Monday, May 02, 2016

Nathan Curry was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a killing a man who allegedly stole his mother's AK-47

Nathan Curry, left, and brother Benjamin Curry, in court in Nov. 2014.

 UPDATE: A retired Miami Herald staffer has asked me to add this comment about David Ovalle: "From the moment David arrived at the Herald as a newbie, there never was a doubt that, day by day, story by story, chat by chat, he'd master - and excel at - the craft of news reporting and writing. He did it the old-fashioned way - through hard work, long hours and supreme talent. David is a credit to himself, to the Herald and to his profession." Marty Merzer, Tallahassee


David Ovalle has seen pretty much all of what Miami's criminal justice system has to offer....and he's written about most of it.

In the past few weeks, Ovalle, the Miami Herald's courthouse reporter, has filed stories about an unrepentant 10-time felon who asked a judge for a take-out order of fried chicken before he was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and rape, the arrest of three teens in the ambush murder of a 17-year-old Miami Gardens boy walking home from school, and the arrest of three other teen boys - all with criminal histories - who have been charged in the murder of King Carter, the six-year old boy who was gunned down in February while walking to a store to buy candy.

Back in January, Ovalle wrote about 18-year-old Will Campbell who served just one year in jail for his role in a mass shooting at a Liberty City nightclub that wounded 15 people. Released early on probation, Campbell was re-arrested after probation officers found a loaded gun and marijuana in his bedroom closet.

Nathan Curry, 17.
Ovalle also has written stories about inner city youth, who at some point in their young lives have decided it's a perfectly normal and acceptable thing to murder someone over a perceived act of disrespect.

But the story he filed today starkly illustrates how criminal behavior has become a thoroughly-entrenched, everyday part of life in some South Florida families...and how intractable and deeply-ingrained the problem continues to be in some communities.

"Fatal shooting over mother’s stolen AK47 lands Miami teen in prison for 30 years" is the headline on Ovalle's short story:
"A Miami teen convicted of murder is headed to prison for 30 years — for killing a man he suspected stole his mother’s AK47.

"A judge has handed down the sentence for Nathan Curry, 17, for the killing of Lonnie Reese, 24, who was gunned down in broad daylight on a street in Brownsville in September 2014.

Benjamin Curry, 18.
"Prosecutors said Curry and his brother, Benjamin Curry, 18, followed Reese as he walked away from a store because they believed he had stolen the weapon from their mother’s car."
A little further down in his story, Ovalle reports that Nathan's older brother, Benjamin, is "still awaiting trial for first-degree murder" in Reese's killing.

But the kicker?

Another brother, "Christopher Curry, 19, [below] is also in jail, awaiting trial for murder in an unrelated shooting," reports Ovalle.

Christopher Curry, 19, is awaiting trial for

In November 2014, Local 10's Glenna Milberg reported that the three Curry brothers were part of a family of eight siblings.

Ovalle doesn't say in his story what's become of the Curry brothers' mother, Cassandra, above in white.

But I'm reasonably certain she's not spending any sleepless nights, tossing and turning and asking herself, "Is there something I could have done to be a better parent?"

Sunday, May 01, 2016

If you missed the White House Correspondents Dinner last night, you missed this.... about 19 minutes into some very funny remarks, President Obama began to get serious. And then this happened.....

"Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home eating a Trump steak?"


And in case you've forgotten, here's a look back at some of Obama's best shots at Trump from the 2011 WHCD.

Here's a video of President Obama's complete remarks. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

I need your help

If you like what I do here, and you'd like to see it continue, then I could really use your help. I hope you'll consider making a donation to help keep this blog going.

Just click on the Paypal "donate" button at the top of the right-hand column and follow the instructions.

Thank you for your support and continued readership.

Chilean cops chase jewelry store robbers...and it's all caught on camera

Dramatic footage filmed from a police motorbike in Chile shows a high speed road chase, as authorities capture three suspects believed responsible for a robbery in a shopping mall shortly before. The video, which has gone viral, shows police surrounding and shooting at a red car, before pulling a suspect out of the vehicle and taking him to the ground.

The incident on April 25 began at midday, when three individuals aged 16, 17 and 20, entered a watch shop in the Arauco Maipu Shopping Centre in greater Santiago, breaking the windows and threatening the attendants and robbing several items. They went on to attack a woman and steal her car to flee the scene. [via]

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is the newest member of a very exclusive South Florida club

Former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez arrives for a bond
hearing in a Miami courtroom today.
Screenshot via Local10.
(Click this and all images to enlarge.)

With his appearance in a Miami Dade courtroom this morning wearing handcuffs and a jail jumpsuit, Carlos Alvarez became the newest member of an exclusive South Florida club.

To join this club, you have to have been both a former politician and law enforcement official who's found himself on the wrong side of the law.

There are plenty of South Florida cops who have been incarcerated. And there's a long list of politicos who have done time at the Graybar Hotel.

But as far as I can tell there aren't that many who have been both cops and held elected office who have been arrested.

To the best of my recollection, the club has just two other members: former State Senator/former Broward County Sheriff Ken  Jenne, and former Miami Police Chief/former  Miami City Manager Donald Warshaw. 

Fifteen years ago, Warshaw was sentenced to a year in federal prison for defrauding a police charity.

In 2007, Jenne was sentenced to a term in federal prison on corruption charges.

Yesterday we learned that Alvarez who served as director of the Miami-Dade Police Department from 1997 to 2004, and was Mayor of Miami-Dade County from 2004 until 2011 when he was recalled in a special election had been arrested by the Coral Gables Police department on battery charges.

Evelyn Fernandez.

Alvarez's long time girlfriend, Miami-Dade police lieutenant Evelyn Fernandez who is on leave from the department while she battles cancer told police that Alvarez assaulted her last Saturday in the parking garage of his apartment building.

According to a police report, Fernandez told cops that Alvarez attacked her after she showed up at his residence to return a cat.

That's when, according to Fernandez, Alvarez, while in his building's parking garage, grabbed Fernandez by both arms, and spit in her face while yelling profanities.

Evelyn Fernandez and Carlos Alvarez in happier times.
via WSVN

According to the report, "a pattern of domestic violence has developed since 2013 until present."

Fernandez also showed a WSVN reporter a text message she claims Alvarez sent to her phone.


And Alvarez, the former Miami-Dade mayor, also holds the distinction of being booted from office by voters in the most lopsided recall election in Dade County's history: In 2011, 183,652 Dade residents voted to kick him out of office, while just 24,796 cast a ballot to keep him.

Saturday's incident is not the first time Fernandez claims she was assaulted.

Ten years ago this week, she called the cops after claiming that she'd been assaulted by a female Miami firefighter.

From an April 30, 2006 Miami Herald story:

Arrested on charges of burglary with battery - and criminal mischief: Miami firefighter-paramedic Susan Hart-Berrantes. Miami-Dade cops say she got into it with Miami-Dade police Lt. Evelyn Fernandez, 34, girlfriend of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, 53. (Alvarez used to be the county's police director.) The women are former sisters-in-law - Hart-Berrantes was once married to Fernandez's brother, Miami Fire Lt. Josef A. Berrantes, 50, officials say.

Hart-Berrantes, 49, showed up at Fernandez's home and ``began yelling and poking [Fernandez] on her chest.'' When Fernandez dialed 911 from her cellphone, Hart-Berrantes allegedly grabbed her by the throat, snatched the phone and threw it into the pool. Fernandez's 6-year-old daughter saw the confrontation. ``I don't regret what I did, and I'll do it all over again. . . . All I did was push her a few times,'' Hart-Berrantes told police, reports say. No word on what ignited the episode.

Hart-Berrantes, a 22-year Miami Fire veteran, remains in jail - no bond, because she allegedly broke into an ``occupied'' residence. The arrest report says she entered the property through ``a side wooden gate.'' Arraignment is May 12 before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Schlesinger.


Click here to read past Random Pixels coverage of Carlos Alvarez.

carlos alvarez arrested, miami-dade mayor carlos alvarez arrested, girlfriend evelyn fernandez

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Isabel Mascareñas is a perfect example of why you should never believe anything you hear on TV news

Isabel Mascareñas with the trophy she received in high school
for winning the 100 yard dash....or maybe it was cooking.

Ordinarily I wouldn't waste my time looking at a TV station website in another part of the state.

But last night I received a Google News alert with a link to a story on the website of a Tampa TV station.

"Bradenton Beach police chief sends warning to Floatopia organizers," read the headline of a story by WTSP's Isabel Mascareñas.

And after reading the first sentence of the story, I was reminded why I normally avoid reading anything on a TV station website.

"It’s a massive float party that left Miami’s South Beach trashed and now rumors on social media say it’s coming to the Bay area," wrote Mascareñas.

Of course there is no place in Miami that's known as South Beach.

What Mascareñas should have written was Miami Beach's South Beach.

So I headed on over to Twitter to school her on South Florida geography.

Click image to enlarge.

That's right, Mascareñas thinks so little of her followers' intelligence or their ability to understand simple facts, she'd rather make up sh*t and mislead them, rather than take a few seconds to explain that South Beach is in Miami Beach, and not Miami. You an actual journalist would do.

So there you have it folks: One more reason why should never believe anything you see or hear on TV "news." Especially if it's coming from the lips of Isabel Mascareñas.