Sparzani, 87, was taken to Bayfront and treated for minor injuries, police said.

McClure and his occupants were not injured.

From staff reports

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