The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 24, 1998 · Page 21
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March 24, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 21

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Tuesday, March 24, 1998
Page:
Page 21
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T V V V " ' ' V V 1 w c THE PALM BEACH POST TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 1998 3B Butler jury won't hear secret tape Show of watercraft to snarl land traffic Paha Beach Boat Shew street closings Intracoastal Waterway BANYAN BLVD. jntracoastal downtown CLEMATIS ! H will close Tor tne event. Zi Library IS) DATURA ST. By Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH A secretly taped conversation between Phil Butler and James Clyde Baber III a potentially damaging piece of evidence will not played for the jury because it is such a poor recording. "I've never been diagnosed with a hearing problem but to me there's a good part of the tape that was inaudible," retired Florida Supreme Court Justice James Alderman said. "I could generally tell you the subject matters discussed but I would be hard pressed to say what any person said." Castillo plans to let Bergum tell the jury today what he recalls of the conversation. Jurors also heard from attorney Randall Henley, the former law partner of V. Ted Brabham, Butler's campaign manager who is also charged with bribery. Henley said when he returned from vacation in July 1996 his office's back door was damaged and needed a new lock. Henley's testimony corroborated Baber's testimony of an unsuccessful attempt by Butler and Brabham to stage a burglary of Brabham's office, which they would blame on Butler's political foe, State Attorney Barry Krischer. Assistant State Attorney Cass Castillo, a special prosecutor from Bartow assigned to the case, had planned to play it Monday. Butler is charged with bribery for accepting about $500,000 in illegal campaign contributions during his failed campaign for state attorney in 1996, according to court records. Butler argued against letting the jury hear the tape after investigator Terry Bergum described the Feb. 12, 1997, meeting between Butler and Baber at Baber's home. Bergum and another investigator recorded the conversation after hiding a microphone in a flower pot. Wj7 EVERNIA ST. Streets closed now through 6 p.m. April 2 FERN ST. allow the temporary waterfront docks and exhibition tents to be dismantled when the event ends Sunday. Two lanes of Flagler will reopen for two-way traffic at 6 p.m. April 2; the other lanes will reopen by 6 p.m. April 5. Over the weekend, parts of five east-west streets and a section of Narcissus Avenue will be closed through 6 p.m. April 2. The roads closed are North and South Clematis streets east of the West Palm Beach library, Datura Street east of Bimini Bay Cafe, Evernia Street east of Narcissus Avenue and the east end of the 100 block of Fern Street. Narcissus Avenue will be closed between Datura and Evernia streets. j i -y Tim O'Meilia if aim Beach Post Staff Writer -8 WEST PALM BEACH "Figure this weekend's waterfront street closings as a warm-up for SunFest at the end of April. The 13th Palm Beach Boat Show will attract more than 50,000 people and 700 boats (Thursday through Sunday and ;gnd any ideas of a scenic drive ;plong the waterfront in the meantime. .,. vv Flagler Drive from Banyan -"Boulevard to Lakeview Avenue is closed already and will remain Closed for more than a week to if S II . j f lagler Dr. 2-way, -lane reopens p.m. April 2; -way, 4-lane West reopens 6 p.m. Palm April 5 Beach Palm Beach County may sell ad space , LAKEVIEW AVE,. ROB BARGEStaff Artist 1 Man: I was forced into fatal carjacking .-t By Rebecca Goldsmith Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Parks, beaches, and golf courses were once the last respites advertising-free sanctuaries for souls weary of subliminal messages. But soon those too may go the way of the bus stop, the telephone booth and the Internet. Because in Palm Beach County, you are not just a resident, employee or visitor you're a potential consumer. Reaching you and your wallet is worth money to companies, especially those in the highly competitive soft drink market. That money can fuel government, which is behind the latest drive to make a deal with a soft drink company, such as the makers of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Gato-rade. The company would give the county money and publicity for exclusive access to county-owned buildings, parks and land. This could range from installing vending machines to publishing a county directory. By as early as next month, the companies may try to stake claims on all county property, buses, sporting events, festivals and libraries. This is the county's first "wholesale" attempt, said Denise Cote, director of public affairs. It's unclear how much a deal could be worth. Buddy Rogers, vice president of public affairs for Coca-Cola Enterprises, said his company has "two or three" deals pending in Florida like one proposed for Volusia County, valued at more than $2.5 million. His company's motivation is simple: "We like to sell our product to anyone who'll drink them. ... To us, the consumers are anyone on the planet." against Soto, was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Brady was sentenced to 40 years. Soto also testified Monday that Diaz told him, after killing Costa, that "if I ever tell on him that he was going to hurt me in a way that I would remember him for the rest of my life." carjacking target at a gas station and was walking towards Costa's car, Soto tried to stop him, but Diaz kept walking. "I saw that Jason had already pulled out the gun and had it on the guy's chest," Soto told jurors. He said Diaz ordered Costa into the back seat and yelled at Soto to drive. Soto, represented by attor neys tola Mosley ana Uavia Pleasanton, acknowledged he initially told police he had willingly participated in the carjack ,'By Val Ellicott ' Palm Beach Post Staff Writer if. WEST PALM BEACH .Sergio Soto told jurors Monday he took part in a 1995 carjacking I that left a Bible student dead only - ibecause the most violent of his "Hhree codefendants threatened ' him with a gun. Soto, 21, faces a possible 'death sentence if convicted of jlirst-degree murder in the death I of Rafael Costa of Lantana. I Soto ' reluctantly took the stand Monday, explaining that he j had agreed to steal an unoccu- pied car with his three friends Jason Diaz, Ernesto Brady and 1 Mark Bonham but never I agreed to be part of a carjacking. He went along with the other Jnen anyway, he said, out of loy-Ilalty and because "if something ' happened to them, I would be able to tell their families." N ' Soto said when he realized Diaz had picked out Costa as a ing. He tola jurors ne naa iaon-cated that account after learning Diaz had visited his house and threatened his family. Diaz, identified by police as sW w "ystij f 1 the man who probably fired the shots that killed Costa, is a fugi a 1 tive and is presumed to be in Co lombia. Bonham and Brady pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Bonham, who testified Monday Unlocked homes were thief 's A 0, key to $83,000 in jewels in Jupiter. i By David Abel Talm Beach Post Staff Writer Gammaro, 504 Wedge- 4 51-year-old Riviera Beach man wood Place, V, V turned himself into police Mon- May for more than 20 burglaries in confessed to the burglaries me pasi year wui in auuui N in February 83,000, police said. 1 -4 ' I; Joseph Gammaro, 51, con- and has since worked with police to help recover essed to stealing a host of jewels, rom gold chains to expensive Gammaro atches between November 1997 $21,000 worth and February, Sgt. Robert Artola of the stolen jewels, Artola said. said. "He was never at risk of flee Gammaro, who serviced ing," Artola said. "So we gave him lostaee meter machines in Rivi- a deadline to help recover what 'era Beach, slipped through un r he stole. There were no deals. The deadline expired Mon locked doors of upscale homes in the city's north side, hitting mainly the Gardens of Woodbury, Bent Tree and Westwood Gar day. Gammaro turned himself in to the Palm Beach County Jail. He is being charged with 20 counts of dens, Artola said. He was also responsible for several burglaries residential burglary. Detail of Denmark 1000-kronr not. Th long-ared squirrel was featured on the not from 1972 to 1986. Man found guilty of having endangered bird feathers He was convicted of Mitchell was acquitted of possession of feathers from an endangered wood stork. He told 1 keeping feathers from Emigrating birds and mrors he harvested all his leath ers from dead birds found along threatened species. the road birds he was bound to honor under the tenets of his be rBy Scott Hiaasen liefs. 'aim Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH The . . 1 YI 1 Jurors asked Palm Beach County Judge Nelson Bailey to Kman known as Manaing nawK vas found guilty Monday of ille- allow one piece of evidence, an eagle feather Mitchell considers sacred, to be returned to Mitch IRAs FOR THOSE Consider this: INTERESTED IN HOARDING Tax Season is FOR THE FUTURE. here. And we've got the new tax-free Roth IRA and Education IRA, both of which can be invested in your choice of stocks, mutual funds and CDs. And they come with unlimited investment advice from First Union Brokerage Services, Inc. To find out more of the specifics, visit any First Union location, call 1-800-593-9758 or visit us online at www.firstunion.com ell s friend, James Wellheiser, a oart-Iroouois who testified for him Monday. Mitchell will be sentenced next week on the two misde jjgal possession of parts of state-Sprotected birds, though jurors jdeared him of one charge and acknowledged his heartfelt belief 2in American Indian customs. 3 Standing Hawk, also known lis David Mitchell, 49, was con-jfvicted for keeping feathers from migrating birds, and threatened Species, including bald eagles Sand owls. Mitchell said most of Sthe feathers found in his Jupiter phome were for use in American jjlndian ceremonies, though some rfwere for sale. meanors. Though he won't give up his American Indian practices his great grandmother's great grandmother was a Cherokee he said he will modity them to abide the law. "Nothing can deter me from living the way I live, he said. i Board 11161111)61-8 opposed to plan out the details of a plan. )PEN ENROLLMENT ''rom IB But the plan may never get used because many board mem bers don't like the idea. students. The state requires a plan for Five zones should be set ud to i-ontrol transportation costs, but !;arents still could take their chil ' VJS tV lnvfitmrnt in Hoiks. foNi na mutual uiai nr ; V'" V 1 NOT RX-ff jSUREDr JOT SWK GUARAVTEEDVAY LOSE VALUE C TON' dren to other schools if they provide their own transportation. lnd some system of accountabil controlled open enrollment, but doesn't require anyone to try it Board members questioned whether the state could ever require it because local school boards have so much power. For example, the state can't force school districts to approve charter schools, a reform that cuts red tape for nonprofit groups,in exchange for ity should be in place to make ure schools that parents dont pick undergo improvements. Associate Superintendent vnthia Hno said the committee jJn't start sooner because dis- 4,u.t official w re going t work

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