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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2001


Body of woman in bayou identified

ST. PETERSBURG -- The woman whose body was found floating in Coffee Pot Bayou early Wednesday has been identified as Juliene Corriveau, 70, of St. Petersburg.

Police are trying to determine the cause of Corriveau's death, but do not suspect foul play. Her body was found floating near a dock at Coffee Pot Boulevard and 24th Avenue NE.

Sixth person arrested in sex case

TAMPA -- Sheriff's deputies have arrested a sixth person in an investigation into teenage prostitution.

Jean Theagene, 41, of 10329 Birdwatch Drive, was charged Thursday with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor after a 15-year-old girl told investigators that she and Theagene had sexual intercourse at a motel on Nebraska Avenue, Lt. Rod Reder said.

Detectives began investigating in January after discovering a 13-year-old girl had been advertised on the Internet as a prostitute. The runaway had been living in an apartment with the man who advertised her, Shawn Robert Martin, detectives said.

Others arrested include Tampa lawyer David Russell Stahl, Carrollwood physician Lee Kadosa and Jessica Cortes, a 19-year-old charged with procuring minors for prostitution.

Release of Aisenberg tapes disputed

TAMPA -- Federal prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday outlining the reasons they think a judge should deny local television stations and newspapers access to sealed evidence in the dismissed case against Steven and Marlene Aisenberg.

Among other things, reporters had asked for a copy of the tapes investigators collected after bugging the Aisenbergs' Valrico home weeks after their 5-month-old daughter, Sabrina, was reported missing.

The TV stations and newspapers have argued that the sealed evidence is of public interest, given that a federal magistrate judge has reported that detectives lied in obtaining the warrants to bug the home. The prosecution argues that since the evidence is part of a grand jury proceeding, it cannot be released. It also argues that the tapes were never admitted into evidence.

A decision is expected in the next few months.

The charges against the Aisenbergs were dropped last month after another judge said he could not hear any of the incriminating statements investigators said were on the tapes.

Man charged with patient-brokering

TAMPA -- A Pinellas County executive has been charged with illegally brokering patients into treatment centers in Largo and Tarpon Springs, becoming the latest defendant charged in the 7-year-old investigation.

Barry J. Goldstein is accused of conspiracy to defraud the government by paying or taking kickbacks for referring Medicare patients.

Goldstein and associate Douglas A. Miller initially were indicted by a federal grand jury in June. That indictment and the new charge also name Anclote Psychiatric Hospital, a 130-bed facility renamed the Manors before going out of business several years ago, and Goldsel, Anclote Inc., the general partner of Anclote Psychiatric Hospital.

The grand jury accused Goldstein and Miller of making illegal payments to broker Amtrak staffers, Northwest Airlines employees and others into treatment.

In November federal prosecutors dismissed the conspiracy charges against the two men. A short time later, federal prosecutors filed a new charge against Miller for allegedly making an illegal payment to a union official who supplied patients. Miller pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $500,000 in restitution.

The newest charges filed against Goldstein outline many of the same allegations in the indictment from last June.

Goldstein could not be reached for comment.

Pair tried to sell trade secrets

TAMPA -- A St. Petersburg man and his accomplice have pleaded guilty to trying to sell a company's trade secrets, the first prosecution in the Middle District of Florida using a law aimed at curbing industrial espionage.

Steven Michael Snyder and Jolene Hilda Neat Rector face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to convey and conveying trade secrets.

According to the plea agreement, Snyder, 35, was working at R.P. Scherer Inc. in St. Petersburg in August 1999 when his friend, Rector, called from Nevada, where she was employed with a competing company. R.P. Scherer develops and manufactures delivery systems for drug, cosmetic and recreational products. The systems include gels and fillers for products such as vitamin supplements. After the conversations, Snyder sent Rector, who once worked at R.P. Scherer, formulas for gel and fill formulas, shell weights for paint balls and experimental production data, according to the plea agreement. Rector then contacted officials with Nelson Paint Ball Inc. in Michigan and told them she had obtained 173 formulas from R.P. Scherer and offered to sell them for $50,000, the plea agreement said.

A vice president with Nelson Paint Ball called an official with R.P Scherer, who asked Nelson Paint Ball to request a couple pages of the formulas from Rector to verify that she had the information. When she faxed a few pages, R.P. Scherer confirmed that the pages were part of their formulas and contacted the FBI.

Poll: Baker, Ford in a dead heat

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rick Baker and Kathleen Ford are in a dead heat as they head into the final stretch of the race to become mayor of St. Petersburg, with one in three voters still undecided, a Times poll shows.

The telephone survey of 602 likely voters shows Baker with 36 percent support and Ford with 32 percent. That puts Baker's lead within the poll's margin of error.

Suspect in boy's killing may change plea

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Jim Curtis, accused last year of killing the 3-year-old boy he planned to adopt, is scheduled to change his plea in the case today.

Curtis, 26, of New Port Richey previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. His attorney, Bob Attridge, on Thursday set a change of plea hearing at 1:30 this afternoon in front of Circuit Judge William Webb.

Neither Attridge nor the prosecutor handling the case, Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis, would say whether the two sides have reached an agreement.

Tampa officer cleared in shooting death of teen

TAMPA -- A rookie Tampa police officer has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the fatal shooting last December of a 16-year-old in a stolen car.

Officer David Duncan shot Antonio Lamar Scott on Dec. 23 after the teen refused commands to get out of the stolen 2001 GMC Yukon he was driving, police reports said.

"I couldn't tell for sure, but in my mind, I thought I saw his right hand go up and make a movement with the gear shifter on the vehicle," Duncan told investigators.

Duncan, 23, said the driver's door bumped him as the car started rolling backward. That's when he fired. Officers said they found a BB gun in the car.

Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober said Duncan's use of deadly force was reasonable. Whether his actions followed established police policies is another matter.

Ober has told Tampa police Chief Bennie Holder that he is concerned about how officers handle traffic stops.

Body on beach identified as missing firefighter

CLEARWATER -- Authorities have identified a body found last week in Charlotte County as that of Kenny Auletta, a Lealman firefighter and paramedic who disappeared while diving Feb. 21.

Auletta, 26, was diving with other off-duty firefighters in the Gulf of Mexico about 6 miles off Clearwater Pass. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Pinellas Sheriff's Office and local fire departments searched for Auletta, but could not find him.

A man walking on a beach in Charlotte County on March 8 found a body with diving equipment.

Although authorities believed it was Auletta, dental records were needed to make a positive identification.

That was made Thursday, said Sgt. Greg Tita, spokesman for the Pinellas Sheriff's Office.

Fatal crash ends dangerous ride

LAND O'LAKES -- A 75-year-old woman, swerving and careening all over State Road 52, forced drivers to dart off each side of the busy road as she crossed the county on Thursday afternoon, witnesses said.

Driving east, about 2 3/4 miles before she reached Ehren Cutoff, the woman swerved into the grass to pass Jim O'Neil's van on the right, O'Neil said.

He slammed on his brakes. She cut in front of him and collided with a gray Buick.

The two cars locked together, skidded off the road and went down a grass embankment and flipped, he said.

The woman, identified by the Florida Highway Patrol as Betty Jane Chansler of 8023 Wet Rock Row, Hudson, was thrown from her car and killed. Pasco County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Chris Alland said the Ohio couple in the other car had minor injuries, but a news release issued Thursday night by the FHP described their injuries as "serious."

The driver, William Chandler, 67, climbed out of his upside-down car, witnesses said. He was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph's hospital, where he was in stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

His wife, 65-year-old Lois Chandler, was flown to St. Joseph's, where she was also in stable condition.

Chansler first turned onto SR 52 from Hays Road in west Pasco, the witnesses said.

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