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Latest from Robert Alonso

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is looking for your help to solve a double shooting that's claimed the life of one of the victims.  35-year-old Hakeem Rashad Busch was identified by JSO this morning as the man whose body was found Sunday evening outside a home on the 1800 block of Newbolt Court.   The other victim - a woman - hasn't been identified and her condition isn't clear at this point, but we do know she was transported to a local hospital for treatment.   Neighbors tell our partner Action News Jax that they heard around 12 to 15 shots in the area and that a black Chevrolet Camaro sped off just before JSO arrived on scene.   It's not clear what relationship might exist between Busch and the other victim.   Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. Those who wish to remain anonymous and possibly qualify for a cash reward can call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).
  • The unofficial start to summer is here.  Memorial Day can certainly be somber, especially for military folks. But if your holiday plans include a bit of water fun, make sure your boat is safe and ready to go.  Coast Guard officials like Lt. Chris Booth are urging you to keep your life-jackets on and have some kind of locating beacon on board if your holiday plans include getting on the water.   'Those types of things go a long way in helping us process search and rescue cases,' Booth added.   Booth is also warning you to be careful about drinking if you're out on the water and to not be afraid to ask the USCG for a safety check of your boat before going out on the water.   If your holiday plans involve a long-distance road trip, expect a lot of people to join you. AAA is projecting 39 million Americans to do a long-distance trip this Memorial Day weekend. That's their largest since 2005.
  • Jacksonville police have made an arrest in a cold case from over 40 years ago.  Johnie Lewis Miller is now in custody for the May 1974 murder of Freddie Farah.   Bobby Farah - Freddie's son - and other family members were alongside Sheriff Mike Williams.   'We're relieved,' Bobby Farah added. 'I mean, some of us never thought we'd see this day.'   Police say Farah was shot and killed during the robbery of his Kings Road convenience store.  Miller was found in New Orleans working as a street performer.
  • Jacksonville police asked for your help over a week ago to find him. Now the Sheriff's Office says they've caught the man responsible for five burglaries at businesses on Timuquana Road and Blanding Boulevard. 37-year-old Christopher P. Bullard was identified as the suspect after multiple tips came in from the public, according to detectives. Detectives believe he broke into the Blanding Food Mart and the Timuquana Food Store three times between February and April and also burglarized the same Metro PCS store twice.  He's now in custody on $250,000 bond at Duval County Jail.
  • It's not official yet, but the St. Johns Sheriff's Office is preparing for the worst in the case of a missing swimmer. The county's Medical Examiner has taken possession of a body which washed up this morning on Vilano Beach. Commander Chuck Mulligan tells us beach runners going through the area around 7:45 this morning found the body and called for help. 'The body was found several miles north of the inlet where Skyler Taylor disappeared on Sunday,' Mulligan added. Search crews had been looking for Taylor ever since, but those efforts were suspended just before the body was found. It's not clear at this point if the body is of Taylor, though Mulligan does say the condition is consistent with being in the water for a few days and the Sheriff's Office has no other missing person reports in the area. Due to the body's condition, Mulligan tells us the Medical Examiner will need some time to determine the identity.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office wants your help to find a panhandler who tried to rob a Five Guys restaurant in Mandarin earlier this week. It happened around 8 a.m. Sunday at the location on San Jose Boulevard near Crown Point Road. Officers say a black man in the parking lot walked into the store and demanded money from employees. According to the JSO incident report, the man walked in behind a female employee and told another female employee when she asked him to leave that he would only when he got 'the money'. The report also notes that the suspect chased both women at one point, but then left after seeing security cameras in the office area. JSO says the suspect - who appeared to be unarmed - left in an early 2000's model silver Honda Accord heading north on San Jose without any money from the restaurant. The bearded suspect stands around 6 feet tall and weighs between 200 and 220 pounds with short black hair and a dark complexion. He was wearing a dark T-shirt, dark shorts and white high-top sneakers. Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. Those who wish to remain anonymous and possibly qualify for a cash reward can call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS (8477).
  • Federal government officials are speaking out at this time about the conviction earlier today of former Jacksonville Congresswoman Corrine Brown on 18 of 22 counts in her federal fraud trial. See the full statement below from the Jacksonville office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. See the full statement below from the Department of Justice's Middle District of Florida office.
  • It's going to light up a dark part of Fleming Island. Construction begins today to brighten up nearly three miles of US 17 between County Road 220 and Creighton Road with automated LED street lights. Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman Mary Justino says it's a stretch of road where they've received lots of complaints from drivers that it's too dark once the sun sets. 'People who drive on 17 in Fleming Island are going to notice large equipment coming in,' Justino added. '[Construction crews are] going to start near Eagle Harbor and work their way north towards the Doctors' Lake Bridge.' 158 new lights sitting atop 40-foot high aluminum poles and 15-foot long bracketed arm extensions will alternate side-to-side down US 17, each placed around 12 feet from the road shoulder. The lights alone are costing the state around $1.5 million dollars and all of them should be ready to go in about 10 to 12 months depending on weather, according to Justino. FDOT also tells us the lights should illuminate the nearby Black Creek Bike Trail at night once they're ready to go. No lane closures are planned at any point, but drivers are warned to be cautious and aware of workers nearby, especially if they see barriers in place along the shoulder. Justino says FDOT is currently researching a similar idea for parts of US 17 south of CR 220, especially those which have seen an increase in accidents recently.
  • The mother of a 15-month-old boy and her boyfriend are now locked up at Duval County Jail in connection to his death earlier this year.  The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced this morning the arrests of 29-year-olds Lori Hopper and Andre Keller on a manslaughter and murder charge, respectively, in the death of Isaiah Keller.   JSO Homicide Lt. Steve Golloher says the toddler died at Wolfson Children's Hospital last January 22nd, but it took some time for detectives to determine how the boy actually died.   'We've received the medical examiner's report indicating that they ruled it a homicide,' Golloher added. 'The death was caused by asphyxia.'   Detectives originally did not suspect foul play in the boy's death because there were no obvious signs of it, even after investigating the hotel room at the Diamond Inn on Ramona Blvd. where he and his family were staying at the time of his death.   Golloher also told reporters Andre Keller is not the boy's biological dad, even though he is listed as the dad on his birth certificate.   According to JSO, Andre told police the boy wouldn't respond after they laid him down in bed with a bottle and that's when he and Hopper took him to the emergency room.   Three of Keller's biological children - ages 9, 8 and 4 - were also living in the hotel room with Keller, Hopper and Isaiah. They're now in DCF custody after JSO discovered drugs in the room.   Two of them told police they saw Keller tie Isaiah up when he started crying, a story that Hopper also corroborated later on.   Detectives say video evidence shows Hopper and Keller both waited for some time to get help after finding the boy unconscious.
  • A 49-year-old Vero Beach man is dead after troopers think he fell off the Mickler O'Connell Bridge in St. Augustine early this morning.  It happened around 1:20 a.m. near the eastbound lanes of the bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.   Troopers think Glenn Totemeier was riding a bicycle when he crossed over two travel lanes, entered the right shoulder and hit the concrete barrier wall, causing him to fall over the edge.   He died at the scene.   No other vehicles or people were involved, according to the crash report. It also notes Totemeier wasn't wearing a helmet.   An autopsy is pending to determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor.
  • Robert Alonso

    Morning Reporter

    Robert Alonso is the Morning Reporter and backup News Anchor for Jacksonville's Morning News.  

    He joined WOKV in March 2016 after spending 4 years as a news reporter/backup news anchor for WNDB in Daytona Beach.  

    Other news outlets/stations Robert has been a part of are WSJS in Winston-Salem (North Carolina), Metro Networks (Miami, FL) and WFTL in Fort Lauderdale (FL), where he started after getting his degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida International University.  

    Robert also has experience in sports radio, working for a year as a talk show producer for SiriusXM's College Sports Nation channel in Washington, DC.  

    Other sports companies/stations Robert has worked at include the Carolina Panthers (gameday producer/on-air talent for Spanish radio), IMG College (studio host for the radio broadcasts of the universities of Akron, Vanderbilt, Arkansas and Oregon), WQAM (Miami) and WFLL (Fort Lauderdale).  

    Robert is married to the former Traci Isley, the best Southern redhead in the world. No kids yet... unless you want to count Moqui, their Jack Russell mix. (She does.)

    Read More

The Latest News Headlines

  • It's underway all summer. The Blue Star Museums 2019 program has kicked off, allowing the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, to visit participating museums free of charge.  The 2019 program officially started on Saturday, May 18th, which is Armed Forces Day, and will run through Labor Day on Monday, September, 2nd.  Locally, military families will be able to visit the following museums free of charge:  Jacksonville  -Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens  -Mandarin Museum & Historical Society  -MOCA Jacksonville  -Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum  Jacksonville Beach  -Beaches Museum  St. Augustine  -Lightner Museum  -St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum  To find museums outside of Northeast Florida, click HERE. The Blue Star Museums program is a collaboration among the National Endowment for Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums.
  • A judge sentenced the man who admitted to killing a Wisconsin couple last year before holding their 13-year-old daughter captive for three months to life in prison without the possibility of supervised release. >> Read more trending news Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, appeared before a Barron County judge for sentencing in the killing of James and Denise Closs and the kidnapping of their daughter, Jayme, according to the Duluth News Tribune. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of intentional homicide for gunning down James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, in the early morning hours of Oct. 15. He also pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping for abducting Jayme. >> Man pleads guilty to kidnapping Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs, killing her parents Update 4:30 p.m. EDT May 24: A judge sentenced Patterson to life in prison without the possibility of parole for each of the intentional homicide charges to which Patterson pleaded guilty. The judge also gave Patterson the maximum sentence -- 40 years -- for kidnapping Jayme. Update 4:20 p.m. EDT May 24: In a brief, tearful statement in court, Patterson said he “would do like, absolutely anything to take back what I did.” “I would die,” he said. “I would.” Patterson’s attorneys asked a judge to sentence him to life in prison without the possibility of parole until 2072 for the killings of James and Denise Closs. The sentencing hearing is ongoing. Update 3:30 p.m. EDT May 24: In a statement read by an attorney Friday in court, Jayme said Patterson took many things from her but that, “He can never take my spirit away.” “He thought he could make me like him, but he was wrong,” she said. “He can’t stop me from being happy and moving forward with my life. I will go on to do great things in my life, and he will not. Jake Patterson will never have any power over me.” Chris Gramstrup, an attorney representing Jayme, read the victim impact statement in court. “He stole my parents from me,” Jayme said in the statement. “He stole almost everything I loved from me. For 88 days, he tried to steal me, and he didn’t care who he hurt or who he killed to do that. He should stay locked up forever.” Prosecutors said Jayme and her mother heard Patterson shoot and kill James Closs as they huddled together in a bathtub. Denise Closs called 911 as Patterson tried to batter down the bathroom door. Once he broke down the door, he wrestled the phone from Denise Closs and ordered her to tape Jayme’s mouth, hands and feet, prosecutors said. He told authorities that he thought she was doing a bad job, so he put down his shotgun to do it himself. Once Jayme was restrained, authorities said he picked up his shotgun again and, with Jayme feet from her mother, shot Denise Closs in the head. He then dragged Jayme to his car, threw her in the trunk and drove her to his home, where she was held captive for 88 days. Through Gramstrup, Jayme said her parents “did all they could to make me happy and protect me.” “He took them away from me forever,” Jayme said. “I felt safe in my home and I love my room and all of my belongings. He took all of that too. I don’t want to even see my home or my stuff because of the memory of that night. My parents and my home were the most important things in my life.” She said that since her escape in January, “It’s too hard for me to go out in public.” “I get scared and I get anxious,” she said. Prosecutors said Jayme escaped from Patterson’s home Jan. 10 after he left her alone. Original report: Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said members of Jayme’s family are expected to give statements at Friday’s hearing, MPR News reported. The court proceeding is expected to last several hours, according to CNN. Under Wisconsin law, Patterson will face a mandatory life sentence for each of the homicide convictions, the Duluth News Tribune reported. The main question for Friday will be whether Patterson will eventually be eligible for parole, according to the newspaper. >> Who is Jake Thomas Patterson? Suspect in Jayme Closs kidnapping identified Authorities said Patterson admitted to targeting Jayme after seeing her get on a school bus while he was driving home from work one day. He told investigators he did not know the Closses before the attack. Jayme told authorities she woke early on the morning of Oct. 15 when the family dog started barking. She woke her parents and then hid with her mother in a bathroom. Investigators said Patterson shot and killed James Closs before he found Jayme and Denise Closs in the bathroom. >> Jayme Closs kidnapping: Suspect charged in Closs murders, bail set at $5 million Jayme said Patterson killed her mother before dragging her to his car and driving her to what would turn out to be his home in Douglas County. He was arrested after Jayme escaped Jan. 10 from his home and flagged down a woman walking her dog. >> Jayme Closs to be given $25K reward after she saved herself from accused kidnapper Jayme told investigators Patterson made her hide under the bed in his bedroom for as many as 12 hours at a time without food, water or bathroom breaks. She escaped after Patterson left her alone in the home 88 days after he first abducted her. Jayme is living with her aunt and uncle, the Stevens Point Journal reported.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is actively investigating on the Westside, after a man called 911, claiming he had just shot someone attempting to break into his home. Police say this happened on North Dover Cliff Drive in the Pilgrims Trace neighborhood.  When officers arrived, they say they found a man dead in a nearby roadway. He has not yet been identified, but he's described by JSO as a black male between 30 and 40-years-old.  The investigation is still in its early states, but JSO says it does not appear that the two knew each other. We're told the homeowner is being cooperative with investigation.  Police are asking anyone with information on what happened to come forward.
  • House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said he was OK on Friday after he appeared to nearly faint during a news conference in New York City. >> Read more trending news Nadler, D-N.Y., was appearing Friday at a news conference about plans to expand the city’s use of speed cameras in school zones when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio appeared to notice he looked pale, WABC-TV reported. Video from the news conference showed Nadler looking ill and weak as the mayor asked him if he wanted some water.  The New York Daily News reported that paramedics called a code blue emergency after Nadler appeared to suffer from a brief dizzy spell. He was given water and an orange and later taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill Hospital, according to the Daily News. “Appreciate everyone’s concern,” Nadler said in a statement posted later Friday on Twitter. “Was very warm in the room this morning, was obviously dehydrated and felt a bit ill. Glad to receive fluids and am feeling much better. Thank you for your thoughts.”
  • A Colorado man arrested in Utah earlier this year for threatening to “kill as many girls as (he saw)” has been sentenced to serve up to five years in prison, despite prosecutors’ recommendation that he serve probation.  Christopher Wayne Cleary, 27, of Denver, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempt to make a terroristic threat as part of a plea deal with Utah County prosecutors, according to The Deseret News. Cleary, who was arrested in Provo in January, was already on probation in Colorado on two previous convictions of stalking women, the newspaper reported.  Cleary expressed remorse over his words. “I’m just sorry for what happened,” Cleary told the court, according to the News.  Prosecutors in Utah negotiated a plea deal with Cleary for a third-degree felony charge instead of the second-degree felony with which he was initially charged, the News reported. In exchange for his plea -- which would let them secure a felony conviction -- they agreed to recommend no jail time. The plea bargain was aimed at helping Colorado authorities send Cleary to prison for violating his probation in the stalking cases, the News reported.  >> Related story: Man upset over not having girlfriend accused of mass shooting threat to girls Fourth District Judge Christine Johnson on Thursday declined to take the state up on its recommendation, citing her uncertainty of whether Cleary would serve any jail time for probation violation in Colorado, the newspaper said. “I don’t want to be in the position of guessing what Colorado is going to do,” Johnson said during Cleary’s sentencing hearing.  Cleary was arrested Jan. 19, the same day multiple women’s marches were being held in Utah and throughout the country, based on an alarming Facebook post he wrote the night before, the News said. In the post, he bemoaned his lack of romantic prospects and, like several mass shooters who have targeted women, blamed the opposite sex for his plight. “All I wanted was a girlfriend,” Cleary wrote, according to a police affidavit obtained by The Denver Post. “All I wanted was to be loved, yet no one cares about me. I’m 27 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend before, and I’m still a virgin. This is why I’m planning on shooting up a public place soon and being the next mass shooter ‘cause I’m ready to die and all the girls the turned me down is going to make it right by killing as many girls as I see.” Another post stated, “There’s nothing more dangerous than (a) man ready to die,” the Post reported.  Cleary’s threats alarmed state and federal authorities in Colorado and neighboring Utah, where they traced his cellphone the following day. He was arrested at a McDonald’s in Provo and charged with making a terroristic threat.  Following his arrest, Cleary told investigators he was “upset and not thinking clearly” when he wrote the Facebook posts. According to the Post, he deleted the threats after other people called him and threatened him. Court records obtained by multiple newspapers paint a disturbing portrait of Cleary, who was accused of stalking and harassment by at least eight women and girls dating back at least seven years. The News reported that Cleary was also accused of threatening to bomb a grocery store in 2013 and threatened to commit a mass shooting at a mental health facility in 2016.  >> Read more trending news An 18-year-old Arvada woman called police on New Year’s Eve 2015 and reported that Cleary, with whom she’d been chatting on Facebook, began harassing her online and over the phone after she declined to go on a date with him. According to the Post, the woman told detectives he would use aliases, including one alias on Facebook named John Coleman. “I’ve been watching you,” the person claiming to be Coleman wrote to her on Facebook. “Soon here, you’ll be lying in your deathbed.” During that investigation, Arvada detectives found details of a previous criminal investigation in which Cleary told another woman who spurned his advances she should kill herself, the Post reported. He also posted her name and phone number in an online sex ad, offering her services for $20, court records show. In a prior misdemeanor harassment case from earlier in 2015, Cleary was convicted after talking a woman into posing naked for him and then posting the picture to a fake Facebook page in her name, the newspaper reported.  A harassment case from Denver found Cleary accused of writing threatening messages to a 17-year-old girl, including a message that said, “I own multipul (sic) guns. I can have u dead in a second. One day I’ma snap and kill everyone,” according to court documents. A second Denver case involved a 19-year-old woman who said she lived with Cleary in a hotel room for two weeks, during which time he choked her and urinated on her, the court documents said.  Cleary was convicted in October 2016 on two counts of stalking and harassment involving two of the three alleged victims in Arvada, the Post said. He was sentenced to two years of probation.  Cleary was arrested in yet another stalking case less than a year later. A 43-year-old Lakewood woman who had dated him called 911 Aug. 5, 2017, to report Cleary was stalking her. He was arrested outside the woman’s house. According to the Post, Cleary told investigators the woman was the only person who loved him and he was lonely without her. The woman told police she and Cleary had a sexual relationship -- contradicting Cleary’s claim earlier this year that he was a virgin. The victim told police Cleary, who began stalking her when she broke off the relationship, had called her 45 times that day, threatening her and telling her he hoped she would die.  “I am going to burn your house down,” Cleary told her, according to court records. “I am going to send people to your house to kill you.” Cleary also posted her phone number and address on Craigslist “soliciting sexual acts and rape,” according to a probable cause statement in the case. The woman said she’d received multiple phone calls from strangers due to the ad. The woman told police she lost 20 pounds and began having nightmares and anxiety attacks because of the stalking, the Post reported.  Cleary pleaded guilty to charges of felony stalking and making threats, the newspaper said. A judge in Jefferson County sentenced him last May to three years of probation.  Despite having violated his probation on the Arvada cases, he was not jailed following his guilty plea in the case involving the Lakewood woman, the Post reported. Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, said Cleary’s mental health played a part in his sentencing in that case, as well as in his 2016 stalking conviction, which was handled in Adult Mental Health Court.  “The courts decided to let his mental health issues be a big component of his treatment,” Russell told the Post.  Cleary’s defense attorney in the most recent case, Dustin Parmley, said this week that his client’s violent words are related to his mental illness, which he was reportedly diagnosed with at age 10. Cleary told investigators he takes medication for an impulse control disorder.  Parmley said Cleary’s words have never turned to action. Investigators found no evidence that Cleary had weapons or attempted to obtain any, the Post said.  The newspaper reported that four of the criminal investigations into Cleary ended without charges filed against him.  Cleary will serve his time in Utah before being transferred to Colorado to face probation violation charges there, the News reported. An official with the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole told the paper his earliest hearing could take place as soon as September. The News said the board could potentially set a release date at that time, or members could decide to keep him in prison. Cleary could serve the entire five years of his sentence before being returned to Colorado. 

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