The Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Public Safety Institute (FPSI) hosted the 4th annual rural county emergency summit Wednesday, April 15th at FPSI that was attended by experts in critical incidents, including school shootings, hostage situations and natural disasters. The speakers shared first-hand experience in managing these events as first responders in rural areas.
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Sheriff Morris Young’s petition to stop a hearing to “show cause” why he should not be held in contempt of court for allowing furloughts to inmates has been denied by the 1st District Court of Appeal (DCA).
According to DCA documents, the sheriff’s position is that the bond orders at issue are not sufficiently “clear and definite” to place the sheriff on notice of what conduct is prohibited.
The state argued that first appearances, where bonds and other requirements are set by a judge, were in fact a court order.
The sheriff asserts the document states that dismissal is required because he cannot be held in indirect criminal contempt of court because the bond orders do not specifically state that furloughs are not allowed.
In response the three panel DCA judges wrote: “Whether the court orders at issue are sufficiently clear, and that the sheriff intentionally violated them, are issues of proof for another day after the trial court has held a full evidentiary hearing and otherwise complied with due process. As such, we affirm the trial court’s order only to the extent it finds a basis for the State to pursue its case, and remand to that court for further proceedings.”
All three judges concurred with the decision. It will be up to Senior Judge Julian Collins as to when the hearing will be held.
The Quincy Police Department issued the following information concerning a Tuesday, April 21 homicide:
On Tuesday, April 21st at approximately 7 PM Quincy police responded to 15 W. Clark Street in Quincy following a request to check on the welfare of a family member.
While officers checked the exterior of the home for signs of the family member’s presence the mother, fearing foul play, broke a window to the home. As she was breaking the window a man, later identified as Gregory Sapp, Jr., jumped out a rear window of the home and fled into a wooded area.
At this same time two juvenile children being held against their will, emerged from the home unharmed.
Officers checked the home and found the family member, identified as Keyonda Collier, 33, deceased.
Quincy Police Lt. Eric Howell and his K-9 partner “Figo” began a track to locate the suspect. After tracking for approximately 15 minutes, Gregory Sapp, Jr. was located and taken into custody.
Quincy police were assisted by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office and also called in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for forensics and investigative assistance.
Gregory Sapp, Jr., 24, confessed to the murder and was charged with homicide, false imprisonment and resisting arrest without violence.
Police believe at this time that the victim and Sapp were involved in a relationship and may have been staying together.
This investigation is still open and active. Additional charges are likely. The Florida Department of Corrections’ website indicates Sapp was recently released from prison in March of 2015.
Sapp, no relation to Quincy Police Chief Glenn Sapp, is being held in the Gadsden County Jail.
Anyone with information about this case or the activities of the victim and suspect leading up to Tuesday, are asked to contact Quincy police at (850) 627-7111.
At about 5:30 p.m., smoke was reported billowing from Havana Heights Building E. As firefighters from the Havana, Concord and Midway Volunteer Fire Departments arrived, flames could be seen shooting up inside of the building.
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Deputy School Superintendent Rosalyn W. Smith, a 42-year veteran of the Gadsden County School District, will be honored Friday night by the Florida A&M University’s College of Education. Smith will receive the FAMU Gallery of Distinction Award.
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Harold Kenneth Herring of Havana, who was serving a life sentence in federal prison, was among nearly two dozen drug convicts who had their prison sentences shortened by President Barack Obama last Tuesday, March 31, in an act the White House said continues Obama's push to make the justice system fairer by reducing harsh sentences that were handed down under outdated guidelines. Including Herring, there were eight of the 22 serving life sentences.
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