Florida Supreme Court on the death penalty: We got it wrong
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is saying it was wrong when it previously ruled that a unanimous jury decision is required for a death sentence. Thursday's decision reverses a 2016 state Supreme Court decision that resulted in new sentencing hearings for dozens of death row inmates. The ruling involves a 2005 Polk County slaying. A trial court order a new sentencing hearing for death row inmate Mark Poole, but the state appealed the decision. The Supreme Court ruled Poole's death sentence should stand.
Prosecutor: DNA match leads to Florida 'pillowcase rapist'
MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors say a DNA match has led to the cold case arrest of a Florida man believed to be the “pillowcase rapist" who terrorized greater Miami with a series of assaults on women in the 1980s. Authorities say 60-year-old Robert Koehler was arrested last weekend and is being held without bond in Miami. He faces charges in one assault though authorities said as many as 25 victims could be involved. Investigators say the so-called “pillowcase rapist” used a pillowcase or other fabric to cover the faces of his victims. The assaults took place between 1981 and 1986. Koehler says he is not guilty.
Autopsy: Woman, at least 2 children stabbed in Florida home
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — A preliminary autopsy report says a woman and at least two of her three children found dead in a Florida home had been stabbed. The report released Thursday by the Medical Examiner's Office says 42-year-old Megan Todt suffered at least two stab wounds. It shows that her 11-and 13-year-old sons each had a single stab wound. No stab wounds were found on the woman's 4-year-old daughter, and the report didn't list a possible cause of death. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says 44-year-old Anthony Todt was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder.
Pompeo talks Nicaragua after Florida Senate condemns Ortega
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave Gov. Ron DeSantis an update on Latin American affairs during a trip to Florida. He met with the governor, elected officials and prominent members of South Florida's Venezuelan community Thursday, the day after the state Senate condemned Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. Pompeo said before the meeting that he wanted to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the face of tyranny in Venezuela and Cuba. In a phone interview, he also talked about U.S. support for opposition leaders in Nicaragua in the quest for fair elections.
Mario meet Hulk: Nintendo park coming to Universal Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Harry Potter and Hulk: Welcome your new neighbors, Mario and Pokemon. A fourth park at Universal Orlando is being created based on characters from Nintendo. Executives of the company that owns the Universal parks made the announcement during the question-and-answer portion of an earnings call Thursday. They had refused to offer details about the new park when it was first announced last August, citing the competitive nature of the Orlando theme park industry.
HOUSE FIRE-DOGS KILLED
19 dogs killed from fire at breeder's home in Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Fire rescue officials says an early morning fire at the home of a Florida canine breeder killed 19 dogs. Six other dogs were rescued. Orange County Fire Rescue tweeted that most of the dogs died from smoke inhalation early Thursday. Fire officials say the cause of the fire was an air handler, and the blaze was contained to a single room. Fire officials say the surviving dogs are being cared for. The home is co-owned by a dog breeder well-known in central Florida.
Detectives catch bathroom voyeur in child porn investigation
A 40-year-old Florida man is facing multiple charges after detectives investigating a child porn case found videos of adults using the bathroom at his house. Jesse Michael Chester was arrested Wednesday following a two-month investigation into child pornography. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says detectives found numerous images of child porn on Chester's phone and cloud storage accounts. That's how the discovered the bathroom videos. Investigators have identified two of the victims in the voyeurism case. An arrest report says Chester uploaded the images onto a public website. A lawyer for Chester was not listed on jail records.
Lawyers: Kodak Black moved to federal prison in Kentucky
MIAMI (AP) — A group of lawyers called a news conference to discuss what they claim is the mistreatment of rapper Kodak in federal prison. But they discovered the 22-year-old rapper had been put on a prison bus to another federal facility in Kentucky just an hour before they arrived at the facility Wednesday. The attorneys say they haven't seen Black in weeks and had notified prison officials of their visit. Black was sentenced in November to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to weapons charges stemming from his arrest just before a scheduled concert performance in May.
IDENTITY THEFT-MAN SENTENCED
Venezuelan sentenced in $250,000-monthly ATM skimming scheme
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Venezuelan man who pleaded guilty to stealing debit and credit card information from ATMs has been sentenced to four years in prison. Ricardo Abdel of Doral, Florida, also must pay nearly $20,000 in restitution. Attorney Robert Higdon Jr. said in a news release on Wednesday that Abdel and his conspirators installed pinhole cameras at ATM machines in Georgia, Florida and California to record card and pin numbers, and then used them to create counterfeit cards to withdraw about $250,000 a month from ATMs. Abdel was caught after trying to make a withdrawal in Wilmington, North Carolina, with thousands of dollars in cash and equipment for making counterfeit cards.
Home searched after cybercrime targets Florida school board