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Digest

Bolin's lawyers rest their case in murder trial

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 2, 2006


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Jurors will hear closing statements and deliberate today in the first-degree murder trial of Oscar Ray Bolin. Bolin's attorneys rested their case Wednesday without calling any witnesses on his behalf. Defense attorneys instead questioned the credibility of state witnesses and evidence to support their claim that Bolin, 44, is innocent. The current jury panel is not aware that Bolin has twice been convicted and sentenced to death for killing 17-year-old Stephanie Collins of Carrollwood in November 1986; both convictions were vacated on appeal. Bolin faces a death sentence if he is found guilty of first-degree murder again. He also has been convicted of killing two other young women in 1986, one in Hillsborough County, the other in Pasco County.

Motorist accused of injuring bicyclist

A 36-year-old man was arrested on an attempted-murder charge Tuesday night after he rammed his Chevrolet Tahoe into a 16-year-old boy who was riding a bicycle, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. Sayaphone Sengvong also faces a charge of tampering with evidence. He is accused of driving home after hitting the boy, Michael Nguyen, near 38th Street and 42nd Avenue N, then allowing a family member to drive his Tahoe away. The accident took place about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Nguyen was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff's Office said.

Man on probation wore robbery clues

A robber with a note hit a Wachovia Bank on U.S. 19 N on Monday afternoon and got away before officers arrived. But Wednesday, Clearwater police waited for Anthony J. Russo when the 40-year-old man checked in with his probation officer, officials said. "When he went to see his probation officer, he was wearing the same clothes (as) when he robbed the bank," said Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor. Russo, who in May was arrested by St. Petersburg police on a charge of grand theft, was charged with bank robbery. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Gas leak closes part of street

A gas leak forced Tampa Fire Rescue to shut down three blocks of N Howard Avenue south of Interstate 275 for about three hours Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters blocked the northbound lanes on Howard between W Arch Street and W Nassau Street after construction workers accidentally cut a buried gas line between 3 and 4 p.m., causing gridlock as rush-hour traffic funneled onto side streets on the way to I-275, said Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Bill Wade. The road was reopened by 6 p.m. after workers got the leak under control.

[Last modified November 2, 2006, 00:05:12]


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