Rosemary Barkett joins international court
Rosemary Barkett, a former Florida Supreme Court chief justice and Palm Beach County circuit judge, is leaving a federal appeals bench to join an international claims tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands.
An official with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday that Barkett will retire from the Atlanta-based court on Sept. 30. She will then join the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, which deals with issues and disputes between the two countries.
Barkett, who was born in Mexico, became the first woman Florida Supreme Court justice in 1985. She was also the first female chief justice, from 1992 to 1994. She was appointed to the 11th Circuit by President Bill Clinton and took the bench in April 1994.
Gay teen held without bond
A teen accused of having sex with her underage girlfriend will remain in jail until her trial.
A judge ordered 19-year-old Kaitlyn Hunt to be held without bond during a hearing Tuesday. Hunt was booked into the Indian River County Jail Monday night, facing a new charge of transmitting material by electronic equipment harmful to a minor. She was already charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child.
The state attorney’s office pulled a plea offer Monday following allegations Hunt violated her pretrial conditions and contacted the girl identified as the victim in the case. Prosecutors say Hunt exchanged thousands of texts with the girl and sent her nude photos.
Mistrial declared in baby murder
A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the first-degree murder case of Richard A. McTear Jr., who is accused of throwing the three-month old son of his girlfriend out of a car window as he drove on Interstate 275.
The mistrial came Tuesday, a day after attorneys for objected to testimony from the baby’s mother that Circuit Judge William Fuente had previously barred. Jasmine Bedwell made the statements Monday as the trial got underway.
When asked by prosecutors about phone calls she’d received in May 2009 from McTear, Bedwell responded that he had threated to kill her and the baby. Prosecutors said they didn’t expect that testimony because she previously said the threats came in March 2009.
108 legislators say no to special session
The Florida Department of State on Tuesday released a final tally of a legislative poll on whether to convene a proposed special session to repeal the state’s “stand your ground law.”
It showed 108 legislators, including seven Democrats, voted against the special session while 47 voted for the session. Four legislators did not vote.
The vote was triggered after 33 legislators asked for the special session in writing. They were urged to do so by protesters upset with the July verdict in the George Zimmerman case.
A yes vote by three-fifths of the Legislature, or 96 of the 160 senators and representatives, would have resulted in a special session.
Officials to visit juvenile facility after riot
Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters and Inspector General Robert Munson were planning to tour Avon Park Youth Academy Tuesday after a riot broke out at the central Florida juvenile detention facility Saturday night.
The Ledger of Lakeland reported that the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and multiple agencies responded to the facility with riot gear, tear gas and pepper spray. They believe the riot started over a basketball game wager. Eight youths were injured and 18 buildings were damaged. No staffers were hurt. One 17-year-old boy has been charged.
According to its website, the facility is a 144-bed moderate-risk program for males in the juvenile justice system between the ages of 16 and 19-years-old.
Dad of Chechen shot by FBI agent meets with prosecutor
The father of a Chechen man shot to death by an FBI agent during questioning about a Boston Marathon bombing suspect cried and showed photos of his son as a youth when he met with an Orlando prosecutor Thursday, his attorneys said.
The closed door-meeting between State Attorney Jeff Ashton and the father of Ibragim Todashev lasted about an hour and left Abdulbaki Todashev, the father, and his legal team “very satisfied,” said Eric Ludin, one of the attorneys. Abdulbaki Todashev had come to Florida from Chechnya to find out what happened.
Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed in May while FBI agents and police from Massachusetts and Florida questioned him at his Orlando apartment about his friendship with suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Officials originally said the Chechen man lunged at an agent with a knife. They later said it was no longer clear what happened.
“He has faith in the justice system in our country, and he has hope that justice will be served,” said attorney Hassan Shibly, the Tampa executive director of CAIR-Florida, a civil rights and legal organization.
Ashton has agreed to review the circumstances that led to Todashev’s fatal shooting.