Shovel-attacker gets 4 years
County Judge Wayne Miller on Friday sentenced John Wesley Caris, 50, of Key West, to four years in state prison for attacking a man with a shovel March 14, 2010, in Old Town. He and the victim had exchanged words on Duval Street, according to police reports.
Caris was convicted March 22 on felony battery and aggravated battery charges. Assistant State Attorney Colleen Dunne said the victim suffered a broken nose and nerve damage to his neck. She also pointed out Caris' prior arrests for violent behavior.
Miller denied defense attorney Jason Smith's motion for a new trial due to alleged contradictory witness statements made in court.
Turtle duo pleads not guilty
Two men accused of killing and butchering a protected loggerhead sea turtle pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in state court Friday.
State wildlife officers arrested Alejandro Alvarez, 64, of Miami, and Israel Bonochea Ruiz, 30, of Key West, March 22 at a Stock Island dock. They were charged with possession of marine sea turtle, a third-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison if they are convicted. Their trial is scheduled for June.
Their pleading means the case will likely remain in state court, but the two could still technically face federal charges, as loggerheads are a federally protected species.
Elections supervisor at ACLU
New Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin will address the Florida Keys Chapter of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union after its 11 a.m. April 13 meeting at the Southernmost Unitarian Universalist Congregation (UU), 801 Georgia St.
Griffin has been with the Supervisor of Elections Office for 29 years and was the assistant supervisor for 19 years before being elected to her present position in November. A lifelong resident of Monroe County, she has supervised many elections and recounts. Griffin will discuss the crucial role of the office in protecting the right to vote.
The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call chapter President Kimberly Sloan at 352-870-8809.