Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on June 6, 1992 · 11
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Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 11

St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 6, 1992
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T TIMES SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 1992 33 Metro W If (0) itv d Here's a look at what's happening on the Suncoast, compiled from staff reports of events around the region. Compiled by HENRY HOWARD Insanity denied in conviction of bank gunman David Allen Mehne may be a disturbed man, but a federal jury decided he was not legally insane when he held several Lutz bank employees hostage in January. Mehne, 32, was found guilty Friday of using a gun in a bank extortion. He faces a minimum prison term of 15 years. He will be sentenced Aug. 21. Jurors deliberated about five hours before rejecting Mehne's insanity defense, the only real issue in the trial. "We're disappointed," said Mehne's volunteer attorney, John Fitzgibbons. "A long prison term isn't going to make much sense for a poor fella like this." I Hillsborough I From the start, Fitzgibbons conceded that Mehne walked into the Barnett Bank branch with a gun and a bomb, held four women hostage for about eight hours and asked for $2-million, half of which he planned to drop from a helicopter over Liberty City in Miami. In his closing argument Friday, Fitzgibbons said the trial had been "to look into the brain of David Mehne," an unemployed carpenter's helper who had been wrongly arrested in 1989 for trying to cash a check that Barnett officials thought was stolen. The defense tried to prove Mehne was legally insane Jan. 31, unable to tell right from wrong because of a severe mental disease. Fitzgibbons emphasized the absurdity of Mehne's crime, which had virtually no chance of success. "What criminal goes into a bank without some notion of how to get away?" Fitzgibbons said, adding that Mehne wore no mask and gave bank employees documents with his name and address. "We haven't seen it on TV, we haven't seen it in the movies, because it's nuts," Fitzgibbons said. Fitzgibbons got help for the insanity defense when U.S. District Judge Ralph Nimmons agreed, despite the government's objection, to instruct the jury that such a verdict would not necessarily result in Mehne's release. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Moore argued that although Mehne may be troubled, he knew what he did at the bank was wrong, even if his intelligence is that of a 12-year-old. "The ability to distinguish right from wrong is one of the most basic abilities human beings possess," Moore said. "Even 5-year-olds know right from wrong." Moore replayed a recording of Mehne talking with a sheriff's deputy. Mehne says, "I knew I'd be putting these people through hell." "Does that sound like he doesn't know what he was doing was wrong?" Moore asked. Moore also replayed this statement from Mehne: "I've got 5 gallons of gasoline and 2 pounds of black powder all wrapped up and ready to go. If I don't walk out of here, maybe nobody walks out of here." BRUCE VIELMETTI DAVID ALLEN MEHNE l His attorney conceded the facts of the January hostage crisis in a Lutz bank. Foroign student moots with INS Immigration officials say they are looking for ways to bring a happy ending to Paola Sequeira's unusual predicament. Paola, a 17-year-old refugee from Nicara- gua, lost her father to an I Hillsborough I earthquake and her brother It Brandon to a plane crash. The same ff crash left her mother seri- j ously disabled. Despite those tragedies, Paola graduated first in her class at Brandon High School this year and has been accepted to the University of South Florida as a pre-medical major. But Paola faces deportation because her student visa expired when she graduated Wednesday. She didn't apply for citizenship during her 10 years in the United States because she assumed she would return to Nicaragua. But the earthquake, plane crash and civil war in her homeland changed her plans. Friday morning, Paola and two aunts met with Immigration and Naturalization Service officials, who could decide whether she will be here when classes begin next fall at USF. "We are trying to do everything we can to assist her," said James Minton, an INS officer. "But no decisions have been made." Minton declined to discuss what action will be taken next, but Paola said she is optimistic about her situation after meeting with Minton. "I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel," she said. Paola's journey began in Managua during the country's civil war in 1982. PAOLA SEQUEIRA l wants to stay and study to be a doctor. Her parents sent Paola and her sister, Javiera, then 7 and 5, to Tampa to stay with their aunt and uncle, Clarence and Brunilda Bender. The parents were worried about their daughters' safety. Paola's father, Roberto, died in an earthquake in Mexico three years later. Later that year, her mother, Elda, and her 12-year-old brother were in the plane crash. Now that her visa has expired, Paola's stay is legally over, because student visas are issued to foreigners who intend to return to their native countries. Paola wants to stay to fulfill her dreams of becoming a doctor. "I have great anticipation that a solution will be found," Brunilda Bender said. 'It's not fair to Paola to keep her hanging on." TERESA D. BROWN G Ringo, All-Starrs return to past and stay there ST. PETERSBURG Welcome to the nostalgia show of the future. Ringo Starr has tapped into a new venture in golden-oldies concerts: Hire a gang of famous musicians from the 1970s and let them play a few personal hits in exchange for their supporting roles. His second tour with these All-Starrs contains more flashbacks than an Oliver Stone movie. But when those memories come from such veterans as Todd Rundgren, Joe Walsh and Nils Lofgren, the rewards multiply. Little of this music is vital today, but it sported a vitality that was easily enjoyed by an estimated crowd of 5,500 at the Bayfront Center. Two songs from Starr's 1973 debut album opened the show and seemed more autobiographical than ever. I'm the Greatest set the Beatle thing straight from the outset with its declaration that Ringo was "in the greatest show on Earth for what it was worth." The No-No Song alluded to his well-publicized bout with drug and alcohol addiction. After those good-natured confessions, Ringo turned the spotlight on each of his seven All-Starrs. Burton Cum-mings of the Guess Who was first and continued the '70s flashbacks with No - Time. Lofgren's razored guitar work and nifty harmonies made it a crowd-pleaser. Starr settled into his background r.:us!C review Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band, Friday at Bayfront Center. One performance only. drum set and created a familiar sight with his effortless wrist snaps, small shoulder shrugs and that trademark side-to-side bobbing of his head. Watching him match . licks with son Zak Starkey added a new excitement to that dreary concert staple, the drum solo. Clearly, the audience's favorite All-Starr was eclectic rocker Todd Rundgren, who earned standing ovations for each of his spotlight turns. His version of Bang the Drum was the only featured performance that brought the crowd to its feet. Close behind in popularity was Walsh with his blistering version of In the City and a puzzling cover of Desperado a song the Eagles cut years before he joined that band. Starr eventually reclaimed center stage with his frivolous manner and certified hits. Photograph and You're Sixteen drew welcomed responses, and the only Beatles song played, Yellow Submarine, is still an easy sing-along for the masses. Nothing illustrated the nostalgic air of the evening more than a first-act occurance one of the few concert selections created this decade. It was a song from Starr's new album titled Don 't Go Where the Road Don't Go with Starr singing the repetitive hook: "Don't go." It sounded as if he were singing to hundreds of concertgoers as they filed toward restrooms and vendors. STEVE PERSALL Gloom lovers get a dose of the Cure ST. PETERSBURG Through an endless haze of dry-ice smoke and a whirl of multicolor lights, the Cure played two hours worth of numbing rock Friday night at the Florida Suncoast Dome. The British quintet, regarded as the premiere exponents of "gloom-rock" music that supposedly speaks to the alienation of today's young people had the crowd of 1 1 ,000 up and swaying to its languid beats. Even on up-tempo numbers, the Cure couldn't break out of its sleepy pose. Leader Robert Smith wore tight black pants, black high-top sneakers and a loose-fitting black jacket. His untucked T-shirt was white. So was his pancake makeup, which provided a stark contrast to his jet-black, finger-in-the-socket hairstyle. Smith is a prototypical shoe-gazer: About all the showmanship you get is when he strums his guitar stoop-shoul- MUSIC REVIEW dered, then stumbles backward for a second. His post-new-wave whine meandered through the gauzy mound of guitars on such songs as Let's Go to Bed, High, Pictures of You, Just Like Heaven and a slew of others, each hardly distinguishable from the last. There was barely a hint of syncopation or rhythmic accent. It all melded together in tedious 44 time. The crowd was mostly college-age, and only a handful looked as if they were about to jump off a bridge. Just a few sported the vampire Cure look. Overall, they seemed ready to have fun. The Cure's biggest hits, In Between Days or Boys Don 't Cry, for instance, drew the heartiest response. A despondent, downtrodden, despairingly gloomy bunch? Hardly. The concert opened with the Cranes, whose wispy, ethereal sound performed as the crowd filed in failed to make an impression. ERIC SNIDER Time photo JOAN KADEL FENTON Spear fisher A female anhinga on a rock perch is reflected in the water at Lake Seminole Park recently. The waterfowl, one of several species found in the Pinellas County park, feeds on fish and other water animals, which it spears with its sharp beak. Tampa woman pleads no contest in shooting TAMPA A Tampa woman on probation for killing her husband pleaded no contest Friday to shooting a woman after leaving a bar with her last year. Beverly Worrell, 39, shot Joyce Johnson in the head, face, shoulder, arm and thigh with a handgun in December after the two left the Little Savoy Bar at Nebraska Avenue and Third Street, prosecutors said. Worrell was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors said the shooting of Johnson, of 1510 Nuccio Parkway, was unprovoked. "She's obviously a very violent person," Tampa prosecutor Dan King said. Worrell was on probation for the 1988 shooting death of Rogelio Worrell, her husband of two weeks. She pleaded no contest to manslaughter in that case, court records records say. This time, Worrell pleaded no contest to aggravated battery with a gun and being a felon in possession of a gun. , Prosecutors say Johnson, who has recovered, didn't want to pursue charges against Worrell. SUE CARLTON Tattooed man robs bank, makes getaway on biko Pinellas County sheriffs detectives were looking Friday night for a man who robbed a bank and fled on a bicycle. Shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, the man went inside the SunBank at 3705 East Bay Drive and demanded money, a Sheriffs Office news release said. He left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money and took off on a rust-colored 10-speed bike. Authorities described the robber as white and in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 and 155 pounds. He wore black shorts and a light-colored shirt and had a large tattoo of a dragon on his chest and a tattoo of Bugs Bunny on his right arm. Fotomat testimony closer to release The secret deliberations of the Pinellas County grand jury will remain that way, but the city of St. Petersburg is entitled to see the testi- C I mony of a few 4I former employ- W V ees in what has II I become known II as the Fotomat building scandal, a circuit judge ruled Friday. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Robert E. Beach ruled that the city should be able to review testimony from former city managers Robert Obering and Alan Harvey and former real estate director Sylvia Taylor because they have asked the city to pay their attorney fees. . However, Beach set a hearing June 22 to hear from all sides before releasing transcripts. In the past five months, Beach has reviewed the grand jury testimony and the city's investigation of the case, which centers on the sale of a city building to the Fotomat Corp. in 1983. The city's handling of the case resulted in a scathing eight-page grand jury report that did not name names, but admonished some city administrators for destroying public records, hiding key information from elected officials, and showing an "embarrassing lack of recollection" about the deal. No indictments were handed up. In October, the City Council asked Beach to open the grand jury records so the council would know if current city employees were involved. If nothing else, revealing the grand jury's investigation could help clear the names of employees who testified, officials said. Beach said he concluded that the city had nothing to gain by seeing the full grand jury information. The state attorney's office opposed opening the grand jury's deliberations because it would set a bad precedent and could make it difficult to obtain testimony in the future. A state attorney's investigative report that was public record concluded that several city administrators rejected an offer to sell the city building for $4-million and instead sold it for $2.5-million to the Fotomat Corp. By one account, officials did not want to do business with the group that made the higher offer. Then administrators tried to cover up the rejection, the grand jury report said. When contacted at home Friday night, City Attorney Mike Davis said he was pleased with Beach's order because it concluded that no current employees were involved in wrongdoing. LAURA GRIFFIN Pasco sheriff suspends deputy NEW PORT RICHEY Pasco Chief Deputy James C. Francis has been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending a criminal investigation into possible misuse of department credit cards and vehicle mileage logs. Sheriff Jim Gillum announced the move Friday but gave few details of the allegations against Francis, 49, who is second in command at the Sheriffs Office. Gillum said a staff member brought the allegations to his attention at the beginning of the week. Gillum asked the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office to handle the investigation, but officials there declined, citing their close working relationship with the Sheriffs Office. They suggested Gillum contact the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He said he did that Thursday, the same day he placed Francis on leave. The investigation stems from Francis' use of a Visa card and gas cards issued to him by the Sheriffs Office. Certain personnel receive the cards for travel and emergency expenses, Gillum said. "SEACRESF'PO 6" TOP FRAME HEAVY DUTY LINER WOOD GRAIN WALL FINISH MADE IN USA AREAS HEAVIEST, TOUGHEST, GORGEOUS BLUE UNERS 20GA FLOORS 20GA SIDES BETTER THAN MOST NEW POOL UNERS WHY PAY MORE FOR LESS UNER? SIZE WEIGHT PRICE SIZE WEIGHT PRICE 12.36 36lb( S4.9 . 12.24 70lbt ' IJMt 12x48 401b. H.t V5Yr 12.28 771b MM. 16.48 551b, . 3W-.!: V" " U '$ 18.48 64 lbs ZJGJf. WEIGH 13.27 84 Hm 17M 21.48 831b. rV -S MORF.A 3lbi 1H. 14.48 97lbi 1M.W Hg?-7 A3? ThV 7Slbi UM 27.48 181b. 20t. TAN U32 1041b.... 1M.W 1 28.48 124 lb..... 1H.W ' V 18.33 IMIbt... WW, HEAVY GAUGE OR STANDARD 20GA PRICED LOWER. EXPANDABLE PRINT OTHER SIZES ALSO JfcO?'lC40..$1M Jul W?! EC50...$2I C -r-f. P EC5..28LJ LJ K 75.. $so iJrl V 1 B Hnnifil' V ') '189 S-IMT SHt ciinf cm s-jjotIuw'169 Provontt Evaporation Koopi Pool Cloan .$25 .$35 .$45 ...$55 24 $5 OVAl 12.24 $45 15.25 $4 15.27 $55 15.30 $5f 16.32 $M 18.33 $75 BAtACUDA ALPHA (Wifto) 259 BARACUDA BETA . $2M POOL VAC $3M OCTOCUAN $1t 1 127 SMI i77 Prl'.o in effac; v II "- H to ttoclc on hand.

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