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The Bizarre World of Florida

Mother dies after being shot, stabbed by husband in front of their children February 13, 2015

A woman who was brutally attacked by her husband in front of their children early Thursday morning died overnight, according to Hillsborough County sheriff’s officials.

Keith-DukesMichelle Dukes, 34, was airlifted in critical condition to Tampa General Hospital from her street in Riverview on Thursday morning after her husband, Keith Dukes, 48, allegedly slit her throat and shot her multiple times in the upper body, the sheriff’s office said. He now faces a charge of second-degree murder.

After the incident Thursday morning, Hillsborough deputies found Keith Dukes near the family’s home, standing in the Alafia River. He told them he did it because his wife tried to take their daughters away.

“My life is over,” Keith Dukes told deputies as they apprehended him, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I wish you could have just killed me. Just take me to jail.” According to the affidavit, he had been separated from his wife for about a year.

The couple’s daughters, ages 7, 13 and 14, were waiting in the car for a ride to school when the violence broke out. Keith Dukes first stabbed or cut his wife in the throat inside their home at 8818 Van Fleet Road, a quiet suburban street with no sidewalks and ranch homes. She ran from the house screaming for help and her daughters, who saw her from the car, ran with her, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee said at a news conference Thursday morning.

A passing Waste Management truck driver saw the family running toward him, begging for help, so he called 911. Michelle Dukes was covered in blood.

“I saw a cut going from one side of her neck to the other,” the driver, Jason Alvarez, said.

A neighbor who had come outside after he heard commotion gave the dispatcher the address. In the meantime, the family took refuge in another neighbor’s home.

A short time later, Alvarez heard a gunshot. Keith Dukes had broken into the neighbor’s home where his wife and children were hiding. He fired three shots, according to the affidavit, before a witness wrestled the gun from him.

The children were uninjured, Gee said, but surely traumatized. They were staying with a family member Thursday night.

 

Man accused of trying to lure girls with promises of candy February 10, 2015

A Hollywood man is accused of promising candy to two young girls if they would go with him on a bus ride, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

Damian-FletcherDamian Anthony Fletcher, 32, was charged Monday with trying to lure or entice a child under 12, a misdemeanor, but bond was increased to $150,000. He also had a previous bond revoked for violating probation for an unrelated charge of carrying a concealed weapon, jail records showed.

According to the arrest report filed in the case, Fletcher approached the 9-year-old and 11-year-old girls in the 4700 block of Southwest 18th Street in West Park, Saturday afternoon.

Fletcher said, “Come with me on the bus and we’ll go get some candy together and then I can take you places, come on,” the arrest report stated.

The girls said they didn’t know Fletcher and they were scared when he said, “I want to give you a hug. Come here and give me a hug,” detectives said.

The girls’ parents didn’t know him either.

During the booking process, sheriff’s deputies overheard Fletcher say he just wanted to have sexual contact with the girls, the report stated.

 

Florida Man Tried to Circumcise Nephew with a Kitchen Knife February 3, 2015

A Florida man was arrested on Saturday night after he allegedly tried to circumcise his 20-month-old nephew with a kitchen knife.

larry-leroy-floyd-435Larry Leroy Floyd, 24, of Ocala was charged with domestic aggravated battery, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Police say the young boy’s father had gone out to the grocery store and left his son in the care of his two brothers-in-law, the Ocala Star-Banner reports.

When the father returned, he found his son bleeding. Floyd reportedly told him he had circumcised the child, authorities say.

The father immediately rushed his son to the hospital. Meanwhile, officers picked up Floyd. He remained in jail as of Monday morning, according to theStar-Banner.

The 24-year-old has a history of arrests, including domestic violence, armed robbery and drug possession, the Sentinel reports.

The boy’s condition is not known.

 

Mom slams on brakes of car to stop children from arguing; arrested for child abuse February 2, 2015

According to Port St. Lucie police, Lorena Sullivan Simpson told police she was trying to stop her children from arguing.

Mugshot-Lorena-Sullivan-SimpsonPolice said Simpson was driving with her 12-year-old daughter in the front seat. Her 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter were in the back seat when she told them to stop arguing and slammed on the brakes.

“I didn’t on purpose or intentionally harm my daughter,” said Sullivan Simpson.

806B00D17D6C4ACFA067EB86BAF94011-jpgAccording to the investigation, the girl in the front seat was not wearing a seat belt and went head first into the windshield.

Police said the windshield was cracked and Simpson didn’t take her daughter to get medical attention after having a headache and feeling dizzy.

Simpson explained she had no idea anything was wrong until officials from the Department of Children and Families showed up with police three days later.

“There was no bump, so I’m sorry but I guess I did the wrong thing,” said Simpson.

Simpson was arrested on charges of child abuse and was booked in the St. Lucie County jail.

She’s out on bond.

 

Kids jump out of car, report mom for DUI January 22, 2015

A 45-year-old mother in Gainesville faces child neglect and drug charges after four children said they jumped out of the car she was driving because she was drunk, according to the Gainesville Police Department.

sfl-flduh-kids-mom-dui-20150121-001Angela R. Woodworth was arrested Tuesday and charged with four felony counts of child neglect, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence.

According to police, four 11-year-old children — Woodworth’s son and three of his friends — entered a Steak ‘n Shake at 3714 SW 42nd St. claiming Woodworth was drunk and in fear they jumped out of the car she was driving.

“It was like a little girl screaming for help,” said Kenisha Drayton, who witnessed the incident. “We really didn’t see what was going on, but all we heard was someone screaming.”

Josh Kramer said he helped the kids — two boys and two girls — at the Steak ‘N Shake. He was there eating when the children ran inside.

“One of the boys told me his mom, they just left Ruby Tuesday, and his mom was really drunk and swerving all over the road,” Kramer said. “She hit a pole and broke a mirror off her car. They came to a stop. When they came to a stop, the kids jumped out of the car and ran into the restaurant.”

Kramer said he immediately called 911 and while he was on the phone with a dispatcher, Woodworth showed up and was screaming at the children, telling them to come with her.

“The kids took off running around the restaurant. She started following them around the restaurant,” Kramer said. “I finally got them back up front and told them to stay on the sidewalk, police would be here in a second and they didn’t need to be scared. I was helping them out.”

Police said when an officer arrived at the restaurant, the children ran to the officer for safety.

“They were not in a parking space, so we could only assume that her driving was so bad at that point that she couldn’t even make it into the parking space,” GPD Officer Ben Tobias said. “We are very glad that the children were not hurt.”

Police said the children told them that during the day Woodworth drove them from their home in Interlachen to Gainesville, where they went to several locations, including a Chinese restaurant, a bowling alley — where Woodworth drank two pitchers of beer — and Ruby Tuesday, where she had four drinks. Police confirmed the purchase of the drinks with charge receipts. The children said they roamed the mall unsupervised while Woodworth was at Ruby Tuesday.

Officers said Woodworth refused to comply with them and interfered with the investigation when they first made contact with her. They also said she showed signs of extreme impairment.

Police said a search of Woodworth’s vehicle revealed about 2 grams of marijuana and a marijuana pipe under the driver’s seat.

Woodworth was arrested and officers notified the Department of Children and Families. Police said Woodworth’s son is with relatives and the boy’s three friends were returned to their parents.

“Hopefully she gets the help that she needs and the punishment that she deserves to put somebody’s kids and her own kids behind that kind of dangerous situation right there,” said Travis Smith, who witnessed the incident. “I’ll pray for her.”

 

Walter Johnson, 60, Accused Of Getting 12-Year-Old Pregnant January 15, 2015

A 60 year-old man has been arrested and accused of getting a 12-year-old Jacksonville girl pregnant.

Walter-JohnsonAction News is speaking to that young girl’s family. To protect that girl, we’re concealing the faces of family members, who tell us they have a hard time believing what happened in their home.

Behind bars is 60-year-old Walter Johnson, accused of getting a 12-year-old girl pregnant. Johnson is charged with three counts of sexual battery. We spoke with a woman who says that young girl is her relative.

“She’s nothing but 12 years old, she’s just a baby herself, it’s really hard,” that woman said.

The family said they’ve known Johnson for over 40 years. He even lived with the girl in a house in 2011 and 2012. The relative said Johnson moved out but was helping watch the girl in May. That’s when she believes he had sex with her.

“You never know who you have in your household,” the relative said.

“He was a good guy … But there is hidden secrets,” another relative said.

The family said they found out the girl was pregnant after a medical test on New Year’s Eve. Police were then contacted and Johnson was arrested.

“If it’s a child out there that’s listening, if anybody touches, please don’t be afraid to tell, tell somebody, tell somebody,” the girl’s secont relative we spoke with said.

The family said they will keep the baby.

“We going to love the baby, yeah … cause we a loving family,” the girl’s first relative we spoke with said.

Johnson is in custody at the Duval County Jail. Bond is set at $1.5 million.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families confirms they are investigating and providing the child with counseling resources.

 

Sisters, 15 and 11, Accused Of Murdering Their 16-Year-Old Brother January 8, 2015

Ariel-Kornegay

A 15-year-old girl who fatally shot her 16-year-old brother suffered years of abuse, including being locked in a room for weeks at a time with only a blanket and a bucket to use the bathroom, according to police reports and interviews.

6379502_GThe shooting at a small white house off a dirt road in rural north Florida happened Monday while the children’s parents were away for work. The father, a truck driver, and his wife, who often goes with him, left the 16-year-old boy to watch over the 15-year-old, her 11-year-old sister and their 3-year-old sister, police said. The parents left Sunday and were due back Tuesday.

Sometime Monday, the 15-year-old girl was locked in her room by her brother, police said. After the boy fell asleep, she talked her 11-year-old sister into unlocking her door.

The older girl then went outside and used a knife to remove an air conditioner from her parents’ bedroom window. She climbed in while her 11-year-old sister kept watch and grabbed a handgun, police said.

The girl went back inside the house, telling her young sisters to get in the closet, she told police. She turned her head and fired at her sleeping brother in the living room, and he screamed “Help! Help!”

She buried her head in a pillow for a while and upon returning to the living room, the girl found her 3-year-old sister trying to wake her dead brother, according to the police report.

She fled with her 11-year-old sister, leaving the 3-year-old behind, police said.

“It’s hard for us to get our arms around this act,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said. “This is the stuff nightmares are made of.”

Police caught up with the girls after a friend of theirs received a “weird phone call” from the 11-year-old girl, saying she had run away and needed someone to pick her up from a Dollar General, according to a police report. When the woman arrived, she found the older sister there, too.

The older girl said something might have been wrong with another sibling at home. As she spoke, she applied makeup and “would not maintain eye contact and appeared emotionless,” officers wrote in a police report.

She soon started crying and told the officers that her brother had beaten her and that she had shot him.

When officers arrived at the home, the 3-year-old said: “he’s dead.” The brother’s body was lying near the fireplace, under a blanket with his head on a pillow.

Police have not released a motive for the shooting.

The girls’ mother told police that they often locked the 15-year-old girl up when she misbehaved. The longest they kept her locked in her room was 20 consecutive days, the father told police.

In the girl’s room, police found only a blanket and a bucket filled with urine in the closet.

“It was learned that (the 15-year-old girl) has made past attempts at ending her life but neither law enforcement nor (emergency management services) was notified,” police wrote in their report.

The girls are in being held in juvenile detention on suspicion of murder, and a prosecutor is trying to decide whether they will be charged as adults. Their parents face charges of child neglect and failing to supervise.

The 3-year-old is in the custody of child welfare officials.

Police documents released Wednesday said the girl’s uncle was convicted of molesting her in 2010. They also say the children’s mother discovered the siblings having sex in 2011. Authorities and child welfare officials investigated, but no one was charged.

 

 
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