News

Investigation underway at St. Augustine home


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- An investigation is underway at a St. Augustine home.

The St. John's County Sheriff's Office is on scene of a home on Kerri Lynn Road and confirmed to First Coast News an investigation is in progress.

Details on the nature of the investigation are limited at this time.

Stay with First Coast News for the latest on this developing story.


Tire falls off truck, strikes teen pedestrian


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A teen was injured while walking when a tire flew off a passing truck and struck her.

The 15-year-old girl was walking on Woodlawn Road just West of Lewis Speedway when she was struck by the tire.

One lane of traffic is closed and the teen is being transported to a local hospital by St. Johns County Fire-Rescue with non-life threatening injuries.

Stay with First Coast News for the latest on this story.

St. Augustine hopes for Pope to visit


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Augustine is working toward inviting the Pope to its 450th birthday celebration in 2015.

St. Augustine touts to be the birthplace of Christianity, specifically Catholicism, in North America.

City leaders believe it's fitting to invite Pope Francis to the old town for the 45th celebration.

Mayor Joseph Boles and the Catholic Church are working together to properly invite Pope Francis.

Father Tom Willis, Rector at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Augustine, said, "the protocol is simple."

The request requires President Obama to invite the Pope. First Coast News has learned the Bishop of the St. Augustine Diocese has already sent a letter to Rome, requesting that while in the U.S., he'd consider doing something to commemorate St. Augustine's 450th anniversary.

Olympic snowboarder visits St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- An Olympian was on the First Coast Tuesday.

Jacqueline Hernandez of the USA Snowboarding team is in St. Augustine this week, visiting her grandparents.

Her grandfather, Angel Hernandez, is a school bus driver and so the famous granddaughter and her cousin toured the school bus depot.

Many people in the depot had been

rooting for Hernandez during the Olympics, and they were happy to meet her and wanted her picture.

Hernandez took a nasty fall during a seeding run at the Olympics. While she did not break a single bone, she was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion. She was not able to compete in Sochi.

murder in St. Augustine


ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- A St. Johns County man was convicted Friday for killing a man in the parking lot of a St. Augustine pub in 2011.

Paul Gerald Crookshank, 29, was shot at point blank range in the head by Christopher Fries outside the Giggling Gator. Fries now faces mandatory life in prison.

A St. Johns County jury deliberated an hour and a half before finding Fries, 43, guilty of first degree murder, a capital felony.

According to court documents, an employee of a neighboring business heard the two men arguing and saw Fries pull out a revolver, pointed the gun up against the victim's chin and threatened to kill Crookshank. The witness also said Crookshank had his hands up in the air and Fries had him pinned up against a fence. The employee then went back inside to call 911.

2 arrested for alleged sexual battery of children


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Two suspects were arrested on capital sexual battery charges on Tuesday afternoon after a search warrant was served at a property on Pacetti Road.

William Clarence Dillow, 27, and Rhonda Lynn Wilkerson, 49, were taken into custody and booked into the St. Johns County Jail after the warrant was served at Dillow's home, according to a release from St. Johns County Sheriff's Office Media Relations Officer Kevin Kelshaw.

Staff members at a Flagler County school got reports from several children about alleged abuse by Dillow and Wilkerson. The children, who were under the age of 12 at the time the abuse took place, were interviewed by SJSO Special Victims' Unit detectives and Child Protection Team members.

Wilkerson and Dillow are being held without bond and will have their first appearances Wednesday morning.

Grandmother charged with child abuse in St. Augustine


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A grandmother is facing a charge of child abuse after the St. Augustine Police Department said a grandchild left in her care had purple bruising up and down her back.

Authorities said the child was at Webster Elementary School and was acting withdrawn and quiet. When staff asked the child was was wrong, the child said her back hurt. Police report that while the child was in the nurses clinic, a staff member saw 4 inch by 2 inch bruising on the child's back.

Authorities said the child told the staff member at the school that her grandmother, Debra O'Sickey, had hit her with a belt that morning.

Debra O'Sickey was arrested and placed under a $10,000 bond.