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Six-week-old baby with life-threatening injuries, Palm Harbor man charged

Six-week-old baby with life-threatening injuries, Palm Harbor man charged

Palm Harbor, Florida - Pinellas County Sheriff Detectives tell us they have charged a Palm Harbor man with aggravated child abuse after a six-week-old baby sustained life-threatening injuries.

Deputies initially responded to a private residence located on Bent Tree Road, in Palm Harbor at about 3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 13, 2010 after 38-year-old Robbie Lee Hatcher called 911 and reported the baby was unresponsive.

Detectives say Hatcher was taking care of the baby girl when he allegedly shook the baby causing serious injury.

St. Pete body in water identified

St. Pete body in water identified

St. Petersburg, Florida - St. Pete police say a body found floating in the water on Tuesday was that of an elderly man who lived on a boat in Boca Ciega Bay.


Detectives identified the man as Joseph Theodore Galotta, 73, who had a last known address in Belleair Bluffs.


According to a report, no evidence found so far indicates foul play, however the exact cause of death is still pending the Medical Examiner's investigation.


Police say Mr. Galotta's family members have been notified.


 

Man arrested for sexually abusing child

Man arrested for sexually abusing child

Safety Harbor, Florida - Pinellas deputies say a Safety Harbor man admitted to sexually abusing a child and came forward because he wanted to "get it off his chest."

Richard MacMillan, 55, has been charged with one count of capital sexual battery and one count of sexual battery.

According to deputies, MacMillan came forward at the Pinellas Co. Sheriff's North District Station on Monday night, and admitted to inappropriately touching the victim, a 14-year-old girl.

Through interviews, deputies determined that the inappropriate sexual touching began when the victim was approximately 10-years-old and continued through March 2010.

MacMillan reportedly admitted to the allegations in a written statement as well as prepared an apology letter to the victim.

Detectives say the investigation continues.

Clearwater fire chief arrested on sexual battery charges

Clearwater fire chief arrested on sexual battery charges

CLEARWATER, Florida -- Clearwater's fire chief has been fired after his arrest on capital sexual battery charges.

Jamie Geer, 56, was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Monday after a four-month investigation into allegations of sexual battery on a person less than 12 years of age.  The crime is a capital felony and, if convicted, Geer could earn life in prison.

The FDLE began investigating Geer, who lives in Dunedin, in August after receiving an anonymous tip that he had an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

Investigators say they learned Geer had numerous sexual encounters with the female victim - now 17 years old - over the past nine years.

He currently faces one count of sexual battery on a person less than 12 years of age and was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Bond was set at $500,000. 

Brain cancer survivor gunned down in truck

Brain cancer survivor gunned down in truck

St. Petersburg, Florida - Clifford Brown Junior had two big loves in his life - his family and his golf.

"He's in heaven right now playing 18 holes," says his mother.  She manages a small smile through her tears.

"Only thing I can say is that we miss him," she says while wiping her eyes. "We love him, and I wish I had my baby."

Tunisia Eva always always knew her son was different and needed special care.  Clifford was diagnosed with brain cancer at the tender age of 16.

"It was always hard for him. He was always in pain.  He would tell me, mama, mama my head hurts. I hurt everywhere," Eva said.

The cancer was so invasive that over the years, Cifford had more than seven surgeries, many of them at a specialty hospital dealing with brain tumors - University of California at Davis.

At one point, Clifford had to have part of his skull removed.  The cancer had eaten away at the bone and tissue.

Officials investigate death of homeless Largo woman

Officials investigate death of homeless Largo woman

Largo, FL (AP) -- Authorities are investigating the death of a homeless woman, whose burned body was discovered in a Largo trash bin, as a possible murder.

Authorities say the woman, found in October, had gasoline in her lungs. The woman was found dead in a burning trash bin. Police interviewed a man who was hospitalized after the fire with burns to his hands, ankles and forehead.

Authorities say he told police he was the woman's boyfriend and he was with her when the incident occurred.

A preliminary autopsy report shows no signs of trauma to the body besides severe burns.

Arrest made in theft of Salvation Army kettle

Arrest made in theft of Salvation Army kettle

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) -- An arrest has been made in the theft of a Salvation Army collection kettle from a St. Petersburg Walmart.

Police say 48-year-old Bart Bartie was arrested Wednesday afternoon when he returned to the Walmart and was recognized by store security, who contacted police.

According to investigators, a Salvation Army employee had placed the kettle behind a customer service counter Tuesday evening as he went on a break.

Store security video allegedly showed Bartie reaching behind the counter and removing the kettle. He allegedly placed the kettle in a blue Walmart bag to conceal it.

There was an estimated $100 in the kettle when it was taken.