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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

James Brady, 62, of Lakeland.

JURY VERDICT: Lakeland man shoots wife, found guilty of attempted murder

Sherry Brady heard a loud bang and looked down to see her blood everywhere – her husband of nearly 10 years had fired a shotgun at her. James Brady was found guilty Thursday of attempted second-degree murder, shooting into a dwelling, tampering with a witness and domestic battery. He faces a minimum of 25 years […]

William McGee, 39, of Lakeland.

JURY VERDICT: Lake Hollingsworth attacker convicted of kidnapping, attempted sexual battery

William McGee admitted he could have raped his victim if she hadn’t talked him out of it. The 22-year-old girl was running around Lake Hollingsworth about 11 p.m. May 18, 2015, when she saw the shadow of a man begin to approach her from behind. “He was coming up behind me fast. I glanced back […]

Poinciana man sentenced to life for attempted murder

SENTENCING UPDATE: Poinciana man sentenced to life for attempted murder

The only way Nikimah Stanley said she felt she could keep her nightmares at bay was to know the man who stabbed her would spend the rest of his life in prison. Stanley was stabbed by her then-boyfriend Coy Dotson over 14 times, and he was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder in December. She […]

Carl McCauley, 67, was found guilty of the 1987 murder of Karen Watson, which was a cold case for nearly 30 years.

JURY VERDICT: McCauley guilty of 1987 murder, sentenced to life

When Charles Watson Sr. got home from work on Mar. 24, 1987, he found his wife stabbed to death on their couch. Karen Ann Watson, 41, of Lake Wales, was sexually battered and brutally murdered the day before her twin sons’ 16th birthday. Nearly 30 years passed before her family saw the case come to […]

Tyrone Laster, 43, of Lakeland.

JURY VERDICT: Lakeland man guilty of attempted murder

When law enforcement found Chauncey Rollins, he was lying in a pool of his own blood. He’d been shot in the back of the head and was mumbling incoherently. There was a spent shell casing on the ground next to him. A Lakeland Police officer crouched down next to Rollins and asked who shot him: […]

John Goepferich, 61, of Lake Wales.

JURY VERDICT: Lake Wales man convicted of attempting to murder police officers

John Goepferich lured Lake Wales Police Officers to his house and intended to kill them. Upon their arrival, Goepferich immediately began shooting at them – unloading more than 25 rounds in a 30-minute shootout that would injure two officers. After about seven hours of deliberation Friday, jurors found Goepferich guilty of six counts of attempted […]

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State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
The eight-week program will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each Thursday starting March 12 in the Bartow courthouse.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Jason Elsea, of Lakeland, pleaded guilty in December. Before Elsea was sentenced, Assistant State Attorney Ashley McCarthy urged Circuit Judge William “Bill” Sites to sentence Elsea to life in prison. The girl became pregnant and later gave birth.
McCarthy explained to Sites that Elsea’s actions in 2018 were egregious.
She said Elsea had a number of opportunities to do the right thing but continued to have sex with the girl even after he knew she was pregnant. The girl, McCarthy said, must live with the emotional scars the rest of her life.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Jamaal Smith, 29, became the second person sentenced in the brutal killing and robbery of Angelica Castro, Eneida Branch and David Washington. In 2019, Johnathan Alcegaire, 31, was sentenced to death by Circuit Judge Jalal Harb on the three murder convictions.
Smith was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence by Harb following a decision by jurors not to recommend a death sentence.
Andrew Joseph, a third defendant, will face the same three murder charges in a trial in May.
Assistant State Attorneys Mark Levine and Kristie Ducharme prosecuted the case against Smith. Jurors convicted Smith of the murders before the trial entered the death penalty phase.
Please be advised that Florida has a broad Public Records law and all e-mail correspondence to this office or anyone employed here may be subject to disclosure. Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this agency. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.