Tag Archives: port charlotte

So, Another Inmate Died at Charlotte Correctional Institute

reginald davis.jpg

Reginald Davis

While it hasn’t made a lot of local news, there has been a rash of inmate deaths, many from non-natural causes. This past week, Reginald Davis passed away, authorities indicate he killed himself. This might not be noteworthy, except for the string of deaths at Charlotte Correctional Institute, just south of Punta Gorda. As of August, 2015, there were five inmate death investigations ongoing. That represents at least the seventh criminal investigation at CCI in recent years. One that did end in prosecution was the brutal beating and eye-gouging of an inmate that resulted in a federal conviction for a guard, William Wilson, a few years ago. Sadly, that incident made national news, not for the crime, but because the whistle-blower guard who reported it was framed and then fired after he testified for the government after the attack. He sued, and reached a settlement for $135,000.

robert peterkin

Robert Peterkin

There is also reason to be skeptical of the report that the inmate committed suicide. Just last year, authorities allege that Robert Peterkin hung himself in another suicide. However, his family thinks something more sinister occurred. Peterkin had just reported that contraband was possibly being smuggled into the facility. He was confined shortly after making the report, and was found dead 13 minutes later. However, he had made statements to his family prior to his death that lead them to be skeptical that he killed himself; statements that are ominous, in hindsight. “He said nothing will be like it appears to be,” his sister told the Bradenton Herald, and that he suggested they look closely at the prison.

matthew walker

Matthew Walker

The one death case that did indicate a murder by the guards was failed to be successfully prosecuted. Inmate Matthew Walker was brutally beaten to death by prison guards, and the medical examiner determined his death to have been a homicide at the hands of guards. Walker’s larynx was crushed and he sustained blows to his head, neck and torso. However, the grand jury did not indict, in part due to poor handling of the crime scene, and much of the evidence being mishandled or destroyed. The handling of the evidence suggested a cover up by prison employees.

cciShockingly, one of the grand jurors was so baffled by the failure of prosecutors to make a stronger push for charges, she broke her oath of secrecy to come forward to express her disappointment in the failure to hold anyone accountable. “We all knew they were guilty and should have been prosecuted, but we were talked out of indicting them. This man was beaten to death,” Louise Salcedo said to reporters. She makes it sound as though prosecutors discouraged indictment due to the challenge of prosecuting the case, and that the grand jury wasn’t allowed to question several officers that were pulled from the witness list. Salcedo said that she, and other jurors, wanted to indict but were ultimately outvoted. Meanwhile, there is no justice for Walker’s homicide, even though investigators determined that five of the workers involved could have faced criminal charges. Instead, most of them were given their jobs back.

The latest death is one in a series of deaths under questionable circumstances in just a few years at Charlotte Correctional Institution. The loved ones of the deceased are still looking for answers.

The Miami Herald has done an extensive report on prison abuses.

 

Port Charlotte Man Takes Infant Daughter Shoplifting, and Flees with Her

Meanwhile, in Port Charlotte…

Brent Scott Mug Shot

Brent Scott Mug Shot

Brent Scott went to do some shoplifting at WalMart, and he took along his 18-month-old daughter. When he was confronted after leaving the store, he grabbed his daughter out of the shopping cart, and tried to run through a retention pond. They went down, and Scott and his daughter both went under at one point, according to witnesses. He was captured and arrested, and his daughter released to her mother. Instead of just facing a misdemeanor petty theft charge, Mr. Scott added a felony for child neglect, and is also facing a violation of probation.

via NBC-s: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/27175365/man-arrested-after-shoplifting-run-with-18-month-old-child#.VFOwefnF9gM

Port Charlotte Teen Arrested for Smoking Marijuana – On the School Bus

A 14 year-old boy was arrested yesterday in Charlotte County for Marijuana possession. After puffing on a joint, he passed it on to one of the other students on the bus. She has also been charged with marijuana possession. As juveniles, they are not facing convictions that will go on their personal records, but their educational records will be forever damaged. Also, in addition to any probation or incarceration they receive, their privilege to drive could be suspended as well. What a blatant disregard for the rules and the law. It’s still a crime in Florida!

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/21169301/teens-arrested-for-smoking-weed-on-bus

Attorney charged with murder by forgery

Susan Elizabeth “Liz” Van Note

From ABA Journal: A Missouri attorney is charged with murder of her father for presenting a forged Power of Attorney (POA) to the hospital that was treating him after he was shot and stabbed.  After he initially survived the shooting, doctors were presented with a false durable POA for health care.  The witnesses to the POA have also been indicted as conspirators.  The state may be proceeding on a Felony Murder theory against attorney Susan Elizabeth “Liz” Van Note, which means that someone died in the course of the commission of a felony: in this case, forgery.  That’s how her alleged conspirators are charged, though the case has been filed as a first degree murder.  The Kansas City Star has a detailed story on the case here.

I’m not familiar with the intricacies of Missouri law, but the First Degree Murder charge suggests to me that the state is pursuing an intentional or premeditated murder theory for Ms. Van Note.  That’s a more serious charge than felony murder, because the state is alleging that her act (presenting the forged document) procured her father’s death.  Apparently there was some suspicion that the shootings were not random.  I don’t know if the state has evidence of who caused the shootings, but Ms. Van Note’s attorney claims that there is no physical evidence pointing to his client.  The police have indicated she was a person of interest within a few days of the incident.  But they don’t need to prove who was the shooter to proceed with the Death by Forgery theory.  Her attorney has conceded that the POA was forged, but that it was a duplicate of one he had signed.

The Star reports that Mr. Van Note’s will left several things to his fiancée, but only if she survived him.  Coupled with the death tax loophole when the death occurred in 2010, and Ms. Van Note stood to see additional millions for the deaths happening the way they did.  Apparently, though, she still stood to inherit quite a bit upon her father’s death, regardless of circumstances. 

The case has a local tie, as Mr. Van Note had a home in Port Charlotte, Florida, and apparently the will is going through probate in SWFL as well.

The MOBar (Missouri Bar) still lists her as an active attorney in good standing:

MOBar attorney search

#badlawyers #vannote #murderbyforgery

http://lakeexpo.com/news/lake_news/article_713ee904-0646-11e2-a249-001a4bcf887a.html

Highway Robbery, more on the Amanda Linscott case: EXCLUSIVE

I speculated before that the Sex/Driving/Robbery/Gun/Crash case involving Amanda Linscott had a lot more than meets the eye when I first saw the story.  I spoke to Ms. Linscott’s attorney at Brown, Suarez & Rios and confirmed that there was a lot more going on that the media had reported.  Crimcourts has now obtained a copy of the actual police report, the Probable Cause Affidavit [PCA], and holy cow the other side of the story is monumental.

According to Detective Korte-Sweede, after Ms. Linscott fled from her accuser, her father flagged down law enforcement to give her side of the story.  What you haven’t heard in the media is that Ms. Linscott told deputies that Glenn Aspen instigated the incident by trying to force her to engage in sex acts.  That’s a pretty important detail.  Additionally, the gun was legally possessed, it belongs to Ms. Linscott’s father and she had a permit to carry it.  Also, the Detective found Mr. Aspen to be impaired when she initially responded to the scene. 

Coupling these new allegations, with the fact that Ms. Linscott bore injuries from being punched (and from the car crash), we must have serious concerns about the validity of these charges.  In fact, if Ms. Linscott’s story is to be believed, she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault that day.  Certainly Mr. Aspen committed the offenses of DUI with Property Damage and Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Prostitution.  It is difficult to discern what happened inside the car, but we do know that only Ms. Linscott got beat up.

After reading the PCA, I got upset with the media for not including the other half of the story… until I checked the press release from the Sheriff’s Office. Guess what, the Sheriff’s release only told the accuser’s version of the story.  The completely left out that Ms. Linscott claimed to be the victim.  Sadly, the media just ran with the story, instead of doing a minimal amount of research to report both sides of the story.  Crimcourts will keep digging, to provide you with the whole truth.

Amanda Linscott exclusive update on Crimcourts

Amanda Linscott was arrested Tuesday on an allegation that she pulled a gun to rob a guy while having sex with him in a car.  He claims he punched her in the face, wrecked the car, and she ran off.  Ms. Linscott has retained Brown, Suarez & Rios, one of the premium criminal defense firms in Southwest Florida to represent her on the case.  As Crimcourts has a special relationship with the firm (I used to work there,) I am able to provide some exclusive insights from speaking to partner Christopher Brown, one of the attorneys working on the case.

While Mr. Brown can’t give me all the details on the case, suffice it to say I’m adding a #standyourground hashtag to my posts on Ms. Linscott.  I said yesterday that the story didn’t make sense, and I had a strong inclination that there was quite a bit that I was reading between the lines.  One key piece of information that bears heavily on figuring out what’s going on is that the alleged victim ran away from the scene after wrecking his car.  He claims that he was scared of her, but she had already run away from him!

Now, this information begs the question: “Why would somebody run away from their car accident?”  Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in its own right.  We know that the victim had been hanging out at a bar (picking up hookers).  Indications are he had been drinking before he drove and wrecked his car, which would explain his flight from the accident.

Exhibit A

Also, we know he punched Ms. Linscott in the face (see Exhibit A.)  Now this drinking-driving, hooker-buying, girl-punching guy wrecks his car, knows he’s facing charges for Driving Under the Influence (with Damage) and Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Battery has to come up with a story to tell the cops so he won’t go to jail.  We know what story he came up with.  Does it add up?  Consider this: why would she try to rob a guy that didn’t have enough money to pay her friend for services rendered?  That doesn’t make sense, and the “victim’s” story doesn’t make sense.  Now that I know more, I urge anyone reading this to hold off on making judgments in the case until both sides of the story are heard.

I hope the State Attorney’s office scrutinizes this case very carefully before filing charges: the whole case is based on a victim whose testimony is very, very questionable.  I know that Chris Brown, Scott Weinberg and the BSR team will vigorously defend her.  I will continue to follow the case right here on Crimcourts: tell your friends! #highwayrobbery

Additional details in Amanda Linscott robbery

According to the Clerk of Courts for Charlotte County, Ms. Linscott has been charged with one count of armed robbery, and has an arraignment Nov. 19.  This will certainly be amended, if the state decides to go forward with charges, they will add the gun language, so the charge will be “Armed Robbery with a Firearm.”  That distinction is important, because if the state files charges with that language, the 10/20/Life Statute will come into play.  The gun was not fired, so if convicted she would face a mandatory minimum 10 year sentence (no early release), and could be facing up to life in prison.  Check out the previous post.