Around the state
Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 9, 2001
Car flips into water; man's body recovered
GIBSONTON -- A man's body was found late Sunday in a car that had flipped into water near Hillsborough Bay, and police were searching for a second man who might also have been riding in the car. Jose Rico, 27, of Ruskin was inside a red 1988 Nissan that was discovered in a body of water off Cockroach Bay Road about 8:30 p.m., said sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter. Rico was westbound when his car left the road and landed upside-down in the water. The Nissan is owned by an uncle, who relatives say might have been with Rico. Carter said the uncle lives in Bradenton, and officers were looking for him both in the water and in the Bradenton area. "The family wasn't really sure," Carter said. "They just thought there was another person who was supposed to be in the car and so we are looking for that person." It is unknown how long the car was in the water. A passer-by noticed the vehicle about a half-mile east of 4120 Cockroach Bay Road.
18-year-old killed in four-car crash
TAMPA -- An 18-year-old woman was killed in a four-car crash Sunday on Nebraska Avenue when she crossed the center line into into oncoming traffic, police said.
Police had not released her identity late Sunday.
The accident occurred on N Nebraska Avenue and Hanlon Street about 4 p.m., said Tampa Police Lt. Bob Guidara. He said the woman was traveling north on Nebraska when her car went into the southbound lane, sideswiped one car, then hit a third car head-on. A fourth car then rammed the third car from behind. Drivers and passengers in the other three vehicles received only minor injuries. No information was available on their identities or conditions. The victim, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene, Guidara said.
Orlando pilot in serious condition after crash
An Orlando pilot was in serious condition Sunday, the day after he crashed his experimental airplane on his way to the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland.
Dayton Alan Babcock, 39, took off from Rockledge Airport in Brevard County in a single-engine plane at 8:56 a.m. Saturday and flew less than a mile before the engine failed and the airplane crashed on the driveway of a nearby home, Brevard sheriff's officials said.
The plane hit power lines as it fell. Babcock was taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne and underwent emergency surgery Saturday evening for head injuries, officials said. Two fatal crashes occurred last year involving aircraft traveling to the Lakeland exhibition or in Lakeland. Three people were killed.
Defendant attacks prosecutor in courtroom
PANAMA CITY -- An armed robbery and rape defendant, in an attempt to delay the start of his trial, attacked his prosecutor in the courtroom, sending her to the hospital.
Mitchell Aguiniga, 30, assaulted Assistant State Attorney Nancy O'Conner during a Friday hearing after he repeatedly told the judge there wouldn't be a trial. He faces a possible life sentence on charges of home invasion, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery.
"And just how do you intend to stop the trial?" Circuit Judge Dedee Costello asked.
Aguiniga then ran toward O'Conner and pushed her into a wooden railing in front of the jury box. The prosecutor hit her head on the rail and fell into chair. Aguiniga then jumped on her and put his hands on her throat.
Deputy Jim Vaught grabbed him in a chokehold and pulled him back, enabling O'Conner to escape to a corner.
She was later treated and released from a hospital.
Aguiniga's trial is scheduled to begin today.
No decision has been made on whether to charge Aguiniga with assault.
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From the Times state desk
From the state wire