News Cast 7/9

News Cast for July 9th:

Girls get high on mushrooms

Okeechobee deputies said an Okeechobee man provided mushroom tea with Kool-Aid to two runaway girls, ages 13 and 14.

A press release from the Sheriff’s Office said Shawn Pyper, 47, of SW 32nd Avenue, and the girls picked the mushrooms after recent rains from a cow pasture and he made the brew on his kitchen stove.

One of the girls blacked out from the mushrooms and fell on her face causing injury.

One girl fled to a neighbor to get help after Pyper reportedly refused to help due to fear of being arrested.

Pyper faces charges of felony child abuse, interference with child custody, delivery of dangerous drugs to juveniles, and manufacturing of dangerous drugs.

Okeechobee BOCC has short meeting

Terry Burroughs was elected Vice Chair of the Florida Association of Counties.

Commissioner Kelly Owens was elected to their executive board.

Burroughs would be in line to become President of the FAC in four years.

Owens said a close relationship with FAC can only benefit Okeechobee.

“Just by being there, networking, and building relationships with other counties and commissioners helps us because we have a point of contact when we have issues or projects important to us.”

Commissioners rezoned three lots on North West 35th Drive in Basswood to residential single family.

They also rezoned six acres at 1165 highway 78 west for outdoor storage of boats and RVs.

Margaret Garrard Helton was appointed to serve on the Tourist Development Council.

Deputies seek to crack down on dump trucks

Glades County deputies wrote 15 citations of dump trucks using route 720.

The county wants the Corps of Engineers to help pay for repairs to the road.

The trucks are taking fill dirt to help repair the Herbert Hoover dike.

Some trucks use Benbow Road to avoid the weigh station on US 27 west of Clewiston, officials allege.

County Manager Bob Jones said the county is at a disadvantage trying to negotiate with the Corps.

“They have some big guns and we have the small gun in this fight.  We are holding our own in the battle so far.”

Residents said they are routinely forced off the road by reckless dump truck drivers.

Shows receives consecutive life sentences 

Christopher Shows received life in prison for first degree murder with a firearm and a second life term for burglary with a battery involving a firearm that resulted in death at a hearing before Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Mirman today. 

Shows made no statement in court as he entered the no contest plea to five charges that also included abuse of a dead body, petit theft and tampering with evidence. 

Shows, 25, faces the likelihood that he will never leave prison alive. 

A group of about 20 family and friends of the victim Amanda Suarez appeared for the hearing. 

Her mother, aunt, and cousin all spoke on how the homicide has impacted the lives of Suarez family and loved ones. 

Shows was a family friend and was a pallbearer at the funeral. 

Within 10 days of the December 7, 2016 homicide, Shows was charged with the murder. 

He essentially confessed to the killing. 

Family members called Suarez a light, a calming influence, and a loving caring person who loved her family. 

She was the mother of four small children.  Her life cut short without getting to see her children grow up, or to share in important events in their life. 

Family members said justice could never be served in the case.  They said Shows was simply answering for what he had done. 

They also told the court they will never understand why this happened. 

Prosecutor Ashley Albright said it was one of the most gruesome crimes he has handled in a near 25 year legal career. 

Shows admitted he had thoughts of what committing would feel like. 

Prosecutors maintain Shows had desired a sexual relationship with Suarez, was rebuffed, and shot her in the head in response to the rejection.