Thursday August 11, 2022

The family of an Immokalee man killed by a Collier County Sheriff’s deputy in 2020 will announce a federal lawsuit against the sheriff’s office today.

Nicolas Morales, 37, was shot by deputies on September 17, 2020, after they say he came at them garden sheers.

Deputies responded to the area of Edenfield Way in Immokalee early in the morning that September for a report of a disturbance and a man with a shovel banging on people’s doors.

According to deputies, Morales had garden shears and a shovel in his hands when they approached him. They said he dropped the shovel and were unsure if the garden shears were a knife or a gun.

Since the shooting, a citizens review panel and an internal investigation by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office deemed the shooting was a justified and reasonable response to the situation.

Morales’ family disagrees. They are set to announce a lawsuit against the three deputies involved. According to a press release from Morales’ family, Corporal Pierre Jean, Corporal Nathan Kirk, and Deputy Brian Tarazona will be named in the lawsuit.

The family said it would also be naming Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk in the lawsuit, saying he “perpetuated a culture of violence and impunity within the CCSO.”

Morales’ family says he was suffering from a mental health crisis and looking for help the night he was killed.

The family says Corporal Jean shot Morales three times before Corporal Kirk released a K-9 that mauled an already gravely injured Morales.

Morales’ family claims that the officers used excessive force and failed to follow CCSO policies on de-escalation and dealing with a mental health crisis.

Bell Glade Man Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

A jury on Friday found a 34-year-old man guilty of second-degree murder, nearly four years to the day that investigators alleged that he beat another man to death in Pahokee.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen scheduled a Sept. 27 sentencing hearing for Roan Nembhard of Belle Glade.

Prosecutors said Nembhard punched and repeatedly kicked 57-year-old Henry Kelly on the morning of Aug. 6, 2018, causing fatal injuries.

Kelly died the following day at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that blunt-force trauma caused Kelly’s death.

According to law-enforcement officers and eyewitness reports, another person drove Nembhard to the parking lot of an apartment complex on the 300 block of Rardin Avenue in Pahokee. Nembhard climbed out of the vehicle and attacked Kelly, knocking him unconscious.

Investigators said Nembhard got back into the vehicle and fled, but returned to the area later that morning. When deputies approached him, Nembhard attempted to run but soon was stopped.

He told deputies he nothing to do with the attack on Kelly and ran because he was scared. He also said he was high from smoking crack cocaine that night, investigators said.

A witness identified Nembhard as the person who attacked Kelly. The arrest report does not say what prompted the attack.

Help Still Needed After 65 Dogs Rescued in Hendry County

Nine dogs remain at a shelter needing a forever home after 65 dogs were rescued from horrific conditions in Hendry County.

Thirty-six of those dogs ended up at the Clewiston Animal Shelter, which did not have enough room for all of them.

Animal rescues from all over Florida are stepping in to help the 65 dogs rescued from the property.

Mutty Paws Rescue in Palm Beach County took in four of the dogs and is working to bring another one in

Furry Friends of Juniper took 10 of the rescued dogs. and

Guardians of Florida Animal Rescue is another one of the rescue groups helping the 65 dogs.

Police found the dogs in crates, homemade cages, chained up, with empty food bowls and no drinking water. Despite that, the dogs have a good demeanor.

There is still one dog roaming the house in Hendry County that the rest of the dogs were rescued from.Animal service officers are trying to get that dog but say it’s been challenging. So much so that they have placed a trap outside the home to try and rescue the dog.

As for the man who had all these animals on his property, he is not facing charges at this time, but the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office says this is an active investigation.

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