5 Things to Know in Florida for Feb. 26

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

TRAYVON MARTIN’S MOTHER SAYS KILLER GOT AWAY WITH MURDER

The mother of Trayvon Martin says she’s disappointed that federal prosecutors decided not to charge a neighborhood watch volunteer with a hate crime for killing her son three years ago. Speaking with The Associated Press on Wednesday before the third anniversary of her 17-year-old son’s death, Sybrina Fulton says she still believes George Zimmerman got away with murder. Zimmerman claimed he shot the unarmed teenager in self-defense after confronting Martin while volunteering for his neighborhood watch group. A jury acquitted him of second-degree murder the next year.

US SUPREME COURT WON’T LIFT STAY IN FLORIDA EXECUTION

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to lift a stay of execution of a convicted Florida quadruple-murderer while the justices review the drug mixture used in lethal injections. The high court issued a one-page ruling Wednesday in Washington rejecting a request by Florida officials to allow the execution of Jerry Correll to proceed. Correll had been scheduled to die Thursday for the 1985 killings in Orlando of his ex-wife, daughter and two other people.

$100 MILLION SETTLEMENT REACHED WITH 3 TOBACCO COMPANIES IN FLORIDA

A $100 million settlement has been reached between three major tobacco companies and hundreds of people who sued them for smoking-related deaths and illnesses in Florida federal court. The tentative agreement announced Wednesday involves R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. The deal resolves about 400 cases pending before a federal judge in Jacksonville, Florida, but does not affect thousands of other lawsuits pending in Florida state courts.

CHEMIST WHO SUPPLIED STEROIDS IN BASEBALL CASE GETS 18 MONTHS IN PRISON

A chemist working out of his suburban South Florida garage was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for supplying banned performance-enhancing substances to a clinic whose customers included professional baseball players such as New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Paulo Berejuk had hoped for probation and home confinement after pleading guilty in December to conspiracy to distribute testosterone. But U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga agreed with prosecutors that Berejuk’s role in the case was too vital and his cooperation with investigators too limited to warrant such a sentencing break.

SUPREME COURT SAYS FLORIDA FISHERMAN WAS WRONGLY CONVICTED

A Florida fisherman convicted of tossing undersized grouper off his boat is off the hook after a divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that he should not have been prosecuted under a law targeting accounting fraud. In a 5-4 decision the justices threw out the conviction of commercial fishing boat captain John Yates, who was prosecuted under a law passed in the wake of the Enron scandal. Yates was convicted of getting rid of fish he had caught that were under the minimum legal size permitted in the Gulf of Mexico. A Florida fish and wildlife officer said Yates illegally dumped the smaller fish overboard to avoid prosecution.

 

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