5 Things to Know in Florida for Jan. 15

Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

GIRLS ARRESTED IN BROTHER’S SHOOTING CHARGED AS JUVENILES

Prosecutors will charge two north Florida sisters, ages 11 and 15, as juveniles in the slaying of their 16-year-old brother. Public Defender Blair Payne and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office say prosecutors have informed them the girls are being charged with second-degree murder. Police documents show the elder sister was locked in her room on Jan. 5 by her brother after their parents left on a truck-driving run. The reports say she convinced the younger sister to free her, then got a gun from the parents’ bedroom and shot her brother.

APPEALS COURT TAKES UP BLIND TRUST CASE

Appeals court judges are going to decide whether a law that lets elected officials place their assets in a blind trust is constitutional. Three judges from the 1st District Court of Appeal on Wednesday heard arguments in the lawsuit filed by a former aide of the late Gov. Reubin Askew. A circuit judge in late July ruled that the law that authorizes blind trusts is “reasonable.” The only public official who is using one is Gov. Rick Scott.

ARRESTED TEEN HELPED SAVE OFFICER’S LIFE

A teenager is being hailed as a hero after helping to save the life of a Fort Lauderdale police officer who arrested him. Jamal Rutledge was handcuffed and sitting in a police booking room Sept. 10 when 49-year-old Officer Franklin Foulks collapsed to the floor. The Sun Sentinel reports that 17-year-old Rutledge got up and started kicking the security fence and yelling to get nearby officers’ attention. Officers found Foulks semiconscious. He was rushed to the hospital.

WOMAN’S BODY FOUND AFTER SMALL PLANE CRASH

A woman is dead after a small plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just off New Smyrna Beach. The crash happened just before 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports wreckage from the plane was found about 20 feet offshore in waist-deep water. Rescue crews recovered the woman’s body from the water. Volusia County Sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson says officials believe the woman was the only person on board. The plane is a Cessna 152.

FUNERAL SERVICES HELD FOR GIRL DROPPED OVER BRIDGE

Funeral services are being held for a little girl who died after she was tossed from a St. Petersburg bridge. The memorial service for 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck was set to begin Wednesday morning. She will be laid to rest in the afternoon. Police say Phoebe died early Thursday at the hands of her father, John Jonchuck Jr., who dropped the little girl from a bridge. She was found dead hours later about a mile away.

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