elginjones3web.gifPalm Beach County

Paul Charles Farina, 20, has been charged with murder in the death of a prostitute. Police said he took the woman to his Lake Park apartment, where they had sex and used drugs.

They argued over the drugs and, Farina claims, the woman grabbed a knife and tried to stab him but he took his own knife and stabbed her in the neck multiple times, nearly beheading her. He is charged with second degree murder.


Authorities say Bartholomew Caso, 60, of Wellington, defrauded investors of more than $375,000 in securities, even though he was not a licensed broker. A Florida Office of Financial Regulation investigation found that Bartholomew also lured at least nine people, five of whom live in Palm Beach County, to invest at least $25,000 in a communications company called Preferred Spectrum Investments which also is referred to as Smartcomm. They never got any return on their investments and he wrote checks worth $48,971 to himself. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on fraud charges.

Kenneth Plummer, 26, has been arrested after, police say, he broke into a nail salon, stole $600 and left his cell phone at the scene. He then ate breakfast at a nearby diner and was seen counting the cash. Police say he later broke into a home and was captured after a confrontation with the homeowner. Police were able to connect him to the nail salon burglary after they identified the cell phone left at the scene as belonging to him. He is charged with multiple counts of burglary and grand theft. Book ’em, Danno!

Broward County

Attorneys for the School District of Broward County are in discussions with Pompano Beach lawyer Johnny L. McCray Jr. over allegations of slander by Blanche Ely High School administrators. McCray is representing Morris Grooms, a former volunteer assistant coach with the boys’ basketball team at the school. Grooms was fired over a Facebook posting. Principal Karlton O. Johnson and Athletics Director Andrea Love-Johnson accused him in his termination letter of engaging in “inappropriate behavior.” They described the posting as “offensive, harassment, discriminatory, or anti-social.” McCray contends the posting was not offensive and did not violate any policies and that his firing was an act of retaliation. McCray has put the district on notice of a possible lawsuit if his client’s name is not cleared. He is also demanding an apology, the removal of the letter and other materials from Grooms’ personnel file and his reinstatement as an assistant coach.

Regents Bank has named the city of Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), which is headed by Al Battle, in a $2.56 million foreclosure lawsuit filed against Maria J. Freeman and her company, MJ Investment Holdings. The lawsuit is over two properties, one of which is the two-story Sixth Street Plaza development, located at 914 N.W. Sistrunk Blvd., which houses the CRA headquarters. The CRA helped fund the redevelopment of the project. Freeman has long been involved in the CRA. In 2010, she settled a fraud lawsuit filed by the family of a senior citizen who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The lawsuit accused her of buying property located in the northwest CRA from the man at pennies on the dollar and not paying him for them. The family said they warned Freeman to stay away from the man because he was not capable of handling his affairs but later discovered she had purchased the land anyhow.

Christopher Burner, a 37-year-old inmate, was found hanging by a bed sheet in his jail Broward County cell by another inmate. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is investigating what is believed to have been a suicide. Burner was out on bond and was awaiting trial for alleged battery by strangulation and two other counts of battery. However, a judge recently revoked his bail and he was in custody at the time of his death. The Broward Medical Examiner’s Office is performing an autopsy.

Miami-Dade County

Diego Tobias Matrajt, a Miami-area photographer who pleaded guilty in September to distribution and possession of child pornography, has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was accused of secretly videotaping children as they changed clothes while at his home where his photography studio is located. He also distributed at least 10 images of child pornography to undercover agents over the Internet.

The Rev. Ron Brummitt, president of the Miami Rescue Mission, is proudly displaying the recently renovated warehouse the mission purchased. It is now a new multi story men’s center located in the Wynwood neighborhood. The mission also operates a shelter for women and children and a thrift store in the area. The rich and famous, such as Miami Heat players Le Bron James and Dwyane Wade, routinely help out at its facilities. The men’s center, which can accommodate 78, has dorms, locker rooms, a library and auditorium.
Monroe County

Henry Hamilton, 64, was the owner of Tropical Tan off Duval Street in Key West. He was into politics and made no secret of his dislike for President Barack Obama.  He has told friends that if Obama was elected, he would not live through another four years. Less than a week after the president’s re-election victory, Hamilton was dead. He committed suicide by taking prescription drugs, some of which had been prescribed for schizophrenia. Beside his body was his will, with the words “(expletive deleted) Obama!” scrawled on it. There is no telling what led Hamilton to take his life and one can only surmise that his dismay over the election results was in some way fueled by the rabidly racist rhetoric of the tea party groups. It is reckless and irresponsible politics to resort to scare tactics in an effort to generate hatred towards any candidate. One never knows who may be paying attention and take the information to heart.

Candice Lee, 37, is accused of shooting her former lover, Shakir Muilam, 45, with a .22-caliber rifle after the two argued over her relationship with a new boyfriend. Lee is married but had affairs outside the marriage with the consent of her husband, according to police. This time, she and Muilam reportedly argued outside her home and she went inside and got a rifle. When she saw Muilam reach behind his back for something, she fired a shot which hit him in the thigh. She is charged with one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.