Published August 26, 2006

Latin Kings leaders face conspiracy charges

TAMPA - Authorities filed new charges Thursday against leaders of the Latin Kings. Edwin "King Papo" Deleon, 27, and Michael Victor Lugo, 28. Each face a charge of conspiracy to engage in racketeering, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Both men already were in custody in Hillsborough on charges related to the kidnapping and beating of another local gang leader, Alexander Valdez, 23, of Town 'N Country. Omari Elijah Tolbert, 31, had been out on bail for charges stemming from that May beating, but was back in jail Thursday on a conspiracy-to-engage-in-racketeering charge. On Friday, Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich set Tolbert's bail at $500,000. Deleon and Lugo each have $800,000 bail, records show.

4-year-old boy falls into family pool, drowns

TEMPLE TERRACE - A 4-year-old boy drowned Thursday after falling into his family's swimming pool. Yusuf Saleh, son of Mohamed and Magda Saleh, had been playing near the pool with his brother, Ahmed, 18, Temple Terrace police said. Ahmed could not find Yusuf after he went inside, then found him at the bottom of the pool. Yusuf was pronounced dead just after 9 p.m. at University Community Hospital.

Jury acquits man of second-degree murder

TAMPA - A jury acquitted Eric Daniel Ware of second-degree murder Thursday, nearly two years after the Lake Mary man's arrest. Ware, 31, testified this week that he shot William Carpenter, 36, of Zephyrhills on Sept. 10, 2004, following an argument between the two co-workers who were in town working on a radio tower. Carpenter entered Ware's room at a Days Inn on about 3 a.m. and came toward Ware aggressively; Ware shot Carpenter in the chest in self-defense, said his attorney, Tim Taylor. Investigators initially found no signs of forced entry on Ware's door, but later learned the lock was defective, Taylor said Friday. After the jury reached its verdict, Taylor said, Ware went home to Lake Mary "with family and in tears."