Speeding truck rear-ends minivan in Delray Beach, killing 4, police say

Four people were killed Saturday after a truck slammed into a minivan in Delray Beach, police said.Delray Beach Police said a Chevy Silverado truck reared-ended the minivan around 7:30  p.m. in the 2500 block of South Federal Highway. Th…

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1 dead, 3 wounded in Palm Beach County shooting, deputies say

One person was killed and three people were wounded in a shooting early Sunday at a nightclub in the suburbs of West Palm Beach, authorities said.

Cpl. Eric Davis, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, said the shooting happened outside the La Isla Del Encanto nightclub in the 1900 block South Military Trail. Davis said two security guards were among the victims. The guards did not fire their weapons, Davis said.

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 561-688-4003 or Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers 1-800-458-TIPS.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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Gov. Rick Scott suspends Boca Raton mayor accused of official misconduct

Gov. Rick Scott suspended Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie on Friday, days after Haynie was arrested on charges of official misconduct, perjury in an official proceeding, misuse of public office, corrupt misuse of public office and failure to disclose a voting conflict.

Haynie, 62, was released from jail hours after her arrest Tuesday night on a $12,000 bond.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that Haynie also dropped her bid for county commission Tuesday, submitting a letter to the elections supervisor.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Haynie failed to disclose income that she and her husband collected while she was in office, including payments from a developer who did business with the city.

An investigation by the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office began in March 2017 after receiving complaints that Haynie “used her position to vote on issues having a favorable financial impact on a developer who owns a substantial amount of property” in the city.

Detective Diana Burfield wrote in the affidavit that Haynie falsified her required state financial disclosure forms in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by “omitting the fact that she was being compensated” by developer James Batmasian.

According to records from the Florida Division of Corporations, Susan and Neil Haynie were listed as managing members of a company called Community Reliance LLC when it was founded in 2008.

Susan Haynie was listed as a managing member until 2016, when her husband became sole managing member.

The investigation revealed that the association at Tivoli Park, a condominium owned by Batmasian, hired Community Reliance LLC and paid the company at least $12,000 per year to manage the property. Susan Haynie told ethics investigators in a sworn statement that her husband had not been paid, but Batmasian’s wife claimed that he had, Burfield wrote.

“Susan Haynie voted on four occasions during 2016 and 2017 while being compensated by the people benefiting from the outcomes of the votes,” Burfield wrote. “During 2016, Susan Haynie and her husband, through the companies they operated, received a total of $77,843.13 in 2016 and $36,835.39 in 2017. This income was undisclosed.”

Haynie was re-elected mayor in 2017 and her term expires in 2020. 

As part of the governor’s order, Haynie is prohibited from “performing any official act, duty, or function of public office; from receiving any pay or allowance; and from being entitled to any of the emoluments or privileges of public office during the period of this suspension.”


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30 vehicles get flat tires after steel rods spill onto I-95 in Palm Beach County

It was a bad start to the week Monday morning for 30 drivers whose vehicles got flat tires while driving on Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County.Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alvaro Feola said a truck pulling a trailer dropped a load of steel rods in the no…

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Woman testifies in 1976 babysitter rape trial

A woman testified Wednesday about the night she was raped 42 years ago while babysitting in Boca Raton.

John MacLean, 71, is on trial for the 1976 rape of a 15-year-old girl.

MacLean was arrested by Boca Raton police in 2012 on two counts of armed sexual battery.

According to a police report, MacLean raped the teenager who was babysitting two younger children on Oct. 16, 1976.

The girl told police she was watching television when she heard a knock on the door. At first, she just thought it was the kids, so she ignored it, but when she heard the knocking again, she looked outside the window and didn’t see anyone. When she turned around, she was confronted by a man armed with a gun and wearing pantyhose over his face.

“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” the intruder told the girl, according to the report. “Just don’t scream and nobody will get hurt.”

The masked man walked her out to the patio, told her he wanted to see her naked, pulled down his pants and told her to hold his penis. He then took her back inside the house, put her on a bed, spread her legs apart and raped her.

After he was done, he took some cream from a drawer and applied it to the girl’s vagina.

The case remained unsolved for more than 35 years until Detective Mynor Cruz submitted a DNA sample from the evidence gathered at the crime scene for analysis. In September 2012, a sample of the victim’s semen-stained jeans and a vaginal swab from a hospital rape kit after a Boca Raton rape case from 1977 matched MacLean’s DNA, police said.

More than four decades later, the now-adult victim was forced to face her alleged attacker in court as she recalled the ordeal. She said she couldn’t see the man’s pantyhose-distorted face, but prosecutors pointed to the DNA evidence as proof that MacLean was the man responsible.

However, one of MacLean’s attorneys called the DNA evidence unreliable.

“What they bring you is one small piece of denim and a piece of denim with a broken chain of custody,” defense attorney Christopher Fox-Lent told the jury.

MacLean, who lived in Pompano Beach at the time of his arrest, has a lengthy criminal history throughout South Florida dating to 1979, including arrests on robbery, burglary and sexual assault charges.

He was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in Maricopa County, Arizona, in 1992 and forced to register as a sex offender. This led to his DNA profile being stored in the FBI’s federal database.

Police linked MacLean to thousands of burglaries throughout the East Coast in the 1970s, including, most notably, the mansion of the Johnson & Johnson heiress in 1979. He was convicted of that crime, in addition to other burglaries, and sentenced to 15 years in state prison.

The boastful cat burglar wrote a book called “Secrets of a Superthief,” published in 1983, in which he bragged about his exploits that fetched him more than $100 million in jewels and cash over a six-year period.

MacLean also faces trial for the Feb. 28, 1977, rape of a Boca Raton woman while her two children were in the home.

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Son of former South Florida judge accused of head-butting father

The son of a former South Florida judge is accused of head-butting his 69-year-old father during an altercation at the home they share.

Daniel Wennet, 32, was arrested Tuesday on charges of battery on a person 65 or older and obstructing justice.

According to a Palm Beach Gardens police report, Richard Wennet went to his neighbor’s home Tuesday morning and asked to call police. He was bleeding from the head.

Richard Wennet told police that his son, who has mental health issues, had been distraught and “was making comments to him that he wanted to kill him and himself,” the report said.

When Richard Wennet tried to call police, his son wrestled the phone away, threw it to the ground, bit his father’s arm and head-butted him, the report said.

During an interview with police, Daniel Wennet claimed his father forces him to use drugs and had physically and sexually abused him, but he refused to answer any questions.

“He continued to say numerous things, and most did not make sense,” the report said.

The officer said Daniel Wennet was taken to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center to be treated for self-inflicted cuts to his face. He was then booked into the main Palm Beach County jail.

Richard Wennet was a longtime Palm Beach County circuit court judge who narrowly lost his seat in 2008.

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