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…

Cortopassi remembered as ‘a lawman’s lawman’
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Cortopassi remembered as ‘a lawman’s lawman’

With a 21-gun salute by his comrades in law enforcement, and a toast from his fellow veterans, friends of Lt. Baron Cortopassi paid tribute to him as they prepared to lay him to rest. Cortopassi, 61, a resident of Eastpoint who joined the Franklin County Sheriff Office in 2017 after retiring from law enforcement in…

Despite probation, New York man keeps harassing sheriff
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Despite probation, New York man keeps harassing sheriff

A Troy, New York man sentenced last month in Franklin County to a five-year probation for threatening and harassing Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith through repeated telephone calls appears to be at it again. According to a Wednesday afternoon news release from the sheriff’s office, David M. Reed, 35, had stopped checking in at the…

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Zingarelli arrested in Panama City

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested former Apalachicola resident Joseph Chad Zingarelli, 50, a transient, after warrants were issued for him for sexual battery, robbery by sudden snatching, and battery, his second offense. On Oct. 22, Bay County deputies met with the victim who reported a sexual battery to the BCSO. The victim said…