Crime journal

Published March 17, 2007



A Lutz man suffered extensive burns Friday when he was shot through the arm as he was driving and his truck was burned. No one knows why Luke Griggs, 19, was shot. He was found a few hundred yards from his completely burned truck, naked on the side of the road at the intersection of Hayman Road and Dan Brown Hill Road in rural Hernando County. The shooting took place just a few miles north of the Pasco County line, in an area dominated by farms and horse ranches. Griggs was flown to Tampa General Hospital where he was in critical condition.


Police identify crash victim

Police have identified the woman who died after a traffic crash on Thursday. Kena Lynn Amburgey, 43, was killed near the intersection of 34th Street and 16th Avenue N after police said she stepped away from the median and into the path of an oncoming Toyota driven by 60-year-old Naomi Smith of St. Petersburg. Amburgey was transported to Bayfront Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. Police said before the crash Amburgey was seen at the Cactus Motel, 1600 34th Street N. She appeared to be intoxicated when she left the motel just before 8:50 p.m., police said. No charges were filed.


Without a threat, bank is robbed

A man who never flashed a weapon stole money from a Crystal River bank Friday afternoon. The crime happened at 3:52 p.m. at Regions Bank on U.S. 19 next to Welch Cabinet and Appliances. Police responded quickly because several officers were working a nearby traffic accident. Gail Tierney, spokeswoman for the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, said the man walked into the bank, lingered in the lobby for a bit, then approached a teller. "Give me all your big bills," he said. He never made a threat or showed a weapon, but after the teller handed him some money, he asked for more, and she complied.

Man accused of sex assault at hotel

A Leesburg man with a criminal record is in the Citrus County jail, accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman who was staying at the Hayes Motel. Jace Ryan Murphy, 37, was taken into custody Thursday on a felony charge of armed sexual battery. No bail was set. Murphy, who was out on bail after being charged with aggravated battery and false imprisonment in Citrus, was staying at the motel on U.S. 19 and working there as a grounds keeper. Police said Murphy and the woman struck up a conversation Wednesday night, and he followed her into her room. There, he pulled out a sharp object and put it to her throat. She told police he sexually assaulted her over the next several hours. Investigators said they found signs of struggle inside the woman's room.


Body pulled from Vinoy Yacht Basin

A St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue marine unit recovered a body Friday morning in the Vinoy Yacht Basin. It was turned over to the St. Petersburg Police Department for their investigation.