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RSS Full Text Feed of Crime-public_Safety for Mobile.

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    CAMPBELLTON — A Navarre teenager was killed in a crash after hydroplaning into oncoming traffic, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

    Cherylynn Monno, 16, was pronounced dead after a crash on U.S. 231 near Rambo Road Sunday at about 6:20 p.m.

    Monno, of Navarre, was driving south on U.S. 231 Sunday in a 2006 Hyundai Tuscan when the car began to hydroplane on the wet roadway. Monno veered onto the median and subsequently into the northbound lanes of U.S. 231, FHP reported.

    Justin and Stephanie Perkins, of Alabama, were driving north in a 2001 Dodge Ram as Monno entered the northbound lane. The front of the Dodge Ram struck the right side of the Tuscan.

    Justin and Stephanie Perkins were taken to Flowers Hospital with minor injuries.

    Monno was pronounced dead shortly after, FHP reported.

    FHP reports indicated Justin and Stephanie Perkins and Monno were all wearing their seatbelts.


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    ORLANDO (AP) — The third of three children who police say were stabbed by their mother in Florida has died.

    Palm Bay police said in a statement Monday that 5-month-old Christopher Swist was pronounced dead Sunday night.

    Jessica Lacey McCarty chose to remain in custody under a special medical watch when she appeared in court Sunday to face charges of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Authorities say the 33-year-old called 911 Friday night and said she had killed her children.

    Authorities found her in the front yard carrying a knife. Officers then found her three children unresponsive.

    Officials say 7-year-old Laci McCarty and 6-year-old Philip McCarty were taken to area hospitals and pronounced dead Friday night. Swist died Sunday at an Orlando hospital.


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    PANAMA CITY — The trial of a local woman accused of driving onto a sidewalk and over a Louisiana teenager began Monday.

    Police initially charged Lee Creary, 51, with possession of a controlled substance May 22 after a midnight crash on South Thomas Drive in which 17-year-old pedestrian, Mark Garrard Robertson, was run down by an SUV and killed. Days later, Creary was charged with DUI manslaughter after investigators received toxicology results indicating she had a blood alcohol level of .189 at the time of the crash, according to investigative reports.

    Creary’s defense against the charges remained a mystery Monday as the trial started out. Walter Smith, her defense attorney, reserved his opening statements until the prosecution rests its case.

    The night he was killed, Robertson was returning to his room at the Boardwalk Beach Resort, 9450 South Thomas Drive, at about midnight. The honors student graduated from high school on May 17 and had traveled to Florida on a senior trip. He was drinking a milkshake when a vehicle traveling east toward the intersection at Alvin’s Island Department Store drove up on the sidewalk and struck him, police said.

    The SUV continued until it collided with a palm tree.

    Prosecutor Bob Sombathy said he would show jurors that Creary was driving a 1991 Chevrolet Suburban after having “way too much to drink” and struck a curb, road sign and light post before running over Robertson and dragging him beneath the SUV without stopping.

    “Robertson’s skin was literally peeled off as he was dragged underneath the vehicle,” Sombathy told jurors.

    He only became dislodged from the SUV’s undercarriage when the driver struck another curb before crashing into the palm tree, Sombathy said.

    Eyewitnesses told jurors the SUV seemed to be going about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone. When the driver got out of the vehicle, she became hostile with officers and EMS crews. She was taken to a local hospital to treat a broken arm and a head injury, eyewitnesses said.

    Hospital staff said they could smell alcohol on the woman as she was spitting and cursing at them, but she would not identify herself.

    “She was swinging her arms, like head butting, she was spitting at the physicians,” said Cynda Bevis, a Bay Medical emergency department worker, in a deposition. “We had to put a mask on her just to contain those body fluids.”

    Creary was treated for her injuries as investigators continued to search the SUV. Officers found a single Xanax in the center console of the vehicle, and Creary was charged with possession of a controlled substance. After receiving toxicology reports indicating she had a blood alcohol level of 0.189 at the time of the crash, officers filed charges of DUI manslaughter. The legal limit for alcohol is .08.

    Creary’s trial continues Tuesday. She could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.


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    PANAMA CITY — A federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment Monday charging Linda M. Taylor, 35, and Donnie N. Whitfield, 24, both of Panama City, with possessing firearms as convicted felons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced.

    The indictment alleges that on six different occasions between December 2014 and February 2015, Taylor possessed a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol, a Phoenix Arms .22 caliber pistol, a Lorcin .380 caliber pistol, a Maverick 12-gauge shotgun, a Sig Sauer 9 millimeter pistol, and ammunition. The indictment further alleges that the Smith and Wesson .40 caliber pistol and the Phoenix Arms .22 caliber pistol were stolen and sold.

    Taylor also is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, and Whitfield is charged with possessing the same Maverick 12-gauge shotgun.


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    TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Senate panel on Monday approved what backers call a “school safety” bill that would allow school superintendents to tap employees or volunteers to carry concealed weapons on school property.

    The measure (SB 180) passed the Senate Criminal Justice Committee on a party-line vote of 3-2 —- the first Senate committee to approve the bill this year. Committee Chairman Greg Evers, R-Baker, is sponsoring the bill.

    This is the third year the proposal has surfaced, and the House version, HB 19 by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, has already been approved by two committees.

    Under the proposal, only people with law enforcement or military experience, in good standing, could qualify to become armed school security. They would also be required to hold concealed-weapons permits, pass background checks and go through a training program created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

    Several educators, however, spoke against the measure.

    “We’re just opposed to the idea that having more guns is a good idea for safety,” Barbara Holley, a retired elementary school principal, told the Senate committee. “There’s no evidence that having more guns around children will make children safer.”

    Barbara Kirby-Bentley, a teacher with the Seminole County School Board, contended that guns are not safe in a school environment.

    “You read every day about children attacking teachers in the classroom,” she said. “You read every day about students attacking law enforcement of some other adult who has authority over them. Just think of the anger they’re showing now —- and if you put guns on campus, there’s another opportunity for the loss of life.”

    Democrats on the panel objected as well.

    “In my county, Palm Beach County, we pay to have full-time school police officers,” Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth. “If we’re going to do this, we should do it the right way and that’s to hire —- and the state should pay for —- school police officers to be in the school full time.”

    Clemens said he thought Steube was trying to do the right thing, “but I’m still not all the way there yet.”

    But Steube, who presented the bill to the Senate panel, pointed to part of the bill that would require school boards to consult with law enforcement to come up with policies and procedures for dealing with active shooters, hostage situations “and anything else that (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement) thinks is appropriate.”

    “Right now that course doesn’t even exist,” Steube said. “School resource officers don’t even go through any training specific to school safety.”

    The bill faces two more Senate committees.


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    MARIANNA — An Anniston, Alabama woman has been hospitalized after crashing into a parked ambulance working the scene of another crash, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.

    Officers said Miranda M. Hart, 21, was driving a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe east on State Road 8 near mile marker 157 before the crash. A Jackson County ambulance was parked partially in the median and partially in the inside eastbound lane of State 8, working the scene of another crash where a driver hydroplaned and struck a tree, FHP reported.

    Hart struck the rear of the ambulance with both the patient and driver within, officers said.

    A second ambulance arrived and took all three to the Jackson County Hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

    Hart was charged with reckless driving.


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    PANAMA CITY — State fire officials are offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of arson suspects in two local house fires, the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of State Fire Marshal announced Tuesday.

    The reward is the second to be offered this month for information about a Panama City area arson. But the two fires are not believed to be related.

    The most recent fire took place on March 2, at a home located at 1432 Ridgewood Ave. in Springfield. The Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention offered a reward Tuesday of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for that fire.

    Last week, the State Fire Marshal’s Office announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the people responsible for the Feb. 22, house fire at 811 E. Eighth Court in Panama City.

    Anyone with information about the suspected Springfield arson is asked to call Detective Jim Stafford at 850-747-5888 or email Jim.Stafford@myfloridacfo.com.

    Anyone with information about the suspected Panama City arson is asked to call Detective Rudy Cintron at 850-747-5888 or email Rudy.Cintron@myfloridacfo.com.


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    PANAMA CITY — Police are investigating a barroom incident during which a patron was severely injured after allegedly refusing to put on a shirt, according to Panama City Police Department reports.

    Officers arrived at the Oasis Lounge, 1103 W. 15th St., Sunday at about 9:50 p.m. to find 62-year-old Dave MacAdams seated on a bar stool and bleeding profusely from a gash over his right eye and a busted lip. MacAdams was covered in blood and also bleeding from one of his ears. When asked what happened, MacAdams told police, “someone beat the s*** out of me,” according to PCPD reports.

    Police were initially called to the bar to a report of 41-year-old bartender, Eric Johnson, “having to take down a belligerent customer,” police reported.

    --- DOCUMENT: READ THE INCIDENT REPORT»»

    Johnson told police MacAdams had his shirt off and refused to put it back on. Johnson said MacAdams took a swing at him at which time he swung back, hitting MacAdams and knocking him into a pool table, police reported.

    “The pool table did all that to him,” Johnson told police.

    Several co-workers in the bar corroborated Johnson’s story, police said, but none would provide a sworn statement.

    MacAdams told police the bartender had been the aggressor. One eyewitness in the Oasis also told police the events did not happen as Johnson described, and he signed a statement for authorities.

    MacAdams was taken to a local hospital for treatment to his injuries.

    Police had not filed charges as of Tuesday. An investigation is ongoing.


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    BONIFAY — The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Bonifay Police Department, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a string of vehicle burglaries.

    On Monday morning, the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen reporting his truck had been stolen sometime during the early morning hours. The citizen also discovered an abandoned vehicle in his yard.  It was then discovered the abandoned car had been stolen from a residence in Washington County earlier that morning.

    Throughout the morning the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office received reports of burglaries of vehicles along State 79.  Purses, phones, credit cards and money were among the items taken from the vehicles.  Investigators located surveillance video from a convenience store in Bonifay during the time frame where a credit card taken in a vehicle burglary from Bay County was used.

    If you have any information regarding these incidents, contact the HCSO at 850-547-4421 or your local law enforcement agency.  


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    LYNN HAVEN — Due to an inadvertent water outage on the west side of State 77, there will be a precautionary boil water notice in effect for the west side of the city from the Bailey Bridge south to Mowat School Road, according to Lynn Haven officials.

    Once the repairs have been completed there will be a precautionary boil water notice in effect until laboratory test results are obtained. Any water used for drinking or preparing food should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute before consuming. This precautionary boil water notice will be rescinded within 48 hours depending on sample results.

    Anyone with questions can call the Utility Department at 265-0087 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.


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    PANAMA CITY — Jurors found a Panama City woman guilty of DUI manslaughter Tuesday, though she claimed to have been drugged by a stranger before driving.

    Lee Creary, 51, was found guilty as charged in connection with the May 22, 2014 death of 17-year-old Mark Garrard Robertson. Robertson, of Louisiana, was run down at midnight by a 1991 Chevrolet Suburban and killed while walking on a sidewalk along South Thomas Drive. Creary’s defense in the trial was that she was “involuntarily intoxicated” at the time of the crash. However, the claim was not allowed by the judge as a defense.

    Jurors spent less than 40 minutes deliberating before reaching a verdict of guilty as charged.

    Creary said as she drove from a bar and, after not consuming any alcohol, a strange feeling suddenly rushed over her.

    “I heard static then it just panned down to black, and it was silent …,” Creary told jurors. “Then I saw a bright light, then darkness.”

    In the five hours that ensued, during which she fought with emergency crews and police, Creary said she did not remember anything.

    Defense attorney Walter Smith claimed Creary had been drugged with “pow-cohol,” a dehydrated form of grain alcohol, to explain Creary’s memory loss and violent behavior.

    “She was involuntarily intoxicated to the point that she was legally insane,” Smith said.

    An official toxicology report indicated Creary’s blood alcohol content was .189 percent, more than double the legal limit of .08 percent, about three hours after the crash. Blood samples taken about an hour afterward indicated she had a blood alcohol content of .258 percent.

    However, Circuit Judge James Fensom ruled “involuntary intoxication” was not a defense in the case.

    Prosecutor Bob Sombathy instead presented jurors with a different cause for Creary’s lack of memory.

    “There was no evidence somebody spiked her drink with some mystery powder,” Sombathy said. “There was another substance.”

    During the course of the trial, several EMS and police testified to smelling alcohol on Creary following the wreck. One blood test was returned with positive results indicating she had also used methamphetamine within 24 hours of the wreck.

    The night he was killed, Robertson was returning to his room at the Boardwalk Beach Resort, 9450 South Thomas Drive, at about midnight. The honors student graduated from high school days earlier and had traveled to Florida on a senior trip. He was drinking a milkshake when an SUV traveling east toward the intersection at Alvin’s Island Department Store drove up on the sidewalk and struck him.

    The Suburban continued driving until it collided with a palm tree.

    Creary was leaving Pineapple Willy’s, 9875 S. Thomas Drive, after seeing a local band when she struck a curb, road sign and light post before running over Robertson and dragging him beneath the Suburban without stopping. He only became dislodged from the SUV’s undercarriage when Creary struck another curb before crashing into the palm tree.

    “She never stopped, she never hit the breaks,” Sombathy said.

    Eyewitnesses told jurors the SUV seemed to be going about 50 mph in a 35 mph zone.

    Creary sustained a broken arm and a head wound in the crash. When she arrived at the hospital, she was cursing, spitting and swinging punches at medical staff — many of whom testified against her.

    Robertson’s family members declined to comment following the verdict. However, Sombathy said, “all they want is justice.”

    Robertson “was a bright kid, he’d just graduated high school and had plans to go to LSU,” Sombathy said. “Instead, his family had to come from Louisiana to identify his body.”

    Creary’s sentencing was scheduled for May 11. She faces up to 15 years in prison.


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Three teenagers were charged with lewd battery Monday and their 15-year-old victim was arrested for lewd conduct, Panama City Beach Police said Tuesday.

    All four teenagers were visiting Panama City Beach from their homes in Indiana, police said.

    According to police, investigators learned Monday the 15-year-old Greencastle, Indiana, girl had a sexual encounter with three teens: Kyle Jay Coleman, 18, and D’Andre Lee Winston, 16, both from Indianapolis, and Marquise Isiah Moore, 17, Cloverdale, Indiana.

    Police did not identify the girl.

    The incident happened at about 5 p.m. in a room at Wyndham Beach Resort condo on 14700 Front Beach Road, police said. After an investigation, the three males were charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a person under the age of 16.

    According to an arrest affidavit, the girl was in contact with the three teenagers via text message, requesting they pick her up and take her back to their condo, according to the affidavit.

    The girl and the three males engaged in sex acts in a bedroom of the condo, the affidavit states.

    After conferring with the State Attorney’s Office, the girl was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct, police said. Capt. Robert Clarkson said the State Attorney’s Office presented the girl’s arrest as one legal option in the incident.

    “At the persistence of the victim’s parents and recommendation of the State Attorney’s Office, there was probable cause to charge all persons involved in this incident,” police said in a press release.

    Clarkson said the girl’s parents asked officers not to arrest her.

    Coleman was booked into the Bay County Jail, Moore and Winston were turned over to the state Department of Juvenile Justice, and the victim was released to the custody of her parents.


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    PANAMA CITY — For the second year in row, Fox News' popular "Hannity" show visited Spring Break in Panama City Beach, beaming video of the annual college rite of passage to viewers nationwide.

    "Spring Break Exposed," as the four-night segment is called, started Tuesday night and continues Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights this week on Sean Hannity's show, which airs at 9 p.m. CDT.

    "Last year our own Ainsley Earhart went down to Panama City Beach in Florida to expose the realities of Spring Break for your college kids, and it looked a lot like the parents' worst nightmare," Hannity said at the beginning of Tuesday night's segment. "This year we heard the City Council had made some changes as the result of this program in order to curb some of the out-of-control partying, so we sent Ainsley back to see what effect, if any, these new rules would have. Did they work? Well, you judge for yourself."

    --- MORE SPRING BREAK COVERAGE»»

    Viewers then saw a video montage of the white sands of Panama City Beach, with vast crowds filled with partying college kids. The video included plenty of dancing college kids — think twerkin', not ballroom — binge drinking, body shots, making out, breasts exposed (blurred out for the prime-time program) and spring breakers describing the things they've seen on the beach this year: sex (which was mentioned several times), drinking, going to the bathroom in a trash can and various other activities.

    "I saw a girl snorting cocaine off a guy's butt," one spring breaker tells Earhart, who spent several days in Panama City Beach filming the segment.

    One person she tries to interview is openly smoking marijuana as she asks about drugs and guns and he walks away.

    "What have we not seen at Spring Break?" another guy says.

    "It doesn't matter how you do it — as long as you do it," a girl tells the camera. (None of the spring breakers Earhart spoke to were named in Tuesday night's show.)

    After the video is over, Hannity and Earhart discuss the topic. One question is about nudity on the beach — specifically, how common exposure of breasts. "That's innocent now," she adds.

    The talk turns to drugs, and Earhart says marijuana is ubiquitous. She mentions seeing a guy with the drug "Molly" get arrested, and she says police told her there was heroin on the beach, too.

    She also discusses meeting a girl at the airport who had been robbed by a group of guys. The girl told said the perpetrators were "100-milers."

    "These guys were like 40 years old," Earhart says the girl told her. And Ainsley adds that a lot of the troublemarkers are not just from the surrounding 100 miles — it's 1,000 miles, with people from New York, the Midwest and Missouri.

    Hannity asks Earhart how this Spring Break's behavior compares to last year. "Worst than last year," Earhart replies.

    --- MORE SPRING BREAK COVERAGE»»

    After a commercial break, a two-person panel joins Hannity and Earhart.

    Earhart starts off by describing one of the "new things" at Spring Break — spraying a can of whipped cream down a girl's rear end and then "a guy comes and licks it off." She also describes seeing two girls passed out on the beach, with guys on the ground taking selfies with them, smacking them with beer bongs. She adds that a police officer described to her a posted video of passed-out girls being taken advantage of sexually.

    The segment ends with Hannity talking about Wednesday night's segment of the show. He makes a snide reference to Panama City Beach Mayor Gayle Oberst, saying that she told Fox News no local politicians would speak to the program, but, he adds, Panama City Beach Councilwoman Josie Strange would be on Thursday night's show, and Sheriff Frank McKeithen's interview would be aired in a later program, too. Wednesday night's show will feature a ride-a-long with police.


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    PANAMA CITY — A city councilwoman cautioned parents against allowing their kids to come to Spring Break in Panama City Beach, telling Fox News' "Hannity" program it was "dangerous."

    Josie Strange was one of three locals featured Wednesday on the second night of a four-night segment on Spring Break in Panama City Beach. The program visited Spring Break last year, and the footage prompted local officials to pass several ordinances intended to clean up Spring Break.

    At the beginning of Wednesday night's segment, Fox News correspondent Ainsley Earhart asked local attorney Wes Pittman if he was "here to save Panama City Beach."

    "Well, I don't want to pat myself on the back," he told the popular Fox News show. "I'm here to make a big change in Panama City Beach. There's nothing wrong with Spring Break. There are a lot of good kids here, but there are about a handful of nightclubs and two large hotels that make millions and millions off the chaos and strife that is going on. The violence and so forth is not good for our community, not good for our property values. That has to change."

    He added that local parents"take their kids from Spring Break elsewhere."

    Strange told Earhart she feels "strongly about Spring Break."

    Ii feel strongly about the reputation that panama city beach is getting," she continued. "I feel strongly about protecting the residents and the small businesses that live in this town that have made it their home, and this is not the reputation I want our city to have. We have to do something. It's ... accelerating every year. it's getting worse and worse and worse and like Sheriff [Frank] McKeithen said last year: 'We're one beer can away from a riot,' and when it happens, what are we going to say then?

    "I think we ought to listen to everything the sheriff tells us," she told Earhart. "If it takes no drinking on the beach, that's what it's going to take. I think that had we done this this year, that they (spring breakers) would have been drinking in the clubs — and that would have been the superclubs or the bars ... responsibility for keeping the peace. We could handle it once they got off ... the street."

    Earhart asked Strange what she was hearing from her constituents.

    " ... [L]et me put it on record: I'm not against Spring Break. Spring Break is fine, but this Spring Break is not spring break. This is a — I can't even liken it to anything."

    Earhart then asked her whether parents should allow their kids to come to Panama City Beach.

    Not during Spring Break," she said.

    When asked why, she replied: "Because it's not safe. The police are doing the best they can, but it's not safe."

    "They're outnumbered," Earhart said.

    "They're so outnumbered, and it's so dangerous," Strange said.

    Earhart then goes on a ride-a-long with Bay County Sheriff's Office Capt. Faith Bell, askign her what's the worst thing she's seen at Spring Break.

    "Just when I say that I see something worse," she said. "You name it; we've seen it. I mean, I've been out here for ... 20-something years doing this and violation of ... any human moral you can imagine we've seen out here."

    Earhart then asks Bell what she's seen this year that has shocked her.

    "This year, the guns — the amount of guns is getting worse. I mean, we've already got a couple today."

    Bell explains that BCSO positions uniformed, undercover and "take-down" officers to deal with the problems of Sprnig Break. The cameras roll as deputies search a drug suspect. Bell explains that they made an undercover buy from the suspect and arrested him; it's the second night in a row they've bought from the suspect, who's not named. Although the confiscated drug appears to be marijuana, it's not specifically identified.

    Bell says that night, which is a Friday night, they have confiscated marijuana and "Molly."

    In a subsequent discussion featuring Hannity, Earhart and two panelists, Earhart said Bell told her the drugs are from overseas and that BCSO has seen heroin, weed and "Molly."

    She also mentioned that Panama City Beach City Councilman John Reichard called the program Wednesday and said that he thinks things are better than what Strange and Fox News have depicted. Earhart quotes Reichard as saying "it's an isolated event."

    Before Wednesday night's segment is over, she mentioned two deaths — in a hotel room and pool — and says the first three weeks of Spring Break saw more arrests than last year."

    The segment's third part airs at "Hannity" on Thursday at 9 p.m. CDT.


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    LYNN HAVEN — An 85-year-old man died following a traffic crash on Wednesday, Lynn Haven Police reported.

    John Martens of Lynn Haven died at Bay Medical Center after his car failed to stop at an intersection on Minnesota Avenue and County Road 389/ East 14th Street at 2:43 p.m., police reported. Martens crashed into a vehicle headed eastbound on 389 driven by Tav Baines of Southport, police said. Both drivers were transported to Bay Medical, where Martens was pronounced dead.

    The investigation into the crash continues.


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    PANAMA CITY — A woman was killed and her two children injured in a hit-and-run crash on U.S. 231 Wednesday night and the driver was arrested and charged, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

    Jennifer L. Whitehead, 33, of Panama City was killed when a 1993 Chevy 1500 struck her and the children while they were walking south in the grass on the west shoulder, according to the FHP. Witnesses stated the driver of the truck, later identified as Patrick Andrew Henninger, 28, of Panama City was drifting back and forth before exiting onto the west shoulder, FHP reported.

    The truck struck the pedestrians and fled the scene, leaving Whitehead and her children in a ditch, police reported. The children were listed in serious condition, according to the FHP report.

    Henninger was located at a residence on Copenhagen Drive and was arrested at 5:40 a.m. Thursday, FHP reported. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with death. Henninger was booked into the Bay County Jail with additional charges pending, FHP reported.

    FHP said alcohol was a factor in the crash.


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  • 03/26/15--09:00: Mobile home lost in blaze
  • FOUNTAIN — A mobile home was completely destroyed Thursday in an early morning fire, according to Bay County Fire Rescue officials.

    No injuries were reported in the blaze.

    Fire crews were called to a mobile home on a lot at the corner of Third Street and Magnolia Street at about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, however, no one was inside, officials said.

    Bay County Fire Rescue reported no injuries on the scene. The home was a complete loss.


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    HUDSON (AP) — A 12-year-old boy was cooking with his older brother when an argument erupted, and the boy shot his 6-year-old brother to death, wounded his older brother in the leg and killed himself, a sheriff said Thursday.

    Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco previously said the argument Wednesday night was over food, but at a news conference a day later he wouldn't talk about it, saying only that the older boys were preparing food and deputies were still investigating.

    The boys were identified as 12-year-old Kevin Pimentel, 6-year-old Brady Pimentel and 16-year-old Trevor Pimentel. They were home alone at the Sugar Lane Mobile Home Park north of Tampa while their mother was at work, Nocco said.

    The sheriff refused to release many details about the crime, including the motive and where the boy got the gun, because he said deputies haven't told the mother yet.

    “The mother is going through a living hell right now,” Nocco said. “She doesn't yet know all the details. She can't handle that right now. She emotionally and physically can't handle that right now.”

    Trevor Pimentel called 911 at 6:19 p.m. Wednesday. When a deputy arrived, Trevor was screaming “I've been shot, I've been shot” from inside the mobile home, the sheriff said.

    Authorities said they have found no evidence that child welfare officials or police had ever been called to the home before the shooting.

    The mother, Helen Campochiaro, was a hard-working woman who had two jobs so that she could take care of her boys, the sheriff said. Campochiaro had been in a car wreck recently, but didn't even go to the hospital because she had to work, Nocco said.

    The boys’ 18-year-old brother also lived at the home, but he was not there at the time of the shooting.

    Earlier, the sheriff said Kevin was 13 years old, but at the news conference he said his birthday was later this month.

    Kevin was in middle school. Brady attended elementary school and Trevor took virtual high school classes at home in the mornings and culinary classes at a technical school in the afternoons.

    Grief counselors were at the schools to talk to their friends, students and teachers.

    Brady's first-grade class was told that something “very sad” had happened to him, school spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said in an email. Several middle school students who knew Kevin went home with their parents, and a couple of teachers at the elementary school where the older boys had attended went home to be with their families, Cobbe said.

    Trevor is in the hospital, and he is expected to be OK. When deputies tried to talk to him, his heart rate spiked.

    “You've got a 16-year-old who just saw something horrific, a living nightmare. I would never want anyone to be in his shoes. He's grieving right now. He just lost two brothers,” Nocco said.

    The family lived in the mobile home park off a dirt road in Hudson, which is about 30 miles north of Tampa on Florida's Gulf coast.

    “We rarely see cops in the neighborhood. It's quiet here,” said neighbor Kipp Coleman.

    The shootings happened about 2 miles from the location of another family slaying. In August, three members of a family and a fourth man were discovered dead. The ex-boyfriend of one of the victims is awaiting trial in those deaths.


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    BONIFAY — Drivers traveling State 79 north of Bonifay between the Wrights Creek Bridge and the Alabama State line will encounter temporary lane closures Monday through April 14, the Florida Department of Transportation said.

    DOT crews will perform routine maintenance work along the north Holmes County corridor. Lane closures will remain in effect from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Flagmen will be on site to safely direct traffic through the work zone.

    All planned activities are weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. Motorists are reminded to obey the posted speed limit and pay attention to traffic flaggers when driving through work zones.

    Inspection of State 79 West Bay Bridge planned

    WEST BAY — A Florida Department of Transportation bridge maintenance crew will perform a routine inspection of the State 79 West Bay Bridge on Tuesday.

    The inside southbound lane will be closed from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.

    All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather. Drivers are reminded to pay attention to the speed limit when traveling.


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    PANAMA CITY — Police are forwarding their investigation of a barroom incident in which a patron was severely injured to prosecutors to determine whether charges will be brought against the bartender, according to Panama City Police Department officials.

    Dave MacAdams, 52, was bleeding profusely from his face when police arrived Sunday at about 9:50 p.m.  to the Oasis Lounge, 1103 W. 15th St. He’d been in an altercation with the bartender, Eric Johnson, moments earlier when he refused to put on his shirt, police reported.

    --- DOCUMENT: READ THE INCIDENT REPORT»»

    Johnson, 41, told police MacAdams had his shirt off and refused to put it back on. Johnson said MacAdams took a swing at him at which time he swung back, hitting MacAdams and knocking him into a pool table, police reported.

    However, an eyewitness told police Johnson’s version of events were not accurate. Police filed the incident as a simple battery, but charges were not brought against Johnson.

    As of Thursday, the State Attorney’s Office had not received PCPD’s investigative report, but officers said the SAO would determine if  charges are necessary.


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