Connect with us

Central Florida News

State Attorney Worrell Slams Gov. DeSantis with Facts on Keith Moses’ Mass Shooting



State Attorney Monique Worrell speaks with the press at her office in Downtown Orlando Thursday, March 9, 2023. Photo: J. Willie David III / Florida National News.
State Attorney Monique Worrell speaks with the press at her office in Downtown Orlando Thursday, March 9, 2023. Photo: J. Willie David III / Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orange and Osceola County State Attorney Monique Worrell, in modern parlance, “brought the receipts” to Thursday morning’s press conference–sharing facts and figures to clear her and her office’s name against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s recent criticism of her office’s handling of the Keith Moses mass shooting in Pine Hills in February.

Update on Keith Moses’s Sentencing

State Attorney Worrell announced that Moses has been charged with second-degree murder in all three deaths, along with other charges. She preemptively explained that he’s been charged with second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder because a first-degree charge requires an indictment, which will take some time, so the second-degree charge is in place to keep Moses detained until he’s indicted.

Setting the Record Straight on Prosecuting Moses

State Attorney Worrell also went out of her way to clarify the truth of Moses’s history. She gave the caveat that she can’t speak at length about Moses’ juvenile record, but wanted to challenge the narrative presented thus far by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that Moses has a history of violence. She explained that he has been charged with four felonies, only one of which was violent in nature.

Three involved auto theft, one in which there was no passenger in the vehicle; and for the case involving a gun, an armed robbery, Moses was not the one in possession of the gun. She also pointed out that in the case she referenced two weeks ago–the one involving Moses’s possession of marijuana–Worrell’s office didn’t prosecute the case due to legislation the governor himself signed, altering the legal marijuana possession amount to the point that “it became difficult to distinguish between legal hemp and illegal cannabis.”

The Problem Starts with Law Enforcement

State Attorney Worrell made an important distinction: her office cannot prosecute junk cases–in other words, cases in which law enforcement violates the law in the process of apprehending a suspect, such as unlawful search and seizure. She shared an example of a case in which a law enforcement officer put his hand in the pocket of a person of interest to retrieve the person’s key fob and walked the street to find the person’s vehicle, at which point the deputy found evidence, but once it reached her office, the case couldn’t go any further because of the unlawful seizure.

As a solution, she said she has met with Orlando Police Chief Eric Smith and they are now in talks to partner with her office so OPD officers can be better trained so they can help “make better cases” to prosecute the criminals.

Worrell’s Proposed New Law

Worrell said the solution for criminals like Moses would involve catching them at the juvenile level, by both extending the jurisdiction of juvenile crimes past 19 years old and foster the creation of and more funding for programs that reduce recidivism. She said she has spoken with newly elected State Representative LaVon Bracy Davis, who is sponsoring legislation to that effect: HB 1273 – Juvenile Justice.

In summary, the bill:

  • permits a juvenile with one prior sealing or expunction to obtain court-ordered expunction
  • provides a court may retain post disposition jurisdiction until child reaches age 21 for certain youth on post-commitment probation
  • revises provisions relating to disposition hearings
  • provides for tolling of a juvenile’s probation period when notice of affidavit of violation is filed until allegation is resolved
  • revises maximum amount of time juvenile may be committed to juvenile corrections facility
  • revises age ranges of juveniles who may be committed to such facilities; and
  • revises offenses that permit juveniles to be committed to such facilities.

When Florida National News asked Worrell if she would be willing to travel to Tallahassee to speak with the governor directly, she said she’s “willing to do whatever it takes,” noting that in the event her presence would hinder the progress of the bill, she was also willing to remove herself to ensure it moves forward.

Calling the Governor Out

Worrell seemed unsurprised by Governor Ron DeSantis’ choice to target her, stating that her office is providing documents as requested. She noted a key caveat: if her office were to provide information on all cases under her administration, that would amount to roughly 300,000 documents, which would cost taxpayers $800,000 in man hours to research and furnish.

She presented a spreadsheet with statistics from her current administration (two years in thus far) and the previous three administrations, addressing the concern of dropped cases. She pointed out that so far she is within one percent of her predecessors in the total number of dropped cases. Additionally, she asserted that her administration does not have a policy for dropped cases as was alleged, but that there are other prosecutors who do.

Worrell also called out the governor’s silence to the families of the three victims and two survivors in the Pine Hills shooting despite his sharp criticism and call for accountability.

Selective Criticism/Enforcement

Speaking of accountability, Worrell noted that not long after the Pine Hills mass shooting, there was a similar crime in Brevard County and that prosecutor, State Attorney Phil Archer, was in the exact same situation she’s in. Archer, who serves in a red county, however, has yet to receive any public records requests from the governor.

Florida National News asked Worrell if she ahs spoken with her fellow prosecutors on this. She confirmed the Florida Prosecting Attorneys Association has already met and discussed this, and that not only were they all concerned about the juvenile crime issue, but that they too have already sought out their respective lawmakers to draft legislation.

Worrell was asked about whether she’s aware that her job is now in jeopardy. She said she knew her job was in jeopardy the moment her colleague in Tampa, former State Attorney Andrew Warren, was targeted by Governor DeSantis and removed from his job. She said she knows he’s targeting her simply because she doesn’t abide by his wishes or match his political ideology, but instead “follow[s] the law.”

When asked about the governor’s push for constitutional carry, she called it “catastrophic,” saying that such legislation will lead to even more shootings, especially since many criminals use stolen guns.

This is an ongoing story. Bookmark for more updates.


Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. |

Central Florida News

State Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis’s Safety Standards for Amusement Rides Bill Passed First Committee



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – This week, Representative LaVon Bracy Davis’s (D-Ocoee) HB 1241 Safety Standards for Amusement Rides, also known as the Tyre Sampson Act, passed its first committee. Tyre Sampson was a promising young man who visited Orlando almost exactly one year ago for spring break and fell 400 feet from the Free Fall ride when his harness failed. Tragically, Tyre died on impact. This bill creates more safety precautions and inspections for amusement park rides including stricter safety standards, more signage, and further inspections.

“On behalf of the Sampson family, we are incredibly grateful to Senator Thompson and Representative Bracy Davis for their dedication to The Sampson family and the safety of all Floridians. We are also grateful to the bipartisan unanimous group of Senators and Representatives who have voted to move this good bill forward. Tyre Sampson was a 14-year-old son, star student, and star athlete who lost his life in a tragic and preventable accident that was the direct result of unthinkable negligence. This bill ensures that Tyre’s legacy will be to make sure that an incident like this never happens to anyone else’s child,” stated Todd Michaels and Michael Haggard, attorneys from The Haggard Law Firm who represent Sampson’s mother.

Representative Bracy Davis stated, “Tyre Sampson was a smart, athletic, and kind boy with big dreams that he will never be able to accomplish. What happened to Tyre was devastating, leaving a hole in his family that will never be filled. Visitors from out of state, like Tyre, as well as Floridians, should be able to trust that we do our due diligence to keep them safe when they come to enjoy the many attractions Florida offers. This bill will do that, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill to the floor.”

Continue Reading

Central Florida News

Sheriff’s Office investigating fatal shooting at Aqua Vista Drive in Orlando



ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – On March 28, 2023 at 11:53 p.m., Orange County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 4300 block of Aqua Vista Drive for a shooting call and found a man in his 30s in the parking lot who had been shot. He was pronounced dead on scene.

The Sheriff’s office said, it’s very early in the investigation and we have no suspect information at this time.

Continue Reading

Central Florida News

Senator Linda Stewart joins Senator Jason Brodeur in co-introducing SB 880: Biosolids



Tallahassee, FL – Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orange County) joins Senator Jason Brodeur (R – Seminole County) in co-introducing SB 880: Biosolids.

This bill establishes a grant program within the Department of Environmental Protection for municipalities seeking to convert wastewater into useable biosolids. Wastewater treatment processes separate liquids and solids in order to create a nutrient rich earth like matter known as biosolds. In order to create the highest quality of biosolids, known as Class A, the separated solid waste must be treated in a manner that eliminates pathogens before its distribution to users.

“Our state has long been affected by its lack of wide-spread sewer systems, and has been in desperate need of proper funding to modernize and expand the systems we currently have. By creating this grant program we will remove the harmful nutrients that continue to overload our waterways and lead to dangerous events such as algae blooms,” said Stewart.

Class A biosolids have many important applications in place of chemical fertilizers. With their high standards for treatment of pathogens, they are able to be used as both agricultural and at home alternates to chemical fertilizers that leach into nearby water supplies, resulting in the death of native species and reducing human use of waterways.

“It’s time we utilize our wastewater to its fullest potential, and through treating our wastewater and producing biosolids we have a win-win-win situation. We upgrade our water treatment infrastructure that stops sewage seepage into water sources, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous levels that degrade our environment, and produce a useable product that’s superior to our synthetic versions on the market today,” said Stewart

Continue Reading