Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County, Florida criminal law news and events

Navy Officer Charged with Fraud, Arson After House Fire

A twenty-six-year veteran of the U.S. Navy was arrested and charged with arson and insurance fraud last week after investigators say he set fire to his home in order to claim insurance benefits. Lieutenant Nolen John Zander’s home caught fire […]... [Read More]

Charges Filed Against Tampa Woman for Fatal Hit-and-Run on I-75

The Florida Highway Patrol arrested a Tampa woman last week in connection with a fatal hit-and-run incident on Interstate 75 last May. Authorities say Rusty Lee Harris was walking on the inside northhbound lane of the freeway at the Sun […]... [Read More]

Guilty Plea to Tax Fraud Charges Earns Owner of Accounting Firm with Tampa Office Two Years in Federal Prison

The owner of a public accounting firm with an office in Tampa was sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud charges. Walter Drakeford, Sr. entered a guilty plea on one count of interfering with […]... [Read More]

Lakeland Teen Charged with Second-Degree Murder After Man’s Corpse Found Aflame Behind Tampa Residence

A suspect in the slaying of a Tampa man whose corpse was found in flames turned himself in to authorities last Sunday. He’s now facing charges of second-degree murder for his alleged actions in connection with the case. Sigfredo Espinel […]... [Read More]

One Dead, Four Others Wounded After Alleged Drive-By Shooting at SoHo Lounge

A bar patron who was asked to leave a SoHo establishment last week allegedly made good on a promise to return with a firearm and is now being charged with first-degree murder for actions authorities say he took upon his […]... [Read More]

Wounded USF Football Player Charged with Aggravated Assault, Cannabis Possession After Alleged Road-Rage Incident

A football player for the University of South Florida was arrested last week after Tampa police say he was involved in a road-rage incident while in possession of cannabis. Hassan Ismael “Hot” Childs was taken into custody upon his release […]... [Read More]

Riverview Man Accused of Slaying Mother on Her Birthday

A Riverview man is in jail today, accused of brutally killing his mother on her birthday. Joshua Leon Carmona was arrested last Tuesday after Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies say he beat his mother with a baseball bat before delivering the […]... [Read More]

Homeowner Allegedly Shoots Two Brothers, Killing One, at Gathering in Seffner

Authorities say a gathering at a mobile home in Seffner turned deadly last Wednesday after they responded to a 9-1-1 call placed by the man they allege to have shot two other people. Martin Alfred Johnson placed a call to […]... [Read More]

Lakeland Dance Instructor Sentenced to Twelve Years in Prison for Alleged 2015 DUI Manslaughter

A Lakeland dance instructor was sentenced to a dozen years in Florida prison last Monday after being found guilty of DUI manslaughter. Deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office say Brian A. DeFreitas was driving home in early October 2015 […]... [Read More]

Prosecution Agrees to Plea Agreement for Ex Tampa Cop Accused of Tax Fraud Scheme

A federal judge will hear the details of a plea agreement later this month that may avoid a trial on the merits of a former Tampa homicide detective who has been accused of filing fraudulent tax returns. Eric Houston is […]... [Read More]

Ruskin Man Charged with DUI Manslaughter in Connection with Crash That Killed Child

A Ruskin man is facing charges after police say he initiated a crash while inebriated that killed a three-year-old child only weeks after completing probation for a previous DUI conviction. John L. Rutland, Jr. was arrested on the evening of […]... [Read More]

Tampa Brothers Charged with Clair-Mel Woman’s Murder

A pair of Tampa brothers have been charged with crimes related to a murder committed last November. Hillsborough County authorities allege that Lewis James Scott, Jr. and his younger brother James Luis “Snoop” Scott are responsible for murdering Clair-Mel’s Evelyn […]... [Read More]

Man Serving Life Since Sixteen Released Under New Sentencing Guidelines

Sentenced to life in prison as a teenager, Floyd Victor LaFountain became a free man on Friday, thanks to a series of Supreme Court decisions regarding sentencing of juveniles. LaFountain was sixteen when he ran away from his home in […]... [Read More]

Alcohol Suspected in Crash that Killed Brandon Man

Officers of the Florida Highway Patrol say that the man piloting a vehicle that ran a red light and struck another and killed its occupant was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Twenty-eight-year-old Johnathan Nicholas […]... [Read More]

Plant City Men Agree to Plead Guilty in Mexican Drug Trafficking Case

An uncle and his nephew have agreed to plead guilty to federal drug trafficking charges based upon allegations by the Drug Enforcement Administration that their Plant City business was a front for a Mexican drug distribution operation. According to authorities, […]... [Read More]