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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

Patrick Rayha

SENTENCING UPDATE: Lakeland man sentenced to life for fatal Christmas shooting

Patrick Rayha was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the fatal shooting of Russell Jackson. After two hours of deliberation Monday, jurors convicted Rayha of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm, and burglary of a dwelling while armed with a firearm. Phone records show Rayha’s phone pinged in Dade City about 2:45 p.m. on Christmas […]

Robert Graham, 27, of Lakeland.

JURY VERDICT: Lakeland man guilty of killing child, faces 20 years in prison

Robert Graham told law enforcement he slammed his baby on the bed three to four times and shook him for about four minutes. After about two hours of deliberation Jan. 23, jurors convicted Graham of manslaughter and child abuse. He is facing up to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced March 21. Assistant […]

Highlands Graphic

State Attorney’s statement regarding Sebring shooting

State Attorney Brian Haas stood alongside officials in Highlands County this morning to address the media regarding the horrific shooting that claimed the lives of five people in Sebring Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Haas identified two main priorities: The first is to build the best case possible to ensure prosecution that ends in a successful result […]

Daniel Pelham, 35, of Arcadia.

SENTENCING UPDATE: Habitual offender gets 20 years after leading cops on high-speed chase

After officers attempted to stop Daniel Pelham for running a stop sign, he led them on a high-speed chase for nearly an hour. Pelham, who is a prison releasee reoffender and a habitual felony offender, was convicted in December of fleeing to elude involving high speed and no valid driver’s license. On Jan. 11, he […]

Jose Baez-Ortiz,

SENTENCING UPDATE: Janitor receives 15 years for touching student inappropriately

Jose Baez-Ortiz was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for putting his hand up the skirt of a 6-year-old girl. Prior to the sentence being handed down, Baez-Ortiz tearfully asked Judge Sites for leniency. Sites gave Baez-Ortiz the maximum sentence of 15 years, adding that the lewd conduct occurred in a school and that […]

State Attorney Brian Haas

State Attorney Brian Haas announces Inaugural Citizens Academy

State Attorney Brian Haas announced Friday that he will be launching the Inaugural State Attorney’s Citizens Academy. “Understanding the criminal justice system is vital, as it plays an important role in all of our lives. This nine-week program was designed to give citizens in our circuit a behind-the-scenes look at the criminal justice system and […]

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State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Gail Nichols, a Lakeland veterinarian, can no longer care for animals after a circuit court judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail and 10 years probation for mistreating her horses.
State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Jessica Fisher for her work on the case.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
National Night Out 2019
Lakeland, Florida
State Attorney Brian Haas recently joined Lakeland Police Chief Ruben Garcia during National Night Out, an annual event that promotes unity between police and neighborhoods.
Mr. Haas and Chief Garcia talked with people at several stops, including Foxwood Village in North Lakeland, a Lakeland Flying Tigers game, and at Sandpiper in North Lakeland. The State Attorney’s Office appreciated the opportunity to team with the Lakeland Police Department to discuss crime preventative tips to residents.
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
State Attorney's Office, 10th Judicial Circuit
Dustin Halstead began serving an 11-year sentence earlier this week. Halstead, 26, was found guilty in 2018 of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash in the 2014 death of Shelby Kenneth Shull.
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