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Hillsborough man found guilty of 2nd degree murder

Hillsborough man found guilty of 2nd degree murder

Tampa, Florida -- A Hillsborough County man has been convicted of second degree murder in a double shooting that killed one man and brought Plant City to a stand-still.

Francisco Rangel was arrested in December 2008 after a six hour manhunt and a shootout with police that left an innocent bystander dead.

Rangel's lawyers had argued that the 27-year-old originally fired in self defense when two men came to collect money from him at gunpoint.

Rangel still faces a separate trial on a long list of charges stemming from the following day's chase and police shootout.
He'll be sentenced on today's conviction on December 21st.

Gov.-elect Scott back in Bay area Friday, touring USF

Gov.-elect Scott back in Bay area Friday, touring USF

Tampa, Florida -- Florida's governor-elect will return to the Tampa Bay area on Friday after two stops here on Thursday.

Gov.-elect Rick Scott will tour the University of South Florida Research Park and hold a discussion about business and entrepreneurship, according to a news release from his staff.

The tour is scheduled to last from 8 a.m. until 8:30. At that point, Scott will hold a discussion with business students, young entrepreneurs, and executives.

The topic of the talk will be "how the state can grow through economic development and business," according to the release.

At 9:30, Scott has time scheduled to talk with reporters.

The USF visit is part of Scott's "Let's Get to Work" tour of Florida leading up to his inauguration in January.

Pizza robbery victim fights back, takes suspect's ID

Tampa, Florida -- Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies say a robbery suspect decided he'd first eat a slice of cheese pizza before holding up the Orient Road Westshore Pizza on Tuesday night.

But, it seems he picked the wrong person to mess with that night.

"I hear the gun open and he put it here," said the manager, Mohamed Bassioni as he pointed at his waist, "And said, give me all your money."

Bassioni tells 10 News he complied with the suspect's request and opened up the cash register, but as the man was stealing the cash he made the decision to fight back.

"I say, I think God will take care of me, so at that time, I held his hand with the gun and we start to fight," said Bassioni, "He tried to pull back, he said, 'you're a dead man' and I said, 'either one, either me or you will be dead."

As the two scuffled, the gun went off, striking the floor where a bullet hole remained Wednesday afternoon. 

Trial begins for accused killer in 2008 Plant City shoot-out

Trial begins for accused killer in 2008 Plant City shoot-out

Tampa, FL - The all out man hunt on December 5th, 2008 started with a shooting the day before in the backyard of a Plant City home.

Vidal Quejada testified that he was in the backyard where Francisco Rangel shot and killed Michael Longoria.

"Last thing I saw of Michael Longoria, he was clutching his chest and reaching out," said Quejada as tears welled up in his eyes. 

Quejada says he became Rangel's next target.

"Something hit me hard and then I see Mr. Rangel holding his hand out with the gun like this," testified Quejada, gesturing how Rangel was pointing his gun at Longoria on the ground.

During opening statements, Rangel's attorney says his actions were in self-defense.  "The only ill will you will hear in this trial is with Micheal Longoria and Vidal Quejada.  They were both armed and Rangel did everything to protect himself," said lawyer Dana Herce-Fulgueira.

Cold weather brings some chilling memories to Hillsborough homeowners

Plant City, Florida - Jim Harlow still has some cracks on his house that remind him of last January. That's when houses on Creek Way Court began creaking in a bad way.

The sinkholes in the neighborhood caused one house to be condemned and they damaged several others, including Harlow's. The expanding edges of the sinkholes kept homeowners on edge.

"Every other minute we were out here seeing what was going on in the neighborhood," recalls Harlow.

Last January, Farmers pumped billions of gallons of water on their fields trying to save their crops during 11 straight days of freezing temperatures.  Many blame the pumping for the 140 sinkholes that opened up in neighborhoods and on roads.

So with water once again being sprayed, homeowner concerns are pumped up too.

Does race play into how permits are issued? E-mail raises questions

Does race play into how permits are issued? E-mail raises questions

Tampa, Florida -- More questions are being raised tonight about how permits are issued for events at Channelside and whether race places into the equation.

The manager of the Channelside Cinema, Matt Pezzullo, says every time he runs a hip hop event after the movies, he gets the third degree from the Fire Marshal's Office. Pezzullo says that doesn't happen with events with predominately white crowds.

Two weeks ago, Tampa Fire Captain Bill Wade says it would be impossible for the Fire Marshal Office to racially profile an event, because it only asks how many people will be there, not what kind of an event it will be. However, Pezzullo showed us an e-mail following our first story saying, "The events on the 17th and 25th are what kind of events?"

The e-mail is signed by Tampa Fire Marshal Russell C. Spicola.

Forecast: Hillsborough issued Freeze Warning

Forecast: Hillsborough issued Freeze Warning

Hillsborough County, FL - Wind Chill advisories and Freeze Warnings have been issued to Hillsborough. You can see the zoom radar for the area here.

A large Canadian high pressure has plummeted south into the eastern U.S. bringing cold air all the way down to Florida. We are waking up to Wind Chill Advisories this morning and Freeze Warnings for tonight and likely tomorrow night. That cold air is blowing in on northwest winds that will stay in the 10-20 mph range through this afternoon. A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued until 9 a.m. for Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties as it will feel like 30-35 degrees at times this morning. Skies will be clear and sunny today, but the cold air will only allow us to warm to the mid 50s today when the typical high is 73!