$750,000 BOND FOR WOMAN ACCUSED IN FLORIDA, ALABAMA KILLINGS
Mary Rice made her first court appearance via video Thursday afternoon in Santa Rosa County, where she’s charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. The 37-year-old woman was extradited from Georgia to Florida Wednesday. She also faces murder charges in neighboring Escambia County, Florida, and Baldwin County, Alabama. If she meets her bond, she’ll be immediately arrested on the Escambia charge.
FLORIDA’S BAN ON LIQUOR AND GROCERIES MAY SOON BE HISTORY
A Senate panel on Thursday voted in favor of a bill that repeals a decades-old prohibition on grocery stores and other retailers from being able to also sell hard liquor in the same location. The measure (SB 106) now heads to the full Senate. Many other states already allow grocery stores to sell liquor such as vodka or rum next to other items. But in Florida liquor must be sold in a separate location that is not connected.
DEATH SENTENCE TOSSED OUT IN FLORIDA DRIVE-BY SHOOTING CASE
The high court on Thursday upheld Rasheem Dubose’s conviction, but ordered a new sentencing hearing because a jury did not unanimously agree to impose the death penalty. The court recently ruled that death sentences require a unanimous jury recommendation if the sentence was imposed after a 2002 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
FLORIDA CONSIDERS AGAIN CHANGE TO ‘STAND YOUR GROUND’ LAW
A divided Senate panel on Thursday voted for the bill that would place more of a burden on prosecutors to prove self-defense wasn’t a factor when charging someone with assaulting or killing another person. The Senate passed a similar bill last year but it was not considered by the House.
WOMAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY IN CASE OF KIDNAPPED FLORIDA BABY
Gloria Bolden Williams was in court Thursday morning. She’s been in jail since her Jan. 13 arrest and faces life in prison if convicted. Authorities say Williams took baby shortly after she was born on July 10, 1998. She raised the child in Walterboro, South Carolina, under the name of Alexis Manigo.