News Cast for January 31st:

Officials from the Sebring Police Department and Highlands County Sheriff’s Department say the man being held in connection with the shooting deaths of five women at SunTrust Bank on the 19 hundred block of US Highway 27 South in Sebring last week purchased a weapon a few days before the incident. Highlands County Sheriff’s spokesperson Scott Dressel says 21 year old Zephen Alan Xaver purchased a nine millimeter handgun and ammunition days before January 23rd when he went into the bank and shot five women, four of whom were bank employees. Xaver’s background says he had dreams of killing his fellow high school students before being sent to a behavioral center for treatment and after leaving the facility, Xaver had those dreams again. Dressel says Xaver probably lied about that when purchasing the firearm and there’s not much that could’ve been done. Xaver remains in county jail and he’s being held without bond. Ballistic testing is being done to determine if the gun Xaver purchased is the one he used in the shootings.

Dressel-Xaver Handgun Purchase 1

Dressel-Xaver Handgun Purchase 2

The Okeechobee High School (OHS) men’s basketball game this past Tuesday night featured the return of a familiar face to the team’s bench. Coach Demetre Riles returned to coach the Brahmans for the first time in nearly two months and led them to their 16th win of the season, a 76-33 trouncing of Lake Placid. Riles’ return to coaching made him “feel good to be back in the swing of things,” and while he missed his players, he also missed the whole game experience. Riles stepped down from coaching on December 7th to devote more time to his family, specifically to his wife, Ronda, who was battling cancer. Ronda Riles unfortunately lost her battle with the disease on December 21st. Athletic Director Kenny Buckner coached the team in Riles’ absence.

Riles Return 1

Riles Return 2

An Okeechobee woman is facing some serious drug charges following a traffic stop Tuesday evening. Sheriff’s deputies stopped a Buick passenger car, driven by 33 year old Argelia Torres-Rojas, on the 57 hundred block of SE 86th Boulevard a little before six o’clock for speeding. As deputies were gathering Torres-Rojas’ driver’s license and registration, she would not make eye contact and appeared very nervous. A K-9 unit was called in to search her vehicle and the search turned up a plastic bag under one of the seats and it had nearly five grams of cocaine in it. Torres-Rojas was arrested and charged with cocaine possession. She was booked into county jail and later released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

A Lehigh Acres woman is dead after a vehicle accident early Monday morning. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 27 year old Yanelys Gonzalez Periera was driving a Honda Civic east on Route 82 in Lee County just after 2:30 when she didn’t approach a curve in the road properly, causing her to cross the double yellow centerline, into the opposite lane, where her car hit an oncoming vehicle head on. Both Pereira and the driver of the oncoming car, a Fort Myers woman, were pronounced dead at the scene. FHP is investigating the accident.

On the arrest report:

25 year old Kyle Ryan Payne of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on previous charges involving alcohol. He was released after posting a $15 hundred dollar bond.

38 year old Hendrik Petruus Van Vuuren of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at $750 dollars.

29 year old Cory Ray Jenkins of Okeechobee, an inmate at the county jail, was arrested for criminal mischief when he vandalized property at the jail. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

28 year old Tiffany Hope Dickinson-Lewis of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug offenses. She’s being held without bond.

53 year old Clarence Lee Corkey of Okeechobee was arrested on a warrant from Tallahassee for violating parole. He’s being held without bond.