Tag Archives: Clearwater

Drama in the court – outburst during Casey Anthony jury selection (Video)

The jury was finally sworn in today in Clearwater.  The trial will go to Orlando to begin on Monday.

But not before some drama.  Woman disrupts the proceedings with an outburst, the judge sentences her to two days for contempt of court.  She was an observer, not part of the jury pool.  She said she would never again set foot in a courtroom.  She probably won’t.

Posted:  05.20.11 @ 8:53 p.m.

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Filed under Courts, crime

Fred Cooper guilty on all charges

A few minutes after 8:00 p.m., after about six hours of deliberations, the jury has found Fred Cooper guilty of all counts.

Count 1 — Guilty as charged of first degree murder of Steven Andrews with a firearm.

Count 2 — Guilty as charged of first degree murder of Michelle Andrews with firearm.**

Count 3 — Guilty as charged of first degree armed burglary.

His first trial had ended in a mistrial after four days of deliberations.

Cooper closed his eyes as the verdict was read. Other than that, he showed little reaction to the verdict and didn’t seem to look at his family. A few jurors looked in his direction.

He was fingerprinted at the defense table before being escorted away.

Cooper could face the death penalty.

The penalty phase is set for Thursday at 8:45 a.m.

The jury will recommend either life imprisonment or the death penalty. The judge will make the final decision.

Synopsis: Fred Cooper was on trial for two counts of first-degree murder in the December 2005 deaths of a Gateway couple. Police received a 911 call the morning of Dec. 27, 2005, and the discovery of a toddler, Lucasz Andrews, alone in a home in Gateway in south Lee County with the bodies of his parents. Steven Andrews, 28, had been shot in the head. Michelle Andrews, 28, had been beaten and suffocated.

Jurors heard final arguments in the case on Tuesday, October 14. The judge was forced to call the case a mistrial Friday, October 17 after the jury couldn’t decide Cooper’s fate. The trial has moved to Pinellas County and will begin Feb. 17, 2009.

**I thought she was beaten and strangled, so the firearm may be an error.

Posted: 03.03.09

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Filed under Courts, crime, Human Interest, law and order

Reset: All jurors dismissed in Gateway murder case II

Back to square one in the trial of Fred Cooper.

In a major setback for the day, Judge Thomas Reese dismissed the remaining jury panel after Cooper and a potential juror came face to face while the defendant was wearing handcuffs.

Defense attorneys brought the issue before Reese after a 20-minute recess. Sight of the handcuffs could have prejudiced a juror.

“I don’t know if anybody even saw (the handcuffs),” a Pinellas County deputy told the judge.

The interaction occurred after either the juror or Cooper was on an elevator that stopped on the wrong floor. When the doors opened, Cooper was standing handcuffed, across from the juror.

“I’m going to discharge this panel,” he said. “Get a new panel and start all over again.”

The dismissal of the remaining 41 potential jurors unravels the progress of the day.

Jury selection will move to a Clearwater courtroom on Wednesday, where a new jury pool will be convened.

Court will be back in session at 9:00 a.m. at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater.

On Thursday, the trial will return to the St. Petersburg Judicial Building, the site of today’s proceedings. If a full fourteen jurors haven’t been seated by that point, another jury panel will be available at the Judicial Building.

Jurors in the first trial talk about their deliberations. I love it when you can get the thinking that went into the verdict, or lack thereof, as in this case.

See Naples News.

Posted: 02.17.09

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Filed under crime, Human Interest, law and order

Robert The Doll ~ Follow-up

I wrote earlier about Robert the Doll’s adventure traveling from Key West to Clearwater to attend the paranormal society meeting there due to his “haunted” reputation.  It was his first time to leave Key West in over 100 years.

See my previous post:


I thought this was an interesting account from someone who attended The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) gathering on July 18th and 19th.   As SuziQ states, TAPS is a paranormal investigation group based out of Warwick, Rhode Island. They also have a hit show on the Sci Fi channel called “Ghost Hunters”.

She gives a detailed account of her weekend with some great pictures.  See links below:



05.21.10 – I don’t know what happened to susieq’s blog.  But here’s something on Robert:


Posted:  07.31.08


Filed under ghosts, life, Paranormal, Uncategorized

Robert the Doll Leaving Key West for the First Time in 100 Years

— Robert has quite a reputation.  He is still dressed in his white sailor’s suit and clutching his stuffed lion, lives quite comfortably, though well guarded, at the Key West Martello Museum. Employs at the museum continue to give accounts of Robert being up to his old tricks still today…

But the Key West icon is leaving the island for the first time in more than 100 years.

Robert the Doll, whose legend has become a regular stop on ghost tours, will be featured at a paranormal conference in Clearwater. The doll is scheduled to appear at the Atlantic Paranormal Society Convention on July 19 and 20.

The straw-filled doll belonged to Key West artist Robert Eugene Otto, who received the toy as a child in the late 1800s.

As the legend goes, Otto and the doll became close and the boy often blamed the doll for mishaps and strange events. The doll eventually began to frighten others and was relegated to an attic room.

The story continues that Robert the Doll would taunt children from the window as they walked past the house.

He is creepy!

More details on Robert:


Encounters with Robert below:


Posted:  07.08.08


Filed under ghosts, life, Paranormal, Uncategorized