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Florida briefly

Published July 20, 2006


Request for brain scan approved for Lionel Tate

FORT LAUDERDALE - A judge on Wednesday granted a request by Lionel Tate's lawyer to have the child killer's brain examined for possible damage.

Attorney Jim Lewis said Tate was struck by a car when he was 10 years old and suffered a head injury. He said Tate, now 19, has exhibited "bizarre" behavior that brain damage might explain.

He said such a finding could help reduce Tate's prison sentence.

Tate was sentenced in May to 30 years in prison for violating probation in the 1999 murder of 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick, when Tate was 12.

Tate once was the youngest person in modern U.S. history to be sentenced to life in prison, but that was thrown out and a plea deal gave him probation. His probation was revoked after a string of offenses, culminating with his arrest for allegedly robbing a pizza delivery man in May 2005. Trial on those charges is scheduled for Oct. 23.

Man arrested in string of lewd displays at UF

GAINESVILLE - For more than two years, a man routinely drove to the University of Florida campus to expose himself to women before heading off to his landscaping job, authorities said.

Margio E. Castillo Jr., 30, of Summerfield, was arrested and jailed last week, Alachua County sheriff's officials said. He confessed to exposing himself to hundreds of women, dating to at least 2004.

Recent reports described an escalating pattern of behavior. "The suspect no longer was satisfied with just exposing himself to these joggers as they ran along," Gainesville police Capt. Lynne Benck said. "He was feeling the need to reach out and grab them."

One student said the man had exposed himself to her at least eight times a month from October 2004 until April 2005.

Former FEMA inspector sentenced for bribery

MIAMI - A former Federal Emergency Management Agency inspector who pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a resident who filed an inflated claim for disaster relief in 2004 was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison.

Tywanishia Preston was the sole FEMA inspector charged in a probe of $31-million in disaster relief paid out in South Florida after Hurricane Frances.

Preston solicited bribes from people seeking financial assistance for hurricane damage in exchange for inflating the value of their claims, the U.S. Attorney's Office here said.

FEMA lost between $10,000 and $30,000 as a result of her conduct, according to court papers.

Hurricane Frances made landfall Sept. 5, 2004, near Sewall's Point in Martin County.


[Last modified July 20, 2006, 02:03:18]

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