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    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001

    Suspect in llama case has high-profile lawyer

    EAST LAKE -- Defense attorney Denis deVlaming has been retained to defend the younger of two East Lake residents accused of severely beating two pet llamas.

    A Clearwater attorney who has represented numerous high-profile cases, deVlaming said he is representing Brandon R. Eldred, 17, at a "reduced rate" because he wants to make sure the teen gets a fair trial.

    "In cases like this when the public's sentiment is so tremendous against the citizen, they are certainly entitled to be treated fairly," he said.

    The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has said that Eldred, who is still in the county's juvenile detention center, will be charged as an adult with two counts of felony cruelty to animals and one count of trespass.

    Investigators say Eldred and his friend Robert B. Pettyjohn II, 18, attacked two pet llamas with a golf club on Feb. 11, killing one llama and severely injuring another.

    Pettyjohn was in the county jail Tuesday in lieu of $30,000 bail.

    Nelson introduces 2 bills to protect privacy rights

    TAMPA -- U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson announced the introduction of a pair of bills Tuesday aimed at companies that trade customer information.

    "It is my belief that we have reached the point where we must come to grips with the erosion of our privacy rights before it's too late," Nelson said at a news conference held at the Westshore Wyndham Hotel.

    One bill would require financial service companies to get permission from customers before sharing private financial or medical information with other businesses.

    Another bill aims to decrease identity theft by making the sale or purchase of an individual's Social Security number a federal crime.

    Police seek girlfriend of slain man

    TAMPA -- Rosie Lee Perry fought with her live-in boyfriend more than a week ago, stabbed him with a kitchen knife and ran, police said.

    She hasn't been seen since.

    Her boyfriend, Thomas Wilson Jr., 57, died Sunday at Tampa General Hospital. Now, Tampa police want to find Perry, known on the street as "Scent," and charge her with first-degree murder and domestic violence.

    It would be the third time Perry, 40, has been charged with domestic violence in less than a year.

    In March 2000 she was charged with domestic violence and aggravated battery, but the State Attorney's Office chose not to pursue those charges. In July 2000 she was charged with using a knife to commit domestic violence and aggravated battery. The status of those charges was not known Tuesday.

    Tampa police spokesman Joe Durkin said Perry was living with Wilson in his home at 8302 N Hillsborough Lane near Sulphur Springs. Wilson was stabbed several times in the arm, neck and back, Durkin said.

    Perry has no permanent address but is known to frequent east Tampa. She is 5 feet 8 and about 260 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at (800) 873-TIPS.

    Police identify bicyclist killed by car

    TAMPA -- Police have identified a man killed while riding his bicycle across S Dale Mabry Highway on Thursday night.

    Hector Montesinos, 43, no known address, was crossing Dale Mabry at Wisconsin Avenue about 11:30 p.m. when he was struck by a 1999 Pontiac Sunfire driven by 32-year-old Ronald King of Tampa.

    King was arrested a few blocks away and charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

    Man's death turns into murder case

    TAMPA -- A man found dead Sunday morning in a yard at 34th Street and Lila Avenue was murdered, police said Tuesday.

    The man, who has not been identified, was found dead about 9 a.m. by Tampa police. He appeared to have suffered trauma to his upper body, and the Hillsborough County medical examiner confirmed that he was the victim of a homicide.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Tampa police.

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