News Cast 1/18

News Cast for January 18th:

Sentenced for killing 16 year old

A Douglas Park man pled no contest to second degree murder charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Pardell Rembert, 30 allegedly was trying to shoot somebody else, instead he struck an innocent bystander, his own cousin.  The shooting occurred on November 16, 2020.

Prosecutor Ashley Albright said it still was a crime.

“It’s called transferred intent.  He still had the intent to shoot someone even though he hit the wrong person.  You have the dynamics of the family members who are related to both people involved.”

Albright said the suspect and victims families are related and the family members were split on the level of punishment.

A relative of the victim read a letter from his sister that stated 20 years was not enough punishment for the crime.

A dead body was found in a wooded area off NE 14th Avenue in Douglas Park Monday morning.

Okeechobee County Sheriff deputies are working it as a crime scene.

They have identified the victim but family members don’t want the identity released which is their right under Florida law.

The sheriff promised an update once the investigation is completed.

Two teenagers allegedly involved in a drive by shooting.

Shooting was reported via 911 calls in the vicinity of the 300 block of NW 32nd Avenue Monday.

The vehicle allegedly involved crashed into a concrete pole for a mail box and the teens bailed.

Video apparently caught the entire incident.

There was no report of injury.

19 year old Aaren Gancerez faces a host of charges including discharging a firearm in public and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  His bond was set at $105,000.

Less birds were seen at the annual Okeechobee Christmas bird count put on by the Audubon Society in December.

The event was hosted by Kissimmee Prairie State Park.  They had over 20 volunteers from across the state.

The group reported 9,400 birds counted, down from 21,800 birds in 2021.

Officials attributed that to cooler temperatures during the count recorded at 70 degrees.

Biologist Catie Welch said the effort to save the grasshopper sparrow is showing progress through captive breeding.

She said the annual bird count really is important.

“It should get you excited to collect data that can help guide conservation efforts.  Its also a fun way to get outside, look at birds, learn some new bird identification skills, and just experience nature.”