Bond Denied for Two Suspects in the Cady Way Trail Murders

On May 12, 2012, in Orange County, Florida, two grown men had been charged and arrested for the deaths of two teenagers. Jesse Davis, 30-years-old and Hector Rodriguez, 31-years-old, have been denied bond for the murders. The teenagers, 16-year-old Nick Presha and 18-year-old Jeremy Stewart, were Winter Park High school students. On April 15, 2012, their bodies were found smoldering on a popular walking/ bike trail located in east Orange County. Autopsies showed that the teens hands were bound behind their backs and they both had been shot in the head, before their bodies were set on fire. Shortly after the discovery of the bodies, the Orange County Sheriff’s office had one person of interest under arrest on unrelated charges.

Early on into the investigation, the Orange County Sheriff’s office  reported that Jesse Davis, who has been in and out of mental institutions, was known to terrorize people in the neighborhood where he lived, which was not to far from where the bodies were found. Now the sheriff’s office is reporting that the boys were killed while trying to sell two stolen handguns to the suspects.

Where are the adults here?

I’ll admit, when it comes to gun ownership–I’ve always been on the fence about it. On one hand, I understand why some people would choose to own one or more guns. But on the other hand, I know first hand about how careless people can be when it comes to storing guns. And sometimes the results in the owners carelessness with storing their guns can land in the guns in the wrong hands. What I really don’t get is– why gun makers haven’t done more to protect and detect guns when they are stolen? 

Last Friday, I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. I don’t watch Rachel’s show on a regular basis, but once again it was about timing. In the opening of her show, Rachel reported on how due to the reconfiguration of gas tanks on cars, truck and SUVs, the government has decided to take off the boot-like device that is attached to the nozzle of the end of the gas pumps. The purpose of the boot-like device on the nozzle was to prevent gas fumes from seeping into the environment. Rachel said that by removing those boot-like devices, the government and gas station owners will be saving millions– if not billions– of dollars. 

Do you remember when car thefts was like one of the hottest crimes out there? When it was a huge deal for people to steal cars and such a tragedy for those who owned them? Over the years, engineers have come up with Vehicle Identification Numbers, GPS Navigation and On-Star systems, etc. in order to track vehicles. It’s been reported that it’s easier to find a stolen car than a kidnapped child–now that’s really sad. But the point I’m trying to make is– where is the tracking device on handguns? I’m not talking about simple serial numbers. I’m talking about a special device that should be able to go into the chamber of guns in order for gun sellers/ owners to track their guns. A device that could be built into the gun that if and when someone attempts to remove the device, they have to dismantle the gun in such a way that it will then be useless. Now, for those of you who may be saying–well, that sounds like a good idea–why don’t you come up with a device for it? I say to you, I know I’m not the only one who has thought about this. I’m sure that a lot of people (including gun makers/ owners, etc.) have thought about ways to track their guns. After all, it’s their investments. So really–how important is it to them to get guns off of the streets?  

A Former Cocoa Beach Police Officer Charged with Having Sex with a Minor

In Brevard County, FL, Alysia Flynn, a mother and former Cocoa Beach police officer, is facing 97 felony charges, some including having sex with a minor. It’s been reported that her son and the minor that she’s been accused of having sex with attend the same high school. Alysia Flynn has been married for 13 years. Her husband says that he will continue to support his wife.

Where are the adults in the police office/ community?

This is a very unfortunate situation for all families and their communities. This stretches way out there because not only is the loss of trust in a law enforcement officer destroyed, but a mother–what happens to her children and their state of mind? And the minor who she’s been accused of having sex with–what about his state of mind and his family, especially his siblings state of mind? These types of situations affects generations. This situation sort of hits home with me because my son was invited to an ex-law enforcement officer’s home–and because of the carelessness of the homeowner and his adult son–my son and my family has been scared. Law enforcement agents and teachers are pillars in their communities. I used to think–what parent wouldn’t want their child to be friends with a child of a law enforcement officer? Now, I don’t know what to think.

Seminole High School Teacher Fired After Marijuana Arrest

In Seminole County, Florida, Richard Joy, a Seminole High School social studies teacher, was arrested for having felony amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his home. School Board members voted to have the teacher, who’d been working in the district for 6 years, fired. Rumor has it that the teacher may have been selling marijuana to students. However, deputies say there’s no evidence at this time to show that he’d been selling marijuana to students. An anonymous tip is what led deputies to the teacher’s home.

Where are the adults in the schools?

What people do in their homes is beyond my control. But when a person takes a job as a school teacher, that person signs off on rules, regulations, policies, etc. that they will abided by. If a teacher wants to smoke marijuana, then he/she needs to find another career path. Simply because of the influential position that teachers have on all students–directly and indirectly. Think about how many students at Seminole High School went home and told their parents and their siblings about this teacher’s arrest. As a parent, that’s a setback in your teaching of ethics. 

A Low-Down Dirty Shame: Corrupt Sheriff Found Guilty; Popular Defense Attorney also Found Guilty turns on Sheriff for Plea Deal

Whenever a company is found to have put out a bad product, whether it be a food product or a manufacturing product, they are morally responsible to inform the public about the product’s defect. Companies usually do this by “recalling” the product using mass media networks.

On Sunday, May 6, 2012, I sat and watched the T.V. show 60 Minutes. I don’t remember when was the last time I’d watched the show but I was glad to have caught last night’s episode reported by Byron Pitts. He reported on how two brave young reporters took down the Whitley County Sheriff back in 2009. Whitley County is located in Kentucky. The sheriff and his friend (a popular local defense attorney) were found to be low-down and dirty. Which is where I got today’s headline.

While watching Byron Pitts segment, I couldn’t help but to think about the Leon Count Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office and their handlings of not just my son’s case but other cases that have passed through their jurisdiction. Some Leon County Sheriff employees have come out and exposed some of the unethical practices that are being exercised in the workplace. Some of the employees clearly stating that Sheriff Larry Campbell operates under the ‘Good Ole Boy’ network (sounds familiar). No corrupt leader serves justice to the community. Which leads me back to product “recall”.

When a sheriff is believed to be corrupt, it is only fair for the community to take action and make the sheriff answer direct questions from ordianary citizens. If he/ she cannot answer the questions directly, then a special election needs to be put into effect immediately (recall). Because it’s our tax dollars that are going to pay for that sheriff’s corrupt actions. Who do you think is paying for the death of Rachel Hoffman? Not the Tallahassee Police Department. Her parents were awarded 2.4 million dollars! So if you don’t live long enough to pay them off, your children will pick up where you left off. Especially if your income is within the lower to middle-class income bracket. Remember–it’s the citizens within the upper-class income bracket that gets all of the tax breaks. And more than likely the head of a law enforcement agency is with out a doubt within that upper-class income bracket. So now–you tell me–how does a corrupt leader serve the community?

If you’re interesed in viewing/ reading the segment about the corrupt sheriff in Whitley County, click on the 60 Minutes link below:;contentBody

8th Annual Capitol City Challenge

On May 5, 2012, law enforcement officers from FSU, TPD and the Leon County Sheriff’s Department rode their bikes through various obstacle courses. This event was held to award officers, as well as to raise money for the Special Olympics Program for the Leon County district and Kids First Fund.

As the legal guardian of a special needs child (my 17-year-old nephew), my family has reaped great benefits of the funds raised through these types of events. From middle school through high school, my nephew has competed in many different Special Olympics competitions. He’s won plenty of Gold and Silver medals in Track and Field (he wears his medals proudly). He especially loves the medals that he has won in the Annual Special Olympics at Disney World.

My nephew, who is in his senior year of high school, was front and center when Detective Don Odham, Lt. Timothy Baxter, Deputy Clifton Couch, Deputy Brian Pearson and two other unknown deputies aggressively badgered my son’s 21-year-old co-worker/ roommate in the parking lot of the young man’s apartment complex. All but one deputy were acting like a group of bullies. They were taking turns on this obvious frightened young man. They were literally playing good cop/ bad cop with this young man. It was a scary sight for even me to have witnessed. That’s why as an adult–as a praying mother, I was not all that surprised when I read the probable cause arrest warrant. In the arrest warrant it states that this same young man admitted to knowing that my son was in possession of firearms and he (the young man) drove my son to the residence and sat in the car in a dark driveway across the street from the residence, mind you–this young man is not under arrest. As a matter of fact, the State Attorney’s office has teamed up with the sheriff’s office in practicing bullying. You see this young man has pending charges. So everytime that my son’s trial date changes, the young man’s trial date changes–always a week or two after my son’s trial date. If the State Attorney’s office and the Leon County Sheriff’s office aren’t holding their feet on this young man’s throat then I’m not a God fearing woman. But the most disheartening thing that happened directly after the deputies finished bullying the young man was when the deputies flat out told that boldfaced lie and then handcuffed my son. My special needs nephew and my 8-year-old great-niece witnessed everything. Deputy Couch, who was ordered by Lt. Baxter to place my son under arrest, removed the handcuffs off of my son because they knew that they were lying. Both my nephew and my great-niece knew that they’d lied. At one point both of them asked me, “why are the police lying on Shon?” How does a parent answer a question like that? How do you make a child see good in law enforcement officers, when they have witnessed them tell a boldfaced lie?

Fortunately, like I mentioned earlier—I am a praying mother—and I was able to explain to them that all police officers are not bad people—all of them are not liars. Unfortunately, because of the mounting lies of the Leon County bullies, my family is facing financial and mental hurdles that are sometimes overwhelming. And because of this, my nephew was not able to participate in any of the Special Olympics events this year. What should’ve been his best year of high school—senior events, prom and graduation—was tarnished by bullies that represented the very agency that was behind the highlights of his previous high school years.

Jury finds Orlando Cop Not Guilty of Roughing Up Teen

A jury Friday night took a little more than an hour to find an Orlando police officer not guilty of shoving a teenager to the ground, punching him and illegally detaining him and his girlfriend.
Dante Candelaria, 39, then a member of the department’s gang unit, was charged with two felony counts of false imprisonment and one count of misdemeanor battery.
“I can start walking with my head up now without the ridicule of the public,” Candelaria after the verdict.
The case began Jan. 28, 2011 when Candelaria — who was awarded a state medal of heroism for saving a grandmother from an apartment fire in 2005 — tried to pull over the brother of Emilie Rodriguez, then 15. The brother, Juan Rodriguez fled.
To try to find Juan Rodriguez, Candelaria approached Emilie and her boyfriend, Bryan Payne, then 17, Assistant State Attorney Steve Foster told the jury Thursday.
Emilie testified that as she left a convenience store on Semoran Boulevard, Candelaria yelled at her to stop, told her to sit down, pointed his gun at her and asked where her brother was.
“He had no right to point his gun at a 15-year-old girl and order her to get down on the ground just because he wanted to know where her brother was,” Foster told the jury.
Candelaria eventually let Emilie go, and she walked toward nearby McCoy Elementary School. There, she saw Candelaria confront Payne, she said.
Payne, now 19, testified that Candelaria “blindsided” him as he sat on a bench at the school about 9 p.m., yelled at him, slammed him into a wall, punched him, handcuffed and searched him. Video corroborated most of Payne’s testimony, Foster said.
But defense attorney David Bigney said that nothing in the video suggested Candelaria committed a crime. In his closing argument, Bigney said Emilie’s testimony that Candelaria pointed his gun at her was not credible.
He also said Candelaria had a right to detain Payne because Payne admitted trespassing on school property. The state argued that sitting on a bench in a public area is not trespassing. Bigney further argued that other officers saw no signs that Payne had been punched.
Candelaria, who has been on desk duty while waiting for the criminal case to be resolved, said he hopes to return to patrol. Police Department procedure is to conduct an internal investigation first, Bigney said.

Trial Set for Cop Accused of Beating Teen for No Reason


An Orlando police officer accused of beating a teenager will go to trial Thursday on criminal charges.

Officer Dante Candelaria faces several charges for an incident with a 19-year-old Bryan Payne in February 2011. Video of the incident shows Candelaria beating the teen and throwing him against a wall.

WFTV has learned that charges against Candelaria have been upgraded because he rejected a plea deal. That means he is now charged with battery and false imprisonment with a weapon.

Payne said he was waiting for his girlfriend outside an Orange County Shool when Candelaria tossed the teenager and punched him in the moth several times for no apparent reason.

Payne said Candelaria then slammed him up against a brick wall and handcuffed him.

“I’m scared of this man,” Payne said.

If convicted, Candelaria faces 16 years in prison.

“I believe he would’ve got away with it had there not been no video that day. I believe that’s the only think holding him accountable for his actions. It has to stop. The police need to stop having that chest up or that one-up on society when they’re just like everyone else.”

Candelaria is no longer patrolling the streets, but he is still on the job working at the Orlando Police Department headquarters in property and evidence.

During depositions, Candelaria’s supervisor testified that Payne was a documented member of the gang Friends For Life or FFL. The supervisor said Candelaria, an officer in the gang unit, was trained to “react a lot quicker” because he’s been “shot at” and “received death threats” from suspects.

However, Payne denied being in a gang.
But WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said none of that matters. He said criminal charges against police officers are rare and jury convictions don’t come easy.

“We as citizens still want to support law enforcement,” Sheaffer said. “We really don’t want to believe that they act outside the scope of their authority or abuse their authority.”

Candelaria’s trial is expected to start Thursday morning.

The last Orlando police officer to be charged with a violent crime was in September 2010.

Brandon Loverde was accused of groping a nursing mother outside Club Firestone where he worked as an offduty security officer.

Laverde pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and he resigned from the department.