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tv   Eyewitness News 530  ABC  February 19, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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>> channel 9 eyewitness news continues right now at 5:30. >> it's a story you haven't seen yet. this elderly woman who she's she has been living in her own prison now feels free. >> it's a tremendous relief. a big burden has been lifted from my shoulders. >> she is not ready to forgive the man who tried to kill her in her own home. >> prosecutors say douglas reid broke into the 69-year-old woman's home, slit her throat with a box cutter and tried to rob her. michael was in court for the sentencing today. reid offered a last-minute apology. >> reporter: yeah. the victim says she doesn't know if she believes him. not yet anyway. that apology didn't stop the judge from handing down the maximum sentence. fisher finally felt relieved walking out of court today. >> i'm pleased in the fact that i don't have to worry about him coming after me or anyone else. >> reporter: reid was sentenced
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fisher last july and repeatedly slashing her throat with a box cutter. it came moments after he apologized to the victim. >> i most regret. i don't like myself right now. >> reporter: the prosecutors seemed baffled that reid had been arrested for robbery in new york state five times before but still free to move to florida. >> for you to ever walk again as a freeman would offend the decency of everyone out there. >> reporter: for fisher that july day was just the beginning of an ongoing nightmare where she felt like a prisoner in her own home. reid pleaded guilty to two charges but asked the court to reconsider, throwing everything up in the air. today the judge said no. >> it's a tremendous relief. a big burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. >> reporter: reid looked to the victim and slumped back in his chair out of view when the judge announced the sentence. >> i was shocked he got a life sentence. i totally did not expect that. >> reporter: fisher still has
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to move on with her life. prosecutors say investigators found the victim's blood on reid's bike which may have played a role in the guilty plea. we're live tonight downtown, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> we do have a live look at the scene right now in washington. you can see scalia's casket is draped in the american flag. it's at the supreme court where his family and fellow justices surround the body in the building where he served for 30 years. a short ceremony took place earlier in the great hall. the casket rested on the same platform used for president abraham lincoln. now the clerks are standing vigil all day while the public and president obama and the first lady michelle obama pay their respects.
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out of this world. may he rest in peace. >> the funeral and mass will happen tomorrow in washington. educators at a high school helped warn investigators about potential child abuse. during questioning, one of the suspects tried to blame the 9- year-old. teachers noticed marks on the student. >> reporter: yeah. school officials saw that the child had injuries all over his body. they heard a story about falling down and they didn't buy t because of the mandatory training that the district gives out, the educators were able to quickly call dcf and report this. this is what happened when we went to this home in the 2000 block when an unidentified woman answered the door. we went there to speak with the
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charges stemming from an incident back in january. he slapped, kicked and slammed the child down. matthews witnessed it all and didn't do anything to stop it. police say he even told the other six children in the home, including the victim, to lie about what happened. police say the victim was even kept home from school for days so his injuries could heal. >> i have two boys. and when something like that -- i cringe. >> reporter: when the child went back to school, school officials noticed bruising the shape of a hand imprint, bruising over the left eye and the eye was bleeding so they contacted dcf. officials say all school employees are trained each year to spot signs of child abuse and this training is important, especially for teachers. >> our teachers are on the front lines. they are the ones who see the students every day. much more so than those of us who work in a district office. >> reporter: officials say staff members are required by law to report abuse even if they have never seen any physical evidence.
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they need to report it. >> reporter: now, according to the report, there has been problems at the home before. now, the parents are out on bond tonight. but dcf officials say the children have all been removed from the home. we're live in lake county, murt price, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> if you want you can listen to that colorfullent view unedited with the woman that he met at the door there. go to wftv.com and click on the video tab. we are tracking the race for the white house. candidates are lashing out. there are less than 24 hours before the south carolina primary and nevada caucus. greg warmouth is following republican and democratic hopefuls. they are doing everything they can to rally supporters. >> it is that time of season. hillary clinton and bernie sanders sit neck and neck.
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florida are exchanging lewd jabs as well after south carolina's governor announced her support for one of them. donald trump fired up a myrtle beach crowd about his plan to build a wall. >> who is going to pay for the wall? >> mexico. >> who? >> mexico. >> reporter: this after pope francis says a person who builds walls and not bridges isn't christian. trump says he thinks the mexican government manipulated the pontiff. >> not wonderful for us. it's wonderful for mexico. >> reporter: the latest poll shows trump with a shrinking lead among south carolina voters followed by cruz and rubio. senator cruz is under fire. he was born in canada but says he is eligible for the presidency because his mother was a u.s. citizen. rubio with south carolina
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>> none of our candidates is a socialist. none of our candidates is under fbi investigation. >> reporter: jeb bush, john kasich and ben carson fill out the back of the gop pack. across the aisle, democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders are focused on this weekend's caucus in nevada. >> show the world that democracy is alive and well here in nevada. >> reporter: polls show hillary clinton and bernie sanders are neck and neck in nevada. the primary in south carolina for the democrats won't be as tight with hillary clinton having a major lead over bernie sanders. >> tomorrow the city of sanford will try to rally residents to help police solve crimes. there's a stop the silence campaign to empower the community to come forward with tips that could bring families closure. investigators are looking for leads in at least 7 unsolved murders since 2010. witnesses who are worried about
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call crime line. drone owners, today is the last day to register the drone before penalties start. >> it costs $5 to register online with the f.a.a. but the fines are steep if you don't. a civil penalty can cost you more than $27,000. and a criminal fine up to $250,000. and up to three years in prison. all this driven by safety concerns for passenger planes. we told you last week about a winter park city commissioner who took money for her campaign from a garbage company vying for a city contract. after we started asking questions, caroline cooper said she would give the money back. a closer look at her finances showed another location. this time it came from a developer who wants to buy city land. >> these are the proposed plans for a piece of property just off of orange avenue in winter park. a developer wants to put an assisted living facility there. >> we're excited about the prospect. >> reporter: phil anderson presented his plan to the
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the city owns the land and is looking to sell. and the housing was the only company to offer 4 and a half million dollars for it. the problem, a new appraisal said the land was actually worth more, a million dollars more. even with loosens, commissioner caroline cooper was ready to move forward with the first step. >> i would like to make the motion that we approve the use of the property and we ask staff to go back and negotiate based on the recent appraisal. >> reporter: but the city wasn't ready to make the sale. yet rock senior housing is still up for the project. we told you last week that cooper took money from waste pro, a garbage company trying to get the city contract. she gave it back after we asked how it might affect her vote. this time three months after this presentation and before a final vote, cooper took $1,000 from anderson and $1,000 from his wife jennifer. $2,000 in all for campaign contributions. it's not illegal, but some argue it skirts the ethical
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last week she told us that she would not allow campaign contributions to influence her vote. but it's hard to know really what happens after the check is written. martie salt, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> cooper didn't respond and hasn't said if she will return the developer's money. the 15-year-old boy who survived the crash in hawaii is in critical condition. look at this. there it goes. this is a tourist chopper plunging into the waters near pearl harbor visitor center yesterday. a family of four and a pilot were on board. all made it out safely except the teen ager. his seat belt jammed. it took 7 minutes to get him out. a novelist known best for to kill a mocking bird has died. harper lee died today. lee became famous following her
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bird that became a classic in literature and standard reading for children. a local woman is accused of lying about being out of work and stealing food stamps. i'm asking why it took fouraers to figure out she was working right here. an orlando family is searching for answers in the shooting deaths of two brothers. we're looking for clues from the past that might point to a motive. when teachers are accused of bad behavior, they're removed from the classroom but they can still collect a paycheck in some counties. how much money that is costing you. it's a smoky start in parts of the area tonight.
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>> 9 investigates learned that
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district is spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for teachers to literally sit at home. it happens when teachers are under investigation tore allegations of misconduct. >> this process has been eliminated in some districts. so we asked why that is not happening here. >> reporter: megan urban was relieved of duty last week from timber creek high school accused of drug possession on campus. she was paid $3,300 for 27 working days to sit at home until she was fired. the practice of relief of duty with pay costs the district $313,000 last year. $2million in the last five years. even the union thinks it should be banned. >> it's an incredible waste of money and resources. >> reporter: in some cases, the teacher is paid to sit at home and replaced with a substitute. subs have cost the district nearly $4 million this year. $16million last school year. but the district does not track
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a teacher placed on relief of duty. we surveyed district across the country of similar size and found some do not pay teachers to sit at home. here in florida palm beach county teachers are either suspended without pay or reassigned to different duties. >> is this something worth considering? >> i think so. we're in the process of looking at all of our policies across the board. >> reporter: but school board member linda colbert says it's a balancing act. >> on the one hand you might have a teacher or employee accused of an egregious action. we need to make sure that not only our children are safe but other employees are safe as well. >> reporter: district owe firms have made progress reducing the burden on taxpayers going from 1.2 million dollars paid out in 2008 to $313,000 last year. they credit speeding up investigations and closely monitoring. >> students are cheated of the presence of their teacher. and taxpayers are robbed of the money that the district is
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and other accommodations to provide for the absence of the teacher that should be there. >> reporter: seminole and brevard counties have suspension with pay. they have also found it beneficial to reassign employees as opposed to them being paid to sit at home. we asked districts about cases involving something serious like sexual misconduct with a student. generally teachers are reassigned to areas with no contact with students. back to you. >> now, we want to know what you think about this. you can let us know at facebook.com/wftv. this afternoon the florida house approved the best and the brightest bill that gives bonuses to teachers that scored well on the sat and act test. $40million has been set aside for the program. 5300 teachers have qualified. it is not funded in the
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today the company revealed a new space ship. it's dubbed space ship 2 serial 2. it replaces the one that was destroyed in a 2014 crash which killed the test pilot. space ship 2 had already been in development for a year when the crash happened. additional safety features and improvements have been added to this model. >> this is the vehicle that is going to take many hundreds of regular people into space for the first time. >> virgin good lack tick will spend a couple of months on flight tests. no hard date set for the first flight but more than 700 customers have already paid $250,000 each to be on that first flight. >> wow. that's an expensive ticket. >> yes, it is. but it's round trip. >> yep. >> that's true. a lot of frequent flyer miles with that. >> uh-huh. >> if you want to be outside, it's great. but you have reports of smoke. >> ash falling from the sky in winter park and smoky.
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the horizon, a lot of that is smoke coming in from a rather large 3,000-plus acre burn by the st. john's river. that's what we're dealing with right now. radar is showing the fire is over here. because we're losing some of the daytime heat, the smoke will be closer to the ground. we still have smoke trailing downstream. we will smell more of this later on tonight as the atmosphere quiets down. the smoke kind of moves down towards the surface. we have the east breeze. not as gusty as yesterday. 60s along the coast. 70 still in kissimmee and st. cloud. seminole county tonight, winds back off. that means the smoke will be more abundant across the winter springs area. a few clouds for you as well in the indian point. 53 in st. cloud. here come the clouds moving through tonight. not much rainfall with this though.
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and mostly quiet weather. but if you're heading out to the beaches a high risk for rip currents. the winds have been backing off. the wave height is down just a bit. not a bad weekend heading towards the beaches. 72 in melbourne and palm bay. cocoa beach coming in at 72. we will warm up to the mid 70s around titusville. they have a relatively cool 73 at daytona beach. they have races going on tonight. the trucks race tonight and we have the daytona 500 on sunday. even races on saturday. race, race, race. orlando, i hope you're not racing around. a lot of the weekend events will have great weather for it. mid 70s tomorrow. including 76 orlando. 77 claremont and leesburg and 70 up in palm coast. as far as the clouds they continue to move through the area tonight. maybe a sprinkle in the southern zones. overall rain chances are very low for the next couple of days. the next storm system gets here
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could come in two different phases. we will keep the rain chance about 40% early next week. spring like weather with martha temperatures getting to 80 degrees on monday. how about a spring like 82 on tuesday. >> thank you, tom. a deputy was intentionally run down by a car with a teen behind the wheel. the deputy is at home but the driver is still on the run. what the sheriff says likely helped save his deputy. plus after five days, police still do not know what this mother did with her newborn. ahead at 6:00, the new concerns neighbors are sharing with our reporters. and you can't afford to miss this story. 9 investigates why a florida hospital allegedly treated
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>> after a deadly shooting at a gated community the family of two brothers who were killed is asking for answers. we're looking at the criminal past that may offer some clues. that shooting happened at a home on robert trench jones drive in the metro west area. that's where julie salmon is now. you found out that the victim may have an by target. >> reporter: the younger brother had no criminal history but they believe the older brother was targeted. but still the family says no one deserves to die like this. gene jennings says she lost her nephews in what felt like a blink of an eye. waiting for justice will take much longer. >> we need answers to this senseless crime. >> reporter: on super bowl sunday around 7:00, antonio jones and his 16-year-old brother christian were shot and
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in metro west. the community is gated but police say the shooting happened inside one of the the elevator. decks told me they don't have the leads they need and the family came to orlando police headquarters pleading for the public to feel their pain. >> we're pleading for anyone, somebody, anyone to come forth with any information. >> reporter: police believe the older brother was targeted but won't elaborate. i searched court records in orange county and found antonio was arrested in december of 2014 for drug charges, including possession and trafficking of cocaine. according to court documents, orlando police stopped a package jones sent through the post office. the family said no one deserves to die like this. >> just imagine it being your family. look at us. like we're hurting. our family has lost a part of us.
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set to go to trial in april. he had pled not guilty. reporting live in orlando tonight, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> apple is getting more time to fight a court order to would force it to unlock the iphone of one of the san bernardino terrorists. apple needs to open it. apple says creating software to do that would make all users vulnerable. and apple has until next friday to respond. today it got a show of support from facebook and twitter. next on eyewitness news at 6:00. this deputy was badly hurt after being run down by a teenage driver. we learned the quick action that the sheriff says helped her survive. what a court ruling means for red light tickets here in orlando. another story you haven't seen. this woman was able to rip off taxpayers for thousands of dollars for nearly four years.
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>> it sounded like nascar starting off. >> tonight he's still on the run. >> we learned the team work that the sheriff says helped make sure the deputy arrived. >> right now deputies are urging that teenage suspect to turn himself in. >> we're told the deputy was trying to arrest the teen this morning when he allegedly hit her with a car and took off. channel 9 steve barrett has been live there.
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thinking by the probation officer with that deputy likely helped save her life. >> reporter: ma that, she is very lucky to have had someone with her when the car peeled out from right over the grass. you can still see the marks. she ended up on top of the car and eventually right down here on the street where she hit her head. >> it sounded like a car chase or a race. >> reporter: several houses away, the loud car peeling out startled neighbors. investigators say 15-year-old john carlos ortiz was behind the wheel and intentionally hit the sergeant as she tried to arrest him on a warrant. a probation officer was with her and able to trigger an emergency call button on her uniform. >> that juvenile probation officer is responsible for reaching down and hitting the emergency button on her radio and then summoning additional assistance. >> reporter: sergeant marcie

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