Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida on September 12, 1991 · Page 21
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Florida Today from Cocoa, Florida · Page 21

Cocoa, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 12, 1991
Page 21
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p- .. . .... . ilmi.ii um wjiwwwwwwt- .'. ,i -i m j I & . a jjuMMKggfcsT3sasaa : 1 flfSJfflWj 1 - 1 UJldljMi STATE NEWS INSIDE D Gov. Chiles presses for wider access to health care, 7B. O Florida reacts to withdrawal of LOCAL NEWS INSIDE South Patrick Shores test results will be released next week, 1B. Brevard residents will get double I l! v. . . . Soviet troop from Cuba, 6B. neipmg qt UKiopertest events, 1 B. " " 1 vi vMuuenesi events, i b. mi , -,, aKs mow n THURSDAY, sept. 12, 1991 sb FBI arrests man in 'Mr. Nasty' robberies FLORIDA TODAY Wires GAINESVILLE FBI agents Wednesday arrested a man accused of being the "Mr. Nasty" who may have robbed up to 15 banks in South Florida. Armando Soto, 29, of Gainesville, was being held at the Levy County Jail awaiting his return to Miami to face charges in four armed bank robberies last year, according to the FBI. A tip after the Jan. 23 broadcast of a segment on the South Florida bank robberies on the television show "Unsolved Mysteries" led to consideration of Soto as a suspect, agents said. The banks were robbed by an armed gunman who was abusive toward employees, authorities said. . Man held in 1989 murder DELRAY BEACH Police acting on a tip from a viewer of America's Most Wanted have arrested a businessman on the lam for two years after a high-stakes penny-pitching game in South Carolina ended in murder, police say. : A bearded, skinnier version of the Charlotte, N-C., gambler Roy Lee Buff was arrested by FBI agents in Delray Beach Tuesday. Authorities said Buff, 43, had been working as a part-time insect exterminator and living in a friend's Delray Beach home under the name Ronald Evans the same last name as the man he is accused of killing. A Delray Beach man who recognized similarities between his friend Evans and murder suspect Buff called authorities this weekend. Molester accidentally released GREEN COVE SPRINGS Authorities were still searching Wednesday for a convicted child molester accidentally freed last week from the Clay County Jail. Keith Edward Hall, 28, convicted and sentenced in DeSoto County to eight years in prison for molesting an 11-year-old girl, was brought to Clay County to face minor charges. He was mistakenly released Sept. 4 when he completed serving a local sentence on three misdemeanor charges. "I'm angry about it. Of all the people to be accidentally released, this is the worst one," said Assistant State Attorney Susan Germann, who prosecuted Hall in the DeSoto County case. Federal agent shot in leg MIAMI An agent of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was shot and wounded Wednesday, evidently while workine with local officers. "Apparently there was some kind of a joint operation between ATF and our robbery section," said Metro-Dade police Detective Lizette Williams. "He was shot in the leg. It's not a life-threatening injury." Neither details of the operation nor the agent's name were immediately available.The shooting occurred early Wednesday afternoon in a wooded area west of Miami in which there are several large homes, Williams said. Police: Shooting not justified ; CLEARWATER A police officer violated policies on the use of deadly force when he shot an unarmed man outside a bar last month, investigators have concluded . Tuesday's investigative report prompted police Chief Sid Klein to ask the city to fire Officer Robert Milliron. "Officer Milliron's use of deadly force was unnecessary to defend himself," the report said. The report coincides with the findings of a grand jury, which indicted the 44-year-old officer Friday on manslaughter in the Aug. 16. shooting of 25-year-old John Crouch. State plans public hearings TALLAHASSEE The state will embark on a $50,000 television ad campaign to let people know about public hearings across Florida on redistricting of the Legislature and Congress, lawmakers said Wednesday. There are 31 public hearings scheduled between Sept 19 and Nov. 23 to allow people a chance to give their views on changes in district lines needed to reflect population changes in the 1990 census. Would-be suitor held in murder TALLAHASSEE A man who called police to tell them he planned to commit suicide was arrested Wednesday in the strangling death of a Florida A&M University student who had repeatedly resisted his romantic advances. Police said Richard Robertson, 19, of Tallahassee was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 18-year-old Carmela Fuce of Fort Lauderdale, whose nude body was discovered at her off-campus apartment on Labor Day. Robertson was arrested after leaving the Tallahassee Memorial Psychiatric Center, where he had been since he threatened suicide, said police Sgt. Phil Kiracofe. Experts warn of Alzheimer's epidemic Associated Press TAMPA Experts on aging will tell federal officials this week the nation is facing an Alzheimer's epidemic as the population ages, and plans must be made to care for victims. The estimated billions in social costs are a "freight train coming right at us," said Eric Pfeiffer, head of University of South Florida's Suncoast Gerontology Center. Some studies indicate that 47 percent of all those age 85 and older the nation's fastest-growing age group will get Alzheimer's, Pfeiffer said. One person in 10 age 75 or older is expected to be a victim. Pfeiffer and others take that message to Washington on Friday for a daylong conference on the future of the disease and the country's ability to treat it. For the past three years, working under a $1 million federal grant, Suncoast Gerontology Center has served as the designated National Resource Center on Alzheimer's disease. It acted as a nationwide consultant on programs to help Alzheimer's victims and their families. Alzheimer's is an incurable, degenerative brain disease that strikes the elderly. It causes gradually increasing confusion, loss of memory and other mental functions, and eventual death. But its victims may live up to 20 years after it strikes. In later stages, they require 24-hour-a-day monitoring and help with all daily activities. "We aren't going to recommend a national health-care plan, and we aren't going to recommend a national long-term care plan," Pfeiffer said. "But what we say may give fuel to those issues." Pfeiffer said providing nursing home care for all current victims of Alzheimer's could cost $30 billion a year. Growing threat The number of Alzheimer's patients, estimated at 4 million nationwide and 400,000 in Florida, may reach 16 million in 50 years, said Eric Pfeiffer of Suncoast Gerontology Center. By contrast, officials estimate T million people nationwide are infected with the AIDS virus. Group petitions for clemency f I ', "fcMSli 1 ""- Jf yiJIUIWU-MIMUl Mil" .1, Jl.'l, Hii,iM r x' f m M am j -oi r . . x - P guts touqti code for BATTERED WOMEN'S ACTIVISTS Candice Wednesday and discuss their plan to gain Slaughter, left, and Linda Osmundson stand clemency for battered women who killed their outside the statehouse in Tallahassee on abusive husbands. Activists seek to free battered spouses Associated Press TALLAHASSEE An advocacy group Wednesday asked Gov. Lawton Chiles and the Clemency Board to review the cases of women imprisoned for killing abusive spouses and release those who were jailed before the battered woman syndrome was an accepted defense. "Our concern primarily is women who are in prison ... as a result of acting in self-defense," said Candice Slaughter, a once-battered woman who came up with the proposal. Slaughter, head of Women in Prison Committee of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, explained her idea to the governor and Cabinet, who were sitting for the quarterly meeting of the Board of Executive Clemency. The plan would require case-by-case consid eration but would implement a new process for review "to correct some of the injustices that these women have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system," Slaughter said. A new clemency committee would consider the cases and rank them according to a rating scale that takes into account documentation, past criminal history, prison record and release plans. Recommendations would range from release to some form of alternative sentence like parole or house arrest to continuing imprisonment, Slaughter said. Many of the women were not allowed to raise the issue of self-defense at their trials because the concept of the battered woman syndrome See CLEMENCY, 7B Associated Press TALLAHASSEE A legislative panel has dropped tough requirements in a proposed code of ethics for lobbyists, but the chairman insists he's not going easy on them. Two of the most stringent requirements a ban on contingency fees and a required ethics course have been dropped, said Rep. Ed Healey, chairman of the Joint Legislative Management Committee. "We're not trying to give them an easy way to go," said Healey, D-West Palm Beach. "I recognize there's going to be people feeling that way, but that's not what we intendjo do." ; The executive director of a government watchdog group said the new plan doesn't go far enough. "They need to go well beyond that," said Bill Jones of Common Cause of Florida. "If they want to build the public's confidence, they're going to have to develop a code that will . . . remove the money in politics." The original plan included a prohibition on contingency fees, payments lobbyists get only if they succeed in getting legislation passed or killed. It also would have prohibited lobbyists from promising to make or withhold campaign contributions to influence legislation, required lobbyists to take a course in ethics, and prevented lobbyists from telling clients that they can control votes. But the revised plan, which will be considered Friday, doesn't include any of those provisions. It does prohibits lying, loans to lawmakers and job offers for legislators. Healey said the ethics course was "a screwball idea" and that contingency fees should not be banned because they're a "private transaction" that provide an incentive for lobbyists. Jones said the new code of conduct will ensure that special interests continue to spend big bucks on contingency fees to kill legislation they oppose. bbyists 1990 taxes held steady in Florida Associated Press TALLAHASSEE On average, Floridians paid $44 more each in state taxes in fiscal 1990 compared to the year before, topping the $1,000 mark for the first time but still below the national average, a study released Wednesday showed. "The result is a steady-as-she goes situation," said Dominic Calabro, president of the nonprofit Florida TaxWatch Inc. Florida's per-capita state tax ranking for 1990 was 36th among the 50 states, one notch higher than the 1989 ranking. The state tax bill last year came to $1,027 per person in the Sunshine State, compared to $1,211 for the average American. Across the nation, state tax bills rose an average of $64 per person in 1990, TaxWatch found. The highest was Alaska at $2,811 per person; the lowest was $536 in New Hampshire. The rankings are for the 1990 fiscal year. The study noted that Florida's rise through the 1980s from one of the bottom 10 tax burden states to a more moderate tax state has slowed. Other findings: When local government taxes are added to the mix, Florida's per-capita tax ranking was 31st in 1990, down from 1989's spot of 29th. Local taxes per person, including property taxes, were $640 last year. State taxes take up 5.9 percent or 6 cents out of every dollar of Floridians' income and local taxes 3.7 percent. Floridians paid $64.96 each in 1990 on various licenses, good for a ranking of 36th nationally. That compared to $75.92 on average across the United States. Prosecutors kill plea bargain in 'nymphomania' case Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE Prosecutors Wednesday withdrew a plea bargain with a self-proclaimed nymphomaniac and her husband, charged in a prostitution scheme. The move came one day after a tabloid television show said the couple's lawyer offered to sell a bedroom video. Kathy Willets and her husband, Broward Countv sheriffs deputy Jeffrey Willets, had planned to enter guilty pleas to prostitution-related charges Wednesday. But the state abniDt- ly withdrew the plea agreement during a hearing before Broward Circuit Judge John Frusciante. The latest develoDment came after allegations that the office of Ellis Rubin, the Willets' attorney, offered to sell a videotape of Kathy Willets engaged in a sex act with a former Fort Lauder dale city official in the bedroom of her home in Tamarac. Rubin had at one time planned to argue that Kathy Willets is a nymphomaniac who needs frequent sex as a form of therapy. Her husband was accused of watching from a bedroom closet. Television tabloid reporter Steve Wilson said Tuesday that one of Rubin's sons, attorney Guy Rubin, offered to sell "Inside Edition" for $60,000 a videotape of Kathy Willets having sex with former Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Doug Danziger. "It came to the attention of the state attorney's office yesterday afternoon that both Mr. and Mrs. Willets have participated in additional criminal activity that is not charged . . . and not con-templated in the plea agreement," prosecutor Joel Lazarus said. Lazarus accused Rubin of negotiating the plea agreement in bad faith and conflict of interest. He said he would forward information to the state attorney's office that could result in a criminal investigation of "certain attorneys." The Willets face trial on the original charges Oct. 2. Rubin, a nationally known Miami lawyer, reacted hotly to the prosecutor's claims and said the TV show entrapped him. "It now has been revealed that Inside Edition's reporter came to my office to entrap us into some illegal or unethical act," he said. The 4th District Court of Appeals, meanwhile, issued a 48-hour stay on release of the list of Willets' clients. A judge ruled last week that the media has a right to see the list, which reportedly includes the names of promient local officials. IlillA YlMllM.I . - vV 1 AP KATHY WILLETS leaves a Fort Lauderdale court house Wednesday with her attorney, Ellis Rubin. J

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