Araujo sentenced to 25 years
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Araujo sentenced to 25 years

Judge accept prosecutor’s recommendation Following an emotional hearing Friday afternoon in the Apalachicola courthouse, in which convicted murderer Christina Araujo broke down in tears as she expressed remorse for the killing, Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom handed down a 25-year sentence. With about five-and-a-half years of credit for time served, both in the Franklin and Liberty…

Apalachicola boat captains charged with vessel homicide
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Apalachicola boat captains charged with vessel homicide

Nearly a year after their boats collided in the Apalachicola River on April 29, 2023, two Apalachicola boat captains have been charged with vessel homicide stemming from the collision. On April 20, Austin Jarrett Finch, 24, and James Ellis Maxwell, 60, both of Apalachicola, were charged with vessel homicide, a second degree felony, following an…

Abell to spend life in prison for Seiden murder
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Abell to spend life in prison for Seiden murder

Almost exactly six years since the evening he pummeled to death a woman he claimed he asked to marry him just weeks earlier, Zachary Abell will spend the rest of his life in a state prison for the crime. Dressed in the county jail’s orange jumpsuit, a sharp contrast to the three-piece suit he wore…

Abell guilty of second degree murder
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Abell guilty of second degree murder

Jury decides that beating death of Aileen Seiden was not premeditated After deliberating for about five hours, a Franklin County jury found Zachary Abell guilty of second degree murder this afternoon in the brutal beating death of Aileen Seiden nearly six years ago at an Eastpoint motel. This means that Abell has now been convicted…

‘The kind of thing I see in motor vehicle crashes’
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‘The kind of thing I see in motor vehicle crashes’

Chief medical examiner details result of brutal beating EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains discussion of sexuality and graphic details of a murder. It is not advisable for children to read. Following harrowing testimony of how Aileen Seiden was beaten so badly that nearly all her ribs were broken, with neither of her traveling companions ever…

‘How the heck do I react to this?’
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‘How the heck do I react to this?’

Friend testifies how he turned in suspects in Aileen Seiden murder The Davie boat captain who alerted authorities of the whereabouts of the two people who were later charged with the murder of a South Florida woman at an Eastpoint motel nearly six years ago took the witness stand Tuesday. Michael Picavet, called as a…

A body found, a room in disarray
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A body found, a room in disarray

Seiden trial resumes Monday with FDLE crime scene analyst on the stand The murder trial of Zachary Abell, accused of taking part in the beating death of Aileen Seiden nearly six years ago in Eastpoint, ended on a cliffhanger moment Friday afternoon. The testimony of Ivan Brenes, the FDLE crime scene analyst who collected evidence…

Opening arguments set for Friday morning in Seiden murder trial
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Opening arguments set for Friday morning in Seiden murder trial

Jury selection takes two full days Opening arguments in the Aileen Seiden murder trial are scheduled to begin Friday morning, following a full day of selecting a 12-member jury. The 14 people chosen, 12 jurors and two alternates,  during the daylong voir dire process are equally split between men and women, and roughly evenly scattered…

Jury selection opens for Seiden trial
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Jury selection opens for Seiden trial

It’s been a cold morning in the third floor courtroom at the Apalachicola courthouse for the start of the Aileen Seiden murder trial, but that’s not because of the crime being alleged. Most of the 48 jurors who showed up for the first wave of jury selection wore their coats as they awaited questioning from…