State Attorney’s Office Youth Mock Trial Program

The State Attorney’s Office is now accepting applications for their Annual Youth Mock Trial.

The four-day program will take place June 17th through June 20th  from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Polk County Courthouse in Bartow. This program gives students going in to the 11th and 12th grade an opportunity to work with prosecutors from the State Attorney’s Office and learn how a criminal case makes its way through the criminal justice system. Students will attend court hearings and study current cases to see how the law is applied.

Please fill out the application attached and submit to or mail to the Polk County Courthouse. Deadline to apply is June 10th, 2024.

Mock Trial Flyer

Mock Trial Program_APPLICATION

State Attorney Brian Haas attended the Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven 63rd Annual Pancake Festival. Thank you Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven for your continued commitment to improving our community and inviting us to this fun event.


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Book in photo of Elbert Gillins

Man Convicted and Sentenced to Life in Prison for 2nd Degree Murder and Attempted Murder

Elbert Gillins, 60, was convicted and sentenced to Life in Prison for 2nd Degree Murder and Attempted Murder on October 3, 2019, in an alleyway near 210 E. Myrtle Street in Lakeland, a verbal argument between the defendant, Elbert Gillins, and two victims quickly escalated to violence. During the altercation, Gillins armed himself with a large piece of wood and began striking Victim 1 in the back of the head. Victim 1 fell face down onto the ground, where Gillins continued to strike him about his head and body. Victim 2 attempted to protect Victim 1 by laying on top of him, but Gillins continued to strike her with the piece of wood. As a result, Victim 1 suffered severe head trauma and later died from injuries sustained during the attack. Victim 2 suffered bruising all over her body, cuts, and a laceration to her chin. Gillins has a lengthy criminal history, including 12 prior battery convictions. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Katherine Artman and the Lakeland Police Department for their work on this case.


SAO 10 seal with social media logos