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Dropped charge latest twist in family feud

A woman whose son was abducted and whose father was killed no longer faces an assault charge.

By NORA KOCH
Published March 1, 2005


TARPON SPRINGS - A 23-year-old woman no longer faces a charge that she used a gun to menace the family of the man charged with kidnapping her son and killing her father last August.

In November, police charged Sena B. Gul with aggravated assault. Police said the Tarpon Springs woman went to the Palm Harbor home of Sitki Ozkardes' family, carrying a gun in her left hand, and threatened Ozkardes' family members.

Gul later told the St. Petersburg Times that she visited the family but did not carry a gun or want to harm family members. She said she just wanted to know why anyone would want to kill her father.

In late December, authorities filed a court document dropping the charge. A prosecutor Monday would not discuss the decision to drop the charge.

Gul's father, Safa Gul, was shot in the head and chest with a small-caliber pistol the afternoon of Aug. 18. At the time of his death, he was babysitting his 16-month-old grandson, Ibrahim, who is Sena Gul's son, at the family's home in the Harbor Oaks subdivision.

Another family member arrived home from school about 2:30 p.m. that day to find Safa Gul dead and the child missing. Police issued a statewide missing child alert for the toddler. Ibrahim was found unharmed about eight hours later in the parking lot of an Oldsmar shopping plaza.

In September, police charged Ozkardes, 33, with first-degree murder and kidnapping. Ozkardes, the nephew of Safa Gul's wife, is being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail. The shooting and abduction are thought to have stemmed from family problems, including a dispute over a large sum of money, police said in September.

Then, in January, Ozkardes was charged with three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. Tarpon Springs police say he ordered hits on the wife and two adult children of Safa Gul, including Sena Gul. He agreed to pay $2,000 for the killings, police said. The attacks never were carried out.

Ozkardes is scheduled to appear in court in April for a pretrial hearing.

Neither Gul nor her attorney could be reached for comment Monday.

--Nora Koch can be reached at nkoch@sptimes.com or 727 771-4304.

[Last modified March 1, 2005, 01:11:12]


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