The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on October 25, 1986 · Page 112
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 112

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, October 25, 1986
Page 112
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2B THE PALM BEACH POST SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1986 m st Divers warned to beware of explosives underwater By GREG SCHWEM pdim Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - Investigators probing the mysterious appearance of explosives that have been washing up on Palm Beach County beaches Friday said pleasure divers exploring underwater should be on the lookout for more devices. -It's possible that munitions may be sitting in easily accessible waters," FBI Special Agent Bob Neumann said. "They shouldn't be removed." Neumann made his comments Friday fo' lowing a meeting of a joint task force of local and federal agencies established to investigate the origin of the weapons. The task force met Friday morning with several oceanographic experts to study ocean currents and theorize where crates containing the weapons could have come from. Neumann declined to comment on the meeting but said the task force still has not isolated the weapons' origin. "There are a lot of 'I don't knows' about now," he said. "It's going to be the result of some long, tedious laboratory operations." Since Saturday, authorities have collected three Soviet-made, rocket-propelled grenades, 47 detonator fuses for mortar shells, 9mm ammunition and weapons, and 30mm, 57mm and 122mm mortars. Dozens of empty crates or pieces of crates also have washed ashore on beaches between Delray Beach and Melbourne. The fact that some crates were found in pieces has led investigators to believe the crates were opened either by the punishing ocean or human hands. "It could be impact with the water, impact with the rocks or the frightening possibility that they were smashed open by citizens and taken off," he said. "There is a distinct possibility that the contents are sitting on the bottom," he said. "It does not mean they will wash ashore in Palm Beach County. They may wash ashore as far north as Daytona Beach, North Carolina or Georgia. We have alerted our agencies as far north as North Carolina." Of primary concern to experts now is the location of a fourth rocket-propelled grenade, also known as RPG 9s. Three grenades in a box built for four were found Monday by a sheriff's deputy patrolling a Hutchinson Island beach in St. Lucie Coun ty- Fusing devices presumed missing from other crates are just as powerful as grenades if detonated, Neumann said. "We've had some turned in, but we are reasonably confident some are still out there," he said. Rough seas the past few days have kept diving activity to a minimum. But when the seas calm down, pleasure divers may stumble across devices that spilled from the crates, he said. Stuart man freed, could be indicted in death of infant Ey JILL TAYLOR p ,tm Beach Post Staff Writer STUART - A Stuart man was reh-ased from the Martin County jail on $10,000 bond Friday to await a decision from the Martin Count v grand jury on whether he in!! be indicted on first-degree murder charges in the death of his lti-rnonth-old step-grandson. Sydney Scarbrough, 38, is ac-c u.-ed of violently shaking and hitting Robert Long III on Oct. 21, 1985. when the child was left in his care. Robert died two days later. Scarbrough was originally arrested in April on a charge of second-degree murder and released on bond, but Assistant State Attorney Pam Roebuck dropped that charge Monday and announced she would seek a first-degree murder indictment from the grand jury. After the court session Monday, Scarbrough was rearrested and jailed without bond until Friday, when Roebuck said she would not object to his release but would reserve the right to ask that the bond be revoked if he is indicted for first-degree murder. "I have no reason to believe he will flee at this point. He has been facing a second-degree murder charge for several months and has always appeared in court when ordered," Roebuck said. The decision to take the case to a grand jury was the result of discussions with Dr. Ronald Reeves, a forensic pathologist considered an expert in child abuse cases, Roebuck said. If the grand jury does indict Scarbrough on first-degree murder, Roebuck said she will not seek the death penalty in the case and the maximum penalty on a conviction would be life in prison. Area News V r ' 'J '":0 V , 1 Public defenders told to aid LeCroy Okeechobee File photo shows convicted killer Cleo LeCroy at pre-sentencing By GARY KANE Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - Circuit Judge Carl Harper disregarded a Florida Supreme Court directive Friday by insisting that the Public Defender's Office help convicted murderer Cleo LeCroy appeal his death penalty sentence. Harper's decision cut off nearly two hours of debate about who should handle LeCroy's death penalty appeal. Lawyers with the Public Defender's Office said they lack the money and manpower to appeal LeCroy's sentence. More important, they argued, the Supreme Court instructed the Public Defender's Office in 1981 not to accept any new appeals in capital cases cases involving the death penalty - until it clears its backlog of appeals. That court order still stands, they said. "I can't believe that the State (Attorney's Office) or this court would ask us to violate a Supreme Court order," Assistant Public Defender Dean Willbur said. But they did. Harper questioned whether the Supreme Court order was still necessary. "It just seems to me that in 5 Vz years the backlog could have been reduced in some way," he said. "I don't know that the Supreme Court . intended that to be an eternal di-: rective." Assistant State Attorney Richard Barlow argued the Public Defend-. er's Office should have been able to ; reduce its backlog of appeals because of a "tremendous increase" in budget and personnel since the ; 1981 court order. The public de- fenders budget increased from $1.7 i million in 1981 to $3.5 million this ; year, he said. The office employed 32 public defenders in 1981 and now employs 48 lawyers, he said. ; Chief Assistant Public Defender ; Craig Barnard countered that his office's workload has jumped from 7,438 trial cases in 1980 to more ; than 24,000 cases this year. As directed by the Supreme Court, the office hasn't accepted any new appeals in capital cases, he said. Despite Harper's ruling, the Pub-; lie Defender's Office will not begin an appeal for LeCroy, Willbur said. "There's no difference of opinion ; here," he said. "The Florida Supreme Court has said we can't do it." LeCroy was convicted in February of the 1981 murder of a newly-wed Dade County couple. Harper sentenced the 21-year-old LeCroy to the electric chair on Oct. 1. ivsiinnniy oniis i Sam., murder 4phantom candidate haunts Roberts bid i 1 L At. nnimdt r A Closine arguments are scheduled to begin Monday morning in the first-degree murder trial of Moises Santos, 60. accused of stabbing 42-year-old Wanda Elliott Johnson to death last December. Testimony ended Friday morning after the final defense witness, Assistant Okeechobee County Jail Administrator Leona Hawk, described the Okeechobee man as an industrious prisoner who has caused "not one problem" and who goes out of his way to help clean and scrub the jail facility. She agreed when Assistant Public Defender Michael Sullivan asked her if he was the kind of man who "just can't sit still." Santos was indicted for first-de- Port Salerno eree murder bv the county grand jury for the death of his live-in companion at the trailer they shared at 102 N.W. 38th Terrace, Okeechobee, on the evening of Dec. 16. The prosecution says Johnson was stabbed as many as 23 times. The defense claims Santos acted in self-defense when he saw her grab a gun after the defendant caught her in bed with another man, who has not been identified during the trial. For the second time, Circuit Judge John "Jack" Fennelly dismissed a motion by Sullivan to acquit the defendant for what the attorney said was a lack of evidence of premeditation in the slaying. Test shows pollution level down in Pocket Latest test results of water samples taken from the Manatee Pocket show fecal coliform bacteria counts have dropped considerably : ince county Health Department fficials discovered a sewer pipe Oct. 14 that was leaking thousands of gallons of raw sewage. Health officials received water dimples Friday showing the fecal i oliform count in the Pocket had dropped to 35,000 bacteria per 100 milliliters of water. Initial samples' taken immedi-!v after the spill was discovered , "vealed fecal coliform counts of V90.000 bacteria per 100 milliliters of water - almost 1,000 times greater than the state standard of 800 bacteria per 100 milliters. Ray Cross, environmental supervisor at the Health Department, called the bacteria drop an "optimistic sign" but added that bacteria levels will remain high for several more weeks. Friday's sample results also revealed higher fecal coliform bacteria counts in areas of the Pocket farther away from the spill site, indicating that the sewage was starting to disperse, Cross said. Health officials continue to warn boaters and anglers not to touch the water or fish caught in the Pocket. However, tap water served at nearby restaurants has not been contaminated in any way, Cross said. Martin man arrested in drug trafficking A Martin County man was ar- las County jail in lieu of $1 million ted on cocaine tratticKing Donu By LARRY AYDLETTE Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH - Carol Roberts vividly recalls the three times she encountered H. Scott McCary, her "phantom opponent" for the Palm Beach County Commission. The first time was at an interview before organized labor representatives. McCary walked in naked from the waist up, pulled out a wet shirt and proceeded to get dressed. Roberts looked the other way. v The second time was on a radio talk show. Roberts came to debate. McCary came with a guitar and wanted to play. The third time was around midnight at a local restaurant. Roberts was having dinner with her brother. McCary walked in and forced the waitress to seat him near Roberts. "He was not very nice to me," Roberts said. "He said, 'I know you and I'm going to play hardball.' " Roberts got up and left. In one of the strangest political races in Palm Beach County history, Democrat Roberts - political activist and former West Palm Beach mayor is running for the District 2 Commission seat against Republican McCary accountant and fugitive from justice.' The focus of the campaign has been McCary's well-publicized brushes with the law. It began in August when he was charged with grand theft for skipping out on a $605 West Palm Beach hotel bill. It continued this week with new revelations that McCary was jailed in DeSoto County in West Florida, about 50 miles east of Sarasota, for most of September on vehicle assault charges, was evicted from a house there and is wanted on claims that he rammed two DeSoto residents with his white Cadillac. For the most part, Roberts has taken the high road. At debates, which have a tendency to be one-sided, Roberts points to an empty chair for her rival. She calls him the "phantom opponent." Even Republicans find the situation slightly absurd. "I think Carol probably invented him," noted Republican Commissioner Ken Adams. I A 'I'd like to have him show up (for debates). I'm tired?; of answering the questions and the jests of 'Where , did you put your opponent? Where did you hide . him?' carol Roberts; palm beach county commission candidate "If I ever run again, I'm going to run against him." Earlier this week, Roberts said, "I'd like to have him show up. I'm tired of answering the questions and the jests of 'Where did you put your opponent? Where did you hide him?' " Roberts had little to add after hearing of McCary's latest escapades. "I think," she said, "the voters of Palm Beach County have been given a clear choice as to who they want as a responsible government leader." But a poll conducted for The Palm Beach Post indicates voters might not be so sure. Researchers at the University of Florida randomly interviewed 515 registered county voters and found that Roberts was the choice of 31.9 ' percent of the respondents, with 11.7 percent choosing McCary. But the pollsters found that 42 percent of those contacted don't know about the race or candidates, and 14.4 percent are undecided between Roberts and McCary. The poll was conducted from Oct. 15 through Oct. 20. It was before McCary's charges in DeSoto County were publicized, but well after he gained notoriety on the grand theft arrest. Roberts wasn't sure why 56.4 percent of those polled were still unaware or uncertain about the matchup. She said voters may be more concerned with the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races. "The numbers surprise me," she said. "I would hope two to three weeks before the elect-tion, people would have a better idea of who-their candidates are and their background. I'm a little disappointed because it's extremely im-, portant for the public to become involved at the, local level." Roberts, 50, who served eight years on the West Palm Beach City Commission, began gearing up for her election last January. "The rumors going around were that the Republicans were going to find a credible candidate," Rob.. erts said. But other contenders dropped out and, McCary was left. Roberts said she never had heard of him and many Republicans had a similar reaction. During their only radio debate, Roberts said McCary had few answers and "didn't seem ; to have any knowledge of the pressing issues of: Palm Beach County." But McCary did say all the commissioners should be recalled except Dorothy Wilken and referred to Commissioners . Adams and Karen Marcus as "King Ken" and . "Queen Karen," Roberts said. Despite her lack of competition, Roberts has continued to make numerous appearances. "I still feel I should allow myself to be interviewed and talked to by the people in Palm ' Beach County," Roberts said. "There's been less tension. But I haven't slowed up." ' haroos in Pinellas County on Flor "la's West Coast Thursday after he allegedly sold 412 pounds of co- a:ne to an undercover agent, a Pinellas County sheriff's spokesman said. Charles Wickman, 54, of 3508 vK. Jeanette Ave., Jensen Beach, vas being held Friday at the Pinel- Iort Pierce Wirkman is accused of selling the cocaine, with a street value of $150,000, to an undercover agent for $66,000 Thursday afernoon, investigators said. Wickman's 1984 Datsun was confiscated by the Sheriff's Department, investigators said. Bank joins list in search for McCary Officials want candidate on assault charges, Florida National seeks car Officers find drill's - i.' Two people were arrested and 62 - oriaine rocks seized late Thursday A'h'n St. Lucie County sheriff's de-!"i tives served a search warrant at '!?,?, Fra-Mar Place in Fort Pierce, officials said. A rifle reported stolen in Indian Kiver County and $1,069 cash also were seized. Arthur Barry Franklin, 22, and Jennifer Denise Grimsley, 22, were Okeechobee in search, arrest two charged with possession of a controlled substance. Franklin also was charged with grand theft by possession of stolen property. They remained in jail Friday under $25,000 bond each on the cocaine charges. The raid ended a two-month investigation of alleged drug sales at the house, Sheriff R.C. "Bobby" Knowles said. Official to explain new AMTKAK stop Area residents interested in Okeechobee's new AMTRAK passenger rail stop are invited to a public meeting today at 7 p.m. in the ikeechobee Cit Council cham- Charles Dunn of DeLand, an offi cial of the Florida Coalition of Railroad Passengers, will answer questions on the rail stop. AMTRAK's Silver, Meteor will be stopping twice a dd'y. r i ' ( VAN Harold Scott McCary disappeared from West Palm Beach in August. By LARRY AYDLETTE Palm Beach Post Staff Writer The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department and Florida National Bank have one thing in common. They both want Harold Scott McCary. McCary, the renegade Republican candidate for the Palm Beach County Commission, is wanted in DeSoto County on two charges of running down people in his white 1985 Cadillac El Dorado. McCary is wanted by Florida National Bank for failing to make any payments on the $25,000 car loan. "We've been trying to find him and repossess the car," said Robert Ellison, the bank's collections manager. "We've talked to tons and tons of people, but with no luck. He's using this car to hurt people. It's just stupid." McCary disappeared from West Palm Beach in August. He surfaced in DeSoto County and was jailed for most of September after failing to make bond on a charge of aggravated assault. Police said he rammed his Cadillac into a man on a three-wheel bicycle. A judgo released him without bond on Oct. 9. On Oct. 17, he was forcibly evicted from a home in the county seat of Arcadia, 49 miles east of Sarasota. The following day, he struck another man with his car and fled the scene. McCary was still on the lam Friday night. DeSoto County Sheriff Joe Varnadore believes he has left the area. "We started and kind of scoured around and couldn't find'him, so now it's just routine patrol," Varnadore said. He said deputies have enough cause to arrest McCary on sight, although a warrant will be obtained Monday. "If we could find him, he'd be in jail. He could have killed both of those people," Varnadore said. Florida National Bank also would like to get their hands on him. Ellison said McCary has violated nu-merous terms of his loan contract, including moving without telling the bank, failing to make payments and possibly not having insurance on the vehicle. Ellison said the bank would file charges when McCary is captured. "This guy, we just can't believe he's doing this," he said. "We want him bad. We want our car." Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Jackie Winchester said McCary's latest legal troubles will not keep him off the Nov. 4 ballot, unless he dies, withdraws or is removed by a judge for reasons such as mental incompetency. "He's on every piece of voting equipment in the county," Winchester said. Republicans washed their hands of the whole situation. "You cannot blame the party," said Arlene Hol-len, Republican Executive Committee chairman. "It's a free country and anybody can run under any label. He was never recommended by the, party or interviewed by the party." Post staff writer Carol Carnevale also contributed this report. t

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