Man and woman found shot, killed in apartment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A shooting early Tuesday morning inside an apartment at at Kendall Town was a murder-suicide.

Officers responded to reports of a disturbance, with the call upgraded to shots fired while they were en route.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office later identified the victims as Michelle Simpson, 44, and Stephen Harford who is also 44 years of age.

Assistant Chief Chris Bulter said the couple were boyfriend and girlfriend and had lived in the apartment since February.

Butler said the woman's 11-year-old daughter was also home at the time. The girl is now with other family according to JSO.

 

 

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Local woman grew up among Kennedy family

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The public has the chance to own a few rare artifacts that once belonged to President John F. Kennedy.

Auctions will be held in Dallas and Massachusetts this Saturday that contain hundreds of pieces of Kennedy's past.

Some of the items up for auction include a rocking chair Kennedy used in the Oval Office, as well as two flags that Kennedy was often photographed in front of.

Some of the opening bids start as high as $50,000 and $100,000.

The auction in Massachusetts will include memorabilia from a woman who lives in Jacksonville's east Arlington neighborhood.

Karen Lepanto moved to Florida from Washington D.C. more than 30 years ago.

She was born and raised there, and her father, James Boyer, was a policeman at the U.S. Capitol.

"He loved his job," she told First Coast News.

Lepanto said her father had the kind of personality that got him noticed and made him likeable among all the politicians.

Police search for missing man, foul play suspected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for a man last seen on Monday.

The rental car 26-year-old Dwight L. Martin was driving was found abandoned in the Arlington area earlier this week. 

Martin has not been seen or heard from by his family and friends since Monday, November 18, 2013.

Anyone who has any information about this missing person is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. 

To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

Dead tree concerns Arlington residents

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The City of Jacksonville is on a mission to remove or trim a number of marked trees in a timely manner, the big challenge is the funding to get it all done in a budget year.

Residents in the Fairways Forest subdivision understand but that does not change their fears and concerns about a dead tree in their neighborhood.

"Part of it is going to fall into the street," said Jerry Deters.

Deters lives next door to a large oak tree, it bears a red x for removal, but it is still standing.

"I am concerned that children who walk by to catch the bus or adults who walk around the subdivision all the time may be in danger," he said.

Deters has called the city; in October municipal code enforcement respond.

The tree, while facing the street, is on a foreclosed property. Code enforcement issued two citations, one for an exposed swimming pool, the other for the dead tree.

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Family looking for answers after home invasion

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is searching for two men who, according to police reports, had jackets with the word "police" on the back and broke into the home of three disabled men.

It happened late last week on the 8400 block of Berry Avenue, in Arlington.

Wayne Ray, one of the victims, says he's having trouble sleeping at night since the invasion.

"They went straight to my room, they knew exactly what to do," Ray said.

Ray says the two men broke down a door shouting "police" and "search warrant". Once inside, he said the robbers tied him, and another person up and ransacked the house.

According to a police report, the men got away with prescription medication, cell phones and cash.

"I thought I was going to die lying in my bed, I'll be honest with you," Ray said.

Another victim, Robby Wilkes said the robbery has forced him to change the way he lives.

New numbers show crime is down in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- New numbers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show crime is going down in Duval County.

The Uniform Crime Report looked at crime in the first 6 months of 2013, and compared to the first 6 months of 2012.

In Jacksonville, the report showed a 15 percent decrease in murders, and a little more than a 6 percent decrease in aggravated assaults. 

Overall, violent crimes are down 1 percent. The number of rape victims are up, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said that's in part because of a re-classification.

Business owners in Jacksonville are hoping the general downward trend in crime could change the way some think about the city when it comes to crime.

"Every little bit helps," said Pat Middleton. He's been selling houses in Jacksonville for more than 30 years.

Middleton said his clients ask him about being safe in Jacksonville.

JIA bomb hoax suspect deemed incompetent

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Zeljko Causevic was deemed incompetent to stand trial Monday for the alleged bomb hoax at Jacksonville International Airport. 

Causevic was committed to custody to restore competency, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Zeljko Causevic arrested after suspicious packages found at JIA 

A status hearing has been scheduled for November 26 to ensure that he has been placed in a medical facility by that time.