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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.
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Man shot after speeding confrontation
A truck is asked to slow down. The passenger responds and is shot.
By Jessica Vander Velde, Times Staff Writer
Published March 2, 2008
THONOTOSASSA - A Thonotosassa resident was charged with manslaughter late Friday, accused of shooting a man during a brawl over speeding, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office reported.
The victim, Casey Landes, 24, was a passenger in a white pickup truck that sped through a Thonotosassa neighborhood, just south of U.S. 301, deputies reported. Landes and the truck's driver, whose name is not being released because he's a witness, drove away from a house on Bay Hills Circle at a high speed and returned just before midnight, also at high speed, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.
That's when Charles Podany, 47, rode his bicycle over to the truck and asked the driver to slow down, she said. Landes became upset and got out of the truck and punched Podany in the face while he sat on his bicycle, an arrest report states, giving the following details.
Podany fell to the ground and Landes got on top of him and prepared to strike him again. Podany told detectives he was in fear for his life and felt trapped underneath Landes.
Podany pulled a Glock .40 caliber and fired two shots, hitting Landes once in the face. Landes died at the scene. Detectives reported that the only known injuries to Podany were abrasions and a cut on the left side of his lower lip, "which does not justify deadly force."
Carter said that although Podany was defending himself, detectives decided to charge him with manslaughter after consulting with the State Attorney's Office. It'll be up to a judge to decide if his actions could be justified, she said.
Both Podany and Landes had been arrested before Friday's incident.
Podany was charged with misdemeanor battery in 1994 and aggravated assault with a weapon in 1999 but did not stand trial. Landes was convicted of aggravated battery in 2006 and served a year and a day in jail. In between 2001 and 2006, Landes was also charged with felony vehicle theft, battery, driving without a license, three counts of violation of probation, marijuana possession and driving under the influence.
Deputies say Podany has a permit to carry a concealed weapon. After the shooting, he went back to his home on Bay Hills Circle and called the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and told them what he did. Detectives drove to the scene and arrested Podany at about 11:45 p.m.
Podany was booked into the Hillsborough County jail at Saturday morning and is being held on a $15,000 bail.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813 661-2443. Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report.