Entries by john chambliss

Enrollment Opens for Second Annual SAO Citizens Academy

  The State Attorney’s Office is accepting applications for the second annual Citizens Academy. The eight-week program will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each Thursday starting March 12 in the Bartow courthouse. The Academy gives residents in the 10th Circuit an opportunity to learn more about the criminal justice system. Citizens will hear […]

Lakeland man receives life sentence for raping 14-year-old girl

  A 35-year-old man was sentenced to two life sentences Thursday for raping a 14-year-old girl who became pregnant and later gave birth. Jason Elsea, of Lakeland, pleaded guilty in December. Before Elsea was sentenced, Assistant State Attorney Ashley McCarthy urged Circuit Judge William “Bill” Sites to sentence Elsea to life in prison. McCarthy explained […]

Miami man sentenced to life for 2016 fatal shootings

A Miami man was recently sentenced to life in prison for killing three Lakeland residents during a robbery inside a Lakeland home in 2016. Jamaal Smith, 29, became the second person sentenced in the brutal killing and robbery of Angelica Castro, Eneida Branch and David Washington. In 2019, Johnathan Alcegaire, 31, was sentenced to death […]

Judge sentences man to die for fatal stabbings of mother, daughter

A circuit judge sentenced a man to death today for the fatal stabbings of a mother and daughter in Haines City in 2015. Circuit Judge Jalal Harb upheld the unanimous death penalty recommendation for Michael Gordon by a jury from 2019, writing in a sentencing order that Gordon’s actions were “consistent with the conclusion that […]