BEARS FAN STABBED
Man pleads guilty to fatally stabbing Bears fan
(Information in the following story is from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, http://www.jacksonville.com )
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Jacksonville man has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a Chicago fan at a popular waterfront shopping area before a Bears/Jaguars football game last fall.
Matthew Reid Hinson pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder. He faces a possible life sentence.
Authorities say the 28-year-old Hinson slashed 42-year-old William Pettry's neck with a pocket knife at Fionn MacCool's, an Irish-themed bar and restaurant at the Jacksonville Landing. Police say Pettry and a friend were talking to Hinson's wife before the stabbing happened, which may have angered Hinson.
The Florida Times-Union reports that Pettry, a married father of 3, was in town for the Oct. 7 game the next day.
Scott signs bill to expand early voting days
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Scott signed a bill that will allow elections supervisors to expand early voting days and sites.
Scott signed the bill Tuesday. It requires elections supervisors to hold eight days of early voting, but gives them the flexibility to hold up to 14 days. That includes the option of the Sunday before Election Day.
Florida was criticized nationally for long lines and counting delays during the 2012 presidential election and many blamed, in part, Scott and the Republican-led Legislature's 2011 decision to cutback early voting from 14 to 8 days.
The 2011 bill that Scott signed also prohibited voting on the Sunday before the election, when many black churches previously held "souls to the polls" voter drives.
The law will take effect Jan. 1.
FAKE DEATH ARREST
Fla. man suspected of faking death found in Wyo.
CODY, Wyo. (AP) - A Florida man suspected of faking his own death has been arrested in Wyoming.
Fifty-year-old David Leon Lashley was arrested Monday in the Clark area near the Montana border by U.S. Marshals and U.S. Coast Guard investigators.
Park County Sheriff Scott A. Steward said Tuesday that Lashley had been living there under an assumed name, Wesley Byrd.
Steward said Lashley is wanted by the Coast Guard in connection with an arson houseboat fire in Florida which he allegedly used to fake his death.
The Powell Tribune reported that Lashley waived his right fight extradition to Florida in court on Tuesday in Cody, the eastern gateway to Yellowstone National Park.
It wasn't immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
Court rejects appeal of Fla. mass killer Ferguson
MIAMI (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected claims by convicted Florida killer John Errol Ferguson that he should not be executed because he is mentally incompetent.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that although Ferguson suffers from mental illness, he has a rational understanding of what he did and why he is scheduled for execution. That was the same conclusion reached earlier by the Florida Supreme Court.
Ferguson was convicted of 8 murders in South Florida in the 1970s, including a teenage couple who had left a church event for ice cream.
The 65-year-old Ferguson came within hours of execution in October before a stay was issued. Ferguson was first put on Florida's death row in 1978.
Ferguson's attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Face-chewing victim continues recovery in Miami
MIAMI (AP) - A homeless man whose face was mostly chewed off in a bizarre attack last year in Miami says he doesn't want any more reconstructive surgery.
Ronald Poppo spent nearly a month in a hospital after the attack alongside a Miami highway. Since then, he's been living in a long-term care facility.
The attack left him blind and disfigured. Poppo's doctors said Tuesday he knows he's lost his nose and his left eye completely, but he's satisfied with the surgeries and skin grafts that have closed his wounds.
A video posted online by the hospital that has been caring for Poppo shows him sitting in a hospital bed, wearing a baseball cap and strumming a guitar.
Facing the camera, Poppo thanks the public for their contributions and support.
Boudia leads US team for world championships
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Olympic gold medalist David Boudia will lead a team of 15 American divers at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain, in July.
The team was selected during trials that ended Monday at Florida State's Morcom Aquatics Center.
Boudia easily qualified on the men's 10-meter platform, the event he won at the London Olympics last summer with an upset of the favored Chinese.
The men's team also includes 4-time Olympian Troy Dumais, who qualified in synchronized 3-meter springboard with partner Michael Hixon. The 33-year-old Dumais won his first Olympic medal in that event at London, teaming with Kristian Ipsen.
Ipsen will compete in two individual events at Barcelona, taking spots in the 1- and 3-meter springboard.
MIAMI BEACH-POLICE SHOOTING
Civil rights suit filed in fatal MB cop shooting
MIAMI (AP) - The family of a 22-year-old man killed in a barrage of police gunfire during 2011's hip-hop Urban Beach Week festival is filing a civil rights and negligence lawsuit seeking damages for his death.
Attorney Marwan Porter said Tuesday the family believes the killing of Raymond Herisse was unjustified. Officers fired more than 100 shots at Herisse's car after it was allegedly driving erratically on Miami Beach. An autopsy showed Herisse was struck at least 16 times.
The shooting happened during the annual Memorial Day festival that draws hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate hip-hop culture. Police beefed up their presence last year, deploying scanners on beach causeways to check license plates for outstanding warrants and erecting several police surveillance watchtowers.
Prosecutors have not completed an investigation into Herisse's shooting.
EXECUTION VAN POYCK
Fla. Supreme Court says execution can go forward
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court says the execution of a man who killed a prison guard in 1987 can go forward.
The court denied an appeal Tuesday and said that William Van Poyck's June 12 execution will not be delayed.
In June 1987, Van Poyck and co-defendant Frank Valdes ambushed two guards who were taking inmate James O'Brien in a prison van to a doctor's office in West Palm Beach. Corrections officer Fred Griffis died after being shot three times.
Valdes was beaten to death at Florida State Prison in 1999.
Van Poyck's lawyers argued that they weren't familiar enough with his case to adequately represent him in any final appeals and sought to withdraw from the case. The court rejected the requests.
Suspect in FAMU hazing death to be in court
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The last of the suspects to be charged with the death of a Florida A & M University drum major during a hazing ritual has a date in court.
Darryl Cearnel has an arraignment Tuesday in state court in Orlando.
Cearnel was charged with manslaughter and felony hazing last March, almost a year and a half after drum major Robert Champion died.
Most of the other dozen or so other defendants facing charges in the case were charged last year.
Prosecutors say Champion, who was from Decatur, Ga., collapsed and died after walking down a gantlet of other band members who beat him with fists and instruments on a bus parked outside an Orlando hotel in November 2011.
Cearnel isn't expected be in court since he has filed a waiver to appear.
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