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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell today sentenced Kermon Williams, a/k/a “The General” (42, St. Petersburg), James Higgs, Jr., a/k/a “Hammer” (40, St. Petersburg), and Jhaphre Higgs, a/k/a “Pre” (35, St. Petersburg) each to life in federal prison followed by 20 years’ imprisonment for a double homicide, murder for hire conspiracy.

James Higgs Jr., left; Kermon Williams, middle; Jhaphre Higgs, right (Credit: PCSO via WFLA)

Williams, Higgs, Jr., and Higgs were found guilty by a federal jury on June 24, 2022.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Williams asked Jhaphre and James Higgs, Jr., to kill Tywan Armstrong, a rival drug dealer, who Williams saw as a threat to his drug business. Williams paid Jhaphre and James Higgs, Jr., with cash and drugs and gave them an AR-15 rifle to commit the murder. Jhaphre and James Higgs, Jr. made their first attempt on Armstrong’s life on September 22, 2018, shooting at him several times with an AR-15. Armstrong survived the first attempt on his life. Afterwards, Williams directed Jhaphre and James Higgs, Jr. to make the murder as public as possible to send a message on the street.

On January 21, 2019, Jhaphre and James Higgs, Jr., following William’s directive, opened fire on Armstrong’s car with an AR-15 and .40 caliber pistol in front of a large crowd of people gathered at a St. Petersburg gas station. The hail of bullets struck Armstrong 28 times, front passenger Roger Ford 11 times, and a rear passenger several times. Despite heroic efforts on the part of officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department and members of St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, both Armstrong and Ford died from their injuries.

All three defendants have previously been convicted of multiple felonies. Williams had previously been convicted of performing a lewd and lascivious act in the presence of a child under the age of 16. Jhaphre Higgs had previously been convicted of aggravated battery with possession of a firearm. And James Higgs, Jr., had previously been convicted of accessory after the fact to murder.

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“This demonstrates how science – in this case, digital ballistics technology – can breathe life into violent gun crime cases,” said ATF Tampa Field Division Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Saier. “And despite the twist and turns over the course of the three-plus year investigation, we never gave up.”

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.


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19-Year-Old Won’t Be Allowed To Attend Father’s Execution, Judge Rules

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A 19-year-old in St. Louis has expressed her dismay after a judge denied her wish to watch her father die by lethal injection. The decision aligns with a Missouri law that prohibits anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution.

Kevin Johnson is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday for the 2005 killing of Officer William McEntee in Kirkwood, Missouri. Johnson’s attorneys have current appeals awaiting as they attempt to stop the execution.

The American Civil Liberties Union had submitted an emergency motion with the court in Kansas City. This came after Johnson’s daughter, Khorry Ramey, stated that she wanted to attend the execution. The ACLU argued that the age requirement had no affect on safety and witnessing the execution is Ramey’s constitutional right.

However, on Friday, Judge Brian C. Wimes determined that Ramey’s constitutional rights wouldn’t be violated by law.

“It’s excruciating to know that I’m about to lose my dad all over again when the state of Missouri kills him. Yet, I can’t be present for his death simply because of my age,” Ramey noted in a statement.

“…my dad is the most important person in my life. He has been there for me my whole life even though he’s been incarcerated.”

The judge was aware that the law may cause emotional damage for Ramey. However, he determined that was just one part of the court’s findings, and the law was constitutional.

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Ramey is hoping that Gov. Michael Parson will grant her dad clemency. Johnson’s attorneys have been attempting to stop his execution. They have admitted his guilt but believe that racism was involved in the decision to be put him to death. Johnson is Black, and McEntee was white.

Johnson’s lawyers also say that a mental illness and the fact that he was 19 at the time should have been factors in the decision. In 2005, the Supreme Court prohibited the execution of individuals younger than 18 at the time of the offense. Thus, more courts have moved away from giving teens the death penalty.

“The surviving victims of Johnson’s crimes have waited long enough for justice. Every day longer that they must wait is a day they are denied the chance to finally make peace with their loss,” a state petition read.



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Woman Dies After Test Drive At Car Dealership Results In Fatal Crash

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On Saturday, a deadly accident occurred during a test drive at a Nissan car dealership in Winter Haven, Florida.

Authorities say that Clifford Worme, 86, was test driving a Nissan Rogue at the Hill Nissan car dealership. 76-year-old Jean Worme and a sales representative were in the vehicle, as well.

As they were returning the car, Clifford Worme made a turn to go back into the dealership. He did so right in front of a Nissan Murano, authorities say.

Jean Worme died, and Clifford Worme sustained minor injuries. The driver of the Murano and the salesperson were unharmed.

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Everyone involved in the incident had on a seatbelt.

An investigation is continuing.



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Missouri AG to depose Fauci in social media lawsuit

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry will depose Dr. Anthony Fauci in their lawsuit against the federal government for allegedly colluding with social media companies to censor speech.

“Tomorrow, along with my colleague from Louisiana, my Office and I will depose Dr. Anthony Fauci in our lawsuit against the Biden Administration for allegedly colluding with social media companies to censor freedom of speech,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Since we filed our landmark lawsuit, we have uncovered documents and discovery that show clear coordination between the Biden Administration and social media companies on censoring speech, but we’re not done yet. We plan to get answers on behalf of the American people. Stay tuned.”

“We all deserve to know how involved Dr. Fauci was in the censorship of the American people during the COVID pandemic; tomorrow, I hope to find out. And I will continue fighting for the truth as it relates to Big Government colluding with Big Tech to stifle free speech,” said Attorney General Landry.

Missouri and Louisiana filed this lawsuit in May of 2022 and have since received discovery showing that the federal government and the Biden Administration have worked with social media companies to censor speech on topics like COVID-19 and other issues.

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A federal court granted Missouri and Louisiana’s request for depositions of top Biden Administration officials on October 21, 2022.

Additionally, a magistrate judge in Virginia rejected former White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s attempt to quash a subpoena in this case and transferred that dispute back to Louisiana.


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