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Hillsborough briefs

News of note.

By Times Staff
Published September 13, 2006

Lawyer, sheriff mustn't discuss case in private

TAMPA - Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee and lawyer Barry Cohen can't chat in private anymore about the disappearance of 5-month-old Sabrina Aisenberg.

The sheriff's attorneys argued Tuesday that it wasn't proper for them to be left out of such conversations, given that Gee is a defendant in Cohen's lawsuit against the Sheriff's Office for its handling of the case.

Circuit Judge Claudia Isom agreed that the suit and the criminal investigation are "inextricably intertwined."

Her order: Cohen must stop contacting Gee personally on Aisenberg matters but is allowed to share tips on the criminal case with an investigator designated by the Sheriff's Office.

Wounded officer's vest tested, determined safe

TAMPA - When someone shot and injured Tampa police Officer James Wilkinson in May, questions were raised about whether Wilkinson's bulletproof vest was defective.

So police sent Wilkinson's vest and an identical one to the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center in Gaithersburg, Md.

Both vests were tested and determined to be safe.

"Officer Wilkinson's vest did not fail, but in fact took most of the bullet's impact," Chief Steve Hogue wrote in August's edition of the Tampa police newsletter, Signal 14. "The bullet penetrated one layer of the 26 layers. The angle of the shot caused the bullet to slide off the edge of the vest and inflict the wound."

Police said Tomas Montesedeoca shot Wilkinson after the officer stopped Montesedeoca's pickup in east Tampa. Wilkinson was taken to a hospital and required minor surgery for his wound.

Judge grants defense more time in Lunde case

TAMPA - David Lee Onstott, charged with the April 2005 death of 13-year-old Sarah Lunde, won't learn his fate this fall.

On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta granted defense attorneys' request for more time to prepare for the death penalty case.

They were still waiting for DNA results and the availability of an expert from California.

Assistant Public Defender John Skye also indicated that he will seek a change of venue for the trial. Ficarrotta said the trial begins March 12.

[Last modified September 13, 2006, 06:51:20]

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