Week in Crime in Tampa Bay – Should IAN stop?

Hillsborough Kidnapping Case: Man Sentenced To Jail for Life

Trevor Steven Summer, the main culprit in the Hillsborough kidnapping case, will spend the rest of his life in prison. In his sentencing on Monday, Summers was found guilty of kidnapping and twice trying to kill his ex-wife.

The life sentence came barely a month after a trial period that saw the suspect ditch his court-appointed lawyer. Alisa Mathewson, Summers’ ex-wife, sat on the witness stand during the sentencing.

Summers chose to represent himself for the rest of the trial and was allowed to cross-examine Miss Mathewson. He also cross-examined his own children during the highly-publicized hearing.

On Monday, the jury found Summers guilty of all 11 charges against him, including sexual battery, attempted murder, and kidnapping.

Prosecutors narrated to the court how Summers, in March 2017, gained illegal access to the Valrico where his wife and children were staying. In a few months leading to the incident, his wife had filed for divorce and obtained a court order for protection against his advances.

In the dark morning hours of the fateful day, he managed to enter the house through the window after convincing their teenage daughter to let him in.

In the sentencing, the judge noted that the case was unfortunate, especially for the young children who suffered emotional trauma. “I hope the life sentence will give the peace you deserve,” said the judge.

Polk County: Deputy Sheriff Shot and Killed While Serving Warrant

A deputy was shot and killed in Polk County while serving a warrant. According to Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, the 21-year-old deputy was shot dead while serving the warrant on a Tuesday morning. Judd adds that the deputy, who remains unnamed, was only with the Polk County department for a short period.

A statement from Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the shooting happened in the early morning hours of Tuesday, at around 3:15 a.m. The site of the shooting has been identified as Foxtown South, which is part of unincorporated Polk County.

“We are saddened to announce the passing of one of our officers who succumbed to injuries early today,” said the statement. The deputy was rushed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center but succumbed to injuries shortly after.

“He was with three other deputies on duty to serve a failure to appear on a felony meth warrant,” added Judd. The deputies managed to enter the suspect’s trailer before several shots were fired. One of them hit the deceased, causing fatal injuries that led to his death. The sheriff did not provide any information on the suspect, who is now in police custody.

While cases of police being shot increase rapidly in other parts of the country, Judd says cases of officer-involved shootings are rare in the area. He noted that this is the first case from the 10th Judicial Circuit.

Killer Mother Asks Tampa Judge for New Trial

Julie Schenecker, the mother convicted of killing her two children in 2014, was back in a Tampa court on Monday requesting a new trial. In her claim, Schenecker said her lawyers made many mistakes that led to her conviction.

She said no witnesses were called to show that she was not in a good mental state in the months leading to the murders. She added that her not testifying during the trial was a huge mistake that needs to be corrected.

“I don’t know if I could have made a good case for myself then, but, certainly, I should have spoken,” she argued. “I felt like no one was talking for me, no one was defending my case, and that was a mistake,” she added.

Schenecker was found guilty of murdering her two teenage kids, Calyx, a 16-year-old girl, and Beau, a 13-year-old boy. She shot Calyx in the bedroom, where she was working on her homework. Beau was shot in the family SUV while riding home with his father. During the hearing in 2014, Schenecker admitted to killing her children because they were too mouthy and talked back.

She was convicted and sentenced to two life sentences. However, she is challenging the conviction claiming the murders were not premeditated. She also argues that she was not in a good mental state during the first conviction.

On their part, prosecutors told the court how Schenecker drove over 20 miles away to buy a gun. They argued that she knew what she was doing because she didn’t want to be spotted by anyone she knew.

In her defense, Schenecker said she bought the gun to use it on herself. She also said she had to drive far away because she couldn’t access a gun shop in her area.

Schenecker will hope that the court grants her a new trial. However, the judge must decide if her claims warrant a new trial. The date of the ruling has not yet been set by the court.

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