Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 stories from inside the courtroom

By Laura C. Morel
Crime/Immigration Reporter

With every new year comes new stories.

The year 2012 will include lots of trial stories for the Bradenton Herald. From Delmer Smith III's trials to Kieron James' arraignment, here's a look at what court dates the Bradenton Herald will be covering (and definitely live tweeting, too) this coming new year:

Jan. 6: Kieron James, the driver who allegedly fatally struck 5-year-old Kimora Samuel earlier this month, has his arraignment scheduled for this date. James turned himself in and admitted to authorities that he hit Kimora while driving his girlfriend's Kia. He pleaded not guilty, court records show.

Feb. 6: The trial for Gregory Kennon is slated to begin. Kennon, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary. On July 12, 2009, Kennon and two others barged into an apartment in DeSoto Village Apartments and fired shots. One gunshot struck Crystal Johnson, who was six months pregnant, in the chest. She and her baby died.

Feb. 27: Delmer Smith III, who was sentenced to life in prison this week for breaking into and ransacking a Sarasota home after tying up an elderly woman, will be in court next year, too. In this case, Smith allegedly grabbed a 61-year-old woman from behind and forced her into her Bradenton home, an arrest warrant affidavit shows. Once inside, Smith placed a gun to the victim’s face and said, “Where is your purse ... I need crack,” the affidavit shows.

July 16: Smith is slated to be in court once again, this time for a murder charge. He is charged with bludgeoning Kathleen Briles to death with an antique sewing machine in her Terra Ceia home on Aug. 3, 2009. He also faces a burglary charge. If found guilty of murder, he could face the death penalty.

If you're on Twitter and want the most recent news on Smith's trials, you can look at my live tweets from inside the courtroom, ending with the hashtag #smithtrial.

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