The second-degree murder trial of former Lakeland City Commissioner Michael Dunn has been set for three weeks starting tentatively March 14. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen has previously ruled that Dunn’s “stand-your-ground” defense could not be applied in the October 2018 shooting death of a man attempting to steal a hatchet from the Vets Army Navy Surplus store that Dunn managed. A January pre-trial conference is planned.
Crime / Justice
No charges are planned in the death of Naomi Wood, who died in May 2020 at Lakeland Girls Academy, a faith-based boarding school. The Polk Sheriff’s Office closed its criminal case after the Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the 17-year-old Vermont girl died of natural causes. The report does not mention medical negligence disclosed by a state agency earlier this year, News Channel 8 reports. | ALSO: The Ledger | More
A fight between a man and a woman leaving a downtown bar early this morning escalated to physical blows and then gunshots, leaving the 31-year-old man dead and the 30-year old woman charged with second-degree murder, according to the Lakeland Police Department. More
As part of its efforts to find and arrest Jonathan Pollock of Lakeland, the FBI has released police body-cam video showing his actions during the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, News Channel 8 reports. Pollock has been considered a fugitive since late June, when agents attempted to arrest him on charges of assaulting police officers with a deadly weapon. More
A day before today’s scheduled arraignment of Bryan Riley on charges of murdering four people in their north Lakeland homes, his attorneys told a judge that they are considering an insanity defense and may need a year’s delay in the case, the Associated Press reported. Prosecutors asked Judge Jalal Harb to limit the defense to 45 extra days. He did not rule on a delay Monday.
Prosecutors announced today they will seek the death penalty against Bryan Riley, who has been accused in the slayings of four family members in their north Lakeland homes on Sept. 5. The 33-year-old security guard and former Marine sharpshooter had been under the delusion that the victims were engaged in sex trafficking of a pre-teen girl, Sheriff Grady Judd has said. More
A 22-count Polk County grand jury indictment charges Bryan Riley, 33, of Brandon, with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four north Lakeland family members, the Associated Press reports. Other charges included attempted murder, kidnapping, arson, burglary and animal cruelty.
Sheriff’s investigators have learned what drew murder suspect Bryan Riley to a quiet north Lakeland neighborhood where his delusions of a sex-trafficking operation led to a rampage that killed four people and wounded another, Sheriff Grady Judd said this morning. More
Forty-year-old Justice Gleason, one of the four people murdered in two north Lakeland homes on Sunday, was “an amazing father” whose “smile could light up a room,” the mother of his 4-year-old daughter tells 10 Tampa Bay. Now Miranda Watson is grappling with how to one day tell her daughter about what happened to her dad. | ALSO: News Channel 8 – Neighbors grapple with fate More
Brian Riley will remain jailed after being denied bail this morning when he went to court for the first time after being charged with four counts of first-degree murder and other felonies in the shooting deaths of four people, including in infant, in two North Lakeland homes and wounding an 11-year-old girl multiple times. More