John Aurand

Lakeland Man Convicted of Multiple Counts of Sexual Battery

A Polk County Jury convicted John Aurand of two counts of sexual battery, two counts of lewd molestation, five counts of promoting sexual performance of a child and thirteen counts of child pornography. John Aurand faces life in prison when sentenced on April 10th. State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney’s Ashley McCarthy, Seth Solomon and the Lakeland Police Department for their work in obtaining justice in this case.

 

Ashley McCarthy

 

 

 

SAO 10 seal with social media logos

 

 

 

Joseph Mills

Cold Case Murder Prosecution Leads to Four Life Sentences for Lakeland Man

Joseph Mills
During the early morning hours of September 4th, 1981, Joseph Mills, broke into the bedroom window of Linda Slaton. Linda, 31, and her two young sons were sleeping in the residence. After sexually assaulting and murdering her, Mills escaped through the same window he entered.
For the next four decades, the Lakeland Police worked to find Linda’s killer and bring him to justice. At the same time Mills was a trusted member of the community where he coached one of Linda’s son’s football teams.
Advances in DNA technology lead to a new lead in 2019. Working with the State Attorney’s Office, the Lakeland Police Department was able to develop a suspect and arrested Mills. On February 9th Mills, now 61 years old, pled guilty and was sentenced to four life terms in Florida State Prison. The tireless effort of all involved ensured Mills was held accountable for Linda’s death.
State Attorney Brain Haas thanks ASA Mark Levine and the Lakeland Police Department for their work and dedication in obtaining justice in this case.
SAO 10 seal with social media logos

State Attorney Brian Haas meets with Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia

State Attorney Brian Haas met with Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia and members of the Lakeland Police Department this week to discuss the partnership between the two agencies. These meetings take place every few months to keep lines of communication open between LPD and SAO staff. We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of the LPD leaders and officers as we work together to keep our community safe.

SAO and LPD Meeting

 

 

SAO 10 seal with social media logos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Haas Administers oath for Police Chief Association

State Attorney Brian Haas Administers oath for Polk Police Chiefs Association Annual Banquet

Brian Haas Administers oath for Police Chief Association State Attorney Brian Haas administered the oath of office for the new Officers and Directors of the Polk Police Chiefs Association. Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia, President, Bartow Police Department Chief Bryan S. Dorman, Vice President and Chris Nelson, Executive Director for the State Attorney’s Office will serve as Secretary/Treasurer of the Polk Police Chiefs Association. Directors include: Chief Andy Ray, Auburndale Police Dept. Chief Art Bodenheimer, Lake Alfred Police Dept. Chief Larry Holden, Davenport Police Dept. Chief Richard Holland, Florida Polytechnic University Police Dept. and Chief Ed Freeman, Retired Chief of Lake Hamilton Police Dept.
(Photo by the Lakeland Police Department)