Around the state
Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 21, 2001
Police halt lakebound car, rescue woman from trunk
MIAMI -- A Miami-Dade police officer may have stopped a murder when he stopped a man from dumping a car in a lake, police said.
Officer Ray Haar Jr. was on patrol Thursday when he noticed businessman Michael Scott Segal, 40, about to drive a black Honda into the water, said Detective Juan DelCastillo.
Haar got Segal to stop and called for backup. Backup Officer Rhonda McCoy then saw a hand coming from the trunk into the back seat area, DelCastillo said.
Officers opened the trunk and found Segal's employee and girlfriend, Tanya Batista, 29, semiconscious and bruised with choke marks on her neck, police said. Batista was treated at a hospital and released.
Investigators said Segal and Batista fought Thursday morning at Segal's $1.3-million Coconut Grove home, which he shares with his wife of six months and four children. Batista was choked and beaten unconscious, placed in the trunk of her car and driven to the remote lake.
Segal, an officer in several Miami area companies, was jailed on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery .
Courts manager Palmer dies; hailed as innovator
TALLAHASSEE -- Kenneth R. Palmer, a longtime administrator of Florida's courts, died Friday of cancer.
Mr. Palmer, 54, became courts administrator in 1984. He was credited with innovative measures that have made the state's courts a national model in the use of technology and the development of treatment-based drug courts, jury management, family courts and alternate methods of dispute resolution.
Last year Mr. Palmer won one of his profession's highest awards for pioneering work in court management. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Wells credited him with creating a statewide network supporting the trial and appellate courts and the 800 judges who sit on them.
"He was known and beloved for his wit and expertise throughout Florida and the United States and will be sorely missed," Wells said.
Horseplay on balcony leads to fatal fall
GAINESVILLE -- A man died after falling from a second-floor balcony while play wrestling with a friend, authorities said.
Michael Patrick McLaughlin, 21, died Thursday at Shands at the University of Florida, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said.
McLaughlin and friend Jon Lee were play wrestling early Wednesday morning when Lee lifted McLaughlin and then slipped, sending McLaughlin over the railing and onto the concrete below.
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From the Times state desk
From the state wire