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Digest

Couey loses bid to delay Feb. 12 start of trial

By TIME WIRES
Published January 25, 2007


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Attorneys for the man accused of killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa in 2005 suffered a major setback Wednesday as a judge refused to delay the Feb. 12 trial, giving them about two weeks to investigate more than 1,000 pages of fresh evidence and rebut two new witnesses. Circuit Judge Ric Howard decided the eleventh-hour revelation of incriminating statements reportedly made by John Couey to jail guards would not "unduly affect the defense's ability to go to trial at this juncture."

Police arrest 13 members of group

Tampa police arrested 13 suspected members of a group calling itself the "Young Godz" Wednesday after a 41/2-month undercover operation, said Maj. George McNamara. The members ranged in age from 15 to their mid 20s. Tattoos mark their forearms - "Young" on one arm, "Godz" on the other - he said. Police had warrants for 22 suspects. They face various narcotics charges.

Woman, 80, dies in 3-car accident

A three-car accident at U.S. 41 and Fiesta Grove Boulevard killed an 80-year-old Tampa woman Wednesday morning. Maria J. Hernandez, driving a Chevrolet sedan, turned left into oncoming traffic about 7:20 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol. She collided with Enry A. Izaguirre, 29, also of Tampa, who was driving a GMC van that then hit a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle driven by Alan D. Sabshin, 55, of Spring Hill. Neither Sabshin nor Izaguirre was injured.

Arrested man flees in deputy's cruiser

A man commandeered a deputy's car while being arrested on charges of dealing in stolen property and led deputies on a short chase Tuesday. William Cecil Baxter, 37, of 5505 W Cagney Loop was handcuffed in the back of a cruiser on S Casey Point about 6:30 p.m., according to a report. As Deputy Ronald Czechowski was about 30 yards from the car, Baxter wriggled his handcuffed hands to the front of his body and drove off. He unlocked an assault rifle from its rack and placed it across the dashboard, the report said. The weapon was not fired. Czechowski and another deputy chased Baxter along Rock Crusher Road and W Homosassa Trail. After about 3 miles, Baxter ran off the road and hit a tree, the report said.

2 surprise napping man, steal pills

Two men slipped through Gerald Sevenski's door while he was napping, covered his face with a cloth and stole prescription medication from his pants pocket, authorities said. When Sevenski, 52, awoke and began to struggle, the men shocked him with a stun gun, sheriff's Sgt. Jim Bordner said. But that didn't stop him. He pulled the cloth off his face and recognized one of the men, who ran away. Devon M. Makowski and Michael J. Kowalski, both 19, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the Jan. 8 home invasion. Both admitted their involvement, Bordner said.

[Last modified January 25, 2007, 00:34:12]


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