Tag Archives: manslaughter

Murder Trial Underway for Babysitter Accused of Murdering Child

rafael carrion3

Rafael Carrion

Jury selection started this morning in Fort Myers in the trial of Rafael Carrion, accused in the death of a neighbor’s child that was in his care. He told investigators that the child must have fallen or something, but the injuries were severe and consistent with a violent beating. We broke the news that Carrion had just been released from prison at the time he was arrested. The child’s father told Fox 4 that he felt the mother should have been arrested, too… but there is no indication that she has been charged. Carrion is charged with second degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse, and is facing life in prison.

Homicide by Wedgie* Killer Pleads Guilty (*Atomic Wedgie)

Brad Davis Mug Shot

Brad Davis Mug Shot

Brad Lee Davis killed his own stepfather last year by giving him an “atomic wedgie” (that is, pulling his underwear all the way over his head). The elder man was asphyxiated by the the elastic band from the garment that ended up around his neck. Prosecutors initially sought first-degree murder charges, but reached a deal where Davis plead guilty this week to a lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter. That charge carries a four-year minimum, but prosecutors indicate they are still going to seek a 35-year sentence when the case goes before the judge for sentencing.

And this seems like the rare story that didn’t happen in Florida!

Melissa Smith Acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter

  • Melissa Smith ran a day care where a child died in a kiddie pool last year
  • She was acquitted of the most serious charges
Melissa Smith Mug Shot

Melissa Smith Mug Shot

The jury found Melissa Smith guilty of one count of child neglect and three counts of culpable negligence this afternoon. She could’ve received 45 years in prison as originally charged, with Aggravated Manslaughter being the most serious charge. She still faces up to five years when she is sentenced July 3. The trial featured tearful testimony from both the victim’s mother and Ms. Smith, in an undoubtedly tragic case.

Josh Brent Guilty of DUI Manslaughter

Former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was found guilty for intoxication manslaughter for the crash that killed his teammate and friend Jerry Brown. Brent was twice the legal limit. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the conviction.

Luis Gonzalez Sentenced to 60 Years for Vehicular Manslaughter


Luis Gonzalez mug shot

Luis Gonzalez mug shot

Luis Gonzalez was tried and convicted for Manslaughter with a Weapon, and Failing to Render Aid in an accident involving death. Both are 1st Degree Felonies, with penalties of up to 3o years. Judge Edward Volz maxed him out, 30 years on each count, to be served consecutively. In Florida, prisoners must serve at least 85% of their sentence before release, so that is 51 years before the possibility of release, less any credit for time he already served. The fact that he fled the country for several years before being brought to justice likely did not favorably influence the judge at sentencing, nor did the violent nature of the death. While the state proceeded on a manslaughter theory, there was evidence that he backed over her, striking her a second time before driving off. An appeal will naturally follow.

Gonzalez Trial: Defense Points the Finger at Two Unknown Men

Opening statements were yesterday afternoon. As I anticipated, the primary defense will be to challenge the State’s circumstantial case that Gonzalez was the driver. Although the case is circumstantial (no witness saw the collision that killed Tia Poklemba), it is still fairly strong for the state. Ms. Poklemba was seen getting into Gonzalez’s car not long before she was killed. The State says forensics will prove that she was killed by that car, and that he told officers he took her to 7-11 and dropped her off, but video shows nobody getting out of his car there.  Finally; that since Gonzalez fled afterward, leaving his pregnant girlfriend behind, that shows he was guilty. The Defense said there were two more men that got into the car with them, and that those men later forced out Gonzalez, prior to Poklemba’s death. The Defense also challenged the findings of the accident reconstructionist, which they may use to argue that the state cannot prove the intentional act necessary for manslaughter. A true accident won’t be a manslaughter, but could still lead to a conviction for leaving the scene.

Both the Naples News and News Press are live-Tweeting the trial:

@NDN_Victoria and


Jury Selection Underway in Luis Gonzalez Manslaughter Trial

From Wink News. They should be able to select a jury today in the Manslaughter with a Weapon charge against Luis Gonzalez. The State will likely try to use evidence of his flight to Mexico to demonstrate consciousness of guilt. Normally these types of trials last at least a few days.