Ex-cop serving life loses appeal
An ex-Miami Beach cop sentenced to life in prison last year for attempted murder lost a preliminary appeal Wednesday, court records say.
William Thomas Skinner is serving two concurrent life terms for attempted second-degree murder and armed burglary.
He tried to murder his estranged wife and her boyfriend during a rampage at the man's Plantation Key home on June 1, 2009.
Defense attorney Jerry Ballarotto argued after sentencing that the state's closing arguments introduced new facts. Skinner had argued that he did not know what he was doing due to mental illness.
Skinner worked as a Miami Beach police officer for 23 years before retiring in good standing as captain in 2003.
Tax collector earns kudos
Monroe County Tax Collector Danise Henriquez was awarded a special recognition by the Florida Tax Collector's Association (FTCA) for earning a clean financial audit.
Henriquez was presented with the Certificate of Merit by FTCA President Doris Maloy of Leon County.
State law requires tax collectors to be audited annually.
The audits are filed with the Office of the Florida Auditor General and available for public inspection.
In 2012, the Florida Tax Collector's Association voted to recognize its members for achieving a clean audit.
Update on DUI deaths trial
Assistant State Attorney Tanner Demmery said prosecutors were expected to rest their case today in the trial of Pierson Alberto Villalobos, 31, a local man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed two people in 2009. First they will call medical examiners to testify, Demmery said.
Villalobos faces two charges of DUI manslaughter and two counts of vehicular manslaughter stemming from the wreck two days after Thanksgiving that killed Marathon resident Christopher Jennings, 33, and his girlfriend, Deborah Mangrum, 42, who was moving to Marathon from Wyoming. Others were injured in the three-car crash near 23rd Street and U.S. 1. Villalobos claims he wasn't driving at the time of the crash. He faces 30 years' maximum in prison if convicted.