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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

Ray Gravitt

Man, 19, convicted of beating his mother with a baseball bat

A 19-year-old Lakeland man was convicted Thursday of severely beating his mother with an aluminum baseball bat inside their home after she told him he could no longer speak with his girlfriend. Ray Gravitt, who was 16 when he struck Kelly Rayn, was convicted of attempted first degree murder. Gravitt is expected to be sentenced […]

Jose Vargas, right, with his lawyer, Kevin Cox.

Lakeland man guilty of sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

It only took jurors 80 minutes to find a 39-year-old Lakeland man guilty on Thursday of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Jose Vargas is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 18. He faces life in prison. Assistant State Attorney Courtney Durden prosecuted the case. She told jurors that DNA evidence linked Vargas to the assault. […]

Jose Sanchez

Sebring man sentenced to life for sexually assaulting girl

A Sebring man convicted in May of sexually assaulting a girl has been sentenced to life in prison. Jose Angel Sanchez, 53, was found guilty by a jury of two counts of sexual battery after jurors deliberated for about an hour. County Court Judge Anthony Ritenour recently sentenced Sanchez to two separate life sentences for […]

Brenda Nelson

Former bus attendant convicted of abusing special needs child

A former bus attendant for the Polk County School District was convicted Thursday of abusing a special needs student by pulling her hair, hitting her on the head and sitting on her. Brenda Nelson is expected to be sentenced Nov. 1 by Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen  for the child abuse conviction. Jurors deliberated for about […]

Genar Smith

Lakeland man sentenced for starving, neglecting dogs

  A jury trial was set to begin Monday in the animal cruelty case against Genar Smith, who was accused of starving his dogs to the point of emaciation. Lakeland police officers found the starving dogs at Smith’s home after a neighbor saw a dog in a cage being eaten by two other dogs. When […]

Ramon Valenzuela

California man convicted of smuggling 15 pounds of meth valued at $600,000

  A California man was convicted Wednesday of smuggling 15 pounds of methamphetamine in a Kia Soul from the Los Angeles area to Polk County. Ramon Valenzuela, 36, carried the drugs in spaces behind the door panels of the car. He faces up to 30 years in prison after jurors deliberated for about an hour […]


State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Michael Celello was convicted of second degree murder, grand theft, and tampering with evidence. Celello, 59, faces life in prison. Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin prosecuted the case.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Members of the Leadership Lakeland class visited the Polk County courthouse Thursday to learn more about the justice system and the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and law enforcement. State Attorney Brian Haas answered questions from the class during a discussion after their tour of the courthouse. Mr. Haas appreciates the opportunity to speak with members of Leadership Lakeland!
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Ezekial Ortiz was arrested by Winter Haven Police Department in 2016. Assistant State Attorney Randal Daugustinis prosecuted the case.
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