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Circuit judge faces state ethics complaint

Published February 7, 2007


A state disciplinary committee filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against a judge who refused to release a dying man from jail.

The investigative panel of the Judicial Qualification Commission also said Circuit Judge Cheryl Aleman of Fort Lauderdale violated judicial canons through "a pattern of arrogant, discourteous, and impatient conduct toward lawyers and others" in her courtroom.

She had refused to grant a medical furlough to Jean Felix, who had AIDS, in 2003 although a prosecutor had no objection and the jail health system's manager testified that remaining behind bars would aggravate his condition.

Felix had been jailed for violating probation in a drug possession case.


'Anti-Murder Act' passes first hurdle

A Senate panel unanimously endorsed Gov. Charlie Crist's top legislative priority Tuesday, approving his "Anti-Murder Act" that would send more probation violators back to jail.

It would apply to violators who had previously committed crimes ranging from murder to child pornography. Offenders who have committed these crimes and violated their probation - except for technical reasons such as failure to pay court costs - would be immediately jailed. They would remain in custody until a hearing determined whether they were a danger to the community.

The bill, which has two more committee stops in the Senate, died in the chamber last year because of some lawmakers' concerns that it was too costly.


Teacher accused of sex with student, 16

A high school teacher and coach has been charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student in a classroom closet.

Shawn Trotter, 34, a history teacher at South Fork High School, was arrested Monday and remained held Tuesday on $225,000 bail, said Martin County sheriff's Lt. Jenell Atlas.


Police want to keep gang members apart

Police here want to fight gangs not just by arresting them, but also by taking them to civil court. The plan by the West Palm Beach Police Department is to identify gang members, then to persuade a judge to issue an injunction blocking them from being together.

[Last modified February 7, 2007, 01:11:52]

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