News Cast for June 12th:

An Okeechobee man is now facing first degree premeditated murder charges in the death of his wife last April. Yesterday, the grand jury met in an Okeechobee County courtroom and returned an indictment, charging 34 year old Kevin Franklin Hughes with premeditated murder one in the death of his wife, 40 year old Jennifer Minette Benson-Hughes, during the early morning hours of April 17th. Prosecutor Ashley Albright says the decision to charge Kevin Hughes with first degree murder was left to the grand jury. Kevin Hughes was arrested after sheriff’s deputies received a 911 call from him saying his wife tried to kill him and he thinks she’s dead. Jennifer Hughes’ body was found lying in the front yard of their home on the 33 thousand block of NW 192nd Avenue. Deputies arrested him after an investigation. Kevin Hughes is expected to be back in court later this month or early next month. His attorneys could not be reached for comment.

An Okeechobee man, already on probation for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, is in more trouble following an incident this past Saturday afternoon. Narcotics officers from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department and members of the Florida Department of Corrections Probation Division responded to the six hundred block of NE 17th Avenue a little before 12:30 to conduct a planned warrantless search of the home of 35 year old Johnnie Lee Frost. The search turned up a plastic bag of loose marijuana, a marijuana grinder, digital scale and more marijuana inside a Tupperware container in the kitchen. Frost was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, drug paraphernalia, and violating probation. He was booked into county jail and his bond is set at $155 thousand dollars.

A vehicle accident last Thursday afternoon in Indian River County left a Fort Pierce woman dead, her husband in serious condition and left a Vero Beach man in serious condition. Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officers say 47 year old Russell Henry Robin was driving a Dodge Durango SUV north on 43rd Avenue approaching 2nd Street in Vero Beach a little after twelve o’clock when for unknown reasons, Robin drove over the center line and collided head on with an oncoming Toyota Vienna sedan, driven by 72 year old Joseph Layne. The impact sent both vehicles onto the southbound lane of 43rd Avenue. Layne and his wife, 75 year old Maryann Lane, were taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce for treatment. Maryann Lane was pronounced dead sometime later by medics while Joseph Layne is recovering from his injuries. Robin was taken to Indian River Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. FHP is investigating the accident.

A complaint of a burn by neighbors caught the attention of Okeechobee County firefighters early Friday morning. Crews were called to the 25 hundred block of NW 8th Street a little after nine o’clock and arrived to find burning wood pallets. Firefighters informed the property owner that he needed to put some water on the burning pallets. The homeowner and firefighters got the smoldering pallets extinguished in a few minutes. No one was hurt and no damages reported.

On the arrest report:

24 year old Aaliyah Adreanna Palmer of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for felony petit theft. She was released after posting a five thousand dollar bond.

39 year old Tracy Wayne McKinney of Okeechobee was arrested for giving false ownership of stolen items to a pawnbroker. His bond is set at five thousand dollars.

54 year old Scott Denton Salmon of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of grand theft auto and driving on a suspended license. He’s being held without bond.

42 year old James Carlos Gillis the Third of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past sexual battery charges. He’s being held without bond.

36 year old James Wade Hodges of Okeechobee was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His bond is set at a hundred thousand dollars.

50 year old George Gerald Katevas of Okeechobee was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his truck into someone’s mailbox. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

44 year old James Alan Shockley of Okeechobee was arrested for not paying spousal or child support. His bond is set at ten thousand dollars.

44 year old Michael Lee Graf of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drug possession charges. He’s being held without bond.

68 year old Medford Simmons of Okeechobee was arrested by police for trespassing. His bond is set at $750 dollars.