Florida

NBC-2.com 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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NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NBC-2.com 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.

Follow this story to get email or text alerts from NBC2 when there is a future article following this storyline.

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 Florida Highway Patrol says they have charged the man who fell out of his pickup truck while leaving a strip club. The truck ran over the man’s leg before crashing into a home and injuring a woman. Troopers said William Edwards, 28, ran away

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

A 25-year-old Bunnell woman already charged with Driving with a Suspended License and Pick Pocketing on November 4, can add a Possession of Methamphetamine charge to the list. A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy checking Tessa Lilly through security at the courthouse on Wednesday (November 6) asked her to remove her property. She removed a plastic baggie from a pocket, explaining that it was makeup used for skin treatment. The deputy, guessing that the clear rock-like substance in the baggie might be narcotics, submitted it to the Special Investigative Unit. The substance tested positive for Methamphetamine and weighed 1.44 grams.

“She came to court with meth in her pocket?” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Our security system at thecourthouse worked. She obviously needs help and has not learned from her past mistakes. I hope this is a wakeup call to turn her life around and seek treatment for her addiction.”

Lilly was at the courthouse due to that November 4 arrest. While she was released from jail for that offense, now she’s in the Flagler County Jail on the possession charge with bond set at $30,000. Her arrests with FCSO go back to April 2017.

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A woman trying to break into a restaurant in Florida on Halloween got her just desserts when the force of gravity sent her tumbling from the ceiling, in an incident that was caught on surveillance video.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday released the recording in an effort to generate tips that would lead to the perpetrators’ capture.

According to a press release from the agency, at around 3.40am on October 31, deputies responded to a call about a burglary at Bowls and Brews restaurant in the 100 block of North Ventura Avenue in Ojai.

The owner of the targeted business showed the deputies surveillance video that documented the heist.

A man told deputies he was only exchanging his beer for a colder 12-pack after he was caught stealing at the Publix in Vero Beach, according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

Donnie Alan Goss, 49, was observed entering the store and placing a 12-pack of Budweiser beer into a black duffle bag.

Goss was then seen walking around the store before exiting through the main doors at Publix with the stolen beer.

A loss prevention officer stopped Goss outside while contacting law enforcement.

“Goss was uncooperative prior to my arrival and was insisting that he had purchased the merchandise already,” the deputy said.

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

A 911 supervisor in Florida was streaming a Netflix movie when dispatchers botched a report of a shooting and failed to quickly send help. A 911 dispatcher assured the caller that help was on the way, but the woman contacted the department again around 15 minutes later “very upset and concerned that they may shoot again.

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It took X-rays, a CT scan and a doctor, but sheriff’s investigators apparently solved the mystery of the groin.

The case began Oct. 15 at the St. Lucie County jail as a 33-year-old Vero Beach woman was in the facility’s booking/intake area, an affidavit states.

Asked whether she had drugs or contraband, the woman said, “No.”

Yet when the woman went through a “body scan,” or X-ray type procedure, investigators saw “a circular shape in her groin area.”

A strip search revealed “a white piece of matter in her groin area” that she refused to remove.

She was taken back to the “body scanner,” which again showed the “circular shape.”

So, officials decided to bring her to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute about five miles away.

A CT, or computed tomography, scan was conducted. Those show more detail than a standard X-ray, according to WebMD. They involve using an X-ray beam to circle a part of the body, providing a number of images from angles. A computer takes the information and creates a cross-sectional picture.

Removed by a licensed physician, the objects included plastic bags and glass vials, which investigators said contained methamphetamine, heroin and MDMA, all of which are most definitely against the rules to possess.

The woman was arrested on charges including three counts of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and single counts each of possession of drug paraphernalia, introduction of contraband into a detention facility and tampering with evidence.

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Coty Lee Havens, 26, thought Chastity Bodnar, 23, drank too much and out of his concern for her well-being he told her as much. Well… maybe that’s what happened. Considering how Chastity responded to Coty’s lifestyle critique it might be just as likely that Coty was tired of Chastity passing out on the couch covered in Doritos and Papa John’s garlic butter sauce and then peeing herself.

Coty later told police that Chastity had proceeded to “Stone Cold Steve Austin my ass.” Which yes, yes she did.

Chastity was arrested for misdemeanor battery. She was booked into the county jail Saturday night and released Sunday morning, free again to go full rattlesnake on anyone who dared question the way she lives her life.

Coty too, however, was arrested after police arrived because for some reason he tried to fight the cops when they got there. (There’s a good chance he was also drunk.)

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46-year-old Florida woman has been arrested after being accused of trying to murder a man with a “large kitchen knife” before demanding he delete a video of the attack.

Melissa Ann Henson, of Maple Pond Court in Trinity, was detained by deputies from the Pasco Sheriff’s Office yesterday and charged with attempted felony murder/homicide and tampering with a witness, according to an arrest report shared with media, including Newsweek.

Police said the incident occurred at roughly 12:30 a.m. yesterday after the woman went to the victim’s home following an argument between the victim and her sister via text message. The man who was targeted in the attack has not been named by law enforcement.

According to the police report, after Henson became aware of the argument she drove to the victim’s home using her daughter’s car. The man started recording the incident on his phone after Henson entered the home and tried to force her way into his bedroom.

After watching the video, a deputy said: “I observed the defendant enter the room and begin to attack the victim with the knife. The defendant got on top of the victim in an effort to stab him.” The content of the text messages was not revealed.

Authorities said the man fought back after beginning to fear for his life, retaliating by punching Henson in the face “with a closed fist,” which caused his attacker to drop the knife. Police said the video had been used to positively identify the armed woman as the primary aggressor.

The woman allegedly pointed the sharp weapon at the victim as he was down on the ground and held her wrist to stop himself from being stabbed. Deputies said that Henson could be heard on the cell phone footage demanding the man delete the video. In an arrest mugshot released by Pasco Sheriff’s Office, the woman appeared to have a bruised area around the eye.

She suffered a cut to her right hand during the altercation, the police report said. The victim was left with a cut to his left thigh. It was not clear if the laceration needed treatment.

Nicholas Robert Godfrey, an 18-year-old senior at Fivay High School, about 40 miles north of Tampa, was charged with first-degree attempt to solicit murder, Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies said.

Detectives said they have messages Godfrey wrote on Instagram seeking a professional killer.

“I need a guy who could kill someone,” Godfrey allegedly wrote in one of the messages, offering $100,000 “for the guy’s head.”

“No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible.”

Even if Godfrey had no real intentions of killing the school staffer, the threat is itself a serious crime, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.

“As the victim and their family, imagine getting that notification form the sheriff’s office, ‘Hey we need to protect you,’ ” Nocco told reporters on Friday. “This individual may have thought it was funny, maybe thought they were committing a joke. This is not a joke.”

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A teacher in Pinellas County is out of a job only one week after starting because she allegedly showed up drunk on Friday, according to police.

Pinellas Park Police arrested Lisa Edelstein, 55, at Skyview Elementary School on 60th Street North just after 9 a.m.

“When you make that decision in the line of work you are in that’s an automatic fire and not rehire,” said mom of seven Brandi Parker. Her daughter is a second-grader at Skyview.

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A Florida woman was in for an unexpected surprise after her new weight loss surgery.

For close to a decade, Daria Yackwack, a former Tampa resident who now lives in Fort Walton Beach, had to live with polycycstic ovary syndrome.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines it as a hormonal imbalance that affects 1 in 10 women. For Yackwack, it meant weight gain and lots of changes for what her future would look like.

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A mother is charged with first-degree murder following the death of her baby boy Friday night.

According to the Clearwater Police Department, Victoria Jackson told officers she put a pillow over her son’s face.

Jackson is being booked into the Pinellas County jail, according to police.

Story developing, refresh for updates. Stay with ABC Action News for the latest.

A Florida teenager has been arrested after she ditched her dog on a roadside and laughed as it ran into oncoming traffic while chasing after her car.

The unusually named Anna Kist, 18, was charged with animal abandonment following the heartless incident which occurred in Eustis on Wednesday morning.

The entire episode was witnessed by local police officer Todd Luce, who noticed the pit bull being pushed out of a tan colored car.

According to a Facebook post penned by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, ‘the vehicle immediately drove off and the dog began to chase the car in busy traffic’.

Several cars reportedly had to swerve to miss the pup, who was desperately attempting to get back to its owner.

Officer Luce chased down the car, and found Kist inside the automobile on her own.

She is alleged to have been ‘amused’ by the fact that her dog was almost hit by multiple vehicles.

Kist reportedly told Luce that she and her sister could no longer care for the dog and that abandoning it was her only option.

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A fight in Florida between two brothers, fueled by alcohol, led to the firing of gunshots and one of the men getting arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

When deputies first arrived on scene, [Michael] Dean’s brother told them they drank several alcoholic beverages on the front porch and were in a heated debate about the Bible, the affidavit said. The brother then told deputies Dean choked him, but he broke out of it and a fight started.

A Tallahassee woman may have gone on an arson spree Wednesday and Thursday, starting at a Taco Bell where a woman was set on fire, cops say.

On Wednesday, Mia Williams, a 32-year-old who was born male but identifies as female, walked into a Taco Bell, doused a woman with gasoline and then set her on fire, Tallahassee police said.

Williams ran away and the victim was taken to a hospital by helicopter with serious injuries. As of Friday, the victim was still being treated, police said.
At around 5 a.m. Thursday, reports came in that a car was set on fire. Twenty minutes later, two other fires on the same street were also reported. The first involved two cars and the second was a church that was fully engulfed in flames, police said.

A short time later, two more fires were reported, all of in relatively close proximity. While the five fires were not within walking distance, police suspect that the culprit could be on a bicycle.

At around 6:40 a.m., a Tallahassee fire truck spotted Williams on a bike and began following her. When an officer arrived, he tried to stop Williams by using a Taser on her twice, but both shots weren’t effective, police said.

As Williams continued to ride away, the officer decided to drive his patrol car over a curb and pin the front tire of Williams’ bike to fence because “[she] was a serious risk to public safety.”

She wasn’t done trying to get away. The officer said that Williams jumped on top of the car roof, pulled out a pair of orange scissors and then raised them up “as if to potentially stab me.”

Police eventually arrested Williams and found a cigarette lighter in her pocket.

Williams was only charged in relation to setting the woman ablaze at the Taco Bell, not with the fires that followed.

Tallahassee police say the car and church fires are still being investigated by fire officials.

Williams was charged with premeditated homicide, resisting an officer with violence and aggravated assault on an officer.

The Florida State University student who was robbed outside of Gilchrist Hall Monday morning was stabbed in the back of the head during the incident, according to an arrest affidavit.

The FSU Police Department said Monday evening it arrested Rodney Jermaine Joyner, 36, in connection to the robbery.

According to the affidavit, FSU’s surveillance footage showed Joyner parked in his car at the intersection of University Way and Gray Street around 6:18 a.m. Monday. At around 6:36 a.m., Joyner tackled the victim from behind and put the knife to his chest.

The victim told police he gave in because he saw the knife, so he let Joyner take his phone from his pocket and gave him the password. The victim said Joyner freaked out a little bit after he told him he needed help and saw the blood coming from the back of his head, the affidavit said.

Joyner put a shirt over the victim’s face, and the victim then put it on the wound on the back of their head.

According to the affidavit, the victim told Joyner his mother died three weeks ago so he could take whatever he wanted, and Joyner said that made him feel bad. Joyner told police he believed a Haitian girl he had been seeing placed a voodoo curse on him, causing him to act strange and possibly hurt the victim.

Joyner was charged with robbery with a weapon, aggravated battery using a deadly weapon and attempted kidnapping. Police say Joyner is not affiliated with FSU.

Police say they arrested Joyner around 6:45 a.m. after responding to the robbery report at the dorm.

According to police, Joyner ran away from the victim, got into a parked car and drove away.

Police say they sent a notification out to surrounding agencies to be on the lookout for the suspect and their car. A short time later, the car was found abandoned a few blocks south of FSU’s main campus.

Joyner was found and taken into custody in the 100 block of West Bloxham Street without incident.

He was taken to Leon County Jail.