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Owner of Orlando missing king cobra asks for jury trial

<p> The man accused of not reporting the escape of his venomous king cobra in a timely manner last month has waived his hearing that was scheduled for Wednesday and asked for a jury trial.</p><p> [MORE: <a href="" target="_blank">Cobra creates buzz</a> | MAP: <a href="" target="_blank">Find venomous snakes near you</a> | VIDEO:  <a href="" target="_blank">Search ongoing</a>  | AUDIO:  <a href="" target="_blank">School alerts parents</a> | <a href="" target="_blank">2nd alert</a>  | PICS: <a href="" target="_blank">Traps set</a>]</p><p> Mike Kennedy, a cast member of the Discovery Channel's "Airplane Repo," is accused of waiting more than two days before reporting the escape of the snake to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.</p><p> The snake is still on the loose.</p><p> Kennedy was supposed to appear in court Wednesday afternoon for his arraignment on misdemeanor charges; however, News 6 discovered court documents filed Tuesday asking the court to waive his arraignment.</p><p> His attorney also asked for a jury trial.</p><p> Kennedy has set up box traps around his property in an effort to trap the cobra with no success.<br/></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">FWC stopped actively searching</a> for the missing king cobra weeks after the snake's escape. <br/><br/></p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 14:56:03 GMT

7-year-old girl dies after being struck by car in Flagler County

<p> A 7-year-old girl was struck and killed by a vehicle Wednesday morning in Flagler County, according to authorities.</p><p> </p><p> The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the fatal crash, which occurred around 8:20 a.m. at Whippoorwill Drive and Winter Haven Court in Palm Coast.</p><p> Authorities said the girl, who attends Wadsworth Elementary, was waiting for her school bus when she was struck by a white Lincoln Navigator.</p><p> The bus pulled up after the crash and the driver attempted to help the girl, who was taken to Flagler Hospital, according to officials.</p><p> The crash occurred on the first stop of the bus route for the day. </p><p> The driver of the Navigator and an 11-year-old passenger in the SUV were not injured, WJXT reports. The driver is being interviewed by authorities.</p><p> Roads were closed in the area as authorities investigated.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 15:13:23 GMT

Man dressed as priest tried to lure boy into van, Daytona Beach police say

<p> Police continue to search for a man dressed as a Catholic priest who tried to lure a boy into a van in Daytona Beach.</p><p> The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 400 block of North Halifax Avenue.</p><p> According to Daytona Beach police, the man pulled his van next to the boy, who was walking home from school, and asked him to get into the van.  The man told the boy that he could trust him, according to police.</p><p> The boy refused and kept walking, said police, who added that the incident was then reported to authorities.</p><p> Police described the driver as a Hispanic man in his 30s.  He was wearing a black shirt with a clerical collar and was driving a silver Honda Odyssey, police said.</p><p> Anyone with information about the man is asked to call the Daytona Beach Police Department at 386-671-5100.</p><p> Watch News 6 and stay with for more on this story.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:20:55 GMT

Man accused of shooting, killing worker at Orlando hotel

<p> A man shot and killed a Hyatt Regency employee inside a car on the fifth floor of the hotel's parking garage on International Drive in the tourist district of the city, deputies said.</p><p> Mathnald Dareus, 37, was arrested early Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm in the death of Cedilien Forestal. </p><p> "This does not appear to be a random act of violence at this point. It appears that the (suspect) and the person murdered have some sort of connection," said Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jane Watrel.  "They both have addresses in Orlando, so this appears to be some sort of local dispute, if you will, that spilled over to this parking garage."</p><p> Investigators told News 6 that shots rang out around 5 p.m. Tuesday, and Dareus was pulled over a short time later 3 miles away.  He was questioned and later arrested.</p><p> News 6 was told that the garage has controlled access. Only employees or guests who have a pass can go inside, but the fifth floor is for employees only.</p><p> "We're here on vacation, that's the last thing I would expect so close to a tourist attraction," a tourist said.</p><p> "It's really terrible," said Jay Kim, who is visiting Orlando. "I don't want to see that kind of thing, because this is my first time visiting here."</p><p> "We had no idea it happened," said Tim Miller, who is in town from Texas. "It's surprising to know it happened right from our hotel."</p><p> News of the shooting left some tourists on edge.</p><p> "(It) makes you a little nervous, makes you watch out for your surroundings, but that's about it," Tiffany Vasquez said.</p><p> A motive in the shooting remains under investigation.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 11:31:00 GMT

Teen arrested after making threats of school shooting, bombing, Volusia cops say

<p> A 15-year-old former New Smyrna Beach High School student was arrested on Monday after Volusia deputies say he made threats about a school shooting and bombing.</p><p> The teen has been charged with making threats to discharge a destructive device and making written threats to kill or do harm.</p><p> [LISTEN: <a href="/message-for-parents-from-principal-of-new-smyrna-beach-high-school/35693370" target="_self">Message for parents from principal of New Smyrna Beach High School</a>]</p><p> Deputies said the investigation began on Sept. 4 when the Volusia County Sheriff's Office was alerted to a post on the teen's Twitter account that read “One million retweets and I’ll blow up the school.”  </p><p> The tweet was deleted, but was followed by another tweet that said "strep throat, long weekend, suicidal and dangerous thoughts," according to deputies. Investigators said they learned that the teen had gone to the nurse's clinic with strep throat signs and questioned him, but he denied planning any violence.</p><p> The teen was taken into custody under the Baker Act on Sept. 4, was expelled from New Smyrna Beach High and has been under the care of an outpatient behavioral health program ever since, according to a release from VCSO.</p><p> During the investigation, deputies said they found in their cellphone extraction report that the teen had an "obsession with death, mass killings and school shootings (specifically the Columbine shooting)."</p><p> Deputies said that the teen also illustrated making and setting off pipe bombs in a specific location of the high school. He wrote of studying video from the shootings at Columbine High School and posted several images of himself holding firearms, one of which was determined to be a BB gun and the other a handgun, according to VCSO.</p><p> Although no bomb-making materials were found at the teen's home, investigators said they believe that he had the knowledge and capability to obtain firearms and build explosives and deemed the threats credible.</p><p> The teen was booked into the Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center. It was believed he was acting alone, according to deputies.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:22:04 GMT

El Faro: Company explains decision

<p> The captain of the missing container ship El Faro is capable and experienced, a friend says, and likely believed he had a good plan to avoid Hurricane Joaquin in the Atlantic when he and 32 other crew members departed Florida for Puerto Rico last week.</p><p> "My guess is that he saw that he could outrun the storm, providing everything went right," Larry Legere, of Maine, said Wednesday of El Faro captain Michael Davidson.</p><p> But the ship's main propulsion failed, the ship's owners say, stranding the crew in the path of the storm -- and the Coast Guard believes it sank. </p><p> Despite formidable odds, search crews still are scouring the ocean for the cargo ship's survivors. </p><p> Authorities have found debris, but have not seen the ship nor any survivors since the cargo vessel lost contact near the Bahamas on Thursday -- just as Hurricane Joaquin was barreling through the area. </p><p> But friends and relatives of several of the crew members are still waiting for their loved ones to come back. </p><p> "I've cried so much that I ... have no more tears," Andrew Dehlinger, whose daughter's boyfriend, Dylan Meklin, is a crew member, told CNN affiliate WMTW. "So he's got to come -- they all have to come back." </p><p> Here's the latest on the search and investigation.</p><p> Ship owners: Captain considered his route safe</p><p> The owners of El Faro insist the captain had a "sound plan" to avoid Hurricane Joaquin -- a plan that only unraveled when the ship's main propulsion stopped working.</p><p> The captain had real-time weather information when he left the port in Jacksonville and reported favorable conditions at the outset, Tote Services President Phil Greene told reporters. </p><p> Given the weather system, the captain's "plan was a sound plan that would have enabled him to clearly pass around the storm with a margin of comfort that was adequate in his professional opinion," Greene said. </p><p> But knowing that a potential hurricane was brewing, why was El Faro allowed to go ahead with its scheduled route?</p><p> Tote officials said they trust the company's captains to be the decision-makers, and that up until El Faro lost its propulsion, the reports were not alarming. </p><p> The captain sent an email to headquarters September 30 saying he was aware of the "weather condition" -- the increasingly powerful Hurricane Joaquin -- and that he was monitoring its track, though conditions where the ship was "looked very favorable," Greene said. </p><p> But the next day, El Faro lost propulsion right in the path of the hurricane, Coast Guard Capt. Mark Fedor said. </p><p> "They were disabled right by the eye of Hurricane Joaquin," Fedor said Tuesday.</p><p> "If they were able to abandon ship and put on their survival suits, they would have been abandoning ship into that Category 4 hurricane. So you're talking about 140-mile-an-hour winds, 50-foot seas, zero visibility. It's a very dire situation, a very challenging situation even for the most experienced mariner." </p><p> What happened to the ship's propulsion? </p><p> The captain told his company that El Faro was disabled, but "did not explain in his communication why he had lost propulsion," Greene said. "He indicated that he had had a navigational incident."</p><p> The captain had said the ship was listing, or leaning, 15 degrees. But it was unclear whether that was due to the wind or environmental conditions, and what impact this may have had on the propulsion system. </p><p> It was also unknown how much time lapsed between the time the propulsion failed and the time the captain reported the problem to his bosses. </p><p> "Based on evaluating the position of the ship when the captain reported (the propulsion failure), he was in the path of the storm," Greene said. </p><p> "I think what is regrettable on this is the fact that the vessel did become disabled in the path of the storm, and that is what (ultimately) led to the tragedy."</p><p> Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Jacksonville on Tuesday.</p><p> "Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, and to issue recommendations and findings to prevent this from happening again," NTSB Vice Chairman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr said.</p><p> "We will be looking at everything so we leave no stone unturned in our investigation."</p><p> Captain's friend: 'He would have weighed all of the factors' </p><p> Legere told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday that he's known Davidson since the 1970s, when Legere was a ferry captain and Davidson served as a deck hand.</p><p> Davidson worked his way up, was promoted to captain and eventually attended Maine Maritime Academy, Legere said.</p><p> "Mike was a very capable and experienced captain," Legere said. "He would have weighed all of the factors -- the weather, the condition of the ship."</p><p> Legere said that deadlines to deliver cargo generally play into a captain's decision to sail.</p><p> "However, I don't believe he would have been pressured by the company, considering the weather forecast and so forth," he said.</p><p> Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Jordan Dehlinger as an El Faro crew member. In fact, her boyfriend, Dylan Meklin, was aboard the ship, according to CNN affiliate WMTW and the Portland Press Herald. Andrew Dehlinger is Jordan's father.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 13:35:49 GMT

Girl takes down 13-foot, 800-pound alligator with crossbow

<p> A 10-year-old Texas girl is getting plenty of attention, after taking down a 13-foot, alligator, with a crossbow.</p><p> [PHOTOS:  <a href="/news/35699818" target="_blank">Girl kills 800-pound alligator</a>]</p><p> Ella Hawk was on her first gator hunt with her father on the Guadalupe River, when she spotted the 800-pound gator.</p><p> Her father, said she took out her crossbow and shot the alligator between the eyes, from about 15 yards away.</p><p> The fifth-grader said she had been practicing and was not nervous.</p><p> </p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:51:47 GMT

On this day: October 7

<p> Edgar Allen Poe dies, East Germany is born, "Cats" begins its domination of Broadway, "American Bandstand" goes off the air, and the U.S. invades Afghanistan, all on this day.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT

Most 'dangerous' celeb web searches of 2015

<p> When it comes to Googling your favorite celebrities for the latest Hollywood dirt, you may want to think twice about clicking unfamiliar links about any of the following stars.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 06:00:00 GMT

Looking into past of Daytona Beach man arrested on rape, torture charges

<p> It was Sept. 23 that the body of 30-year-old Laura Lynn Nagengast was found dumped in a ditch along a stretch of Central Parkway near DeLand.</p><p> Volusia County sheriff's investigators say she was a homeless at the time she was killed, and somehow their search for a killer <a href="/news/registered-sex-offender-rapes-tortures-homeless-pregnant-woman-police-say/35672024" target="_blank">led them to 54-year-old John Lytus.</a></p><p> "John was very sweet and very nice," said his neighbor Brittney Boyd.<br/></p><p> It seems many women shared her view of Lytus.<br/></p><p> Daytona Beach police say just last week, Lytus picked up one woman at a 7-Eleven on Ridgewood Avenue and brought her back to some apartments he was fixing up on Baldwin Lane.<br/></p><p> Inside an RV he had parked along the side of the building, she said he tied her up, tortured her and raped her.<br/></p><p> He was arrested Friday and charged with sexual battery.<br/></p><p> Soon afterward, another woman came forward, claiming he did the same thing to her.<br/></p><p> Lytus -- a Nicarguan national -- is a known sex offender.<br/></p><p> News 6 found out he was convicted of rape in 1986 in New York, he was arrested for stalking in Orange County in 2009, and arrested for this sex battery case last week.<br/></p><p> News 6 also found out in between all of those arrests, he was hiding from law enforcement -- arrested several more times for not registering as a sex offender in the new cities he moved to.<br/></p><p> Could these crimes be connected to similar unsolved murders that happened in Daytona Beach 10 years ago?<br/></p><p> Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood told our partners at the News Journal there's some big differences in those cases, but they're looking at every possibility. </p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:24:59 GMT

Florida teen badly burned in 'fire challenge'

<p> A teen badly burned trying to perform a dangerous game known online as a "fire challenge" is now on life support at Arnold Palmer Hospital, according to his family.</p><p> Robert Seals, 15, will be flown to Cincinnati on Tuesday for treatment of his severe burns, his aunt, Lisa Oliphant, said.</p><p> "All his skin is off, arms peeled, hair burnt," said Oliphant, who watched another teen light her nephew on fire Monday around 7 p.m. near their home on Forestdale Drive in Orlando. "I see the little boy walk up and gush something on him and then flick. I see the little flick, and then my nephew's running down the street on fire."</p><p> Orange County deputies said Seals has burns on 20 percent of his body, but is in stable condition after neighborhood teens were playing a "fire challenge" seen all over the Internet. In cases all over the country, videos show people dousing themselves with a flammable liquid, then setting themselves on fire before putting out the flames. Instead, the dangerous trend has sent people to the hospital.</p><p> Esther Ruiz lives in the neighborhood and said, "I'm scared for my daughter to be playing out here knowing kids are lighting other kids on fire. It just doesn't make sense to me."</p><p> In this case, deputies said Seals doused himself with rubbing alcohol, then dared a friend to light a match and put it to his clothes.</p><p> For the time being, deputies do not plan to arrest the other teen who lit Seals on fire. OCSO said they are exploring the possibility of culpable negligence charges but the case will be forwarded to the State Attorney's Office to decide.</p><p> "That's crazy, but he still should be held accountable," said Oliphant of the other teen. "He did bodily harm and the boy's big enough to know right from wrong."</p><p> According to a release from OCSO, the victim statements to investigators indicated that he willingly and voluntarily participated in a Social Media “fire challenge” that involved rubbing alcohol and a lighter. Both victim and witness statements indicate the victim asked one of his friends to ignite the rubbing alcohol.</p><p> The investigation is ongoing.</p>

Published: Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:25:03 GMT

Low pumpkin yield could put Thanksgiving pumpkin pies at risk

<p> Thanksgiving may still be more than a month away, but a popular holiday dish could be at risk.</p><p> According to canned pumpkin manufacturer, Libby's, the popular pie filling is being threatened by a lower pumpkin yield.</p><p> Experts say, however, that there should be enough pumpkins for Halloween this year.</p>

Published: Wed, 07 Oct 2015 12:02:56 GMT

Photos: Recent Fla. mug shots

<p> Here's a look at some of the individuals who have been arrested recently in the Sunshine State</p>

Published: Tue, 06 Oct 2015 14:31:21 GMT