Pinellas County

Pinellas County, Florida criminal law news and events

Pinellas Marijuana Case Dismissed After Allegations of Investigator Misconduct

As reported in the Tampa Bay Times earlier this week, dozens of Pinellas County marijuana cases are being reconsidered and possibly dismissed amid allegations that narcotics deputies trespassed and lied to gather evidence. The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday […]... [Read More]

Palm Harbor Day Care Provider Avoids First-Degree Murder Conviction

As reported in the Tampa Bay Times last month, former Palm Harbor day care provider Stephanie Spurgeon was acquitted of first-degree murder and convicted of a lesser offense, manslaughter, subsequent to the death of 1-year-old Maria Harris in August 2008. […]... [Read More]

St. Petersburg Man Charged with Selling Marijuana to High School Students

Officers with the St. Petersburg Police street crimes unit arrested Lemon James Lane this week after receiving a tip that he was dealing marijuana to students at Boca Ciega High School. According to law enforcement, students were leaving during the […]... [Read More]

Brunvand Defending Pinellas Day Care Owner in First-Degree Murder Case

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times and Channel 8 News, the Pinellas County murder trial of Stephanie Spurgeon began last week. Ms. Spurgeon is being defended by attorneys Bjorn Brunvand and Ron Kurpiers. Ms. Spurgeon is a former Palm […]... [Read More]

DUI Manslaughter Charges Filed in 2009 Pinellas Crash

Two and a half years after the August 2009 car crash that killed Leigh Ann Hallett and Robert Hallett of New Port Richey, 27-year-old Michelle Marie Jensen was charged with DUI manslaughter and arrested. After being booked into the Pinellas […]... [Read More]

Bond Denied for Two Men Charged in Pinellas Murders

Brothers Isidro and Carlos Jones were denied bond in a newly filed murder charge against them in Pinellas County Circuit Court. The brothers are charged with killing Zorana Lebedic in Clearwater back in September as she rode her bicycle home […]... [Read More]

Trial in St. Petersburg Shooting Ends with Plea to Reduced Charge

As reported in the St. Petersburg Times last week, Phillip J. Peterson and his attorney Bjorn Brunvand of this office reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in the midst of his trial for second-degree murder. Peterson was accused of shooting […]... [Read More]

Gulfport Murder Trial Underway in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court

On the same day that jury selection begins in two separate death penalty cases in Hillsborough Circuit Court, similar efforts are underway in Largo before a Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court judge. Jury selection has begun in the murder case against Patrick […]... [Read More]

Another Tampa Bay Physician Indicted on Drug Charges

Another local Tampa Bay area doctor faces federal drug charges this month. Dr. John Anthony Gianoli, III, a physician practicing in St. Petersburg and Largo, was indicted recently on five counts of illegally distributing or causing the distribution of oxycodone. […]... [Read More]

St. Pete Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Marijuana, Forfeits 5 Houses

A Tampa federal court judge sentenced Leon J. Wood of St. Petersburg to twenty years in federal prison for drug and gun charges earlier this month. Wood pleaded guilty back in February to charges of conspiracy to possess 1,000 kilograms […]... [Read More]

St. Petersburg Man Pleads Guilty to Bankruptcy Fraud Charge

Jon Jerald Hammill of St. Petersburg pleaded guilty in a Tampa federal court earlier this month to bankruptcy fraud. According to court documents, Hammill failed to disclose any investment or employment with a company named Botfly, LLC when he filed […]... [Read More]

Three Charged in Alleged Multi-County Check Fraud Scheme

Earlier this month, a Tampa federal judge sentenced three Michigan residents for bank fraud, mail theft, and aggravated identity theft that occurred in Duval, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and Seminole Counties between 2007 and 2009. […]... [Read More]

Clearwater Beach Investor Found Guilty of Fraud

Christopher Alan Stapleton of Clearwater Beach was found guilty this month of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and three counts of making false statements to a federally-insured financial institution. According to the testimony and evidence presented […]... [Read More]

Clearwater Woman Sentenced to Prison for Immigration Fraud

Barbara Branks, owner of La Gringa Professional Immigration Services in Clearwater, was sentenced this week to nearly five years in federal prison for filing false asylum applications with United States customs agencies. She was also ordered to forfeit about $816,000 […]... [Read More]

Clearwater Woman Indicted for Immigration Fraud

Barbara Branks, the owner of a Clearwater immigration services business, was indicted last week on federal charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Federal prosecutors in Tampa allege she conspired to prepare fraudulent applications for asylum and forged documents […]... [Read More]