first_img Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply TAGSGreg Jackson Previous articleCookies and milk with a cop coming SaturdayNext articleTarget recalls 560,000 Easter toys Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR We review the first comment anyone posts to our site so as to eliminate spam. Reply Support conservation and fish with NEW Florida specialty license plate Mama Mia Lynn Graber 9 COMMENTS Boyish good looks and charming smile ??? Richard thanks you for the compliment, I am sure, if for nothing else in your article concerning him…..LOL Anyway, Greg, this is the south, nobody messes with Colonel Sanders!!! Yes, and what about Markeith Loyd wanting to select his own attorney out of Miami, who just happens to be one of the highest paid $$$$$ high profile attorneys in the state???? The judge was considering letting him and I about fell off my seat! Then the judge changed his mind. I would think so, since taxpayer money would pay the bill! Mama Mia Mama Mia Regardless, I hope everyone has a Happy Easter weekend, or if you are of another religion, or of no religion, a happy weekend too, and stay safe! God Bless! Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Lynn Graber Florida State Prosecutors: ???OpinionBy Greg Jackson, Esq.Greg JacksonCan someone please tell me what the heck is going on with state prosecutors in Central Florida! In one corner, we have a State Attorney who refuses to seek the death penalty in any first-degree murder case no matter the facts – presumably due to the influences of outside anti-death penalty groups. In the other corner, we have a State Attorney offering plea deals to a man who nearly killed someone, but refused to cooperate with authorities.In case you have been buried under a rock, known as the “Markeith Loyd-murder-case”, you may have missed that the embattled, former City Manager for Apopka, Richard Anderson, escaped some serious prison time, most likely due to his boyish good looks and charming smile. At least that’s the best explanation I can give after having read the memorandum from the Lake County State Attorney, which gave some lame excuse for not throwing the Encyclopedia Britannica-sized book at Anderson for causing serve bodily harm to a person, then leaving the scene of the accident.To prevent rehashing a case that many of you are familiar with, let me give you the “Cliff Notes” version: Anderson was involved in a serious car crash that nearly killed Michael Falcon, when the vehicle carrying Anderson crossed over lanes on SR46 and collided with Falcon’s vehicle, which was travelling in the proper lane. Witnesses on the scene only saw Anderson in and around his vehicle. Anderson made 10 calls from his cell phone at the scene of the accident, none of which were to 911. Anderson refused to provide any information to law enforcement officers investigating the accident and from my understanding never mentioned there being anyone in the vehicle with him at the time of the crash.Interestingly, in an attempt to establish a reasonable doubt as to his causing serious bodily injury to Falcon, Anderson had an expert witness say there was evidence that implied there was another person in the vehicle at the time of the accident. This expert even said he could not determine if Anderson was the driver or passenger of the vehicle.Obviously, if Anderson was the driver he would have been in a lot of trouble, but, if he were the passenger, not so much. According to the State Attorney assigned to the case, this slight bit of doubt presented by Anderson’s expert, though controversial, allowed Anderson to argue that he was not driving the vehicle. This, in turn, allowed Anderson to get a plea deal for three years of felony probation (no jail time) and one year of “general” probation (no jail time) to run concurrently. But here is the problem: Anderson was given these deals to avoid jail time without him giving a single bit of information about who was driving the vehicle, if not him, on the night of the accident.So, why is it that Anderson was given a plea deal? At the very least he should have been required to provide the name of the alleged driver even to start the conversation about a plea agreement; but, he offered nothing. The State Attorney should have considered the family’s pleas for a stricter sentence, but they have turned away with more questions than answers. Why were there no photographs taken at the accident scene? Why was the vehicle’s data recorder never examined? Why were the airbags in Anderson’s vehicle never collected or submitted for DNA analysis to determine if someone else was really in the car with him that night, and if so who? Why didn’t the State Attorney consult with its own expert to confirm or refute Anderson’s expert?The reason for this may be simpler than most people think: most state attorneys are overly consumed with having and maintaining a favorable prosecution rate, so much so that it appears that many are afraid to try challenging cases or even ask pressing questions (i.e., if you did not do it, who did and where can we find them?). Based on the facts as I know them, Anderson should not have received any plea deal without giving pertinent information to prosecute the person responsible for causing Falcon’s injuries. But, when we have overly cautious, skittish state prosecutors who are more concerned about looking good and “winning”, our system of justice suffers. When we have state prosecutors who are leery about going up against “paid” attorneys who have no problem pushing the envelope to represent their clients zealously, our judicial system is marred by questionable decisions and plea deals, such as in this case.It is interesting that persons who perpetrate crimes can have paid lawyers assigned to them and actually paid for by taxpayer dollars if a public defender will not suffice (e.g., Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, was reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend her instead of appointing public defender or having her pay her own attorney’s fees). If suspected criminals can by afforded the best legal representation on taxpayer dollars, should Florida taxpayers be given the same courtesy of having private lawyers to represent the State of Florida where state prosecutors will not suffice? I believe that the cases involving Loyd, Anderson, and others that we are not aware of, have exposed Florida prosecutors to being questioned. Is it time for the State of Florida to start looking to bring in private attorneys, who are not looking to pad their trial records with wins and plea deals, to seek justice on behalf of victims of crimes in our state? I believe that a serious inquiry as to the effects of this approach will yield some interesting results entirely different from what we have seen – in my humble opinion.Greg Jackson is a past Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida, military veteran, current Orange County District 2 Representative on the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and General Counsel for the Community Redevelopment Agency. He has been an active member of the Central Florida community for nearly 20 years. He was most recently a candidate for the Florida House District 45 seat. What does “my comment is waiting moderation” mean? Reply Reply April 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm Mama Mia April 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm April 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter April 15, 2017 at 10:21 amcenter_img Free webinar for job seekers on best interview answers, hosted by Goodwill June 11 April 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm Mama Mia Reply Please enter your name here Dale Fenwick Reply April 15, 2017 at 3:57 pm Reply April 14, 2017 at 12:55 pm April 16, 2017 at 6:33 am As I have said many times, there are some nasty people in this town! I posted that we sat at the Pizza Hut/Wing Restaurant at Sheeler and 436 and watched from the window by our booth of all sorts of people in danger crossing that dangerous intersection, and about the Sheeler High School kids looking down at their phones while crossing, and what does one person respond? They would be no big loss! Or the winos! Yes, Apopka, your finest…….this after a man did get killed there crossing……sick. The Anatomy of Fear Reply Thank you! You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Reply I guess if we all lived in Saudi Arabia we wouldn’t have as much violence among the citizens, but when you gain one benefit, you lose another. Of course, if we and our family members were falsely accused of a crime in Saudi Arabia, we might be lose a few benefits such as hands, arms, or kinfolks. Thank God, we haven’t gotten to that point yet in our justice system. However, the benefit of the reasonable doubt is still a part of our system. Also, the right to remain silent. In Richard’s case, that is why he didn’t go to prison, whether some of you like it, or not, because you honestly don’t know what happened that night, or who was driving, or if he was drinking….. you all are assuming, and speculating, playing prosecutor, while calling Richard every nasty name in the book. I understand Mr. Falcon and his family and their being upset, even though they did settle the lawsuit against Richard, but why are some of you others who would have wanted Richard hung if you had your way, due to politics or because you had an old axe to grind against Richard? In Markeith Loyd’s case, I heard where the Orlando Police Chief viewed video tape from the Walmart security cameras that clearly showed him shooting the police lady, Debra Clayton multiple times while standing over her. Rock solid evidence……. A lot of difference there in the two cases you are referring to, Greg. But hey, you are the lawyer……you know that and why Ayala got elected, just like I do, and what’s going on….. You don’t really have to ask what is going on with the prosecutors as in your article above. Lynn Graber Please enter your comment! I heard the news of a Mt. Dora barbershop owner getting shot and killed due to refusing to cut a man’s hair for $ 2.00. The man left mad and he came back with a gun and allegedly shot the barber dead, in front of witnesses, one of whom returned fire and shot and wounded the gunman. As I stated before, there are very bad things happening in Mt. Dora and Apopka that used to never happen. People who lived here, and in Mt. Dora, felt safe. Not anymore. Also Zellwood, Eustis, Deland, Debary, Sorrento, and Winter Garden aren’t the same anymore either, like the good towns they were before. As much as people want this senseless killing to stop, it continues because no law enforcement can be everywhere at once, and because of people with the mind-set like the barber shop killer. God help us all. April 15, 2017 at 4:20 pm This makes me sick to my stomach. No info=plea deal–come on. No fingerprints, no DNA on airbags–no calls to 911, no offer of help to the injured-even though he’s a trained paramedic, 10 calls while walking around the accident. Seems to me if he won’t offer the name of the “mystery driver” that would at least be obstruction of justice or he’s an accessory after the fact, because he’s hiding a felon.We ALL know that if any one of us regular people were involved in this, we would already be in jail.Good grief, in Apopka, you get a very expensive ticket (thanks to several red-light cameras) for not stopping BEFORE the big white line. And this is simply for turning right on red. Heaven forbid. Apopka just sends you the ticket in the mail, with a photo–they don’t care who’s driving–they charge the car owner–and Apopka wants its money. If Anderson owns the truck involved–he’s responsible if he won’t give up said “mystery” driver.And if he’s a good boy for half of his probation period (in which he can get a business variance for driving even though his license has been suspended for 3 years) they will remove the felony from his record. How nice for him.Talk about a miscarriage of justice. This stinks of favoritism, elitism, and injustice. But Anderson has now set a new precedent. Maybe we all should thank him. Next time I’m pulled over for speeding, I’m going to hop into the passenger seat, and claim a mystery driver. If I ever have an accident I’m going to call 10 lawyers while my victim lies injured, and claim I wasn’t driving. Next time I rob a bank, I will deny all culpability, because after all, there was probably a mystery burglar with me. And of course, I will never be forced to give any info. Which now makes me think of all the reporters we’ve heard of through the years who go to jail because they won’t reveal their sources. (sidebar)Well, I have a feeling mayhem is going to ensue–seems there will be no repercussions.Apopka, Lake County, Judges, Prosecutors–I am so ashamed of you all. The injured’s life is changed forever–and Anderson walks–literally.last_img read more