Cruz Withdraws Not Guilty Plea (Fort Lauderdale, FL) -- Nikolas Cruz' latest legal move appears to be an admission of guilt. The accused MSD High School shooter yesterday withdrew his not guilty plea and stood mute. Standing mute is basically the same as pleading not guilty, but it allows Cruz to avoid publicly stating he's not guilty, which could anger the community. Rather than fighting the charges against Cruz, the "South Florida Sun Sentinel" reports standing mute allows his lawyers to focus their efforts on avoiding the death penalty.
Galvano Expects Scott To Sign School Safety Bill Today (Tallahassee, FL) -- One of the state's top lawmakers believes he knows which way the governor is leaning on the school safety bill. Governor Rick Scott hasn't said if he'll sign the bill, but Bradenton state Senator Bill Galvano says he will and he'll do it today. Galvano tells the "Times/Herald" that a change that bans teachers from being armed was a significant one to get Scott's approval. The "Times/Herald" reports another indication that Scott will sign the bill is that he has invited families of some of the victims of the Broward County school shooting to Tallahassee today.
Brevard County Deputy Fired After Complaints Of Gunshots From Home (Viera, FL) -- A former deputy of the year is now out of a job after what the sheriff calls an extremely disgusting discovery. Brevard County Deputy Nick Worthy was arrested yesterday after deputies investigated a report of gunshots and a woman screaming from his home. Sheriff Wayne Ivey says the home was in deplorable condition, with dog feces, bullet holes and drugs. Worthy's girlfriend was also arrested, their two-year-old child was placed in the custody of DCF, and 2016's Florida Deputy of the Year was fired.
Cases Dropped After Probation Officer Accused Of Misconduct (Titusville, FL) -- Lawyers in Brevard and Seminole counties are dealing with what a public defender calls a huge shock. Probation officer Enrique Ponce was recently accused of misconduct and as a result charges have been dropped against some defendants who reported to Ponce. There's no word on what the allegations involve, but a prosecutor says the charges can potentially impact Ponce's credibility. Seven cases have already been affected, and a prosecutor yesterday told "Florida Today" more are expected.
Ship Docks At Port Canaveral After Woman Falls Overboard (Port Canaveral, FL) -- Quick thinking is credited with saving a woman who fell overboard on a cruise ship. The woman was on Norwegian Cruise Lines' Epic when she fell overboard Tuesday night. Norwegian says the crew acted quickly to rescue her and got her medical attention. She went to a doctor Wednesday after the ship docked at Port Canaveral, and the cruise line reports she's in stable condition.
Spelling Bee Bandit Sentenced (Boston, MA) -- The "Spelling Bee Bandit" in Massachusetts is heading to prison. The "Bandit" is actually Jason Englen of Chelsea and he got the nickname when he misspelled the word robbery in notes he passed to bank tellers while committing his crimes. Prosecutors say Englen robbed four Boston area banks in 2016 and had the word misspelled in each case. He only had one "b" in robbery. He was eventually caught and pled guilty late last year to four separate charges. The 34-year-old was sentenced this week to more than half a decade behind bars and will then face federal supervised release for three years.
Beer Cans Spill Onto Highway (Crestview, FL) -- Nobody is seriously hurt but a whole lot of beer is gone in a truck accident here in Florida. It wasn't a small spill but rather a very large one that included 60-thousand pounds of Busch cans tumbling and flowing onto I-10 in Okaloosa County. The tractor-trailer overturned early Wednesday morning and pictures show cans of beer for as far as the eye can see. The driver was cited for careless driving and suffered just minor injuries, but deputies say the beer didn't fare so well. AND I AM SURE IT HAS TO BE HELD FOR EVIDENCE…AND FUTURE FOP MEETINGS!
TODAY IN HISTORY:
2011, Space Shuttle Discovery made its final landing after 39 flights.
2004, a Virginia judge reaffirmed a jury's earlier recommendation to sentence convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad to death. The Gulf War veteran was convicted in November 2003 in the shooting death of Dean Meyers. The shooting was linked to a string of sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area in 2002.
1995, Los Angeles police detective Mark Furman began his testimony at O.J. Simpson's murder trial.
1981, Dan Rather made his debut as principal anchorman of the "The CBS Evening News." AND THAT’S THE WAY NEWS DIED…FOR CBS.
1964, the first Ford Mustang was produced.
1959, the Barbie doll was first launched. According to Mattel, her full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts from Willows, Wisconsin. The first Barbie dolls cost three-dollars. YOU KNOW, I THOUGHT THAT ACCENT SOUNDED LIKE THAT 70’S SHOW!
1954, Edward R. Murrow devoted time on his CBS television show "See It Now" to criticize Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communism campaign. The program was credited with leading McCarthy’s campaign against communists in America to an end. The show also established television as a powerful medium to influence public opinion.