Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
One citizen's quest for justice
The Tampa man wrote a state board after seeing a tape of a teen's boot camp beating.
By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published June 17, 2007
James Evans, the executive director of Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, says he had no idea that his letter had such an impact.
[Daniel Wallace | Times]
TAMPA -- The former NFL player and Tampa activist tells kids at his nonprofit organization that one person can make a difference.
Now, he has proof.
The state Medical Examiners Commission meeting last week to remove the Bay County medical examiner featured all the usual players in the widely publicized boot camp case.
Sheriffs, lawyers and legislators weighed in on the reasons to oust Dr. Charles F. Siebert Jr.
But there was a new name in the case, right there on the meeting agenda: complaint by James Evans.
Evans didn't attend. He didn't even know about the meeting or that he'd help start the inquiry.
He wrote the letter more than a year ago.
Evans, 43, is the executive director of the Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, a nonprofit group aimed at improving the lives of at-risk youths and their families.
Evans also organized a town hall meeting two years ago on the fairness of the legal system in the wake of two controversial local court decisions.
Evans said he wrote the letter about Siebert after watching the videotape of boot camp guards roughing up a Panama City teen. As a father of two and a local community organizer, the former Buccaneers player was angered by the guards' actions.
"This mother sent her child to the camp thinking that they were going to make her child better," he said. "It devastated me to watch a child get beaten down and murdered in that way."
When he watched a medical examiner blame Martin Lee Anderson's death on sickle cell trait, not the beating, he wrote to the Medical Examiners Commission.
He signed his letter "James M. Evans, Servant of the People."
Evans said no one ever told him, but his letter started the state's Medical Examiners Commission inquiry into Siebert, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. That investigation led to the commission's unanimous vote last week to remove the doctor from his post.
Evans had no clue his letter had such an impact.
"Wow. My letter was used? You're kidding," he said when he learned the news. "Nobody contacted me. I'd forgotten all about that letter."
He said he figured dozens of people around the state wrote in to demand an investigation.
He figured wrong.
His was one of two letters received by the commission, said FDLE spokeswoman Kristen Perezluha. The other letter was written by a state legislator.
"That's frightening that nobody else did this," Evans said. "Wow, I thought mine would just be another one in a stack."
At the modest headquarters of the Academy of Hope, in a storefront office near Ybor City, Evans thumbed through the commission's report.
Evans' eyes widened as he read that Siebert had put false information in the report, that he wrote about descriptions of organs he never dissected.
"He needed to resign," Evans said. "I'm grateful that they listened."