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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

Robert Bryant Jr.

Jury deliberates 20 minutes before convicting man of sexual battery

  A jury took 20 minutes Wednesday to convict a 39-year-old Lakeland man of raping a 20-year-old woman at a Lakeland home in 2016.   Robert Ray Bryant Jr., now 42, faces up to 30 years in prison following the conviction of sexual battery on a physically helpless person. Circuit Judge Michael McDaniel is scheduled […]

Thomas Johnson

Bartow teen receives life sentence for raping toddler

A circuit judge sentenced a 19-year-old Bartow man to life in prison Friday for raping a 2-year-old girl in 2018. Thomas Johnson, who was 17 when he assaulted the girl, showed little emotion throughout the two-day sentencing hearing. In 2019, he pleaded no contest to sexual battery on child under 18 and tampering with physical […]

William Gilbert

Haines City man found guilty of shooting man in the stomach

  A jury found a 55-year-old Haines City man guilty Wednesday of attempted second-degree murder for shooting a man in the stomach in 2019. William Gilbert will be sentenced by Judge Keith Spoto on April 3 for shooting the 51 year-old victim, who had been sitting outside with friends in Haines City. Gilbert suspected he […]

Jessie Thomas

Lakleand man sentenced to 25 years for sexually assaulting girl

A Lakeland man who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in 2018 was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday. Jessie Thomas, 29, was also designated as a sexual predator. Assistant State Attorney Randall Daugustinis prosecuted the case. The sexual assault occurred in July 2018. Thomas was confronted about molesting the child during a recorded […]

State Attorney Brian Haas

Enrollment Opens for Second Annual SAO Citizens Academy

  The State Attorney’s Office is accepting applications for the second annual Citizens Academy. 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. The Academy gives residents in the 10th Circuit an opportunity to learn more about the criminal justice system. Citizens will hear […]

Jason Elsea

Lakeland man receives life sentence for raping 14-year-old girl

  A 35-year-old man was sentenced to two life sentences Thursday for raping a 14-year-old girl who became pregnant and later gave birth. 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. McCarthy explained […]

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State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
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Have a happy, safe 4th of July!
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Heather Beato, a prosecutor in the Sebring office, was appointed to the Circuit bench in June.
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.
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.