Cold case murder solved more than 20 years later, Florida police say

Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 11:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 11:44 AM


            A suspect was arrested in a 1994 murder case in Jacksonville, Fla. after more than 20 years, even though police had suspected Ronnie Leon Hyde for years.
            Alex Wong/Getty Images
A suspect was arrested in a 1994 murder case in Jacksonville, Fla. after more than 20 years, even though police had suspected Ronnie Leon Hyde for years.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A Florida man has been arrested and charged in the 1994 cold case murder of a Nassau C0unty teenager.

Police took Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, of Jacksonville Beach into custody this week in the killing of 16-year-old Fred Laster.

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The nine-page arrest warrant revealed that a bloody flannel shirt, blood-stained knives, a blood-soaked mattress cover and bathtub non-slip safety pads were recovered at a Columbia County gas station where Laster’s dismembered body was found in June 1994.

A medical examiner was not able to identify the vicgtim during an autopsy, but determined that the body belonged to a man between 16 and 19 years old.

Laster’s sister reported him missing in 1995 and said her brother was last seen with family friend Ronnie Hyde, but the case fell through the cracks. It was reassigned to a new detective in 2012 and he contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2013.

But it wasn’t until February of 2016 that Laster’s remains were finally identified. Officials matched the teenager's DNA with that of his twin sister, who they found after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posted an online article about the case, according to the warrant.

Last April investigators then used garbage left outside Hyde’s Jacksonville Beach home to match his DNA with forensic evidence found on Laster's body in 1994.

The warrant also revealed that detectives confirmed Hyde also drove a Chevy Camaro matching the description of a vehicle an eyewitness saw at the crime scene.

Police said Hyde, who was a youth pastor in the 1980's, kept changing his story about the last time he saw Laster and that he had been a suspect in the murder almost since the beginning.

Because Hyde had access to other children through his work with a Jacksonville church, detectives believe there could be more victims out there. The investigation is ongoing.

Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.

Judge resigns after sending woman to jail over perjury, traffic ticket

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Decatur Municipal Court Judge Lindsay Jones poses in this undated photo. (WSBTV)
WSBTV
Decatur Municipal Court Judge Lindsay Jones poses in this undated photo. (WSBTV)(WSBTV)

A Decatur municipal court judge has resigned after jailing a woman for perjury, saying she’d lied about a traffic ticket.

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Judge Lindsay Jones offered his resignation to Decatur Chief Municipal Judge Rhathelia Stroud on Wednesday, Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jones had earlier told The AJC he was not stepping down.

The controversy began when Shari Hurston Tatum appeared in court Nov. 8 for a traffic ticket. She waived her right to an attorney and jury trial, but demanded a bench hearing, Jones said.

When Tatum reappeared in court Wednesday for that hearing, Jones played video of the traffic incident and decided Tatum was guilty of blocking the intersection and further that Tatum was guilty of perjury. He sentenced her to two days in jail.

>> Related: Woman spends 20th anniversary in jail for minor traffic violation

“Tatum’s perjury was characterized as misbehavior before the court, and treated as a contempt of court process, for which she was sentenced to two days in jail,” Jones said.

Tatum said she was embarrassed and ended up spending her 20th wedding anniversary in jail.

After The AJC on Thursday published an article about the incident, Jones sent a letter refuting the idea that he had resigned. 

“I have not offered my resignation to Ms. Merris or the City Commission, nor have I spoken with Ms. Merris or the Commissioners as of this date relating to my judgeship,” Jones wrote on Thursday.

But Decatur officials say Jones had resigned verbally in conversation the day before with Stroud.

“After listening to his report and sharing my concerns and subsequent expectations for what had gone forth in the Court earlier, Judge Jones tendered his verbal resignation to me last night,” Stroud said in an email to Merriss.

Stroud further said she accepted the resignation immediately on behalf of the city.

Jones said on Sunday he meant only to maintain that he would not change his order in Tatum’s case and that he intended to seek further clarification from Stroud.

“I had no intent to offer the resignation of my position to Judge Stroud, I was merely expressing my intent do so in the future if the political pressures being exerting upon me to change my order were to persist,” Jones wrote.

Based on his resignation, Jones is no longer a member of the City of Decatur Municipal Court, Merriss said.

Police arrest, release 2 in slaying of Dayton man found shot in his home

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 1:31 PM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

Police arrest, release 2 in slaying of Dayton man found shot in his home

UPDATE @ 6:30 p.m. (Dec. 11): Police now say two young men arrested in the investigation of a homicide on Grafton Avenue have been released pending further investigation. 

They were booked into the Montgomery County Jail on Friday on suspicion of murder. They were released Sunday, according to Dayton police homicide investigators. 

Neither man has been formally charged, according to the county prosecutor's office, in the death of Sayed Villanueva, 42, who was found dead Friday afternoon on the second floor of the house in the 1100 block of Grafton.

According to the autopsy report, Villanueva had been shot in the neck.

Sayed Villanueva (Courtesy/Family)

Monday, his fiance said she is confident the person or persons responsible will be caught and that justice will be served. 

"I don't know whether or not it will be served today but it will definitely be served," Tawana Callaway said. "It will come, you will get your time, trust and believe that, you will get your time because he did not deserve this," she said.

Multiple people were detained and questioned after Villanueva was found by family members shortly before 1 p.m.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police investigating body found in Great Miami River

Woman who posed as boy to date Springboro girl in 2010 wanted again

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 4:49 PM


            Patricia Dye in 2012 posed as teenage boy to have sex with a girl in Warren County, prosecutors said. Dye was released from prison in 2010 and moved to Middletown, but then went west without registering her address. Butler County Sheriff’s deputies retrieved her after the federal authorities located her in Orick, California. She is wanted again for failing to report a change of address. FILE
Patricia Dye in 2012 posed as teenage boy to have sex with a girl in Warren County, prosecutors said. Dye was released from prison in 2010 and moved to Middletown, but then went west without registering her address. Butler County Sheriff’s deputies retrieved her after the federal authorities located her in Orick, California. She is wanted again for failing to report a change of address. FILE

Area authorities are looking for Patricia J. Dye again.

Dye, 38, is accused of failing since June 21 to record a change of address as required because she is a registered sex offender.

Dye was wanted by Butler County in 2012 until sheriff’s deputies brought her back from Orick, California.

RELATED: Woman accused of dressing as boy to have sex with Springboro teen arrested

Dye went there when she was released from the Warren County Jail in 2010 after serving six months for contributing to the delinquency of a child, sexual imposition and attempted sexual imposition.

RELATED: No plea bargain for woman who pretended to be boy

She was arrested after posing as teenage boy named Matt Abrams to build a sexual relationship with a Springboro girl, investigators said. After her release she moved to Middletown, but then moved west without registering her address.

She was “at large” on Monday, according to Warren County authorities, charged with failing to provide notice of a change of address, a fourth-degree felony.

N.C. priest in ‘road rage’ gun incident files to change not-guilty plea

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 5:22 PM

Adams
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Adams(Palm Beach Post Staff Writer)

The Episcopal priest charged with waving a gun at another motorist July 5 in a road-rage incident in the Treasure Coast plans to change his not-guilty plea, according to court documents.

William Rian Adams, 35, of Fletcher, N.C., was charged with pointing a semi-automatic Glock 22 — a 15-round, .40-caliber pistol — from his red 2014 Corvette at Sharon Hughes, 54, and her son Christopher, 24, near Palm City in northern Martin County.

In about three hours of dashboard camera video, Adams adamantly denied waving a firearm. He insisted the gun, which he owned legally, and for which he had a concealed-weapon permit, never came out from under his seat.

Watch FHP dashboard-camera video of the incident

The change of plea motion was filed Friday by Adams’ lawyer, Brian H. Mallonee of Fort Pierce. He could change it to guilty, guilty of a lesser offense, or no contest. A hearing was set for Friday morning.

Mallonee, who in the past has professed Adams’ innocence, wasn’t available Monday, his office said. The Hugheses also could not be reached. The State Attorney’s Office for Martin County did not immediately return a call.

Adams still is listed in letterhead as rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, N.C., south of Asheville.

Rian “is on leave for a few weeks allowing him to focus on his family,” the church’s July 15 newsletter said. “We ask that you refrain from gossip or judgment and to hold him and his family in prayer.”

A call to the church and an email to the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina weren’t immediately returned. The diocese did issued a statement from its bishop just after the incident, saying in part that Adams and his family are receiving “pastoral care.”