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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

Breonna Wren

Lakeland Woman Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder of Six-Year-Old Child

In what is considered one of the worst cases of child abuse in Polk County in many years, a jury convicted Breonna Wren of first degree murder of her boyfriend’s six-year-old child.  Wren severely beat the child back in 2018 while the child was visiting her father. The child suffered more than 37 separate injuries, […]

Bryan James Riley

Man Indicted by Grand Jury for Four Counts of First-Degree Murder

State Attorney Brian Haas announces the indictment of Bryan James Riley by the Polk County Grand Jury on twenty-two charges, including four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated child abuse, two counts of burglary, seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law […]


Man Convicted of Multiple Counts of Trafficking in Heroin

A Lake Alfred man was convicted by a Polk County Jury of three counts of trafficking in heroin, conspiracy to traffic heroin and several other drug-related charges. The street value of the heroin involved in this case exceeded tens of thousands of dollars. The defendant, Beverly Souels, worked with another man to traffic heroin throughout […]

Russell Lewis Botts

JURY VERDICT: Russell Lewis Botts Guilty of Attempted Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon

Polk County jury trials resumed this week after being paused for several weeks due to COVID.  In a trial on Wednesday, jurors convicted Russell Lewis Botts of Attempted Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon. In November of 2019, Botts and an accomplice tried to rob a man who was walking home from work near Griffin […]

James Pennington

Jury Verdict: Man Guilty of First Degree Murder

  In the first COVID-19-Era First Degree Murder Trial, jurors convicted James “Jimbo” Pennington for the murder of Devyn Martin in Indian Lake Estates in 2017. During the 6 day trial, jurors heard testimony from Polk County Sheriff’s Deputies and other witnesses to the crime.  Assistant State Attorney Jaenea Gorman presented evidence to the jurors […]

Edward Stevenson

Child suffered years of sexual abuse, Winter Haven man sentenced to life in prison

  State Attorney Brian Haas’ Office prosecuted Edward Stevenson for sexually abusing a young girl. Stevenson was convicted at a jury trial of four counts of sexual battery on a child. He was arrested in 2017 after Winter Haven Police investigated the abuse allegations.  They also conducted a controlled phone call with the defendant and […]

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