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Michael Dunn takes stand in murder trial

<p> First thing Tuesday morning, Michael Dunn took the stand in his own defense in the murder retrial in the shooting death of Jordan Davis.<br/><br/>WJXT reports Dunn described pulling into the Gate station on Southside Boulevard at Baymeadows Road on Nov. 23, 2012, and his fiancee going inside. He said he asked the teens in the SUV parked next to him to turn down the music with booming bass. He said initially they did, then the teenager in the back seat -- later identified as Davis -- started cursing and asked the teen in the front seat to turn it back up.</p><p> Dunn said the confrontation escalated, and the backseat door opened, and he said he saw what appeared to be a shotgun in the teenager's hands. He quoted the teen as saying, "You're dead, (expletive). This (expletive)'s going down now."</p><p> "I was petrified," Dunn testified. "I shot because my life was being threatened. I was defending myself."</p><p> Dunn said he didn't recall how many shots he fired, but acknowledged he continued firing as the SUV began backing out because he thought he was still in danger. Prosecutors say Dunn fired a total of 10 shots -- three shots hitting Davis. Police did not find a gun in the SUV that night or the nearby parking lot when they searched it four days later when they learned Dunn claimed he saw a weapon.</p><p> Dueling expert testimony</p><p> <br/>On Monday, a private forensics expert testified for the defense that a rear passenger door of an SUV was likely open when Dunn fired into the vehicle during an argument over loud music, killing 17-year-old Davis</p><p> </p><p> Retired Jacksonville Sheriff's Office crime-scene detective Michael Knox, called as the defense's first witness, contradicted the testimony of other teens in the car who said the victim did not open the passenger door and physically threaten Michael Dunn, 47, in November 2012 before Dunn fired 10 shots into their vehicle, killing Davis.</p><p> Dunn, who's accused of murdering Davis, is claiming self-defense.</p><p> Dunn, of Satellite Beach, was in Jacksonville to attend his son's wedding earlier in the day and had stopped at the Gate state before going to a Baymeadows hotel with his fiancee. In a February trial, Dunn was convicted previously of three counts of attempted second-degree murder, but the jury deadlocked on a first-degree murder charge for Davis' death.</p><p> </p><p> Whether Davis opened his door during the shouting match could be a key factor because his attorney told jurors during opening statements that Dunn was defending himself from a "real or perceived threat" of physical harm.</p><p> During his first trial, Dunn said he only fired when he saw what he thought was a shotgun in Davis' hand and Davis getting out of his vehicle. There was no physical evidence presented to show whether Davis opened his door, and no evidence that Davis had a gun.</p><p> On Monday, Knox said there was no way the first three bullets that struck the SUV, one of which killed Davis, could have struck the back passenger's side door at that angle if it was closed.</p><p> IMAGES:  <a href="" target="_blank">Monday's witnesses</a> | SPECIAL SECTION: <a href="" target="_blank">State vs. Michael Dunn</a><br/>UNCUT TESTIMONY:<a href="" target="_blank">Pathologist Stacey Simons</a> | <a href="" target="_blank">Defense expert Michael Knox</a></p><p> Knox said the angle of the bullet entries into the door showed that Davis' door had to be open.</p><p> "The only way that happens is the door has to be opened to align those trajectories back to the window" of Dunn's driver's seat, Knox said. "It's not an angle that would align to that front seat."</p><p> Dunn testified during his first trial that Davis was getting out of the car when he fired.</p><p> "What went through my mind is that this is clear and present danger and I said, `You're not going to kill me .... I said that as I was retrieving my pistol," Dunn testified in February. "I was in a panic. I grabbed the gun and slipped off the holster and pulled up the pistol and cocked it. I'm just pointing it in the direction of my attacker."</p><p> Knox testified Monday that he thought the door was only partially opened. But he also said that Dunn would have had to have been parked much farther away, on a sidewalk, to have fired those first three bullets at that angle directly from his window into the closed SUV back door.</p><p> "If you have both front doors aligned. then there's no way those trajectories align without the door being opened to some extent," Knox said.</p><p> The prosecution rested Monday morning after testimony Dr. Stacey Simons, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Davis.  She demonstrated for the jury how she believes Davis was ducking to try to protect himself from the gunshots, given the bullet wounds in his body (see image below).</p><p> </p><p> Simons said that in her medical opinion, there is no way any part of Davis would have been outside the SUV he was in when he was shot.</p><p> During her lengthy testimony, Simons said Davis did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system. She described how he was shot three times -- in the chest, in the thigh and just under the buttocks. She said the shot in the chest punctured his heart, and that's what likely killed him.</p><p> Defense attorney Waffa Hanania questioned the former medical examiner's expertise, at one point calling her "the low man on the totem pole" and implying she did not have a lot of experience with autopsies on people who were shot and killed.</p><p> Simons was the 27th and final witness for the prosecution.</p><p> The defense also called several character witnesses Monday afternoon.</p><p> Friends of Michael Dunn and even his ex-wife testified that Dunn is generally calm and a gentleman.</p><p> Those sentiments were echoed by Dunn's former attorney Cory Strolla, who represented Dunn during his first murder trial.</p><p> “There's no such thing as a perfect case. There's no such thing as a perfect trial,” Strolla said. “That's like saying would you like to do your newscast different.</p><p> “There's always something you would've said or wanted to say, especially if you don't get the verdict you wanted,” Strolla said. “You'll second guess yourself all day every day. If you don't do that, you're not a good trial attorney.”</p><p> Monday's testimony was hard to hear for Lucia McBath, Jordan Davis' mother.</p><p> Despite the argument between Dunn and her son that fatal night, McBath said her son was also a kind person.</p><p> “Jordan always wanted to bring peaceful resolutions,” McBath said. “He always wanted people to get along. He always wanted people to live together peacefully.</p><p> Dunn is expected to testify in his defense, as he did during the February trial that ended in Dunn's conviction on three counts of firing into an occupied vehicle and three counts of attempted murder, but that jury deadlocked on the murder charge in Davis' death.</p><p> Attorney Randy Reep, who is not affiliated with the case, said he believes the defense case will be short and he thinks Dunn has to take the stand in order convince the jury he was fighting for his life the November 2012 night he fired 10 shots at an SUV of teenagers after exchanging words over loud rap music the teens were playing.</p><p> </p><p> Dunn has claimed that he saw Davis with what he thought was a gun. Police found no gun in the SUV or at the scene, although crime-scene detectives admitted during Saturday testimony they didn't conduct a thorough search of the property and trash bins in the area until four days after the shooting when they learned that Dunn was claiming self-defense.</p><p> Reep said Dunn really has two things to accomplish when he gets on the stand: articulate his reasonable fear of Davis and explain why he didn't call police immediately following the incident.</p><p> "You just took someone's life, where do you go? You drive to the police and say, 'Hey, I almost died. There's some bad dudes. They left by the way.' If he thought those people were out doing nefarious things, trying to shoot people, three of them got away," Reep said.</p><p> Dunn's ex-fiancé, Rhonda Rouer, testified Saturday that shortly after the incident, where Dunn fired 10 shots in the parking lot of a Southside Gate gas station on Baymeadows and Southside Boulevard, he hastily drove them back to the hotel where they were staying, ordered pizza, walked the dog, drank a rum and coke and then went to bed. Rouer told the jury they didn't talk about anything that night.</p><p> "He didn't tell his fiancée about it till a great deal of time? That speaks very much to his consciousness of his guilt," Reep said.</p><p> Another thing the prosecution said Dunn didn't divulge for a long time, even during his first trial, was that Davis had a shotgun. Dunn said that's what prompted him to fire his gun. No weapon was found in or around the red SUV Davis was riding in. Reep said that the evidence is compelling and will be difficult to reconcile for the jury.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:35:00 GMT

Man punches 80-year-old in Port Orange Applebee's over foul language

<p> A man was arrested on Sunday after deputies say he punched an elderly man who asked him to stop using foul language inside a Port Orange Applebee's.</p><p> Police said Mikie Dominic Sawyer, 26, was talking obscenities at the bar at the Dunlawton Avenue Applebees just before 80-year-old Harry Sander approached him and asked him politely to stop using the "F" word, and to stop talking so (in expletives) and loudly about body parts.</p><p> Sanders told police Sawyer said he didn't have to stop cursing if he didn't want to before punching Sanders in the face and pushing him to the ground.</p><p> A witness to the disturbance told police he also heard Sawyer cursing loudly and reiterated to police how Sanders had described the incident.</p><p> The witness said after Sanders asked Sawyer to stop, Sawyer told him, "I don't care where you are from, whether it be Russian or Dutch, take your (expletive) to the other side of the bar," before punching him.</p><p> Police said several other witnesses described the incident similarly. However, one man said he thought Sanders may have also pushed Sawyer.</p><p> Sawyer left the restaurant before police arrived, but was later pulled over after police got a description of his vehicle.</p><p> Sawyer told police that Sander was the one who actually punched him, but a police report stated that while Sawyer had no bruising to his face, he did have discoloration and bruising to his knuckles and fingers.</p><p> Police arrested Sawyer and was charged with battery on a person over 65 years of age and disorderly conduct.</p><p> Sawyer was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he is being held on a $2,500 bond.</p>

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:30:31 GMT

Sheriff: DCF warned about Don Spirit in 2013 case

<p> Florida's child welfare agency was warned in 2013 that a man should be kept away from the daughter and six grandchildren that he later killed, Alachua County's sheriff told a newspaper.</p><p> Last year, three of the six children killed were interviewed by a child protection team that warned Florida's Department of Children and Families that Don Spirit should have no contact with his grandchildren, Sheriff Sadie Darnell told The Gainesville Sun.</p><p> On Sept. 18, Spirit shot 28-year-old Sarah Spirit, and her six children: Kaleb Kuhlmann, 11; Kylie Kuhlmann, 9; Johnathon Kuhlmann, 8; Destiny Stewart, 5; Brandon Stewart, 4; and Alanna Stewart, who was born in June, in Bell before killing himself.<br/></p><p> Darnell says DCF was warned during the 2013 child abuse investigation by a University of Florida child protection team.<br/></p><p> </p><p> "And DCF was advised (for the children) not to have contact with the grandfather," Darnell said.<br/></p><p> State officials refused to confirm to the newspaper that they interviewed the children, citing confidentiality laws.<br/></p><p> The child protection team responded after Spirit's ex-wife, Christine Jeffers, called authorities in an attempt to protect her grandchildren, telling a deputy that Don Spirit suffered from bipolar disorder.<br/></p><p> At the time of the shooting, Don Spirit was well-known to local authorities: He had a previous felony conviction related to the accidental shooting of his son during a hunting trip. In 2008, Sarah Spirit had filed a police report claiming he hit her while she was pregnant.<br/><br/>In the Alachua County sheriff's report of the 2013 child abuse interview, Sarah Spirit told a deputy she had seen guns in her father's possession. As a former felon, he was not legally allowed to have firearms.<br/><br/>It is unclear what, if anything, DCF did in response to the warning.<br/><br/>Still, two weeks before the killings, the state's child abuse hotline was called by someone who reported that adults were doing drugs in front of the kids, according to documents released by DCF.<br/><br/>DCF spokeswoman Alexis Lambert refused to comment on the 2013 case, saying DCF will comment after an investigation into the agency's history with the Spirit family is complete.<br/></p>

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:40:00 GMT

Alleged serial rapist goes before Lake County judge

<p> The man investigators say is a serial rapist went before a Lake County judge on Tuesday morning for a second time this week.</p><p> Anthony Maurice Foster, 46, faces two new charges after being arrested Monday by the Leesburg Police Department. The new charges are for sex attacks that happened as long as eight years ago but investigators recently linked his DNA to cases on file.</p><p> A judge set Foster's bond at $260,000 on Tuesday morning for the latest charges. His bond on Sunday was set at $250,000 following his arrest Saturday after he allegedly broke into his 70-year-old neighbor's home in July and sexually assaulted her.</p><p> Foster's total bond is now $510,000 and he is able to post bail and be released at anytime. However, Foster told the judge Tuesday morning that he is unemployed and has no income or assets other than $4,000 in two different checking accounts. The judge told Foster she will appoint the public defender and if he is able to bond out, he must have no contact with any of the women he's accused of attacked.</p><p> Investigators say Foster may be linked to a dozen attacks in the area. They say he targeted elderly women living alone and would watch them for some time, making sure they were alone or asleep for attacking them.</p><p> Monday, Leesburg police detectives served warrants on Foster for two of the five rapes to which DNA testing has linked him. Two other cases are on hold, one because of partial match issues, police said.</p><p> Foster is also believed to be the attacker in seven more unsolved rape cases police say they've been investigating, bringing the total number of alleged attacks to 12, dating to 2006.</p><p> If more charges are filed, Foster will have another first appearance. As of now, his next court appearance is for arraignment on October 27.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:05:21 GMT

Robert Zimmerman opens up about his brother

<p> George Zimmerman's brother, Robert, opens up to GQ magazine about what life was like for the Zimmerman family before, during and after George's murder trial.</p><p> In an upcoming issue, Robert Zimmerman explains how his family discussed making George the star of a Zimmerman family reality show.</p><p> He also says George Zimmerman arranged for his mother to take a concealed weapons class before the trial.</p><p> Robert Zimmerman also told GQ that his brother hated the media and did not want to give any interviews. However, when he finally agreed to an interview with CNN, the network put him in a hotel and paid for his expenses.  In return, the Zimmermans gave CNN a room-service bill totaling $3,600.</p><p> George Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, were also forced to wear disguises to avoid being spotted in public. Robert said George referred to his wig and glasses as his "Bieber look."</p><p> The entire article is available in next month's GQ issue.</p><p> GQ says George Zimmerman refused to be interviewed for the article unless he was given a hotel room.  The magazine declined. </p><p> George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder last year in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:31:26 GMT

Body of Arkansas real estate agent found

<p> [Breaking news alert, 10:58 a.m. ET]</p><p> Arron Lewis, the suspect in the slaying of Arkansas realtor Beverly Carter, emerged from a courthouse Tuesday and told reporters that he pleaded not guilty at the request of his lawyer but wanted to plead guilty because he just wanted "this to be over with," video from CNN affiliate KARK showed. Carter's body was found in a shallow grave near Cabot, about 20 miles northeast of central Little Rock.</p><p> [Original story published at 10:21 a.m. ET]</p><p> The body of missing Arkansas realtor Beverly Carter has been located north of the Little Rock area, the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office said early Tuesday.</p><p> Her body was found in a shallow grave near Cabot, about 20 miles northeast of central Little Rock.</p><p> Arron Lewis, of Jacksonville, will be charged with capital murder in connection with her death, the sheriff's office said. </p><p> The 33-year-old was arrested by authorities Monday.</p><p> "Lewis admitted ... to kidnapping Beverly Carter, but would not divulge her whereabouts," the sheriff's office said. After he was booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility, investigators said they obtained information that led them to the property where the grave was located.</p><p> Lewis gave peculiar statements to reporters during his perp walk Monday night. </p><p> As police led Lewis, in shackles and dark prison scrubs, to a police car, reporters asked him if he killed Carter. Twice, he says that he didn't, according to video from CNN affiliates KTHV and KARK. </p><p> "I had a co-defendant. I haven't seen her for two days. Now, they're showing pictures of this. I haven't seen her," he said. </p><p> Asked to explain, Lewis repeats that he "had" a co-defendant and provides a man's name, saying he's in the military. </p><p> Questioned about his and the co-defendant's relationship, he said, "He's got texts back and forth to me and him, and then they wanted my phone."</p><p> "Why Beverly?" a reporter asked. </p><p> "She was a rich broker," Lewis responded. </p><p> Asked if he had anything to say to Carter's family, he twice said, "Sorry."</p><p> As officers placed Lewis in the backseat of a squad car, a reporter asks again, "Why Beverly?"</p><p> "Because she was just a woman who worked alone, a rich broker," he said. </p><p> As the car door is closed, Lewis was asked one more time if he killed Carter, and again, he replied, "No."</p><p> Carter vanished last week when she went to show a home in the small community of Scott.</p><p> The family released a statement thanking those who had joined in the search for Carter. The statement also seemed to blame Lewis for her disappearance.</p><p> "We are devastated at the loss of our precious Beverly. There is now a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. Mr. Lewis robbed us of an amazing wife, loving mother and grandmother. Her grandkids will never get to know the magnitude of her greatness," the statement said. "We draw some comfort in knowing that she is now in the arms of Jesus. God bless you all." </p><p> Police haven't said how they linked Lewis to Carter or how they tracked him down, but they say Lewis left a hospital Sunday without notifying police while he was a person of interest in her disappearance.</p><p> Suspect was in wreck</p><p> Lewis, who was on parole, was in a traffic accident Sunday, and police arrived to find his automobile on top of a concrete culvert, according to an accident report from the sheriff's office. </p><p> Lewis told police that a vehicle, which he couldn't describe, had run him off the road. But a witness told police that he was behind Lewis before the accident, and "Lewis was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash," the report says. </p><p> Another witness told police that "the Lewis vehicle was going 'so fast' prior to the curve and she further stated that she observed the Lewis vehicle 'fishtail' around the curve, going into the ditch," according to the report. </p><p> Paramedics took Lewis to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. A deputy followed the ambulance to the hospital to issue Lewis a citation for careless driving as well as not wearing his seat belt, because there was evidence Lewis hit the windshield during the crash, the report says. </p><p> At that time, Lewis was a person of interest in the Carter investigation, but he was not under arrest, Lt. Carl Minden said. </p><p> "While at the hospital and undergoing tests, Mr. Lewis left the hospital. He was not under the guard of law enforcement at that time due to not having any criminal charges at that point," the lieutenant said in a statement. </p><p> The warrant charging him with kidnapping was issued later Sunday, he said. </p><p> Official: Agent's cell phone used</p><p> The mysterious disappearance of the 49-year-old resonated among fellow real estate agents, who posted their fears on a Facebook page set up for sharing information about her case. </p><p> Carter's last phone call to her husband came Thursday afternoon, telling him the address where she would be. When hours went by with no further word from her, Carl Carter says he "knew something was wrong."</p><p> Before calling authorities, Carl Carter went to the address of the home Beverly Carter was showing and saw her brown Cadillac parked there, the sheriff's office said. </p><p> Noticing the property was open, the husband entered and searched for his wife without success, according to the Sheriff's Office. </p><p> There was activity on Carter's cell phone after she disappeared, Minden said. Later he explained to HLN's Nancy Grace that activity included text messages, but he declined to elaborate on the nature of the texts.</p><p> According to her employer's website, Beverly Carter was married for 34 years and has four grandchildren.</p><p> "I feel like I'm in a fog, or a horrible nightmare from which I can't awaken," Beverly Carter's son, also named Carl, wrote on a Facebook post before his mother's body was found.</p><p> A Facebook page set up about Carter's disappearance was followed by more than 28,000 people as of Monday afternoon. </p><p> Police say Lewis' Monday arrest isn't his first run-in with police. In addition to any charges he may face in Carter's disappearance and death, he has a criminal history in northwest Arkansas that includes felony theft of property, obstruction of government operations, failure to appear and unlawful removal of a theft device, Minden said in a statement. </p><p> He's also faced charges from the Kansas City police and the Utah Department of Corrections, he said. </p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:07:21 GMT

Easy ways to break 10 bad habits

<p> Think bad habits like nail biting are hard to break? Find out how to kick them for good.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT

Best of the worst: Mug shot hall of shame

<p> Check out these lookers who ran into the law. </p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:20:54 GMT

Strong cologne leads cops to hiding criminal

<p> A suspect who led police on a 100 mph chase and then attempted to hide was caught after officers picked up on the strong scent of his cologne, according to the Lebanon Police Department.</p><p> An officer attempted to stop a Honda Prelude for speeding and failing to obey a traffic control device at 4 a.m. Sunday.</p><p> Police said the car sped up and hit speeds in excess of 100 mph heading westbound on Highway 20 toward Albany.</p><p> During the chase, the hood of the suspect's car was ripped off due to the speed.</p><p> Police lost sight of the car in the area of Spicer Drive and Red Bridge Road and the pursuit was called off. As officers headed back to Lebanon, they spotted the Prelude in a driveway.</p><p> Police contacted the people in the home who said they saw a man running across their yard away from the car.</p><p> Officers said due to the darkness and dense foliage, they didn't immediately see the suspect. However, they did smell him.</p><p> Police said a strong scent of cologne was permeating the area.</p><p> A U.S. Department of Forestry ranger and a K-9 team arrived and the suspect was found within a few minutes, hunkered down in shrubbery on private property.</p><p> Charles Agosto, 35, was arrested on charges of attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving and criminal trespassing. Police said he was on post-prison supervision for a dangerous drugs conviction.</p><p> Drex the K-9 alerted on Agosto's car for possible drugs. The car was seized and will be searched after the service of a warrant, according to police.</p><p> "Agosto mentioned he regretted applying cologne on his person prior to leaving his house," according to a Lebanon police report.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:28:07 GMT

App lets you see where cell service is best in Central Florida

<p> With the new iPhone6 just released, and a new Samsung coming out next month, a lot of people are thinking about signing new cellphone contracts.</p><p> [WEB EXTRA:<a href="" target="_blank"/><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to see the full report |</a> Download the app to check your service:<a href="" target="_blank"> iPhone </a>| <a href="" target="_blank">Android</a> ]</p><p> Some carriers are offering deals to convince you to switch. Local 6 discovered there is a tool that can help you tell which service is best for you, before you’re locked in.</p><p> The Cell Phone Coverage App from is designed to show you what service is best in different areas. It got the attention of Andy Salmon.</p><p> “Yeah, sure I would definitely use an app like that,” she said.</p><p> Consumers like Salmon, who are in the market for a  new service, can save themselves aggravation by zooming into their neighborhood and checking cell service right down to a city block.</p><p> RootMetrics CEO Bill Moore explained how in depth his company went while testing Orlando’s coverage.</p><p> “We drove over 1,100 miles miles and performed 25,000 tests. And the tests that we do are actually what consumers do, which is make and place calls,” Moore said. “We do a series of data tests, where we upload and download, a max speed test to see how fast that network goes.”</p><p> RootMetrics latest report rated Verizon as the best overall performance in Central Florida. When it came to best call performance, it was a three-way tie between Spring, Verizon and AT&T.</p><p> The was a one major upset when it came to fastest download speed in Orlando – T-Mobile topped Verizon.</p><p> T-Mobile has actually massively improved in each of the large metropolitan marketplaces,” Moore said. “They've been rolling out their technology at a breakneck speed. And as a result, that speed has come up. The reliability king is still Verizon.”</p><p> Verizon customer Leah Peavy is not surprised.</p><p> “I'm not surprised at all,” Peavy said, while pointing out how happy she is with her service. “It is a little more expensive than the other ones, but it has really good coverage.”</p><p> Rather than just relying on the overall report, Moore suggests you zoom into area of the map where you’ll actually use the service.</p><p> “Everyone in Orlando is going to have different experiences, because we all live, commute and play in different areas,” Moore said. “And so that's why the map becomes really important for people to really drill down and see what their probability performance is versus just looking at report which is an average of entire marketplace.”</p><p> Moore said all carriers have rolled out their fastest data service in metro Orlando. That’s good news even if you don’t live in Orange County, because once upgraded service is launched, carriers typically expand it outward, away from the core of the city, to reach more customers.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:21:58 GMT

Former coach files lawsuit against UCF

<p> Allegations of discrimination, racist remarks and bullying have been laid out in a <a href="/blob/view/-/28326394/data/1/-/ouuf7oz/-/Paul-Ferraro-v-UCF-lawsuit-pdf.pdf" target="_self">lawsuit against the University of Central Florida</a>.</p><p> The accusations come from a former assistant coach, who claims he was wrongfully terminated and wants back pay.</p><p> Some of the words UCF head football coach George O'Leary is accused of using are too obscene to repeat. The lawsuit was filed on Friday by former defensive coach Paul Ferraro, who accuses O'Leary of making derogatory comments against Italians, Jews and African-Americans.</p><p> Ferraro only lasted three months at UCF before, he said, the university illegally ended his contract just one day after he complained about his head coach.</p><p> The 21-page complaint says O'Leary once told a colleague, "Check the [African-American] players to make sure that their gums are blue, because they are bigger, faster and stronger than [African-American] players with red gums."</p><p> And it claims "O'Leary also created a work environment that was permeated by bullying, threatening behavior and repeated discriminatory epithets by O'Leary."</p><p> Ferraro says O'Leary's behavior is not the same as it was when he worked with him at Georgia Tech and Syracuse.</p><p> In February, Ferraro complained by email to O'Leary and his fellow coaches. The next day, the university athletic director sent him a letter terminating his contract. Ferraro said the school retaliated and forced him out by fabricating a resignation he never made.</p><p> In a statement, university spokesman Grant Heston said, "UCF immediately investigated the allegations Mr. Ferraro made when he abruptly abandoned his job. The university's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found the allegations to be untrue."</p><p> However, the lawsuit says Ferraro did not tell UCF the specific allegations, and that he only gave investigators a summary of what happened.</p><p> Now he's claiming the school violated the Federal Whistleblower Act and conspired against him.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:55:32 GMT

Seminole County deputies release school bomb threat hoax call

<p> Seminole County deputies on Monday released the hoax bomb threat call <a href="" target="_blank">that sparked evacuations at several Seminole County schools Friday.</a></p><p> [AUDIO: <a href="/news/audio-hoax-bomb-threat-call-released/28321416" target="_blank">Hoax bomb threat call released </a>]</p><p> The call was placed at 1:30 p.m. on Friday by a caller who appears to be male, indicating that he placed a bomb at Casselberry, Winter Springs and Oviedo elementary (which does not exist) schools.</p><p> "Listen very closely, we placed three bombs ... Winter Springs Elementary, Casselberry Elementary, Oviedo Elementary..." the caller said.</p><p> "OK so you placed the bombs at each school?" the dispatcher asked.</p><p> "There's three bombs. And one at each of the schools. We'll call you back with our demands," the caller said.</p><p> The man never called back, deputies said.</p><p> No suspicious devices were found on any campuses.</p><p> Deputies said they have received several leads in the investigation and are releasing the call in an attempt to identity the caller.</p><p> The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are also investigating. A $10,000 reward is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the caller. </p><p> Contact CrimeLine at 1-800-423-TIPS or the Seminole County Sheriff's Office at 407-665-6650 if you have any information on the case.</p><p> The release of the hoax call comes the same day<a href="" target="_blank"> that bomb threats prompted evacuations at three Lake County schools.</a> The campuses were all searched and cleared Monday afternoon.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:04:32 GMT

Where are 'Cheers' stars today?

<p> With Tuesday marking the 32nd anniversary of the Sept. 30, 1982, debut of "Cheers," are you ready to revisit a place where everybody knows your name? Click on to see what the show's stars are up to today.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:00:00 GMT

Photos: Florida mug shots

<p> Here's a look at some of the individuals who have been arrested recently in the Sunshine State.</p>

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 11:43:38 GMT