Local News 12-22-21

The County Jail will have a couple new guests – sooner or later. Our Sheriff’s Department has been looking for 17 year old Rain Michael Huffman and 16 year old Larry Dean Huffman since the 16th of this month on active felony warrants. Word is the brothers got picked up yesterday in Marion County. They were in a stolen car and tried to flee from deputies, so they’ll get to sample the jail food up there for a while before coming down here.

Pretrial motions are flying in the case of Zephan Xaver, set to stand trial in the murders of five local women at the Highway 27 South Sun Trust office in 2019. This morning, Judge Peter Estrada is set to hear arguments on whether or not prospective jurors will be questioned away from other potential jurors, when the trial begins – defense attorneys argue that hearing others being questioned may affect a panelist’s own answers. Estrada has already ruled on the better part of a dozen motions by both the defense and prosecution as the sides prepare for the May 2 schedule trial date. Xaver faces a potential death penalty for the killings.

An Avon Park man has been charged in connection with the death of a four-month old child. 22 year old Bryan Marquis Reese has been charged with Negligent Manslaughter and Child Neglect in the death of the infant after Sheriff’s Deputies were called to an Avon Park home where Reese said he found the child unresponsive and called authorities.

If you feel a need to help the victims of the deadly tornadoes two weeks ago in the southern Midwest, the Lake Placid Elks Lodge will double your money. The Lodge is matching donations for disaster relief up to $5,000 for distribution through their national Lodge. Elks Lodges across the state are collecting funds for relief efforts … the Lake Placid Lodge is accepting checks noted for “Tornado Relief” at 300 County Road 621 in Lake Placid.