Crime journal

Published May 3, 2007


Mobile home resident dies with dogs in fire

A man and his two dogs died early Wednesday when a fire consumed their double-wide mobile home, authorities said. Firefighters arrived at 6401 Fletcher Road about 3:30 a.m. to find the fire raging. A neighbor tried to peer in, but the heat at the front door forced him away, said Hillsborough Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, "there was nothing left of this thing except the framework of the mobile home and a corner, " Yeakley said. "It was completely destroyed." Yeakley said authorities will release the man's name after they have notified his next of kin.


Man arrested in bank robbery

Another Clearwater bank was robbed Wednesday morning, but not by the serial robber who has hit four banks in Clearwater and one in Largo in the last two weeks. Wednesday's robbery took place at the Wachovia Bank at 130 Island Way on Clearwater Beach. The Clearwater police arrested and charged Wesley Musser, 24, with the robbery. Musser was found hiding in the bushes just west of the bank, after someone called authorities just before noon, police said. Police said that Musser is a transient whose last known address was in Indiana. He did not display a weapon in the robbery. All the money was recovered.


School worker faces molestation charge

A heating and air conditioning mechanic who works for Pinellas County schools was arrested Wednesday and charged with capital sex battery, among other offenses. Robert Morgan, 35, is accused of the sexual battery and molestation of a preteen, according to an arrest report. He also is charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, one count of lewd and lascivious battery, and one count of assault. The alleged crimes did not take place on school property. Morgan was being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bail. He is currently on "nonpay status, " according to School Board spokeswoman Andrea Zahn.


Life father, son faces sex battery charge

There is a new link between Leslie Sowell and his son Lee: Both have been charged with sexual battery against children. Leslie Everett Sowell, 57, is serving a 20-year prison sentence after pleading guilty last year to attempted sexual battery. The victim was 9 years old, according to sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin. Lee Whitcomb Sowell, 35, of 10025 Walton Place, Salisbury, N.C., was arrested and held without bail Tuesday on charges of capital sexual battery and lewd or lascivious molestation. The crimes took place in Hudson between June and January, according to his arrest report. The victim was a 5-year-old girl.


HOMELESS MAN DIES: Aaron Dennard, a homeless man, has died of injuries suffered during a beating last week. Dennard, 49, was found unconscious on the porch of a vacant home at 1901 Lamar Ave. N on April 24. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died Sunday evening, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130.

LOTTERY TICKET DISPUTE: A Zephyrhills truck driver says he bought a winning lottery ticket worth $36-million. But he claims his former co-worker took the ticket and cashed it. Michael L. Ford, 32, filed suit in Polk County court accusing Abraham Shakespeare, 41, of stealing the winning ticket from his wallet.