Female triathlete dies; an autopsy is planned

By Times Staff
Published May 4, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - The Chicago lawyer and mother of four who was hospitalized after the weekend's St. Anthony's Triathlon has died.

The Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office has scheduled an autopsy of Juli Wilson Marshall, 48, for today.

St. Petersburg police spokesman Bill Proffitt said it would likely be classified as an "accidental drowning death during a sporting event."

Bill Pellan, director of investigations for the Medical Examiner's Office, said doctors would study several possible explanations, such as whether she suffered from a disease, or received a blow that could have caused her to lose consciousness.

Marshall was discovered unconscious in Tampa Bay during the 0.93-mile swim portion of the St. Anthony's Triathlon, an annual race that draws about 4, 000 competitors, some of them top professionals.

Marshall was a married mother of four, who worked in Chicago's Sears Tower for the law firm of Latham & Watkins.

"She was a superstar from the get-go, " said Ernie Getto, a partner in the firm who worked with Marshall for more than 20 years.

"Our prayers and sympathy are with her family during this difficult time, " said Gil Peri, director of business development and clinical services at St. Anthony's Hospital, which sponsors the swimming, bicycling and running competition.


County elections race is heating up early

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson has acquired a some early opposition to his re-election bid in 2008.

Democrat Lee Nelson, who ran unsuccessfully against state Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Tampa, last year, has filed papers to begin soliciting campaign money. Johnson has filed similar paperwork, though his office Web site indicates he has not collected any.

Nelson won 42 percent of the vote against Traviesa, despite raising only $1, 025 beyond what he lent his campaign.

He is an information technology consultant from East Tampa.


Search for marine science dean delayed

ST. PETERSBURG - The search has been delayed for a dean of the University of South Florida marine sciences, an official has said.

USF provost Renu Khator wrote, "the search is halted at the moment, pending the resolution of some issues."

The communique puzzled some USF staff members, including Pamela Muller-Hallock, a marine science professor and a member of the search committee that for more than a year has been looking for a replacement for outgoing marine science dean Peter Betzer.

"I really don't have any idea of what's going on, " Muller-Hallock said. "I sent an e-mail requesting further information and received no response."

According to USF spokeswoman Barbara Perkins, the search for a dean was halted at the request of the marine science faculty, which wanted to ask the state for more funding before continuing the search.

Khator wrote in an e-mail that she was willing to ask the university's government relations office if a $5-million request could be made to the Legislature but it would have to wait until next year.