Las Vegas NV Feb 16 2013 A former high school football coach and teacher from Florida was sentenced to three months in jail and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine Thursday after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the one-punch death of a Utah man at a Las Vegas casino.
Defense attorney Jack Buchanan said he didn’t believe a punitive stint in the Clark County Detention Center was appropriate for his client, 39-year-old Benjamin Gerard Hawkins, of Gainesville. Hawkins has remained free following his November conviction in the death of 46-year-old John Massie, an occupational safety and health worker at Hill Air Force Base in Utah.
Clark County District Judge Valerie Adair also ordered Hawkins to serve five years of probation, undergo impulse-control and anger management counseling, and abstain from alcohol.
“We’re just as disappointed in this as we were with the verdict,” said Buchanan, who had sought only probation for his client.
Hawkins didn’t mean to kill Massie, and the felony conviction ruined his coaching and teaching career at Bradford County High School in Starke, Fla., Buchanan said.
Prosecutor Maria Lavell had sought a sentence of one to four years in prison.
Evidence at the trial showed both men had been drinking before the confrontation.
More than three dozen people including teacher-pro golfer snagged in Internet sex sting www.privateofficer.com
KISSIMMEE, Fla.Jan 18 2012 - More than three dozen people, including an eighth-grade teacher, a head swim coach and a professional golfer, were arrested in an undercover Internet child sex operation in Osceola County.
Sheriff’s detectives recently concluded Operation Red Cheeks, a week-long, multi-agency operation that resulted in the arrests of 40 suspects who were charged with soliciting sex from a child via the Internet and other sex and drug related crimes.
Alexander Roy, 32, of Port St. Lucie, who teaches eighth grade, was arrested on numerous charges, including traveling to seduce a child to commit sex acts.
Stephen Wesley Thomas, 55, of Meridian, Miss., a professional golfer on the Senior PGA Tour, was also arrested on several charges, including use of a computer to seduce, solicit or entice a parent.
Bryan Allan Woodward, 29, of Gainesville, the head coach of Gator Swim Club, was arrested on charges of traveling to seduce a child to commit sex acts and use of a computer to solicit a child for sex.
The operation was conducted from Jan. 8 to Jan. 16. Business professionals and eight college students were among the other arrestees.
During the operation, undercover detectives from numerous Central Florida agencies posed as juveniles or the parent or guardian of a juvenile to talk with individuals in chat rooms and instant messaging programs on the Internet.
Suspects traveled to an undercover house or secondary meeting location in Osceola County with the purpose of having sex with a child, authorities said. During the chats, some of the suspects sent pornographic images to the undercover detectives and they also brought alcohol, drugs and other items to the meeting, deputies said.
One suspect traveled from Georgia and another was on vacation from Alaska, but most were from Florida. All the suspects were arrested in Osceola County.
“This operation should also be a warning to all parents to monitor and be involved with their child’s computer activities,” Osceola County Sheriff Bob Hansell said.
The 37 other arrestees are as follows, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office records:
•Frederick David Adams, of Naples, high school student
•Samer Japer Al-Hubaydi, of Daytona Beach, Student at Embry-Riddle
•Jason Bacchus, of Winter Garden, Sales representative
•Christopher Baker, of Kissimmee, Unemployed
•Christopher Batman, of Wesley Chapel, Self-employed
•Marvin Alfonson Bell, of Valrico, college student
•Dennis Bluemke, of Clermont, Don Lee Wheeler fencing
•Charles James Buffington, of Deltona, Construction
•Sergio Cardenas, of Auburndale, Unemployed
•Lucas Bartholomew Clarke, of Winter Park, Student at Golf Academy of America
•Shane Daniel Cousins, of Kissimmee, Soldier, U.S. Army Reserves
•Gary J. Durso, of Palm Coast, Areole Technician
•Josean Javier Gaston, of Orlando, Student
•Carlos Gomez, of Winter Park, Student
•Justin Joseph Hall, of Kissimmee, Student
•Dell Rio Highsmith, of Fargo, Ga., retired bee keeper
•Cornellus Eugene Hunt, of Orlando, Student
•Phillip Dale Jones, of Winter Haven, Unemployed
•Roger Dale Mathews, of Lakeland, Plant manager
•Joseph Matz, of Williamstown, NJ; Unemployed
•Carl David Brooks Newsome, of Fairhope, AL; Unknown
•Ryu Nolin, of Edgewater, Personal Trainer
•Craig Alan Parsel, Jr., of Fairbanks, Alaska; Warehouse clerk
•Eric Dennard Payne, Jr., of Orlando, Dispatcher at Eagle Trans Corporation
•Ahmidullah Popal, of Flushing, NY; Wholesale dealer
•Nigel Rattan, of Mt. Dora, Self-employed
•Milton Benjamin Richardson, of Palm Bay, Engineer
•Kegan Ritchie, of Port Orange, Student
•Kenneth Sinisi, of South Daytona, Unemployed
•Andrew Louis Skinner, of Windermere, Vendor
•Jay S. Soni, of Orlando, Sales representative
•Frederick Charles Spreng, IV, of Windermere, Manager
•Warren Lee Staples, of St. Cloud, Public works
•Winston Alexander Stephens, of Shreveport, LA; Student at Full Sail University
•Christopher Stewart, of Kissimmee, Truck loader
•Ryan Stickle, of Sammamish, WA; Consultant
•Samuel Dean Straitiff, of DeLand, Information technology