Latest Florida news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EST


Mexico scientist accused as Russian spy held without bail

MIAMI (AP) — A Mexican scientist accused of spying for Russia in Miami will be detained without bail for now. A federal judge said Friday that 35-year-old Hector Cabrera Fuentes could seek release on bail after he hires a private lawyer. An FBI affidavit says Cabrera was tasked by Russia's intelligence service to track down a vehicle owned by a U.S. government informant. The FBI says the informant had previously provided information to the U.S. about Russian intelligence operations. The FBI says Cabrera and one of his two wives carried out the mission on Valentine's Day, and Cabrera was detained Sunday.  Cabrera is a microbiologist working in Singapore.


Florida woman guilty in torture death of adopted daughter

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida woman has pleaded guilty in the torture death of her adopted 10-year-old daughter nine years ago. Under the deal Friday, 69-year-old Carmen Barahona would get a life prison sentence in exchange for testimony against her husband, Jorge Barahona. They were charged in the 2011 death of Nubia Barahona. Her chemical-doused body was found in the back of her father's pickup truck along Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County. Her twin brother was injured but survived. The case roiled the state Department of Children & Families because so many signs of abuse were missed.


AP Exclusive: DEA agent accused of conspiring with cartel

MIAMI (AP) — A once-standout U.S. federal narcotics agent known for spending lavishly on luxury cars and Tiffany jewelry has been arrested on charges he conspired to launder money with the same Colombian drug cartel he was tasked with fighting. Authorities say Jose Irizarry and his wife were taken into custody Friday in Puerto Rico. An indictment handed up in Tampa, Florida accuses Irizarry of secretly using his position as a federal agent to divert millions of dollars in drug proceeds from DEA control. Messages sent to Irizarry's attorney seeking comment were not immediately returned.


Detectives: Gunman killed Florida trooper without warning

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — An investigation into the fatal shooting of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper concluded the attack came without warning. A sheriff's investigation released Friday showed that Trooper Joseph Bullock was sitting in his patrol car Feb. 5 alongside Interstate 95 when a motorist he had been helping suddenly pulled a gun and shot him in the head. Franklin Reed then tried to shoot a tow truck driver, but his gun jammed. Reed then engaged in a gun battle with a passing police officer who had stopped to help Bullock. Detective Jemel Headings shot Ellis, who then killed himself.


Florida homeless group helps top chefs prep food festival

MIAMI BEACH (AP) — From Rachael Ray to Bobby Flay, celebrity chefs are in Miami Beach this weekend for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. What the fine-palated foodies paying top dollar for their dishes might not know is that one of Florida's largest homeless shelters helped prepare their meals. With more than 65,000 meals being served at more than 100 events during the festival, finding enough space and prep help is tricky. So the festival partners with Miami Rescue Mission and Florida International University's culinary school. In exchange, the homeless get leftovers and tickets to some of the pricey events.


Lawsuits: Alabama failed to protect foster kids from abuse

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama lawyer is seeking $100 million in damages for four children who were fostered or adopted by a couple accused of child abuse. News outlets report the cases involve Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon, who kept about 50 children over the years as they lived in Florence, Alabama, and then Cape Coral, Florida. Daniel Spurgeon is serving a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty to child abuse, sexual abuse and torture of children in the couple's care. Jenise Spurgeon awaits trial in Alabama and both face more charges in Florida. Birmingham attorney Tommy James says the Alabama Department of Human Resources ignored clear signs of abuse.


Florida truck driver pleads guilty to 1980 Colorado killing

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — A 62-year-old Florida truck driver tied by DNA to the killing of a Denver radio station intern nearly 40 years ago has pleaded guilty to murder. James Clanton, who pleaded guilty Friday, was arrested in December for the 1980 slaying and sexual assault of 21-year-old Helene Pruszynski. Police uploaded DNA to a genealogy site and found several potential distant relatives. Two of the top matches later allowed investigators to access their family trees on After eliminating several relatives, investigators focused on Clanton and went to Florida to get a surreptitious DNA sample. They tested a beer mug he was seen using at a bar, which led to the charges.


Jury deadlocked in double murder case of Tampa ice cream man

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Juror in Tampa have told a judge they can't reach a verdict in a decade-old case of an ice cream man accused of killing two men. The jurors informed the Hillsborough County judge of their decision Friday morning after some six hours of deliberations. Michael Keetley is accused of shooting at a group of men sitting on a porch on Thanksgiving morning 2010. Prosecutors say Keetley was seeking justice for an attack on him earlier that year. He has always maintained his innocence. Now, prosecutors must decide whether to retry Keeting following the three-week trial.


Sheriff: Man fatally shot himself while playing with gun

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff's officials say a man fatally shot him while playing with a gun as he waited to get a haircut. The man was sitting on a bucket outside his bedroom door on Thursday while he waited for another man to cut his hair. Hernando County Sheriff's officials say he started playing with a handgun, which discharged. The man was already dead when sheriff's deputies arrived. The sheriff's office is calling the death a “horrible accident."


Teacher washed out student's mouth with hand sanitizer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — School officials in Florida have suspended a middle school teacher after an investigation found she used hand sanitizer to wash out the mouth of a student who was talking too loud in her class. The Palm Beach County school board voted Wednesday to suspend Guyette Duhart for 10 days without pay for the Oct. 14 incident at Polo Park Middle School in Wellington. The report says the student told administrators that Duhart grabbed a bottle of hand sanitizer and pumped it into his mouth. The teacher told investigators she held it near his mouth and the student pumped it into his mouth.