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Recent Press Releases

Haas delivers keynote at MADD Dinner, two ASAs are recognized

Haas delivers keynote at MADD Dinner, two ASAs are recognized

State Attorney Brian Haas delivered the keynote speech Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the MADD Polk County Law Enforcement and Prosecutors Recognition Dinner where two of our attorneys were honored. Haas spoke about how proud he is to live in a community where law enforcement both take DUI and impaired driving cases seriously. Without the dedication […]

Lake Wales man guilty of attempted second-degree murder after shooting at truck

SENTENCING UPDATE: Lake Wales man sentenced to 30 years for attempted second-degree murder

John Decesare was facing a minimum of 20 years in prison after being convicted in July of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm from a vehicle. A judge imposed a sentence of 30 years on Decesare in his sentencing hearing Friday morning. On Nov. 4, 2014, Decesare fired three […]

Carlos Ojeda, right, gets fingerprinted August 17 after being sentenced to life in prison.

SENTENCING UPDATE: Bus driver who molested special needs children sentenced to life

Carlos Ojeda used candy to lure his victims to the front of his bus and sexually abuse them. Ojeda, 74, who had been a bus driver for special needs children since 2007, chose four little girls who had intellectual disabilities and behavioral issues, knowing they would be less likely to tell anyone else what he […]

Man who strikes, kills motorcyclist guilty of driving without a license

JURY VERDICT: Man who strikes, kills motorcyclist guilty of driving without a license

Albino Contreras drifted into oncoming traffic and struck a motorcyclist, severing his leg and throwing him from his bike into a canal. David Szewczykowski, 68, of Davenport, went into cardiac arrest and died before paramedics could transport him to the hospital. At the time of the crash, Contreras had not been issued a Florida driver’s […]

Frostproof man guilty of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer

JURY VERDICT: Frostproof man guilty of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Noah Cannon heard a truck door close and the engine start to rev. Seconds later, he saw Erick Monk – the suspect he and five other deputies were serving a warrant to – come barreling around the corner in a pickup truck. Cannon and the other deputies shouted commands for […]

Man pleas guilty to the murders of two men, faces 40 years in prison

PLEA: Man pleas guilty to the murders of two men, faces 40 years in prison

Tobarais Hudson pled guilty to the second-degree murders of Kody Zawalski and Christopher Campbell. Hudson, 28, was scheduled to go on trial for first-degree murder Monday but pled Friday to a lesser included offense of second-degree murder in both cases. He will receive 40 years in prison when his sentence is imposed at the end […]

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State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
𝐃𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐤 𝐝𝐫𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐯𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝟏𝟐-𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞

Two months after returning home from serving his country in Afghanistan, 21 year-old and engaged to be married Army Veteran Michael Millan-Perez was on his way to work in the early morning hours of February 25, 2015. At that same time, drunk driver Nick Nicholas was on his way to a casino in Tampa, when he decided to stop his Chevy Tahoe, without any reason, in the left lane of Interstate 4.

Perez was killed when he crashed into the back of the Chevy Tahoe. Nicholas, who walked away from the crash, had a blood-alcohol level of .171, more than double the legal limit. With no plea agreement from the State Attorney’s Office, Nicholas entered an open plea to DUI Manslaughter on August 2, 2018.

Although Nicholas scored 10.5 years in Florida State Prison, according to state sentencing guidelines, Judge William Sites sentenced Nicholas to 12 years in prison, followed by 3 years of probation.

Through a series of legal maneuvers and appeals, Nicholas was able to delay serving his prison sentence until yesterday, when he was finally taken into custody after exhausting his appellate options.

Assistant State Attorney Steve Alamia, a prosecutor who has been recognized by MADD for his advocacy on behalf of DUI victims, and former Assistant State Attorney Lori Winstead, represented the State during this 5 year prosecution. State Attorney Brian Haas is grateful for the work of the ASA’s and the Florida Highway Patrol. While Mr. Perez’s family will forever suffer because of Nicholas’ criminal act, we hope the defendant’s prison sentence provides at least some level of justice for the family.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Today we honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Congratulations to Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson!
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