Around the state
By Times staff and wire reports
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 17, 2001
Woman riding golf cart veers into pond, drowns
FORT MYERS -- A 71-year-old Illinois woman drowned when a golf cart she was driving veered off a steep slope into a water hazard.
Other golfers, including her husband, Maurice, 78, were unable to rescue Margaret Scott in the Thursday accident at the Landings Yacht Golf & Tennis Club. The cart sank quickly in 30-foot-deep water, and Scott, of Park Ridge, Ill., didn't know how to swim.
Lee County sheriff's Deputy Larry King said Maurice Scott had just hit a chip shot to the green on the seventh hole and motioned for his wife to bring the electric cart forward. Margaret Scott apparently lost control of the cart.
Six people tried to rescue Scott by jumping into the water, but no one could reach her.
Divers pulled her out after about 20 minutes and tried for 30 minutes to revive her but failed.
Regent Corbin won't seek interim FAMU presidency
The state Board of Regents is no closer to naming an interim president for Florida A&M University, but the board was told Friday to take one candidate off its list: James Corbin, the regents' only black member.
Interim university system Chancellor Judy Hample said Corbin, an alumnus of the historically black university, has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Corbin, an appointee of Gov. Jeb Bush, angered members of Florida's legislative black caucus when he called for a meeting last weekend to discuss who should succeed Frederick Humphries as FAMU president. Humphries is scheduled to step down June 30.
Corbin said he would consider serving if asked. Black lawmakers accused him of trying to secure the job "through the back door."
Hample said she and Regents Chairman Tom Petway expect to have someone on board before Humphries leaves.
Amnesty International criticizes teen's life term
PALATKA -- Amnesty International, for the second time in a week, is criticizing a life prison sentence without parole given to a Florida teenager.
John Silva, 15, was sentenced Thursday to life for the May 26 strangulation murder of 12-year-old playmate Jerry Lee Alley in their rural neighborhood north of Interlachen.
"We're opposed to any child being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole," said Eliane Drakopoulos, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International in Washington. Last week Lionel Tate, 14, was sentenced in Fort Lauderdale to life in prison without parole for beating to death 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick, a family friend his mother was babysitting. Amnesty International criticized that sentence too.
River habitat protection ordered for gulf sturgeon
NEW ORLEANS -- Federal agencies must set aside parts of rivers in Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi to protect the endangered gulf sturgeon, one of the world's oldest fish species, a federal appeals court has ruled.
The ruling forces the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pinpoint areas where sturgeon lay eggs and keeps the Army Corps of Engineers from dredging those areas.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision will affect parts of the Suwannee and Apalachicola rivers in Florida.
Man to serve seven years in prison for ax slaying
LAKE CITY -- A judge sentenced a Lake City man to seven years in prison in the ax slaying of an 80-year-old man at a campsite near Osceola National Forest a decade ago.
In January, Richard Clark pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the March 19, 1991, slaying of Ernest Dugrenier. Clark, 43, originally was charged with first-degree murder and would have faced a possible death sentence had he gone to trial.
Dugrenier's body was found at the private campsite where he lived in a tent. He was killed after a day of drinking with Clark.
Clark initially told authorities Dugrenier was okay when he left, and that he found Dugrenier's body when he returned to the campsite the next morning. The case lay dormant until Columbia County sheriff's detectives reopened it last year, talked to Clark again and obtained his confession that he attacked Dugrenier with an ax during a drunken fight.
135-year term given man who shot police officers
ORLANDO -- A man who shot two police officers, killing one, was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge to 135 years in prison.
Emmanuel Jimmy Saint Nattis was convicted in two federal trials of conspiring with four friends to rob a pawn shop, robbing the store and then shooting the officers three days later. He also was convicted of possession of a firearm and using a firearm in a robbery.
The officers, George DeSalvia and Eddie Diaz, were shot during a traffic stop on Feb. 3, 2000. DeSalvia died and Diaz was left paralyzed.
Saint Nattis faces a state trial on murder and attempted-murder charges in West Palm Beach on May 7. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
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From the Times state desk
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