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first degree murder

Supreme Court denies Aramis Ayala’s first writ to win back cases Rick Scott reassigned

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The Florida Supreme Court denied the first attempt by Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala to win back first-degree murder cases that Gov. Rick Scott reassigned to another state attorney. In denying Ayala’s emergency, non-routine petition to overturn Scott’s executive orders reassigning the cases to Ocala’s State Attorney Brad King, the Supreme Court concluded that the matter “is more properly addressed” through her other legal challenge, a writ of quo warrento, which she later filed. That leaves the matter where most…

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Aramis Ayala files challenges of Rick Scott with Florida Supreme Court, federal court

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Arguing Gov. Rick Scott had no legal basis to strip murder cases from her jurisdiction, Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala filed challenges Tuesday morning in both the Florida Supreme Court and federal court. In complaints filed by her attorney, Roy Austin Jr. of Washington D.C., Ayala contends that she legally exercised prosecutorial discretion in deciding not to pursue death penalty prosecutions in the 9th Judicial Circuit. Ayala was not found by guilty of any misconduct. Consequently, Ayala argues that Scott’s executive…

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Aramis Ayala asks Pam Bondi to initiate challenge of Rick Scott’s murder case orders

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An attorney representing embattled Orlando State Attorney Aramis Ayala has initiated the process to challenge Gov. Rick Scott‘s murder case reassignment orders by asking State Attorney General Pam Bondi to petition the court on Ayala’s behalf. Ayala intends to challenge the legality of Scott’s now 23 and counting executive orders stripping 9th Judicial Circuit first-degree murder cases from Ayala’s jurisdiction and reassigning them to be prosecuted by 5th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King. The governor did so after Ayala announced she had…

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St. Pete man accused of murdering 7-week-old; abuse was to ‘toughen’ child

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The father of a 7-week-old girl told police he pinched her cheeks and squeezed her ribs to make her “tough.” Instead, the St. Petersburg infant died in September after suffering a brain hemorrhage, fractured ribs, broken clavicle and split lip, according to police documents obtained by J’Lena Dillard was taken to John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in the early hours of Sept. 24, where she was pronounced dead. According to the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, J’Lena died…

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Largo biker claims he is illegally in jail for attempted murder

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An alleged member of a Pasco County outlaw motorcycle gang, in jail for a 2015 attempted murder, is asking the court to free him, claiming unconstitutional imprisonment and excessive bail. Largo resident Joseph O’Donnell is a 42-year-old New York native currently at the Pinellas County Jail awaiting trial. O’Donnell, a day laborer for Labor Ready, was arrested Dec. 23, 2015, on charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and tampering with physical evidence. In a Jan. 4, 2017 petition for…

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Sheriff: Face-biting FSU student to be charged with murder

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A Florida sheriff’s office said Friday that a college student caught biting a victim’s face after stabbing the man and his wife in a random attack will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder, raising the possibility of the death penalty. Austin Harrouff, 19, also will be charged with attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing of the couple’s neighbor Jeff Fisher, according to a statement from Trisha Kukuvka, a spokeswoman for Martin County Sheriff William Snyder. Fisher suffered multiple…

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