News Cast 1/27

News Cast for January 27th:

An inmate who escaped from the Okeechobee Correctional Institute (OCI) Thursday afternoon was recaptured by authorities in Indian River County early Friday morning. Officials from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Department say 28 year old Timothy L. Howton-McLaughlin was found on the six hundred block of 36th Avenue in Vero Beach less than 24 hours after he escaped from an OCI Work Farm. Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units caught Howton-McLaughlin after a foot chase which ended on the property of a local business. An off-duty sergeant at the sheriff’s department spotted him. Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen praised the teamwork of his department and Indian River County in recapturing Howton-McLaughlin. Stephen says Howton-McLaughlin, who was serving an eight year sentence for burglary and trafficking stolen property, will likely have some more time added to his sentence. Stephen says there might be some changes in the way OCI does their inspections and headcounts from now on. Howton-McLaughlin escaped in one of the department’s trucks, which was later found at Countryside in Vero Beach.   

It was a relatively short, but very special Okeechobee County Commissioners’ meeting last Thursday, specifically for three local members of the Special Olympics. Commissioners passed a proclamation honoring these Special Olympic athletes for their performances at the Florida Games for Bowling in Orlando last month. Robert Sandefur, Jason Brady and Carol Marker all received gold medals for their performances. Needless to say, their coach and representative Bernard Marker, was ecstatic for their accomplishments. To Sandefur, who goes by RJ, this proclamation is nothing short of awesome. The event took place at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando on December 7th. Sandefur, Brady and Marker were the only three out of thousands to receive gold medals.

Two Okeechobee juveniles are being charged with arson in connection with the destruction of a house a week ago Friday afternoon. Okeechobee County firefighters were called to the 74 hundred block of NW 89th Court just before six o’clock and arrived to find the house fully covered in flames and it was starting to burn some vegetation on the two acre-sized property. Investigators say the house was found to be abandoned and there was no power going into the house. Crews needed nearly three hours to get the fire controlled and they had to use over 82 hundred gallons of water to put it out. Two sheriff’s deputies on the scene witnessed two 14 year old boys running away from the house. They were eventually apprehended and later released to their parents’ custody. Investigators say the boys used a torch to set fire to the three bedroom house. It was completely destroyed to the tune of $17 thousand five hundred dollars. No one was hurt.

An Okeechobee man is being held in county jail on a couple of very serious charges in connection with two separate incidents that took place within a couple of hours of each other last Monday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies were called to a grocery store on the 55 hundred block of Route 70 East just before six o’clock for what was initially called a suspicious incident. Deputies were told by the stepmother of a young girl who was waiting to be picked up by her that 60 year old Peter John Krosofsky was following the girl and continued to follow her even after she told him to stop. Deputies say the girl ran to the grocery store where Krosofsky pulled out a box from the trunk of his car and set it down and motioned for the girl to come toward him. She ran inside and called 911. Deputies arrived and arrested him a little later after he reportedly left the scene and charged him with stalking. Deputies say Krosofsky was trying to lure a child under the age of 12 into his car near the area of SE 28th Street a few hours earlier, adding an extra charge. Deputies found several items in his car after he was arrested including several stuffed animals, nail polish, suspicious girl and woman clothing and rope. His bond is set at 70 thousand dollars.

On the arrest report:

31 year old Codene Shine Jumper of Okeechobee was arrested by sheriff’s deputies for driving on a suspended license after a traffic stop. Her bond is set at five thousand dollars.

30 year old Alma Nancy Paniagua of Okeechobee was arrested on a Highlands County warrant for failing to pay child support. She was released after posting a five hundred dollar bond.

28 year old Lucas Dealon LaGrange of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past charges of battery on a law enforcement officer. He’s being held without bond.

21 year old Mariah Deona Moseley of Okeechobee was arrested for burglary with assault and battery on a pregnant woman. Her bond is set at ten thousand dollars.

62 year old Lee Eugene Cockfield of Okeechobee was arrested for drunk driving after a traffic stop and field sobriety test. His bond is set at five hundred dollars.

54 year old Jose Cruz Galvan of Okeechobee was arrested for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test after he was pulled over for drunk driving. His bond is set at a thousand dollars.

59 year old Lisa Brooks of Okeechobee was arrested for violating probation on past drunk driving charges. She was released after posting a $25 hundred dollar bond.