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  • 05/08/14--15:19: Jury convicts bankers
  • PANAMA CITY — After nearly three weeks of trial culminating in about nine hours of deliberation, jurors convicted three former leaders for their roles in a fraudulent loan that cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation millions.

    Terry Dubose, 66, of Panama City Beach, was convicted of all 12 counts with which he was charged in a federal indictment handed down last summer. Dubose was the president and CEO of Coastal Community Investments, a holding company that owned Panama City Beach-based Coastal Community Bank and Port St. Joe-based Bayside Savings until the banks failed in 2010.

    Elwood “Woody” West, 40, of Monroeville, Ala., was acquitted on the conspiracy count and convicted of the 11 other counts. West was Coastal’s chief financial officer and owned shares of the company.

    Frank Baker, 62, of Marianna, was Coastal’s attorney and a member of its board of directors. He was convicted on eight counts and acquitted on three counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to the FDIC.

    All three men could each be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and could have to forfeit property as a result of their convictions. Judge Richard Smoak scheduled a sentencing hearing for all three men July 17. They are free on bond until then.

    A felony conviction disqualifies someone from being a member of the Florida Bar, so the Jackson County Board of County Commissioners will have to find a replacement for Baker, who has served as county attorney even since his indictment.

    Each of the men had pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud against the FDIC, seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of making false statements to the FDIC and one count of aiding and abetting a false claim against the United States.

    The indictment alleged the three men misled lenders to get an FDIC guaranteed loan to avoid default on a separate outstanding debt, and then mislead the FDIC about the nature of the company’s debt.

    When Coastal failed to repay the debt, the FDIC repaid more than $3.8 million to the lender. A month later, the FDIC seized both banks. The bankers were motivated by a desire to avoid the personal losses they would incur if the banks failed, prosecutors argued. 


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    PANAMA CITY -- A man tried to hold up a Panama City convenience store early Wednesday, the Panama City Police Department said.

    The attempted armed robbery was at the Hop n Pop at 1307 E. Fifth St. at about 4:30 a.m.

    Police said a man wearing a mask, carrying a pipe and a black handgun ordered a man standing outside the store to give him his money and the would-be victim fled on foot. The man then walked to the window of the store, tapped on the glass with the pipe, then fled behind the store on foot. The man was last scene heading north on Williams Avenue.

    The man is described as a black male approximately 6 feet 1 inch to to 6 feet 4, with a slender build. He was last seen wearing dark pants, a light colored hooded jacket and green mask. For surveillance footage of the attempted robbery, visit newsherald.com.

    Anyone with any information about the case is asked to contact Detective Steve Johnson at the Panama City Police Department, 850-872-3100, or report tips anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 850-785-TIPS.


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Housekeepers found the bodies of a man and a woman shot to death in a 24th floor condominium around 10 a.m. Friday, police said.

    Police identified the couple as Robert and Susan Marcinkus of Kenosha, Wis.

    Panama City Beach police are investigating the deaths, said Capt. Robert Clarkson. While Clarkson wouldn’t confirm the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide, he described the crime as “self-contained” and said people didn’t need to worry that the shooter was at large.

    Police found a handgun they believe was used in the shooting at the scene.

    The couple had arrived in Panama City Beach earlier this week from their home in Wisconsin and were scheduled to check out of their room at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road on Friday morning, Clarkson said.

    “We do know that they were here on vacation,” Clarkson said. “They were due to check out today. That’s why housekeeping looked in the room.”

    A resort representative had no comment Friday afternoon.

    Criminal and crime scene investigators remained on the scene working to determine what happened, Clarkson said.

    According to KenoshaNews.com, Susan Marcinkus was formerly the head of a city-county law enforcement support services department but retired from that post several years ago. The Kenosha school system lists Robert Marcinkus as a teacher.

     

    Earlier versions of this report are posted below:

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police are investigating a murder-suicide after two people were found dead in a 24th-floor condominium Friday morning.

     

    Cleaning crews found the bodies, a male and female, dead with gunshot wounds about 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Beach Police Capt. Robert Clarkson told WJHG-TV the two are believed to be visitors who planned to depart Friday.

    The two have not been identified, and police still were investigating the scene at noon Friday.

    Check back late for updates as soon as they're available

     

    Below are earlier versions of this report:

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police are investigating the deaths of two people found dead in a 24th-floor condominium Friday morning.

    Cleaning crews found the bodies, a male and female, dead with gunshot wounds about 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Beach Police Capt. Robert Clarkson told WJHG-TV the two are believed to be visitors who planned to depart Friday.

    The two have not been identified, and police still were investigating the scene at noon Friday.

     

    --

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police were working the scene at a Front Beach Road condo resort where two bodies were found Friday morning, police said.

    The bodies, which had not been identified, were found in a condo on the 24th floor of the Tidewater Resort with gunshot wounds.

    Police still were on scene as of 11:15 a.m. Friday and more details were expected to be released later in the day.


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    SPRINGFIELD — Several more juveniles suspected in a string of school burglaries — including the break-in of a school for students with mental disabilities — have been arrested, police reported Friday.

    Police in Springfield and Panama City have identified nine suspects so far in connection to the break-ins of seven schools spanning multiple jurisdictions and had arrested eight of the teens on a variety of felony charges as of Friday.

    Isiah Grady, 15; Kywan Owens, 15; Capri Brooks, 14; Terry White, 14; Dontaye White, 12; Khyree Howard, 13; Jaylon Stuckey, 15; and Raheem Richardson, 13, have been arrested and charged with different roles they allegedly played in the burglaries.

    Police estimated the total cost of damage and property taken to be about $50,000.

    Several classrooms had been forced open when Springfield police responded Wednesday morning to a burglary alarm at Springfield Elementary, 502 School Ave. Police reported several electronic devices missing and damage done around the school.

    Investigators with the Panama City Police Department said they simultaneously were working an April burglary of several schools within Panama City that appeared similar in nature, police reported. PCPD already had arrested two minors in connection with burglaries at Margaret K. Lewis, a school for the disabled at 203 N. East Ave., and Oscar Patterson Elementary School at 1025 Redwood Ave.

    Springfield investigators teamed up with PCPD and identified and arrested six additional juveniles Wednesday evening. The suspects have been charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, dealing in stolen property, grand theft and felony criminal mischief among other charges, police reported.

    Officers also have obtained pickup orders for another juvenile in connection to the burglaries whose name has not been released pending arrest, officials said.

    “There are probably going to be more charges brought against them and more arrests made,” said Sgt. John Morris of PCPD. “We’ve spent a lot of man-hours getting these suspects, especially because of their disregard for special-needs students.”

    Investigators recovered dozens of iPods, iPads, laptops and several other electronics during the arrests.

    Penalties for juveniles found guilty of committing felonies can vary, depending on arrest records, from fines to probation to sentences of attending criminal prevention programs.

    Morris said he would hope for the maximum penalty.

    “Some were out on in-house releases and still continued to commit these offenses,” he said.

    Both agencies are continuing investigations but indicated they have not established a link to gang activity.

    Anyone with additional information about the school burglaries is encouraged to contact PCPD at 872-3112, Springfield police at 872-7545 or CrimeStoppers at 872-8477 (TIPS). 


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  • 05/09/14--18:04: Shots fired at mall
  • PANAMA CITY -- Police are looking for someone who opened fire at the Panama City Mall Thursday night. 

    According to police reports, they are looking for a white Ford Crown Victoria in connection to the shooting. Passengers of the vehicle were seen firing shots at a white Mercury Gran Marquis around 8 p.m. Thursday before both cars fled the area.

    Police found five shell casings near JC Penney and the food court area but did not report any injuries.

    PCPD are still investigating and looking for the suspect.


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  • 05/10/14--14:18: *** ARTICLE BLOCKED ***
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    *** RSSing.com Note: Article removed by member request. ****

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    PANAMA CITY BEACH - Panama City Beach Police officials confirmed that autopsies were conducted Saturday on the bodies of Robert and Susan Marcinkus of Kenosha, Wis., who were found shot to death Friday at Tidewater Beach Resort. Officials expect to have results of the autopsies Monday.

    Officials won’t confirm the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide, but said it was a “self-contained” crime and that people shouldn’t worry a shooter is at large. Police found a handgun they believe was used in the shooting at the scene. The couple had arrived in Panama City Beach earlier this week from their home in Wisconsin and were scheduled to check out of their room at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road on Friday morning, officials said
     

    An earlier version of this story is below:

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Housekeepers found the bodies of a man and a woman shot to death in a 24th floor condominium around 10 a.m. Friday, police said.

    Police identified the couple as Robert and Susan Marcinkus of Kenosha, Wis.
    Panama City Beach police are investigating the deaths, said Capt. Robert Clarkson. While Clarkson wouldn’t confirm the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide, he described the crime as “self-contained” and said people didn’t need to worry that the shooter was at large.
    Police found a handgun they believe was used in the shooting at the scene.
    The couple had arrived in Panama City Beach earlier this week from their home in Wisconsin and were scheduled to check out of their room at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road on Friday morning, Clarkson said.
    “We do know that they were here on vacation,” Clarkson said. “They were due to check out today. That’s why housekeeping looked in the room.”
    A resort representative had no comment Friday afternoon.
    Criminal and crime scene investigators remained on the scene working to determine what happened, Clarkson said.
    According to KenoshaNews.com, Susan Marcinkus was formerly the head of a city-county law enforcement support services department but retired from that post several years ago. The Kenosha school system lists Robert Marcinkus as a teacher.

    Earlier versions of this report are posted below:
    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police are investigating a murder-suicide after two people were found dead in a 24th-floor condominium Friday morning.

    Cleaning crews found the bodies, a male and female, dead with gunshot wounds about 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Beach Police Capt. Robert Clarkson told WJHG-TV the two are believed to be visitors who planned to depart Friday.
    The two have not been identified, and police still were investigating the scene at noon Friday.
    Check back late for updates as soon as they're available

    Below are earlier versions of this report:
    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police are investigating the deaths of two people found dead in a 24th-floor condominium Friday morning.
    Cleaning crews found the bodies, a male and female, dead with gunshot wounds about 10 a.m. Friday morning at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Beach Police Capt. Robert Clarkson told WJHG-TV the two are believed to be visitors who planned to depart Friday.
    The two have not been identified, and police still were investigating the scene at noon Friday.

    --
    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police were working the scene at a Front Beach Road condo resort where two bodies were found Friday morning, police said.
    The bodies, which had not been identified, were found in a condo on the 24th floor of the Tidewater Resort with gunshot wounds.
    Police still were on scene as of 11:15 a.m. Friday and more details were expected to be released later in the day.


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    PANAMA CITY -- Attorneys selected a jury Monday in the case of a Fountain man accused of killing his neighbor and stealing his property.

    The jury empanelled Monday will be the third group to try and settle Phillip Brock’s fate; his two previous trials have ended in mistrials when the previous juries deadlocked and failed to reach verdicts.

    Brock is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing 65-year-old Terry Brazil, who had been dead for some time before deputies with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office found his body in his home on State 167 in December 2012. Brazil had been shot, stabbed and beaten to death, and deputies found a number of Brazil’s possessions at Brock’s property.

    Brock testified in his first trial that he and Brazil were friends who would sometimes partner up to sell things at swap meets, so he often held his friend’s stuff at his home.

    Prosecutor Larry Basford has painted Brock as a perpetually broke man living in squalor who killed Brazil and tried to sell pieces of a collection of valuable coins. In Brock’s second trial, his son testified for the state of finding coins stashed at his dad’s home.

    Brock could be sentenced to life in prison if he’s convicted this time.


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  • 05/12/14--17:09: 1 dead, 4 injured in wreck
  • ALFORD -- A Dothan, Alabama man is dead and four of his companions were injured Monday morning when the driver of a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche lost control of the vehicle on U.S. 231 south of Alford, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

    Willis Rambo Sr., 64, died in the crash. Willis Rambo Jr., 36, was driving the truck and was taken to Bay Medical Center in serious condition. Passengers Nathaniel Patterson, 56, and Michael Snell, 46, were also taken to Bay Medical Center in serious condition, and passenger Roy Thomas, 43, was taken to Bay Medical Center in critical condition.

    Patterson and Thomas were ejected after the Avalanche entered the median, spun out and rolled over. Charges are pending.


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Police have learned who shot whom in a 24th floor room at a beach resort and closed the investigation into the vacationing couple’s death, but they might never know why.

    Housekeepers at the Tidewater Beach Resort on Front Beach Road found the bodies of Robert Marcinkus and Susan Marcinkus around 10 a.m. Friday. They were both dead of gunshot wounds in what police called a self contained crime scene.

    The couple had been expected to check out of their room Friday morning and return home to Kenosha, Wis. Investigators believe they died sometime Wednesday.

    The Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies, and police determined Robert Marcinkus killed his wife before turning the gun on himself, said Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman.

    “He was the one in possession of the gun,” Whitman said.

    Investigators searched the couple’s background for signs of physical or mental illness and found none, Whitman said. Police didn’t find evidence of financial problems either, Whitman said, so the motive for the shooting might never be known.

    “We’ll probably never be able to figure that out,” Whitman said. “Whatever happened in that room will probably stay in that room.”

    According to the Kenosha News, Robert Marcinkus was a retired English teacher with Kenosha Unified School District and Susan Marcinkus was a retired former director of support services for law enforcement.

    Investigators said they consider the case closed pending any further developments.


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    COTTONDALE — A church that caught fire after a holiday season service has been reduced to a pile of rubble, but church leaders say they will be rebuilding.

    First Baptist Church of Cottondale was ravaged by an early morning fire after a Thanksgiving evening service. The damage was extensive enough to warrant demolition of the building, but Pastor Jack Brock said a new church will take its place on the site sometime around spring of next year.

    Brock, pastor of the church for about 27 years, said watching the blaze “was like watching my own home burn,” he said.

    “It’s been rough the past few months,” Brock said. “We’ve gotten over the emotional part of losing the church now, and we’re ready to move on.”

    Brock said an electrical problem caused the fire.

    The church was originally constructed in 1884 as Missionary Baptist Church, according to city documents, and at some point became the First Baptist Church of Cottondale.

    The brick building appeared relative unscathed from outside, “but inside, it was a disaster,” Brock said. Rather than repair the damage and bring the facilities up to current code, the church’s insurance adjustors recommended tearing down the church and rebuilding.

    Brock said despite not having a sanctuary for services, the church’s membership increased since the blaze. Design plans for the church will favor modern architecture, Brock added.

    “We’ll have something we can all be proud of when it’s finished,” he said. “It was just there so long, it was sad to see it go.”
     


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Students and police had a harrowing morning after a suspect in a hit and run fled on foot near Arnold High School and Breakfast Point Academy.

    As police searched for the man they ordered Arnold and Breakfast Point locked down. Just as they believed they had tracked the suspect west and away from the schools, police received word that a classroom at Breakfast Point was being held hostage by a man with a gun, according to Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman.

    Police immediately pulled back and mobilized their SWAT team. However, it turned out the hostage threat was a false rumor begun by a miscommunication between a child and a parent, Whitman said.

    Police have not yet captured the suspect, but they no longer believe he is near the schools and the lockdown has been lifted, Whitman said.
     


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH - At about 10 p.m. Tuesday at a residence on Hidden Pines Drive, a man exited his home and saw several men burglarizing his vehicle.

    He confronted them and as they fled in a 2006 Ford F150 truck one of the suspects shot at the victim with a 9mm handgun, according to a news release from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

    The victim was not hit.

    Deputies observed the truck leaving the area and attempted a traffic stop. The five suspects evaded the deputy and fled to Laird Avenue. They turned east on Laird, traveling to Thomas Drive, south on Thomas to the curve, then east on Thomas to St. Andrew State Park.

    The suspects drove through the barrier and continued through the Park to the Office area and then onto a dirt road, officials wrote. They abandoned the truck when it became stuck in sand. At this point all five fled on foot into the woods.

    With the assistance of the Panama City Beach Police, the FWC, and the Florida Highway Patrol, four of the five suspects were quickly located in the boat dock area inside the Park. One of the suspects was attempting to convince a local fisherman to give him a ride away. They were taken into custody. The final suspect was arrested coming out of the woods, the news release states.

    The 9mm handgun was located in the Ford F150. It was lying on the floorboard with the hammer back. Further investigation has revealed the gun was stolen in Tallahassee, as was the 2006 Ford F150. The truck was stolen during an armed carjacking in Tallahassee on May 12.

    Statements taken from the suspects revealed they originally came to Bay County for Spring Break 2014 and returned to continue their crime spree, officials wrote in a news release.

    BCSO investigators continue to uncover additional victims today in multiple car burglaries in Bay County allegedly committed by these five suspects, officials added.

    Lawrence Woodard, 21, Vaughtrail Jerger, 17, Keontal Watson, 17, Alphonso Brooks, 17, Renard Andre O’Neill, 19, all of Tallahassee were charged with armed burglary and resisting officer without violence. Renard was identified as the driver of the truck and was charged additionally with felony fleeing and eluding, leaving the scene of traffic crash, driving with license suspended or revoked and petit theft.
     


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH — One shooting, two police chases, three hit-and-run crashes, two school lockdowns, and at least six arrests; it was a busy 24 hours for law enforcement officers on Panama City Beach.

    A miscommunication Wednesday morning led police and school officials to lock down two schools based on a mistaken belief that an armed man had taken one or more hostages.

    The episode started with a car crash at Alf Coleman Boulevard around 8:30 a.m., said Panama City Beach Police Chief Drew Whitman. The driver of a vehicle stolen out of Panama City fled the crash on foot, and police, suspecting he’d run to the west, began to track him.

    Police locked down nearby Arnold High School as a precaution, Whitman said, then locked down Breakfast Point Academy, which is connected by a walkway to Arnold, after a student at Arnold texted a parent about the lockdown, and that parent texted a parent of a Breakfast Point Academy student.

    Somehow the Breakfast Point parent came to believe someone with a gun had taken one or more hostages at the elementary school and reported that to police.

    “It was a miscommunication between a student, a parent and another parent,” Whitman said.

    The Bay County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was deployed to Breakfast Point, but Panama City Beach police officers on scene determined there was no gunman before the SWAT team arrived, Whitman said.

    “We called them off before they even got here,” Whitman said.

    Police have no reason to believe a weapon was ever involved, Whitman said.

    Officers still are looking for the driver of the driver of the stolen car.

    Second hit and run

    Wednesday afternoon, an investigator with the beach police noticed a vehicle suspected in an unrelated hit-and-run. The driver attempted to escape when the officer attempted to make a traffic stop, Whitman said.

    The driver led police on what Whitman described as a short pursuit through the Bid-a-Wee neighborhood. At one point the driver attempted to ram police cars with his vehicle.

    PHOTO GALLERY

    The officer in pursuit called off the chase before the Dodge Durango turned on Front Beach Road and travelled west fast for about two blocks before losing control and crashing into a minivan with five people inside.

    “We were not actually in pursuit at the time of the crash,” Whitman said.

    A 5-year-old boy in the van was hospitalized. Whitman learned later the boy, whose identity was not released as of Wednesday night, had been transferred by helicopter from a local hospital to a pediatric trauma center in Pensacola with serious head injuries.

    The driver of the Durango, 36-year-old Nathan Combs of Panama City Beach, fled the crash scene on foot and ran to the beach, where he was arrested.

    Police charged Combs with leaving the scene of a crash with great bodily injury, fleeing and eluding, habitual traffic violator, and three counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

    Early pursuit

    In another incident, BCSO deputies arrested five Tallahassee men after a pursuit into St. Andrews State Park, where the truck they were in became stuck in the sand.

    According to the Sheriff’s Office, one of the suspects shot at a man who came upon them as they were burglarizing his vehicle. The victim was not hit by the shot.

    They fled the burglary, and evaded a deputy in the neighborhood before leading him on a chase down Laird Avenue to Thomas Drive down to St. Andrews State Park.

    The men fled into the woods when their truck got stuck, and deputies, with assistance from officers with the Panama City Beach Police, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Highway Patrol tracked them down and arrested them.

    Lawrence Woodard, 21, Vaughtrial Jerger, 17, Keontal Watson, 17, Alphonso Brooks, 17, and Renard Andre O’Neil, 19, were charged with armed burglary and resisting officers without violence. They told deputies they had come from Tallahassee during Spring Break and returned to commit more crimes.

    Investigators determined O’Neil was the driver. He faces additional charges of felony fleeing and eluding, leaving the scene of a crash, driving with license suspended or revoked and petit theft.

    Valerie Garman contributed to this report. 


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    PANAMA CITY -- Panama City Police Thursday announced the arrest of a third suspect accused of participating in an attempted bank robbery in April.

    Michael Kenny Tew, 27, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of principal to attempted robbery in connection with the attempted robbery of the Innovations Federal Credit Union branch on Jenks Avenue April 17. Police obtained a warrant for Tew’s arrest on April 23, and an officer arrested him Wednesday sleeping in his car in parking lot on Luverne Avenue.

    Tew is suspected of driving William Riley and Harold Easley to the bank to commit the robbery attempt. Riley and Easley were arrested previously, and they are charged with attempted robbery and principal to attempted robbery, respectively.


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    PANAMA CITY -- Panama City Police arrested a 20-year-old Springfield man on suspicion of selling items stolen during a series of burglaries of local schools.

    Khalid Mohammed Danun is charged with five counts of dealing in stolen property. Detectives investigating a series of burglaries at Margaret K. Lewis School and Oscar Patterson Elementary School learned two juvenile suspects in the burglaries had sold Danun property stolen from the schools. Danun, who worked at a furniture store at the time, resold the property through the business, police allege.

    Danun was arrested and jailed Thursday.


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    PANAMA CITY -- A Panama City Beach man was charged Friday with trying to pay a fine at the Bay County Courthouse with counterfeit bills.

    According to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, when John Sheldon Jernigan, 26, of Kelly Street, gave the clerk at the courthouse $400 to pay a trespassing fine, she noticed the bills looked unusual; many of the bills had the same exact serial number.

    The clerk called a deputy to the counter and Jernigan was arrested and charged with 13 counts of uttering a counterfeit bill. The bills, all twenties, were counterfeit, BCSO said

    He was taken to the Bay County Jail and booked.


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    PANAMA CITY — New jurors didn’t change the outcome in the trial of Philip Dean Brock this week.

    A jury failed to reach a verdict after Friday’s closing arguments and juror deliberations in the alleged murder-robbery of 65-year-old Terry Brazil by his friend Philip Dean Brock. Brock is charged with first degree murder, grand theft and robbery with a firearm in the December 2012 killing. He faces life in prison if convicted.

    Shortly after the verdict, a pretrial hearing was set for May 28.

    Friday morning, prosecutor Larry Basford painted Brock as a bizarre man desperate for money, who intentionally killed Brazil, also robbing him of a car, several guns and sets of valuable collectible coins.

    The defense responded by saying impoverishment is not a crime and the state’s evidence points to a murderer; however, not necessarily to Brock.

    The gun and knife used in the murder were not recovered.

    Basford told jurors Brazil was killed Dec. 11, 2012, and the next day Brock had Brazil’s Cadillac and was “flush with money.”

    Brock’s DNA was discovered on a bedpost — thought to be used as a club to bash Brazil’s head six times — and duct tape found at the crime scene, he reminded jurors.

    And witnesses corroborated Brock’s destitute living conditions and Brock’s testimonies have been off kilter and inconsistent.

    Basford said if Brock was in the presence of thousands of dollars of silver coins, living day-to-day on food stamps and handouts from family and neighbors doesn’t sound reasonable.

    “If you believe his version or testimony,” Basford said, “and how he came in possession of all of Terry’s property, if you believe that, then you must believe that he also has a machine out there on his property that can cure cancer.

    “This is not a complicated case,” Basford concluded. “The criminal evidence points to one conclusion: the criminal is guilty as charged.”

    The prosecution’s closing arguments lasted about 50 minutes before the defense took the floor.

    Alternately tapping his feet and crossing his legs were the only movements Brock made as closing arguments were given.

    During her closing argument, defense attorney Jennifer Fury pointed to an unknown fingerprint and DNA found on the items at the crime scene and a doorknob.

    Brock knew Brazil a long time, she told jurors, and “did not feel the need to murder him to make life better.”

    She said coins that were found at Brock’s residence belonged to Brock and no evidence says otherwise, noting one of Brock’s relatives testified that Brock was a coin collector. And Brazil’s guns could have been at Brock’s residence prior to the murder.

    Grabbing the bed post, which was found across the road from Brazil’s residence, Fury motioned the way blood would’ve splattered had the attacker been right handed; she said, based on the direction of the splatter, the attacker was left handed.

    Brock is right handed, she said.

    “There is DNA on the bedpost,” Fury said, showing a chart of DNA samples lifted from the bedpost. The lab technician “found Terry’s DNA, she found Dean’s DNA, she found somebody else’s DNA.”

    The same unknown person’s DNA was found on a roll of duct tape found across the street from Brazil’s residence next to the thrown bed post.

    “They knew from the beginning that there was somebody else,” she said, noting earlier that Brock had volunteered and cooperated with law enforcement from the beginning.

    The prosecution’s argument lasted over three hours.

    Just because Brock doesn’t live a conventional lifestyle and his property doesn’t appear to be in the ideal living condition, it doesn’t make him a murderer, she concluded.

    “We have spent a lot of time talking about how poor that man is,” Fury had said, pointing at Brock. “Apparently, according to Mr. Basford, on behalf of the state of Florida … poverty deprives us of our moral compass.” 


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    PANAMA CITY BEACH - A teen sex party in Bay Point led to felony charges against several teens after photographs of the party surfaced on social media.

    Bay County Sheriff’s Office deputies have charged 16-year-old William Grimsley of Panama City Beach, 16-year-old Valli Dyanne Bennett of Lynn Haven, 17-year-old Austin Spinks of Panama City Beach and 17-year-old Jay Michael Barbieri of Panama City Beach with either lewd and lascivious exhibition, lewd and lascivious molestation or both. An adult, 21-year-old Jesse Spinks, was charged with open house party and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both misdemeanors.

    They were arrested in March after photographs of several teens having sex surfaced on social media and came to the attention of an administrator at North Bay Haven Academy who reported it to police. The arrests came to light after 16-year-old Claire Fisher, who was arrested May 6 for lewd and lascivious exhibition, appeared on national television this week to discuss the incident with Dr. Phil.
     

    This report was updated on May 20 to reflect Fisher's arrest.


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    SPRINGFIELD — Springfield is set to consider modifying or abolishing its moratorium on homeless shelters at its meeting at noon Monday.

    City Clerk Lee Penton said one of the options is adopting an ordinance that would allow a shelter within certain parameters. Penton was still analyzing similar ordinances from Tallahassee and Port St. Joe but said the ordinance would be similar to regulations the city has on the books for adult stores. Currently, adult stores, which includes businesses such as tattoo parlors, cannot be within 1,500 feet of a school, day care or church.

    The current moratorium prohibiting homeless shelters stems from the public outcry when Bethel Village planned an expansion to include housing facilities in Springfield.

    “You have to look at both sides of the fence,” Commissioner Jim Talley said. “I believe homeless shelters are necessary, not to support the person but to help them, but you have the public safety issue to look out for.”

    Mayor Ralph Hammond said there is the possibility that a shelter could attract unwanted attention around the premises.

    “We’re concerned not with Bethel but with who hangs around outside,” he said. “You have battered women and children in the facility. The husband is going to be somewhere. Most of the time they follow where the wife and child are. Drug rehab, you could have drugs in the neighborhood.”

    However, Hammond and Penton are both in support of having a shelter in Springfield.

    “Everybody says, ‘Not in my backyard,’” Penton said. “It’s going to be in someone’s backyard.”

    There is also an item on the meeting agenda to modify Springfield’s code enforcement policy. Currently, Springfield puts liens on nuisance properties similar to the state and county. The special assessment to be discussed Monday would allow for a non-ad-valorem charge on the tax roll to pay for maintenance on properties in violation of city code. Even if the owners were delinquent and unavailable, a payment on the tax certificate would cover city expenses.

    The meeting will be at City Hall, 3529 E. Third St.
     


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