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Recent Press Releases

State Attorney Hill, Assistant State Attorneys honored by MADD

State Attorney Hill, Assistant State Attorneys honored by MADD

WINTER HAVEN – State Attorney Jerry Hill and two of our prosecutors were honored Thursday, Sept. 22, at the MADD Polk County Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Recognition Dinner. Felony Attorneys Melissa Gravitt and Stephanie Durrance were awarded for their work prosecuting DUI cases, and Mr. Hill was given a special award for his dedication to […]

Man guilty of heroin trafficking

JURY VERDICT: Man guilty of heroin trafficking

A trail of heroin crumbs led deputies to the closet where Gleen Efrain Zayas-Acosta was hiding. Deputies found 35-year-old Zayas-Acosta behind hanging clothes near a hamper where he’d hidden about a kilo of heroin. A prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office laid out all the evidence before the jury in closing statements Thursday, re-enacting the […]

Man guilty of robbing, beating elderly woman

JURY VERDICT: Man guilty of robbing, beating elderly woman

When Perry Lee Chance walked into the Winter Haven clothing store where 82-year-old Carol Sleeth was working, Sleeth had no way of knowing the same man would return four days later, rob her and beat her. Chance, 55, faces life in prison after a jury found him guilty Thursday of burglary with an assault, robbery, […]

Gary Carroll, 48, of Lakeland was found guilty of all charges by a jury on Friday. He will be sentenced by Judge Sharon Franklin on Sept. 30.

JURY VERDICT: Lakeland man struck bicyclist, left crash scene

Gary Carroll said there were a number of reasons he didn’t stop after striking and killing someone with his vehicle on the way home from a party. In addition to claiming he hit an animal, to which there was no physical evidence, Carroll left the scene and removed the evidence of the crash from his […]

Daugustinis was recognized for her work with DUI cases at MADD's Statewide Law Enforcement Recognition dinner Friday.

Polk prosecutor recognized by MADD

FORT LAUDERDALE – Assistant State Attorney Randi Daugustinis was recognized at the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) 2016 Statewide Law Enforcement Recognition Friday in Fort Lauderdale. Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies nominated her for the “Outstanding Prosecutor Recognition” award for her work prosecuting DUI cases. She was one of 13 prosecutors recognized from across the […]

Auburndale woman guilty of meth trafficking

JURY VERDICT: Auburndale woman guilty of meth trafficking

Five kilograms of methamphetamine were entered as evidence in a two-day trial where jurors found Crystal Caldwell guilty of trafficking. Caldwell, 34, of Auburndale, faces a minimum of 15 years in prison after the jury convicted her Thursday of trafficking 200 or more grams of amphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a structure used […]

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State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
In Honor of #NationalPoliceWeek and #PeaceOfficersMemorialDay, we’d like to take a moment to remember all 41 officers in our circuit who have died in the line of duty.

State Attorney Brian Haas and SAO employees attended a memorial ceremony to remember Highlands County Sheriff's Office Deputy William Gentry, Jr. on May 7 – the first anniversary of his death.

We will never forget. 🖤💙🖤
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney Brian Haas was the keynote speaker for this year's Polk County Peace Officers Memorial Ceremony.

Each spring, agencies from across Polk County gather to honor our fallen officers. Polk County's first line of duty death dates back to 1886, so the names of the 33 officers who have fallen since then were read aloud at today's ceremony. A single rose was placed on top of a unique plaque, bearing each officer's name and end of watch. Annual ceremonies like this ensure our heroes are never forgotten.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
When Blake Fitez met Victor Manns Jr. to sell him an iPhone, he had no way of knowing the interaction would end in his friend’s murder.

Jurors deliberated about two hours on April 24 before finding Manns guilty of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm, burglary with a firearm, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. Judge Harb immediately sentenced Manns to life in prison.

We are thankful for the hard work and dedication of Assistant State Attorney Steven Alamia in securing this conviction and sentence.
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