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    Tampa Bay briefs

    By Times staff reports

    © St. Petersburg Times, published March 13, 2001


    Trial in hotel shootings postponed again

    TAMPA -- The trial of Silvio Izquierdo-Leyva -- accused of killing five people during a Dec. 30, 1999, rampage that began at a hotel on the Courtney Campbell Parkway -- was postponed again.

    Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett on Monday set Izquierdo-Leyva's trial for Sept. 4. The date could be pushed back again, as defense attorneys still want to visit Cuba to interview people who knew Izquierdo-Leyva before he moved to the United States.

    Recovering deputy allowed to go home

    TAMPA -- Hillsborough County deputy Charles Freeman, shot in the leg Friday night during a botched heist at a McDonald's, was released from St. Joseph's Hospital Monday afternoon.

    Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Rod Reder said he didn't know whether the bullet in Freeman's thigh had been removed.

    Freeman shot and killed 16-year-old robbery suspect Jason Underwood during the attempted robbery and subsequent shootout, deputies said.

    Three other suspects, all 16, were arrested Saturday. They were being held Monday at the county's juvenile detention center and face charges of attempted armed robbery. They also are charged with murder for taking part in a felony that resulted in a death.

    Freeman, a warrants detective and member of the county's bomb squad, was working extra duty Friday at the McDonald's on N Dale Mabry Highway at Spruce Street. He was covering for his partner, who couldn't work that night.

    Three youths burst inside wearing ski masks about 11:30 p.m., deputies said. Underwood fired at least three shots at Freeman, who fired five shots from his .45-caliber handgun, striking Underwood in the torso, deputies said.

    Freeman is on administrative leave pending the outcome of a routine Hillsborough County sheriff's review of the shooting. He was home recovering Monday night, Reder said.

    Authorities identify man who jumped from Skyway

    ST. PETERSBURG -- A man who jumped Saturday from the Sunshine Skyway bridge was identified as Raymond Edward Cutler, 38. A motorist saw the man jump from the bridge around 11:30 p.m.. Cutler's car was found at the top of the bridge. The St. Petersburg man's body was found Sunday morning.

    Anonymous tip leads to arrest of suspect

    ST. PETERSBURG -- An ex-convict wanted by state and federal agents was arrested Saturday morning after police found him hiding in a closet in a St. Petersburg apartment at at 928 Ninth Ave. S.

    Roderick A. Smith, 35, whose last known address was listed as 1735 Granville Court S St. Petersburg, was arrested after agents received an anonymous tip about his location.

    Agents from the U.S. Marshal's office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have been looking for Smith for at least a year.

    He was listed on the state's list as one of its THUGS, an acronym for Taking Hoodlums Using Guns Seriously. It targets criminals who have used guns.

    Smith was wanted on charges of assault, domestic battery, kidnapping, aggravated battery and failure to pay child support.

    Smith has a criminal record that goes back at least to 1983. He has previous convictions for shoplifting, burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and domestic battery, according to state records.

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