By Cathy Womble
Lake Okeechobee News
In the Courts
The following felony cases have either been tried in a court of law or have been settled without trial and are considered closed.
- Richard Pena Perez was sentenced Jan. 6 to two years probation after pleading no contest to grand theft, trespass and resisting arrest. Adjudication was withheld on the grand theft charge. He was arrested in March 2022 at the Okeechobee Music Fest after stealing a cell phone.
- Barteenia Richardson was sentenced Jan. 5 to 18 months in state prison after pleading no contest to possession with intent to distribute and sale of cocaine. Richardson was arrested Oct. 2021 during an undercover operation by the narcotics task force.
- Peter Bouchard was sentenced Jan. 5 to one year probation on Jan. 5 after pleading no contest to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. Adjudication was withheld. Bouchard was arrested Nov. 2021 after he was found unresponsive next to a motorcycle and leaning against the seat.
- Justin Hoover was sentenced Jan. 5 to one year in county jail after pleading no contest to possession of methamphetamine and driving without a license. Hoover was arrested in June 2022 during a traffic stop.
- Emmanuel White was sentenced Jan. 4 to six months in county jail after pleading no contest to battery by a detainee. White was arrested Oct. 2022 after an altercation between him and two other inmates at the county jail.
- Daniel Garland was sentenced Jan. 4 to two months in county jail followed by five years probation after pleading no contest to fleeing, driving without a license, no license for operating a motorcycle and no registration. Garland was arrested in Sept. 2022 after law enforcement attempted to perform a traffic stop, and he led them on a chase.
- Jesus Hunt was sentenced on Jan. 17 to one year in county jail followed by four years probation after pleading no contest to fleeing law enforcement, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine, driving on a suspended license and persisting arrest. Hunt was arrested in August 2022 after he refused to stop for law enforcement and led them on a chase both in his vehicle and on foot.
- David Bormuth was sentenced to four months probation after pleading no contest to possession of methamphetamine, possession of amphetamine, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bormuth was arrested in July 2021 after he was found walking along U.S. 441 at about 8 p.m. The deputy who stopped him discovered he had a warrant out.
- Francisco Rodriguez was sentenced Jan. 19 to three years and four months in prison after pleading no contest to possession of methamphetamine. Rodriguez was arrested in August 2022 on an outstanding warrant.
- Danielle Edwards was sentenced on Jan. 19 to 10 years in state prison after pleading no contest to multiple drug charges. Edwards was arrested in April and in December 2022. Prior to these arrests, Edwards had four felony convictions.
- Jeremy Jones was sentenced on Jan. 23 to nine months in county jail after pleading no contest to three drug charges. Jones was arrested in June and in December 2022.
- Erick Kelly was sentenced on Jan. 19 to two years probation after pleading no contest to possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Kelly was arrested in May 2022.
- Khamari Jones was sentenced on Jan. 17 to three years probation after pleading no contest to felony child abuse. Jones was arrested in Sept. 2022.
A no contest plea does not mean the defendant admits guilt. It means he/she chooses not to fight the charges for one reason or another. The effect of the plea is virtually identical to that of a guilty plea.
Withheld adjudication generally refers to a decision by a judge to put a person on probation without an adjudication of guilt. It means an individual is not found guilty legally by the court. If the person successfully completes the terms of probation and has no subsequent offenses, no further action will be taken on the case, and the offense for which adjudication was withheld is typically not considered a prior conviction for purposes of habitual offender sentencing.