tampabay.com

Deputies think deaths were murder-suicide

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 28, 2007


DADE CITY

An apparent murder-suicide ended the lives of Cesario Hernandez, 39, and Maria Hernandez, 40, Sunday morning. Rescue workers arrived at the couple's home on 37404 Fiesta Drive about 6:30 a.m. for a welfare check. They found Cesario shot dead, and Maria critically wounded by an apparent gunshot. Maria was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she later died. Deputies are investigating. Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said deputies had gone to the same house for a domestic-related incident about a week ago but made no arrests. No violence was reported in that earlier incident, according to sheriff's records. "Generally, if there had been something aggressive, it would have ended up in an arrest, " Tobin said.

ST. PETERSBURG

Largo woman killed as car hits tree

A 41-year-old woman died Saturday when her car crashed into a tree. Dorothy Brin, of Largo was speeding south on 58th St N at 7:14 p.m., according to the St. Petersburg Police Department. Witnesses estimated she was going as fast as 80 mph and had run a red light at 30th Avenue N. In the 2500 block of 58th Street N, she lost control of her 1986 Chevrolet Camaro and spun into a tree. Passenger Michelle Brin, 13, was thrown from the car but was treated and released Saturday night from Bayfront Medical Center. Dorothy Brin was pronounced dead on the scene.

Homeless man held in fatal stabbing

Police arrested a homeless man Sunday on charges of second-degree murder after a fatal stabbing Saturday night. Jonathan Welcher, 33, fought James Chancey, 30, at 6364 First Ave. S. St. Petersburg police said Welcher stabbed Chancey several times in the chest. Chancey collapsed in an alley and was taken to Palms of Pasadena Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. A police dog tracked down Welcher, who admitted to the stabbing, police said. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bail.

TAMPA

Pedestrian on U.S. 41 hit and killed by van

A 43-year-old pedestrian was hit by a van and killed as he crossed U.S. 41 on Saturday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The man was walking from the east side to the west side of U.S. 41 south of 23rd Avenue S at 9:53 p.m., FHP said, when he walked into the path of a 1997 Plymouth van. The impact pushed the man onto the hood and through the vehicle's windshield, causing about $2, 500 in damage.

No charges have been filed against the van's driver, Richard McGee, 75, of 1709 50th St.

The victim's identity was not released because officials had not yet been able to notify his next of kin, Lt. Bruce Doras said.

OCALA

Couey trial's cost tops half-million dollars

The prosecution of a man convicted of abducting, raping and killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford has cost more than $573, 000 so far, a newspaper reported Sunday.

John Evander Couey still faces sentencing for the February 2005 slaying and could get the death penalty.

Prosecutors, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office, the state circuit court and Couey's public defenders have spent $573, 566.65 so far in the case, according to a public records analysis by the Ocala Star-Banner. Couey's trial was moved from central Florida to Miami because of pretrial publicity.

Lodging, food, overtime, security costs and other travel expenses for staff members accounted for $321, 072.32, the newspaper reported.

COCOA BEACH

Two swimmers die in rough ocean water

Authorities were warning swimmers to stay out of the ocean or at least stay in shallow water near lifeguards after two men drowned in rough ocean water at the beginning of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Bystanders pulled Rafael Cano, 40, of Kissimmee from the surf near the Cocoa Beach pier Saturday. He was not breathing and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Lifeguards on parts of Florida's east coast were busy answering distress calls as swimmers had trouble with rough surf and rip currents.

Authorities on Friday blamed rip currents for the death of Brian Wynne of Stone Mountain, Ga., who drowned in northeast Florida while trying to save his 7-year-old son. The boy survived.

The danger will remain high along east coast beaches in north and central Florida, according to the National Weather Service.