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The Office of the State Attorney is committed to transparency and responds to all records requests in a timely manner. If you wish to make a request, you can do so by contacting Paul Sessions, custodian of Public Records, at (863) 534-4844 or by clicking the button to submit a request.

Recent Press Releases

Russell Lewis Botts

JURY VERDICT: Russell Lewis Botts Guilty of Attempted Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon

Polk County jury trials resumed this week after being paused for several weeks due to COVID.  In a trial on Wednesday, jurors convicted Russell Lewis Botts of Attempted Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon. In November of 2019, Botts and an accomplice tried to rob a man who was walking home from work near Griffin […]

James Pennington

Jury Verdict: Man Guilty of First Degree Murder

  In the first COVID-19-Era First Degree Murder Trial, jurors convicted James “Jimbo” Pennington for the murder of Devyn Martin in Indian Lake Estates in 2017. During the 6 day trial, jurors heard testimony from Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies and other witnesses to the crime.  Assistant State Attorney Jaenea Gorman presented evidence to the jurors […]

Edward Stevenson

Child suffered years of sexual abuse, Winter Haven man sentenced to life in prison

  State Attorney Brian Haas’ Office prosecuted Edward Stevenson for sexually abusing a young girl. Stevenson was convicted at a jury trial of four counts of sexual battery on a child. He was arrested in 2017 after Winter Haven Police investigated the abuse allegations.  They also conducted a controlled phone call with the defendant and […]

Alan Stroh

Winter Haven man sentenced to 7 years for trafficking methamphetamine

A Winter Haven man was sentenced to seven years in prison in October for trafficking more than $2,000 in methamphetamine. Alan Stroh, 56, was found guilty Oct. 14 after six jurors deliberated for about two hours. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen sentenced Stroh following the conviction. Assistant State Attorney Michael Nutter prosecuted the case. Nutter told […]

Justin Handshoe

Man who attacked roommates with box cutter sentenced to 17 years

A Winter Haven man, who stabbed two roommates with a box cutter in 2018, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison. Justin Handshoe, 35, pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, which are second degree felonies. Handshoe attacked his roommates, a man and a woman, several days after […]

Eric Cerruti

Lakeland Instagram stalker sentenced to prison

A 54-year-old Lakeland man who stalked a 19-year-old woman on Instagram for months has been sentenced to 3½-years in prison. Eric Cerruti pleaded no contest to the charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm, a second degree felony. In addition to the prison sentence, Circuit Judge Michael McDaniel sentenced Cerruti in July […]


State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Have a happy, safe 4th of July!
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Heather Beato, a prosecutor in the Sebring office, was appointed to the Circuit bench in June.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
𝐃𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐤 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐯𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝟏𝟐-𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞

Two months after returning home from serving his country in Afghanistan, 21 year-old and engaged to be married Army Veteran Michael Millan-Perez was on his way to work in the early morning hours of February 25, 2015. At that same time, drunk driver Nick Nicholas was on his way to a casino in Tampa, when he decided to stop his Chevy Tahoe, without any reason, in the left lane of Interstate 4.

Perez was killed when he crashed into the back of the Chevy Tahoe. Nicholas, who walked away from the crash, had a blood-alcohol level of .171, more than double the legal limit. With no plea agreement from the State Attorney’s Office, Nicholas entered an open plea to DUI Manslaughter on August 2, 2018.

Although Nicholas scored 10.5 years in Florida State Prison, according to state sentencing guidelines, Judge William Sites sentenced Nicholas to 12 years in prison, followed by 3 years of probation.

Through a series of legal maneuvers and appeals, Nicholas was able to delay serving his prison sentence until yesterday, when he was finally taken into custody after exhausting his appellate options.

Assistant State Attorney Steve Alamia, a prosecutor who has been recognized by MADD for his advocacy on behalf of DUI victims, and former Assistant State Attorney Lori Winstead, represented the State during this 5 year prosecution. State Attorney Brian Haas is grateful for the work of the ASA’s and the Florida Highway Patrol. While Mr. Perez’s family will forever suffer because of Nicholas’ criminal act, we hope the defendant’s prison sentence provides at least some level of justice for the family.
Please be advised that Florida has a broad Public Records law and all e-mail correspondence to this office or anyone employed here may be subject to disclosure. Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this agency. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.