Man who murdered international tourists in Florida wins early release.
Edward Jermaine Babbs
Babbs received a mandatory life without parole sentence for a crime he committed just days short of his 18th birthday. He murdered his pregnant girlfriend. Stephanie Rabsatt, 17, was 8 months pregnant with the killer’s son when he shot her in the head.
Not long ago, Tampa defense lawyer Dee Ann Athan went to Plant High School to speak to a government class. She figured they would talk about the Constitution and such. But the kids wanted to hear about Valessa. How is Valessa, and what’s it like in prison, and how could she do it? Never mind they were only 6 or 7 when it happened. Like a lot of people Athan runs into, they want to talk about her infamous teenage client. How, they’re still wondering, could it happen? How could the age-old struggle between a mother and daughter go so completely and utterly wrong? The boys there that night, Athan says. The LSD. Out-of-control kids. “The perfect storm,” she says. Ten years ago today, 49-year-old real estate agent Vicki Robinson disappeared. The morning before, she had awakened in her suburban house-with-a-pool on a quiet Carrollwood cul-de-sac. Maybe she looked forward to dinner that night with her boyfriend. Maybe she thought about Valessa, 15, her youngest. Valessa’s boyfriend was a nightmare, good looking, 19 and tattooed, with a jail record and a taste for drugs. And Valessa was more defiant by the day. Talking of wanting a baby, even. But Vicki had a plan. Less than two weeks and Valessa would be in a Christian residential program for troubled girls out in the country called Steppin’ Stone Farm. For at least a year. But on the day an unsuspecting Valessa was supposed to arrive, everyone was gathering for a funeral. The perfect storm, Athan calls what exploded in the house that night. Valessa and Adam Davis and a friend on drugs. The attempt to kill Vicki, in her nightgown, with a bleach-filled syringe and finally a knife. They ran and were caught. The friend testified and Adam got death. His sentence was upheld just this month by the Florida Supreme Court. Valessa’s trial — with its pretty divorced mom victim and its every-parent’s-nightmare theme — caught the eye of shows like 48 hours. Animal Planet even did a piece on Vicki’s sheltie, Lady, called As Dog Is My Witness. Valessa came to court looking like a child, not the thug she had wanted to be. She got 20 years. In the first four years she was in, she lost gain time for “sex acts” with another inmate, “spoken threats,” possession of contraband and disorderly conduct. She cleaned housing units, worked in the laundry and was a wellness aide. She took classes in architectural drafting and dog training. She picked up trash. She is now 25 and scheduled to get out in 2015. She’ll be 32, jailed more than half of her life, her childhood long gone.
After she died, Vicki’s friends started a foundation in her name to help parents like her. They raised more than $10,000 to donate to Steppin’ Stone to help another girl there. They plan a private memorial. They will have dinner and talk about her life. “She was like a sister to me, and I loved her,” says friend Ed Philips. He has been thinking about seeing Valessa. The house on the quiet cul-de-sac has changed little. The neighborhood is still all muted beiges and shady oaks and perfect lawns. Flowers are in full bloom, just like they were 10 years ago. A riot of butterflies passes over what was once Vicki’s front yard, as if nothing bad could happen here.
The 14 year old was found guilty in 2012 of second degree murder for killing his English teacher.
PENSACOLA, Fla. January 2011 -A Panhandle teen who was 14 when he was arrested for fatally shooting his father will claim insanity at his upcoming trial. The Pensacola News Journal reported that defense attorneys for 15-year-old Warren Williams have filed court documents saying they will rely on an insanity defense. The teen called a 911 operator minutes after the 2009 shooting and said he was sick of his life, wanted to shoot his father and leave. Williams faces life without parole if convicted of the first-degree murder.
SHALIMAR — Tyree Washington was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery. Washington, 17, showed little emotion when the jury announced its verdict after deliberating for about 90 minutes. His family had no comment as they left the Okaloosa County Courthouse Annex in Shalimar. Washington was the first of four teenagers to be tried for the murder of Chris Pitcock.
Pitcock, 17, died March 4, 2010, after he was shot in the side with a .357 magnum revolver while sitting in his Chevrolet Blazer at the corner of Oakland Circle and Lula Belle Lane in Fort Walton Beach. Police said he was shot when the other teens tried to steal 2.5 ounces of marijuana from him.
“I’m very pleased that the jury weighed the evidence and came to this verdict,” prosecutor Angela Mason said as she left the courtroom. About 14 young people stayed late at the courthouse annex to hear the verdict, which was announced about 7 p.m. They later cried and embraced outside the courtroom, saying “justice has been done.” The four-day trial clearly took a toll on Pitcock’s family. David Pitcock, Chris Pitcock’s father, suffered an anxiety attack Thursday and was taken from the annex in an ambulance. His sister, Ann White, said later that he was admitted to a hospital.
Washington’s three co-defendants — Johnathan Lee Louviere, Timothy Preston Chavers and Kyle Markeith Walling — still face murder charges for their alleged roles in Pitcock’s death. “One down and three more to go,” said Sherry Cordy, who accompanied Chris Pitcock’s mother, Elaine, out of the courtroom following the verdict. Elaine Pitcock vowed that the family would make it through the three upcoming trials. Two are scheduled for early March and the third is set for April. “We have strength,” Elaine Pitcock said. “It’s all for Chris.”
Circuit Judge William Stone set Washington’s sentencing for 1:30 p.m. March 29. If Washington was an adult, the only possible sentences for a first-degree murder conviction would be death or life in prison without the possibility of parole. But because he is only 17, the death penalty has been ruled out. There also is some question whether someone his age can be given a sentence without a chance for parole. The state attorney’s office has indicated it intends to seek a sentence of life without parole. Mason used a PowerPoint presentation during her closing arguments Thursday. She argued for the conviction because Washington helped plan the robbery, although he did not kill Pitcock. Mason said Washington lured Pitcock to the scene and provided the gun Chavers used to shoot Pitcock. She said Washington also later buried the gun. “They didn’t say kill him, but they gave him a loaded gun,” she argued. “Timothy Chavers didn’t have a gun until Mr. Washington gave it to him.
Johnathan Lee Louviere, Timothy Preston Chavers and Kyle Markeith Walling the other three co-defendants in the crime await trial as of Feb. 2011.
KYLE WALLING was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in July 2011.
14 years old at trial 18 years old
Tate was originally sentenced to life as an adult, but his life sentence was later overturned once he accepted a plea deal he had originally rejected. Lionel Tate, reputed to be a school yard bully, beat up and killed 6 year old Tiffany Eunick. He said he was imitating professional wrestlers when he killed her, but the many bruises and injuries to her little 48 pound body, and testimony that he had a crush on her mother and wanted Tiffany’s toys and to move in with her mother, led the jury to reject the defense ploy that her murder was just rough-housing gone awry.
When paroled, he was soon re-arrested for the armed robbery of a pizza delivery man, for which he is now back to prison for 30 more years.
Teen Accused of Killing Officer Held Without Bail
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A 16-year-old who was arrested and accused of killing a St. Petersburg police officer made his first court appearance Wednesday and was ordered held without bail. Officer David Crawford was shot multiple times Monday night while investigating a report of a prowler in a neighborhood just south of Tropicana Field where the Tampa Bay Rays play baseball. Crawford was the third St. Petersburg officer to die in the line of duty in the last month. Police identified the suspect as Nicholas Lindsey. He was arrested late Tuesday following an intense manhunt. “When he did make the admission on tape for us at the end of the day, it was quite apparent that he was remorseful in his actions,” Police Chief Chuck Harmon said during a late night news conference. “He cried.”Lindsey’s father made a tearful apology to the officer in the courtroom Wednesday. “On behalf of me, my son and our entire family, we send our deepest concerns and sympathy to the family and his colleagues that he works with,” said Lindsey’s father, Nicholas, who broke into tears, according to St. Petersburg Times. “This is my only son and I’m sorry that this happened.” The Associated Press does not usually identify juveniles until they are charged in adult court, but authorities released his name and the teen’s photo has been widely disseminated. A Pinellas County Judge has assigned the public defender’s office to represent Lindsey, but no specific attorney has been appointed. Prosecutors intend to try Lindsey as an adult, the newspaper reported. A grand jury would have to review the evidence and determine the charge. Lindsey had a prior juvenile criminal record, but the police chief did not give details. Police did not have a motive except that there was some exchange between Lindsey and officer, Harmon said. “It breaks my heart,” he said. “When you have something like this happen, you don’t expect this type of confrontation between a 16-year-old and a police officer to end like this.” Lindsey is a student in the Pinellas County Schools, but Harmon wouldn’t say which school. It wasn’t clear how he obtained the gun, Harmon said. Lindsey’s mother, Deneen Sweat, 43, said she became suspicious of her son when she read police descriptions of the suspect. She repeatedly asked if he was involved and he denied it, according to the newspaper. “I told my son, ‘Man up and tell them what happened,’” she said. Lindsey was described as a quiet teen who wanted to be a football player when he grew up. Monday night’s shooting happened when officers were checking out the prowler call and Crawford, 46, spotted the suspect and got out of his car. At 10:37 p.m., another officer, Donald J. Ziglar, reported an exchange of gunfire and told dispatchers an officer was down, police said. Ziglar found Crawford lying on the pavement near his cruiser, shot at close range, police said. Crawford was not wearing a bullet proof vest. Crawford, who was married, eligible for retirement and the father of an adult daughter, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Officers saluted the van that carried his body to the medical examiner’s office Tuesday morning. Crawford, who loved horses, lived in a rural community north of St. Petersburg. On Jan. 24, two St. Petersburg officers — Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Thomas Baitinger — were killed as they helped serve a warrant on a man with a long criminal history. Their killer died in the siege. Prior to that, the St. Petersburg Police department hadn’t had an officer killed in the line of duty in more than 30 years. “We’re not even done healing from the first tragedy, then boom, we have a second one,” said St. Petersburg Detective Mark Marland, who is also the police union president. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said the city will now be able to bury officer Crawford and have some closure — but residents, officers and parents must also learn why a teenager was carrying a handgun. “We as a community need to stand up and do a better job,” Foster said.
Charlie Ely, Amber Wright, Kyle Hooper
For video coverage of the trial of Ms. Wright and Mr. Hooper click here.
(CBS/WKMG/AP) OCALA, Fla. – Investigators say Seath Tyler Jackson received a text Sunday afternoon from a 15-year-old ex-girlfriend saying she wanted to rekindle their romance and that they should meet at a house in Summerfield, about 60 miles northwest of Orlando. Pictures: Six arrested in brutal murder of Fla. boy
There, authorities said, he was fatally beaten and shot. Then, Seath’s body was stuffed into a sleeping bag and burned, and the remains were put in paint buckets and dumped at a remote lime rock pit, authorities allege. According to CBS affiliate WKMG, six people, including the 15-year-old ex-girlfriend and three other teens, were arrested Tuesday in Seath’s murder. Those arrested include:Michael Bargo, 18, of Summerfield, charged with first-degree murder
Charlie Kay Ely, 18, of Summerfield, charged with first-degree murder
Amber E. Wright, 15, of Summerfield, charged with first-degree murder
Justin Soto, 20, of Summerfield, charged with first-degree murder
James Havens III, 37, of Summerfield, charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder
Kyle Hooper, 16, of Summerfield, charged with first-degree murder
Authorities, as well as family and friends, said Bargo was dating Seath’s ex-girlfriend and had gotten into a fight with him several weeks ago, WKMG reported. On Tuesday, a woman told deputies her 16-year-old son had witnessed Seath’s slaying in a house in Summerfield, near Ocala. Authorities said the teen, who has not been publicly identified, told investigators the group plotted the slaying because Bargo hated Seath. Five of the suspects were gathered at the house Sunday “when Michael Bargo began to speak of his hatred for the victim Seath Jackson,” authorities wrote the 16-year-old boy told them. “The conversation then turned into a plan to lure Seath to the residence so that Michael Bargo could kill him with the assistance of other persons.”
According to the sheriff’s office, Bargo shot Seath several times. When Seath tried to escape, Soto held him down while Bargo continued to shoot him, authorities said. Then, according to the report, Bargo broke the teen’s knees and group members hog-tied him and put his body in a sleeping bag, which was placed in a fire pit in the back yard and burned. At that point, the sheriff’s office said, the group used bleach to clean the house and shoveled Jackson’s remains into 5-gallon paint cans. Investigators are still searching for a .22-caliber revolver used in the slaying. The sheriff’s office said a dive team found three 5-gallon paint buckets Wednesday afternoon in a lime rock pit, and the contents were being tested to confirm that they are Seath’s remains.