Polk County

Polk County, Florida criminal law news and events

New Hearing Granted to Prisoner After Another Confesses to 1987 Murder

After being sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder almost three decades ago, a man convicted of a Polk county murder has been given the chance to put new evidence before a court that he and his attorneys believe […]... [Read More]

Ohio Man Sentenced to Life in 1987 Rape and Murder of Lake Alfred Woman

Almost thirty years after the crime was committed, a 67-year-old Ohio man was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of allegedly murdering a Lake Alfred woman. Carl Junior McCauley was sentenced to life in prison in a Polk […]... [Read More]

Allegedly Intoxicated Wrong-Way Driver Accused in Death of St. Pete Man

A Polk City man is in jail today after authorities allege that he drove the wrong way on I-4 and initiated a fatal crash while under the influence of alcohol. Twenty-four-year-old Travis Wade Coats is charged with DUI homicide and […]... [Read More]

Polk County Inmate Sentenced to Life in Jailer’s Slaying

A man convicted in 2015 for the death of a Polk County detention deputy was given a life sentence Wednesday. Terrence Jerome Barnett was sentenced to life in prison upon the recommendation of a Polk County jury. The jury voted […]... [Read More]

Wise Wins Acquittal in Lakeland Murder Case

A Polk County jury acquitted a Lakeland man defended by J. Jervis Wise last month on charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery in relation to the shooting death of an auto mechanic and alleged drug dealer in 2008. Kaheem […]... [Read More]

Confession in 1987 Murder Cited in Motion to Set Aside Sentence of Man Convicted of the Slaying

Leo Schofield was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison in 1989. Almost three decades later another man has come forward claiming responsibility for the murder and has filed a motion with the relevant court asking […]... [Read More]

Lake Wales Man Not Charged After Shooting Deemed Self-Defense

The body of Joseph M. Coney was discovered earlier this week facedown in a Lake Wales yard at about 4 a.m. Homicide detectives from the Polk County sheriff’s office and Lake Wales police opened a homicide investigation after determining that […]... [Read More]

Polk County Woman Pleads Guilty to Work Comp Fraud

Federal prosecutors report that Jessy Paliyath Peter of Lakeland pleaded guilty this month to theft of government funds and making a false statement to obtain federal employee’s compensation. At the root of the case is a fraudulent workers’ compensation application. […]... [Read More]

Hillsborough Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Lottery Winner Murder Case

Dorice “DeeDee” Moore was convicted earlier this week for murdering Abraham Shakespeare in 2009. After the jury returned its verdict, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Battles sentenced Moore to life in prison for first-degree murder. The state was not seeking the […]... [Read More]

Lottery Winner Murder Trial Begins in Tampa

The trial of Dorice DeeDee Moore, accused of killing a Lakeland lottery winner in 2009, began this week in a Hillsborough Circuit courtroom. Moore is accused of fatally shooting Abraham Shakespeare, who won a $17 million lottery jackpot in 2006. […]... [Read More]

Polk County Man Charged with DUI After Fatal Accident Involving Pedestrian

Christopher A. Koenig, a 29-year-old Lakeland man, was arrested earlier this week in Polk County after allegedly hitting a teenaged pedestrian with his car and fleeing the scene, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Koenig faces one count leaving […]... [Read More]

30 Arrested in Polk County Drug Bust

Investigators in Polk County arrested 30 people following a 10-month investigation into drug trafficking. The arrests were part of “Operation City Sweep,” a multi-agency effort that involved four search warrants and undercover purchases of drugs and weapons. Investigators included members […]... [Read More]

Polk County Murder Trial of Lakeland Mother Begins

The murder trial of Tivasha Logan of Lakeland began this week in Polk County Circuit Court. Logan is accused of starving her infant daughter to death in November 2009. Prosecutors allege that Logan did not give her baby, 5-month-old Chauntasia […]... [Read More]

Polk County Homeowner Shoots & Kills Intruder; Investigation Pending

Over Memorial Day weekend, Winter Haven resident William Cornwell, a U.S. Navy veteran and security guard at Winter Haven Hospital, shot and killed 40-year-old Christopher Brian Deese. Polk County Sheriff’s deputies report that Deese broke into Cornwell’s home and challenged […]... [Read More]

Polk County Man Charged with First-Degree Murder of His Grandmother

Prosecutors in Polk County charged Christopher Whaley of Lake Wales with first-degree murder this weekend after he allegedly confessed to stabbing and killing his 69-year-old grandmother in the mobile home they shared. Authorities say Whaley told them he had an […]... [Read More]