Copper Thieves Leave Downtown Business Owners HOT

Copper Thieves Leave Downtown Business Owners HOT

PALATKA, FL- Over the course of the last few weeks there was a string of vandalisms/burglaries across the Downtown Palatka area. The thieves were only after one thing though, copper, and took their time taking only that, bringing the tools they needed to disassemble air-conditioning and refrigeration units and leaving business owners and residents in the area HOT.

Sometime late in the night September 21st or early in the morning the 22nd the copper thieves took their toll on The American Legion Bert Hodge Post 45. They disassembled two 5 ton air conditioning units, taking the copper from the inside and leaving the rest behind. They also stole all the copper gas lines that were used for heating and cooking at the Post according to Commander Chuck Frames.

Report Shows Inconsistencies in 96-year-old Murder Suspect's Story

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The woman arrested for shooting her nephew to death said she had warned him earlier.

The police report from the St. Augustine Police Department details the conversation officers had with 96-year-old Amanda Rice Stevenson.

The shooting happened Sunday night on John Street.  Stevenson said she and her nephew, 57-year-old John Rice, were the only ones in the house.

The police report indicates she told officers she was sitting in her bedroom when Rice stood in her doorway with something in his hand.


Neighbors: 96-year-old Murder Suspect Didn't Want to go to a Home

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The 96-year-old woman arrested for killing her nephew will remain in jail with no bond.

The shooting happened Sunday night at a home on John Street, though it was initially reported as a heart attack.

Police found 53-year-old John W. Rice on the floor of a bedroom with evidence of a shooting.

According to Officer Mark Samson with the St. Augustine Police Department, investigators determined Rice's aunt, 96-year-old Amanda Rice Stevenson, had shot him once with a .357 magnum.  She was in another bedroom when police were in the home.

Neighbors like Debra Dillinger are calling this a tragedy. 

"It's really sad because he's a nice man," said neighbor Debra Dillinger.  "He's helped us and we've helped him over the years."

Several people who live nearby said the family was working to put Stevenson into a nursing home because she had become combative and angry. 

Teen Accused in Snatch and Grab Robbery

According to a press release from St Johns County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, Kevin Kelshaw, a 17-year-old boy was arrested in connection with a snatch and grab robbery that occurred just before noon today [Wednesday].

Sex Assault Suspect Held Without Bond ‎

Sex Assault Suspect Held Without Bond ‎

According to a press release from the St. Augustine Police Department’s public information officer Mark Samson, 52-year-old Hiram Kearse was arrested Monday by the US Marshalls Office Florida Regional Task Force. Kearse is charged with alleged sexual battery, according to Samson.

The release states Kearse is possibly involved in the sexual battery of a 33-year-old female victim while using or threatened to use a deadly weapon. Evidence collected at the crime scene as well as evidence collected at the Flagler Hospital Sexual Assault Unit was consistent with the victim’s story.

Kearse was booked into the St. Johns County Jail and has no bond while he awaits further court appearances.

Murder Victim's Family Pleads for More Information

Murder Victim's Family Pleads for More Information


Nicole Bush's family made another tearful plea for help in their daughter's murder case.

Ramone Gregory, Bush's brother in law asked for anyone who knows more information about the case to call the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.  Kimberly Gregory, Bush's sister stood crying next to her husband as he spoke.  Bush's two young boys now live with them in Tampa.