News Cast for April 18th:

An Okeechobee man will be sentenced this morning on a host of crimes he was convicted of committing two years ago. 49 year old Mark Glen Deschamps will be sentenced for manslaughter in the stabbing death of his then girlfriend, 25 year old Flavia Munoz of Okeechobee and attempted first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon on 40 year old Duane Thomas, also of Okeechobee, the man Munoz was seeing behind Deschamps’ back in October of 2016. Deschamps was convicted of those crimes in January and earlier this month he was convicted in a separate trial of possession of a deadly weapon by a convicted felon in that same incident. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says he will present evidence at the hearing to prove Deschamps is a “prison releasee re-offender” in order to persuade the judge to give Deschamps a long prison sentence. The sentencing hearing will take place in an Okeechobee County courtroom beginning at ten o’clock. Deschamps is looking at a maximum prison sentence of ninety years if the sentences run consecutively.

Deschamps Sentencing Hearing 1

Deschamps Sentencing Hearing 2

A Hobe Sound man is dead following a vehicle accident early Tuesday morning in Martin County. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 35 year old Devin Anthony Talbot was driving a Ford Windstar minivan south on SW Connors Highway near Route 76 in Canal Point a little before 6:30 when for unknown reasons he crossed the center line into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer and hit it head on. Talbot was ejected from his vehicle and ended up on the west shoulder of the road. FHP pronounced Talbot dead at the scene. The tractor trailer driver received only minor injuries. The accident shut down the road to traffic for nine hours. FHP is investigating the accident.

A city strategic plan was a topic of discussion at Tuesday night’s Okeechobee City Council meeting. The topic was brought up a the last meeting and councilmember Bobby Keefe says a strategic plan is necessary for the city in order to set some hard set goals for the city’s future. Keefe says the city has been “maintaining” and “getting by” and to ensure the city’s future prosperity and maintaining of services, some goals need to be set as part of this strategic plan, otherwise Keefe says “life will pass us by”. Keefe says doing a comprehensive review of the city’s documents and ordinances, specifically in the area of code enforcement and streamlining services are also needed as part of this strategic plan. Councilmember Monica Clark says getting the opinions of local business owners should be a part of this plan. There will likely be a workshop on the matter at a future time.

City Strategic Plan 1

City Strategic Plan 2

Okeechobee County firefighters had a brush fire to contend with this past Friday afternoon. Crews were called to the 38 hundred block of NW 30th Avenue a little after 6:30 and found the blaze, which was burning mostly ground fuels such as dead leaves, duff and fine deadwood. The fire measured ten by twenty feet and it was located about fifty feet from a home in that area. Firefighters got the blaze controlled in about five minutes while using about 650 gallons of water to put it out. No one was hurt and there were no structure damages. Cause is under investigation.

On the arrest report:

26 year old Clayton Whitfield Harden of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for violating probation on past charges of trafficking stolen property. He’s being held without bond.

33 year old Ashley Marie Cyr of Okeechobee was arrested for grand theft from Wal-Mart. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

49 year old Charles Ray Mullis of Okeechobee was arrested for violating a domestic injunction and criminal mischief. His bond has not been set.

28 year old Deigh Thomas of Okeechobee was arrested on a fugitive warrant for an undisclosed charge. She’s being held without bond.

29 year old Trinity Allen Casselton of Okeechobee was arrested on a warrant from Highlands County for domestic battery. His bond is set at eight thousand dollars.

28 year old Harold Suarez Colon Junior of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug arrests. He’s being held without bond.

28 year old Matthew Broderick Edwards of Okeechobee was arrested for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. He was released after posting a $250 dollars.

24 year old Patrick Tyler Courtney of Okeechobee was arrested by police for marijuana possession after a traffic stop. His bond is set at $750 dollars.