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By Wire services
Published August 23, 2006

Man charged with murder in ecstasy deal shooting

TAMPA - Hillsborough sheriff's officials say Roderick Lamar Burney shot and killed a man Monday night who was looking to buy ecstasy.

Burney, 28, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder, armed robbery with a firearm and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is suspected of killing Kenya Jarvon Octavean Bellamy, 25, late Monday night.

Sheriff's officials say Polly Ann Pelaez, 40, drove Burney and other two men to Tinsley Circle to meet with Bellamy so Bellamy could buy ecstasy from them. But the sellers really conspired to rob Bellamy, sheriff's officials said, and Burney and a passenger got out of the red Nissan Altima, confronted Bellamy and shot him.

Bellamy died at the scene. After a chase, Burney ran from the Altima and was captured by a canine unit.

Burney remained in a Hillsborough County jail Tuesday without bail. Pelaez, the driver, was charged with felony fleeing and eluding. She also remained in jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.

Case of neighborhood pot farms goes to jurors

TAMPA - Jurors have started deliberating in the case of Herbert Ferrell Jr., who is accused of participating in a scheme to create indoor marijuana farms in some of Tampa Bay's nicest neighborhoods.

Ferrell, a Tampa businessman, is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants.

If convicted, he could face life in prison.

During closing arguments, Ferrell's attorney, Joseph Bodiford, said his client was coerced and wanted no part of the plan.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Porcelli told jurors Bodiford's argument made no sense in light of statements Ferrell made that were caught on tape by government informants.

Deliberations are scheduled to resume today.

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