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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

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 […]

Jamaal Smith

Miami man sentenced to life for 2016 fatal shootings

A Miami man was recently sentenced to life in prison for killing three Lakeland residents during a robbery inside a Lakeland home in 2016. 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 […]

Michael Gordon

Judge sentences man to die for fatal stabbings of mother, daughter

A circuit judge sentenced a man to death today for the fatal stabbings of a mother and daughter in Haines City in 2015. Circuit Judge Jalal Harb upheld the unanimous death penalty recommendation for Michael Gordon by a jury from 2019, writing in a sentencing order that Gordon’s actions were “consistent with the conclusion that […]

Julio Aponte

Frostproof man convicted of robbing man in restaurant with flare gun

  A Frostproof man was convicted Wednesday of robbery.   Wearing a mask over his face, Julio Aponte, 33, used a flare gun to rob two people in the La Botana restaurant food store in Lake Wales. Jurors took 30 minutes to convict Aponte of robbery with a weapon, attempted robbery with a weapon, and […]

Julio Ruiz

Haines City man convicted in rape of 81-year-old woman in her home

  A 45-year-old Haines City man was convicted today of breaking into an 81-year-old woman’s home and sexually assaulting her in 2017. Julio Alfredo Ruiz faces life in prison after jurors found him guilty of sexual battery and burglary with assault. Jurors deliberated for three hours. Circuit Judge Wayne Durden is scheduled to sentence Ruiz […]

Jerald Dixon

Lakeland man sentenced to 30 years for raping woman at gunpoint

A Lakeland man was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping a woman at gunpoint in her Lakeland home in 2017. Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney also designated Jerald Dixon, Jr., 27, a sexual predator and ordered him to serve 10 years of probation when he is released. Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson read […]

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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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