Crime journal

Published May 5, 2007



As DeAndre Jamal Wallace sat Friday in an isolation cell in Hillsborough County jail, accused of shooting a deputy in a drug investigation, his family and attorney spoke out. They claimed Wallace had been unarmed and fired no shots at Deputy Christopher Baumann. They hinted that Baumann may have been wounded by his partner. The family's attorney, Ron Kurpiers, said a deputy "firing indiscriminately" may have struck the deputy. Kurpiers said his clients, who are black, have also accused sheriff's deputies of yelling "substantial racial slurs" at them. Wallace's mother, Vontrisha Wallace, said deputies called them "animals." The Sheriff's Office disputed the Wallace family's claims, especially the suggestion that Baumann's partner may have fired the shots that struck him. Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said investigators saw Wallace fire the gun that was later found in a nearby yard. He also said deputies did not use any racially charged language.


Robbers get the car, but with a fight

A man who stepped out of his Dodge Charger at 24th Street and Seventh Avenue at 2:54 a.m. Friday was attacked by three car thieves, but it didn't go down easily. The victim, who was unnamed by police, was beaten and threatened with a gun but still jumped onto his car as the robbers tried to leave, hanging on for four blocks. The thief tried to dislodge the car owner by twice trying to scrape him off by hitting parked cars. He suffered only some road rash and a cut.


Woman is shot to death at apartments

The Sheriff's Office was investigating a fatal shooting at the Tanglewood apartment complex at 6553 54th Ave. N late Friday. Neighbors heard several shots at about 9 p.m. Amanda Lynn Fanter, 25, was pronounced dead at St. Petersburg General Hospital. Neighbors said they saw the woman run from the apartment with a knife. Then a neighbor heard four or five shots. "She was screaming something about her brother, " said Shawna Hudnall, 19.


Plea deal may settle high-profile case

When Jose Frias' downtown general store and Tommytown nightclub was raided in March raid, authorities said they found hundreds of thousands in cash at Frias' home and businesses. Court documents hinted at drug activity and money laundering. Now Frias' lawyer says the case is nearing conclusion in the form of a plea deal. The charges: two counts of unlicensed business practice. Assistant state attorney Manny Garcia, confirmed that a plea deal is possible.