News Cast for July 25th:

The jury has spoken and they have decided that a Portland, Maine man should be executed for murder. Yesterday, an Okeechobee County court jury deliberated for only forty minutes before voting unanimously during a sentencing hearing that 42 year old Michael Lawrence Woodbury should receive the death penalty for the murder of his cellmate, Antoneeze Haynes of Broward County, in Okeechobee Correctional Institute last September. Woodbury represented himself during the four day trial last May and entered a guilty plea on the final day. Prosecutor Ashley Albright, all the while saying Woodbury should receive the death penalty, couldn’t be happier with the outcome. As per Florida law, Woodbury will have one last chance to plead his case during another hearing on September 13th at which point the judge will decide if Woodbury deserves to be put to death. Woodbury was already serving three life sentences for murders he was convicted of committing in 2007 in New Hampshire.

Woodbury Sentencing Verdict 1

Woodbury Sentencing Verdict 2

Okeechobee County Commissioners met for the fifth straight day yesterday to listen to county department officials regarding their budgets. County Fire Chief Ralph Franklin presented his budget for the Fire/Rescue squad and noted that there was an increase in personnel costs to the fire department’s four million dollar budget mainly due to six new firefighters being added to the department last spring. Franklin noted that the costs in capital projects in both the fire and medical units decreased some and that’s because of cost control measures that his departments have done. About that brush truck, commissioners said that may not be something that the fire department can have this year but Franklin says he will wait and see. The proposed EMS budget was around three million dollars. Other budgets discussed yesterday include Public Works, Medical Examiner and Mental Health and Indigent Services.

Fifth Budget Workshop 1

Fifth Budget Workshop 2

Commissioners will meet again today for the sixth and final budget workshop and departments being heard today include Tax Collector, Public Defender and State Attorney’s office. The workshop begins at 9am in the Historic County Courthouse.

An Okeechobee man is in county jail after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Sheriff’s deputies say 25 year old Justin Michael Neff was having a verbal argument with his live-in girlfriend when he pushed her to the ground and began choking her with his hands and then punched her in the eye. Deputies say the incident happened on Sunday morning and Neff was receiving treatment for a medical condition before an arrest warrant was issued for him. He was arrested and charged Monday with domestic battery by strangulation. He was booked into county jail and he’s being held without bond.

Okeechobee City Police officers are investigating the theft of two four-wheelers. Investigators say the thefts happened sometime between the dates of July 21st and 22nd from an enclosed area at Capital Pawn on the four hundred block of NW Park Street. One of them was a 1990 blue and white Yamaha Banshee with a Cadillac grill on the front and the other one was a 2016 Yamaha Raptor, 90cc also blue and white in color. If you have any information on these thefts, please contact the Okeechobee Police Department at (863) 763-9785.

On the arrest report:

29 year old Diego Javier Cintona-Corona was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for battery. He was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.

29 year old Avery Robinson of Okeechobee was arrested for attempting to sell heroin. His bond is set at $10 thousand dollars.

38 year old Amy Elizabeth Fink of Okeechobee was arrested for petty theft at Dollar General and violating probation. She’s being held without bond.