Crime WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

The man Cape Coral police called a person-of-interest in two Cape Coral homicides has been indicted by a jury for two counts of first-degree murder.

Wade Wilson admitted only to NBC2 he was with Kristine Melton and Diane Ruiz in the hours before they were killed.

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Wilson is already in jail for burglary, accused of breaking into a home, drinking the homeowner’s White Claw and stealing clothes.

NBC2 talked to Ruiz’s boyfriend of two years, Scott Hannon. He says he has been waiting on this indictment.

“I did a fist pump!” said Hannon. “I was just very elated.”

Hannon says the evidence against Wilson is strong, but he is still hoping for more answers as this case goes to court.

“He said he (Wilson) saw both of them on the same day,” said Hannon. “That’s not a coincidence…he is going to rot in hell.”

Hannon told us his closure will only come with one thing.

“It won’t be completely full circle until I hear a guilty verdict and it’s coming,” said Hannon.


“Give me $1,100 now,” the stickup note said.

The teller counted out $2,000.

No, said the white-haired, white-bearded bandit, clad in a blue, short-sleeve T-shirt that said “Trump” and “Make America Great Again.” Just $1,100.

It was the retired air-conditioning worker’s status as a regular at a nearby sports bar that did him in, his arrest report said. Once arrested, Hawkins told Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigators, “I will make this easy.”

He pulled from his pocket a tattered bank deposit slip, the report said. Handwritten on the back: “Give me $1,100 now. No alarms. Hope to get caught.”

Hawkins’ life changed in September 2013 when Linda, his wife since 1997, died of cancer at 70, former landlord Scott Vail said Wednesday.


With his face and neck covered in crude prison-yard tattoos, 33-year-old Dade City resident Fidel Manual Valle is already intimidating. So, it was downright terrifying when he held a knife to a Pasco County woman and demanded that she worship the devil.

Valle of 15221 Davis Loop, was arrested Tuesday, June 26, and charged with aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

The victim told sheriff’s deputies that, on June 19, she and another person were riding in a truck with Valle when he became inexplicably angry and began yelling at her, telling her to worship Satan. When she refused, she said Valle pulled out a knife and held it against her side.

He then drove her and the other person to a local boat ramp where he reportedly made the other person get out of the truck while he prayed to Satan and continued to demand that the victim join him in prayer.

The victim said she was in fear for her life.


380-pound Florida Man was hit with additional felony charges after jail personnel discovered a bag of meth “wedged deep within the belly button cavity of the defendant”

Florida police braved a navel battle with no real winners when they found crystal meth hidden “deep within” the belly button of a 380-pound man who stands at 5-foot-9.

Pinellas County cops busted Martin Skelly, 41, after finding him in possession of a syringe packed with meth, according to a police report obtained by the Daily News. The bust happened around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Police claim they asked Skelly if he had any more contraband on his person and he said he did not. But they didn’t ask if he had anything in his person, which he allegedly did. That 2.7 gram stash, stuffed deep into the man’s belly button, was reportedly discovered by a deputy at the Pinellas County Jail.

Skelly had reportedly been warned that if he was found to be in possession of contraband within the confines of a detention facility, he could face further charges. The hefty St. Petersburg resident appears to have taken that warning lightly.


That darn wind is always causing trouble, especially for “Florida Man.”

A man pulled over by police in Fort Pierce last month claimed the cocaine residue found inside a Budweiser can along with a crack pipe was blown there by the wind.

police noticed Joseph Zak, 37, appeared to be trying to discard an item when he was stopped for failing to pause at a stop sign,

When cops asked Zak about the white residue inside the can which eventually tested positive for crack cocaine, he told them “the police or the wind must have placed it there.”

Zak was arrested and jailed.

A drug dealer has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for selling oxycodone to a female friend and texting her instructions on how to kill herself with the drug.

Anthony James ‘AJ’ Edward Hunt, 24, was sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty to distribution of oxycodone resulting in death.

Rachel Bandman, a 19-year-old public relations major and sorority member at the University of South Carolina, was found dead of an overdose at her apartment near the school’s Columbia campus in January 2016 after Hunt, a close friend, sold her oxycodone, knowing that she intended to use it to kill herself.

Bandman, who suffered from depression, had purchased Xanax tablets from Hunt days before her death after telling the then-21-year-old dealer of her desire to commit suicide, according to prosecutors.

During a court hearing, US Attorney Ben Garner read text conversations between Hunt and Bandman.

‘It’s frustrating how I can’t die,’ Bandman messaged Hunt after she ingested 20 Xanax pills, according to court transcripts.

‘I don’t know how the f**k 20 didn’t work,’ Hunt replied.

Bandman asked Hunt to supply her with more pills to try to kill herself again, but her second attempt failed as well.

Hunt then sold Bandman 10 30-milligram oxycodone tablets and texted her instructions about how many she would need to take, along with two other unspecified substances, for a fatal overdose.


An Ohio woman accused of suffocating her three sons has pleaded guilty in the boys’ deaths and was sentenced to 37 years in prison.

Brittany Renee Pilkington, 27, had been scheduled for trial early next year. The guilty pleas on Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter and murder took the death penalty off the table.

Pilkington’s three-month-old son, Noah, was found dead in August 2015 in her and her husband’s apartment in Bellefontaine, in western Ohio. A four-year-old son, Gavin, had died in April 2015, and another infant, Niall, had died in July 2014.

The mother confessed to killing the boys the day Noah was found, telling police in a taped confession that she was depressed and worried her sons would eventually become abusive toward women.

Pilkington´s husband, 47-year-old Joseph Pilkington, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual imposition for having sex with her before they were married, when she was underage.


A Largo man who police say has a “history of fraud” has been arrested on charges that he stole more than $300,000 from clients who hired him to pay their taxes.

Dennis Wayne Maxey, 72, was arrested Thursday on charges of scheme to defraud and grand theft, both first-degree felonies.

Largo police say Maxey stole the money over the course of several years from a handful of people. Arrest affidavits say the victims gave Maxey money to pay their taxes, “but it was recently discovered that he never actually paid the IRS for them and when confronted he gave them varying excuses but could not provide proof that the IRS was actually paid and it was later confirmed by the IRS that no taxes had been paid on the victims’ behalf.”

Arrest reports say Maxey returned about $37,000 to one victim, but that none of the others got their money back.

Police subpoenaed his business records and confirmed the victims’ claims, reports state, including that more than $227,000 was taken from one victim.

A Lakeland man was arrested Friday for punching a little league baseball umpire in the face, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Alberto Escartin Ramos, 22, was attending a nephew’s baseball game at the Lakeland Highlands Babe Ruth Baseball fields when a disagreement with an umpire’s call turned physical.

According to the arrest report, Ramos disagreed with a call the umpire made, so after the game, he met the man at the park’s clubhouse to complain.

Ramos began screaming at the umpire, at which point he was asked to leave the ballpark, our NBC affiliate WFLA reported. Ramos responded by yelling that he would “kick his a–,” then punched the umpire in the face.

The punch cut the umpire’s lip and broke one of his teeth, the report said.

Deputies arrested Ramos on one count of felony battery of a sports official.

A father in Holyoke, Massachusetts was arrested on an active warrant after his 5-year-old son allegedly brought a bag of heroin labeled “Spiderman” to school. The son brought a packet of white powder to Lawrence School and told his teacher that when he eats the powder he turns into Spider-Man. The boy was taken to the hospital and is expected to be ok.


Seven months after an 8-year-old girl was kidnapped while walking with her mom in their Texas neighborhood, police released heart-stopping video of the moment officers busted into the suspect’s hotel room and rescued her. Michael Webb, 51, kidnapped the 8-year-old girl on May 18 as she was walking with her mom in Fort Worth. As the distraught mom tried to fight him off, he was able to get the girl in his car and take off. She called 911 and police immediately went searching for the girl.

290 WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

A seance and a night of drinking has a Charlotte County mother back in NBC2 headlines.

Kristie Johnson was first accused of leaving her five kids in a car to get drunk at a bar back in March.

This time her charges are vicious. She is accused of knocking out a man cold.

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The victim, Kenneth Drake, was no match for a drunk Kristie Johnson.

Drake said on Monday night, as Johnson chugged alcohol, he tried to watch Monday night football but Johnson wasn’t having it.

In an attempt to keep the peace in his home, the two gathered around, lit candles and called on dead spirits.

Drake, however, said the seance didn’t help. In a matter of seconds, he became Johnson’s punching bag.

Drake said Johnson grabbed him by his hair, dragged, scratched, bit, kicked in his private parts and banged his head on the concrete floor.

Now, Drake isn’t taking any chances. He said Johnson is never allowed back in his home. He has pressed charges against her.

Johnson was arrested for battery and taken to the Charlotte County Jail.

A Miami Beach woman was drinking beers with her boyfriend for hours before he said she became belligerent and bit his penis.

The pair were having drinks in an apartment on Miami Beach from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Around midnight, a female friend came over and then left sometime after, according to a police report.

Shortly after the friend left, the woman started accusing her boyfriend of wanting to have sex with her. The report said the woman then grabbed her boyfriend by both of his arms, yelled at him and “began to poke him with a knife.”

The victim had red marks and redness on his upper chest but no substantial injuries, according to the report.

He said he asked her to stop or he would call the police. When they arrived, he also reported that his girlfriend “bit his penis out of frustration.”

Esperanza Gomez, 33, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and battery.


The shirtless 15-year-old screams as he lies facedown on the kitchen floor of his Tucson group home. He has no arms or legs, so he can’t flee or fight back. But a sheriff’s deputy at least twice his size is crouching over him and pinning him to the ground, using his body weight to restrain the quadruple amputee, the disturbing incident likely wouldn’t have come to light if it weren’t for another teenager at the group home, who filmed the confrontation and then had his head slammed into the wall by deputies.


A Florida man angry after not getting a straw at McDonald’s was caught on video attacking an employee and attempting to pull her over the counter.

Daniel Taylor, 41, became upset Monday when there were no straws at the St. Petersburg-area McDonald’s condiment bar. Taylor was unaware of a new city law that went into effect on Jan. 1 requiring customers to request straws.

Despite being told of the new law, Taylor began screaming at employees, claiming that the law did not exist, WFTS reports.

Taylor grabbed employee Yasmine James by the shirt collar and pulled her onto the counter. James attempted to defend herself by punching Taylor in the face.

After leaving the restaurant, Taylor returned to yell at the store manager and kicked another employee in the stomach before he once again left the scene.

Taylor was later arrested and charged with two counts of battery.

“Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants.” said a McDonald’s spokesperson. “We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation.”


Authorities say a 21-year-old Florida man was so angry about losing several thousand dollars in a card game that he set the other man’s car on fire with him inside.

A Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says the victim was burned beyond recognition after playing cards with Michael Psilakis in October. Investigators haven’t released the victim’s name, citing Marsy’s Law, a Florida constitutional amendment designed to protect crime victims.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the investigation began when the victim was reported missing.

A witness told investigators he’d played cards with the pair and Psilakis lost $3,500. The witness said Psilakis asked him whether he should kill the victim.

Psilakis is charged with murder. He’s being held without bond. Records don’t list an attorney who could be contacted to comment for Psilakis.


A man police believe is a person of interest in the murder of a 61-year-old man in Palm Bay laughed as he faced a judge Wednesday on unrelated charges from New Mexico.

New Mexico officials said Larry Bell previously failed to appear on a charge of embezzlement of a motor vehicle, allegedly from a former employer.

Investigators in New Mexico now have ten days to pick up Bell as Palm Bay police continue to investigate the murder of Bobby Knight Jr., who was discovered shot to death in his vehicle in the middle of Agora Circle Southeast early Tuesday morning.


A Florida woman is accused of setting fire to her boyfriend’s home after catching him with another woman.

Tyetha Moore, 47, of Pensacola, was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree arson, the Pensacola News Journal reported. She was being held in the Escambia County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond, according to arrest records, According to an arrest report by the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations, a fire was reported at an unoccupied residence around 9 a.m. Nov. 7. Moore was standing in the driveway of the home when firefighters arrived, the News Journal reported.

According to the arrest report, Moore told an Escambia County Fire Rescue battalion chief she used to live at the home but moved out last month when she caught her boyfriend with another woman.

In interviews with four neighbors, firefighters learned Moore had asked them for gasoline, the News Journal reported. The neighbors said they gave Moore a water bottle filled with gasoline, the newspaper reported.

Neighbors told authorities they saw Moore climb over a fence into her boyfriend’s backyard and try to remove a window screen, according to the arrest report. Moore then threw the bottle into a trash can and left the yard, the report said.

The fire was discovered a short time later, the News Journal reported. Investigators said the fire began on a sofa near the home’s rear window, according to the arrest report.

Las Vegas, Nevada The 7-year-old boy called the Henderson Police Department saying his mother was attacking him with a knife. When police arrived to the home, the boy, who was covered in blood, stumbled out of the door. An officer entered the apartment and began struggling with the mother who was incoherent and armed with a knife. The mother, who was later identified as 37-year-old Claudia Rodriguez, somehow got a hold of the officer’s gun and fired a shot. At least three gunshots were fired, and at least one of the bullets hit Rodriguez, killing her. The 7-year-old was taken to the trauma center where he underwent emergency surgery.


KYLE, Texas — The attorney of a student allegedly attacked by a substitute teacher at Lehman High School in Kyle released a statement on Saturday, saying the family is “shocked and disgusted” by the incident.

“We are shocked and disgusted after seeing the abuse and excessive force used in this teacher’s attempt to discipline a special needs child,” said attorney Paul Batrice on behalf of the student’s family. “There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Given this teacher’s alleged criminal history of domestic violence and the video footage that has shaken our community, we have started an investigation into this teacher and Hays CISD in the hopes of ensuring justice for this family and so that no Texas student ever endures such extreme behavior again.”

The attorney and the student’s father say that she has a 504 Education Plan with the district (special needs) and suffers from seizures.

Batrice said the student is being treated for severe injuries after the attack, with family and loved ones close by.

“All parents, myself included, should be deeply disturbed by the facts surrounding this attack,” said Batrice. “When we drop our children off at school, we expect that teachers and administrators will keep them safe, not place them in a violent environment. This is unacceptable to say the least, and we demand justice to the fullest extent of the law in order to enact the change so obviously necessary.”

Alleged bank robbers don’t normally smile for the camera as they are leaving the lobby with a bag full of cash.

But that’s what police say 26-year-old Dontrell Scott did Tuesday afternoon as he walked out of the SunTrust Bank in downtown Columbus.

It isn’t the first time Scott has had his picture taken.

A search of the Muscogee County Jail mugshot database shows that Scott has been arrested in Columbus at least 15 times between 2012 and 2019. The charges range from driving without a license to forgery to prostitution.

Police say Scott walked into the SunTrust at the corner of First Avenue and 13th Street about 3:45 p.m. He left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Security camera photos released by Columbus police show that the alleged robber was not wearing a mask of any kind and had on a Chili’s restaurant shirt.

He also picked a bank that houses the Columbus field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Later in the afternoon, Scott was arrested at a Phenix City car lot, attempting to purchase a car with cash. D. Cochran was the man at Ask D Auto Audio Sales who was selling Scott the vehicle.


An Iowa inmate serving a life sentence says he should be a free man after he became ill, momentarily died, and had to be revived at the hospital. But the courts are having none of it. Benjamin Schreiber was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1997 after being convicted of first-degree murder. Because his sentence has been fulfilled, he argues, he is imprisoned illegally and should be immediately released.