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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 9, 2001

Police: Teen bicyclist stabs man, flees

ST. PETERSBURG -- A teenage bicyclist stabbed a man in the chest Thursday afternoon during a confrontation outside a carpet store, police said.

Benjamin Madderom, 25, was stabbed twice about 12:45 p.m. at the One Stop Flooring Showroom at 2460 22nd Ave. N, police said. He was in stable condition Thursday night at Bayfront Medical Center. The youth who stabbed Madderom got away.

Police said a woman backing her car out of the parking lot accused a teenage couple passing by of bumping into her car. When the argument got heated, the woman went inside and got her boyfriend, Madderom.

The boy stabbed Madderom and then ran, leaving his bicycle, police said. The girl pedaled away on her bike.

The boy was white, 17 to 19 years old, with a freckled face and crooked teeth. He was about 5 feet 9 and wore a faded red ball cap, a dark shirt, baggy jeans and a black backpack, witnesses said. The girl, also 17 to 19 years old, had dark, braided hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call St. Petersburg police at 893-7780.

Armed robber takes $100 worth of coins

ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg Times carrier was robbed Thursday of his wallet and $100 in coins at Eighth Avenue S and 43rd Street.

Robert A. Zaiser, 59, was substituting for a carrier at 5:20 a.m. when a man with a handgun approached him at the intersection, said George Kajtsa, police spokesman.

"Give it up," the robber demanded. "I'm not kidding."

Zaiser gave him the bag of coins and his wallet, which contained $6.

Police have no suspects in the case.

Verdicts elude juries in pair of murder trials

LARGO -- A Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge late Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of an ex-Marine accused of killing his girlfriend.

Judge Dee Anna Farnell ended the three-day trial of Robert "Rocky" Wells after the jury deliberated for nearly three hours without reaching a verdict.

The jury told the judge it was hopelessly deadlocked.

A second jury also appeared deadlocked after eight hours of deliberations in the unrelated first-degree murder trial of Marquise Jenkins, accused of participating in the shooting death of a Honduran tile setter in St. Petersburg. That jury was still deliberating late Thursday.

Wells, 50, is accused of shooting to death Sherry Lynn Ramey, 40, in 1998. Another jury convicted the St. Petersburg auto mechanic of first-degree murder in 1999, and a judge sentenced him to life.

But an appeals court last year ordered a new trial because of judicial errors in selecting a jury.

Jenkins, 19, of St. Petersburg was accused of participating in the home-invasion robbery of Juan Jose Gonzalez in 1999. Prosecutors say another man shot Gonzalez.

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