Police: Woman neglected dogs, tossed their bodies in trash
BOYNTON BEACH — A Florida woman was arrested Wednesday after an investigation found that she neglected her dogs, then threw their bodies in a trash bin when they died, police said.
Devonna Hinds, 23, is charged with animal cruelty and improperly disposing of animals, according to court records.
A cleaning crew found the bodies inside pet crates that were tossed in the trash in November, and called Boynton Beach police.
Hinds adopted the dogs — a white miniature poodle named Paris and a white/brindle pit bull named Karma — and kept them in plastic crates , the South Florida SunSentinel reported.
A necropsy found that Paris lost 5% of her body weight and Karma lost 20% of her body weight under Hinds’ care, an arrest report said.
The veterinarian concluded that the dogs were “neglected over a long period of time and deprived of basic life-sustaining needs, specifically food, water and medical care,” the report said.
Animal Cruelty Investigator Liz Roehrich called it one of the most disturbing cases she’s worked in her 27 years with the Boynton Beach Police Department.
Former Florida prosecutor accused of offering help for sex
MIAMI — A former Florida prosecutor pressured a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her criminal case, authorities said.
Juan Mercado, 29, was arrested Wednesday in Miami-Dade County and charged with bribery, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news release.
Mercado served as assistant state attorney with the 20th Judicial Circuit from May 2017 to February 2019. The circuit covers Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.
The FDLE investigation showed that the woman was being prosecuted for domestic battery in Collier County, and Mercado offered to “make her case go away” in exchange for sex. Mercado was not the assigned prosecutor on the case but accessed records and provided information and advice to the woman.
After leaving the State Attorney’s Office, Mercado opened up a private practice in Miami.
To avoid a potential conflict of interest, Mercado’s case is being handled in the 12th Judicial Circuit, which includes DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Boy, 9, charged with attempted murder of 5-year-old sister
OCALA — A 9-year-old boy has been charged with trying to kill his 5-year-old sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife inside their Florida apartment last month, officials said.
The boy was charged Tuesday with attempted first-degree murder and appeared in court on Wednesday in the central Florida city of Ocala, prosecutors said.
The mother of the children told police she left the apartment to get the mail and to get some candy for her children from a neighbor. When she returned, she said she found the boy stabbing his sister with a kitchen knife in a bedroom.
The child told investigators he thought of killing his sister two days before the Jan. 28 stabbing, Ocala police said.
The girl was released last Friday from the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville.
The boy remains detained and is being represented by the public defender’s office, which did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
The public defender’s office is awaiting results of a competency examination that will determine whether the boy understands the charges, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.
Charges dropped against guard accused of threatening Trump
FORT LAUDERDALE — Charges have been dropped against a Florida security guard accused of threatening President Donald Trump after prosecutors said his online video was “a rant by an idiot.”
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports federal and state prosecutors agreed to drop charges against Chauncy Lump, 26, and he was released from jail recently, a month after he was charged.
Prosecutors issued a memo saying Lump’s threat against Trump was “more of a rant by an idiot,” than an act of someone with the “intent to actually carry out” his words.
The Secret Service said Lump did a live Facebook video last month shortly after the U.S. military killed an Iranian general. They say Lump told the camera “he killed my leader and I have to kill him” while periodically displaying a semi-automatic rifle.
Lump had white cream on his face, a towel wrapped like a turban on his head and an apparent shower curtain wrapped on his body, the agency said.
Lump allegedly made several threats, including “He killed my leader, please tell me where is Donald Trump?” and “I need to find the Donald because if I don’t find him, I am going to have to blow up Broward County.”
The president was staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort, less than an hour from Lump’s home.
Police: ATV riders shot men in moving car; bystander wounded
MIAMI — Three people, including an innocent bystander, were wounded in a shooting that police in Florida said was carried out by a group of people riding all-terrain vehicles.
One man was shot in the head, and a man and a woman were both grazed by bullets Tuesday evening in Miami-Dade County, news outlets reported.
The man who was shot in the head was in critical condition while the other two people were stable, police said. The woman was said to have been an innocent bystander because she was on the next block over from where the shooting occurred.
The two men were in a moving car when as many as three people on ATVs ambushed them and opened fire, Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said.
The shooters got away, police said. No arrests have been announced.