Andrew Schmuhl denied bond in torture, stabbings of McLean couple

The second Springfield lawyer accused of brutally stabbing a McLean couple last week was denied bond Tuesday after new details emerged about the attack that prosecutors have described as a “torture session.”

Andrew Schmuhl, charged with two counts of malicious wounding and abduction by force, appeared at a hearing in Fairfax County.

Prosecutors say he broke into the McLean home Nov. 9 and left homeowners Leo Fisher and his wife, Susan Duncan, with life-threatening injuries. Prosecutors say Andrew Schmuhl was accompanied by his wife, Alecia, who had recently been fired by a law firm where Fisher is managing partner.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared in the B section of The Washington Post.

Full Of The Devil: Eva Hobbs’ Battle With Her Son’s Mental Illness Ended in Her Bloody Bedroom; His Continues in a Jail Cell

Kris Hobbs, 36, son of Eva Hobbs, and Diane Wicker, 60, her lifelong friend, look through family photographs of Eva during a recent meeting at the Ledger Media Group office in Winter Haven. Hobbs' twin brother, Micah Hobbs, has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of their mother on March 9. (Michael Wilson/ The Ledger)

Kris Hobbs, 36, son of Eva Hobbs, and Diane Wicker, 60, her lifelong friend, look through family photographs of Eva during a recent meeting at the Ledger Media Group office in Winter Haven. Hobbs’ twin brother, Micah Hobbs, has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of their mother on March 9. (Michael Wilson/ The Ledger)

WINTER HAVEN | No one could have predicted the bloody bedroom that night, but Eva Hobbs had a bad feeling.

One can only imagine the tension swelling, the fear compiling, until finally, something snapped in a way it never had before.

Hobbs devoted her life, even her final hours, to taking care of her mentally ill son: going out after midnight into a cold night to take him pizza, making sure he had new clothes.

“If there was one thing anyone could say about (Eva), it’s that she loved her children,” said Jessica McLaughlin, Hobbs’ soon to be daughter-in-law. “Day or night, she was at that boy’s beck and call.”

Those efforts, had they been fruitful, might have saved her life.

Records acquired by The Ledger show Hobbs tried in vain to get police and mental health help for her son, Micah Hobbs, on March 8, but he wasn’t deemed a threat to himself or others.

Less than 12 hours later, police say Micah Hobbs stabbed his mother to death.

The rest of this article can be found here as it appeared on page A1 of The Ledger.

Family Mourns Death of 2-Year-Old Hit by Truck in Bartow

Flowers and candles adorn the spot where 2-year-old Alex Menendez was hit and killed Monday in the Bartow Mobile Home Park. He is survived by his mother, father, and 7-year-old brother. | Miles Parks, The Ledger

Flowers and candles adorn the spot where 2-year-old Alex Menendez was hit and killed Monday in the Bartow Mobile Home Park. He is survived by his mother, father, and 7-year-old brother. | Miles Parks, The Ledger

BARTOW | A life lost less than three years after it began put tears in Odorico Menendez’s eyes.

“That was my son,” Menendez said. “That was my baby.”

Menendez’s distant brown eyes were tinted pink; his hand shook slightly as he pointed to the grassy spot where his son had played happily just a day before.

It now holds a candled memorial.

Alex Menendez was killed Monday night while riding his tricycle in the Bartow Mobile Home Park where his family lives. A pickup driven by Lorenzo Jimenez-Guillen, 53, backed into the 2-year-old as he rode, in clear view of his mother, Micaelina Garcia-Escamilla.

Garcia-Escamilla took Alex and his older brother, 7-year-old Alexis, out to play in front of their home about 6 p.m. Monday, Menendez said. Menendez and Garcia-Escamilla have been married for eight years.

Alex was excited to jump on his black-and-red tricycle, and when given the chance, he sped up the block away from his mom.

He got less than 30 feet when the Toyota truck began to back out of the driveway.

Garcia-Escamilla immediately realized what was about to occur, Menendez said.

“She ran over, she yelled, ‘No! No! No!,'” Menendez said. “But he couldn’t hear. The windows were up.”

The initial crash didn’t kill the boy, Menendez said, but the truck rolled over him again as it shifted direction and went forward immediately after.

The Mexican consulate is helping with the family’s attempts to get the boy’s body shipped back to Hidalgo, Mexico, where the family lived before moving to Bartow 10 years ago.

Anna Lopez, 36, a neighbor, said police were at the scene until about 9 p.m. Monday as residents of the park coped with the crash.

“It was devastating,” Lopez said. “People were in shock.”

Menendez said his family will probably move back to Mexico soon because of the tragedy.

“I just want to go home,” he said.

This article can be found online here as it was originally published on page B1 of The Ledger.

Polk County Works to Enforce ‘Three-Strike’ Panhandling Ban

LAKELAND | Beg for money in some counties, and you may end up with a few bucks.

Beg for money in Polk County, and you might end up in jail.

More than six months after the County Commission passed a “three-strike” ordinance on panhandling in roadways, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office has made 15 arrests and responded to more than 200 calls for service based on the new county law, according to data acquired by The Ledger.

The ordinance, passed unanimously July 9, followed bans already in place in Lakeland and Winter Haven.

Winter Haven issued 15 civil citations for panhandling over the same time period. Lakeland’s last panhandling arrest was in June 2012, according to Terri Smith, a Lakeland police crime analyst.

William Herrington, 52, could be seen with a cardboard sign at Harden Boulevard and the Polk Parkway in South Lakeland on Tuesday. Homeless since 1999, Herrington said this was the first time he was out asking for money this month, but sometimes he comes out as often as five times per week.

He said the entire homeless community in Polk knows about the law change, and those who say they don’t are lying.

Although he stood within the Lakeland city limits Tuesday, the county line sits just south, at Alamo Drive, and he has asked for money at intersections in the county as well.

“It depends on the area; if it’s a hot spot, there is going to be a problem. If you’ve got a hot bed of tramps, you’re gonna get cops,” Herrington said. “It needs to happen, we know that. If you let everyone have their way, they’d be on every street corner.”

The full version of this article can be found here as it was originally published on page A1 of The Ledger.