GUILTY PLEA FOR INMATE DEATH
The man who killed his cellmate at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution enters a guilty plea to First Degree Premeditated Murder. In January 2017, Rocky Ali Beamon punched Nicholas Anderson in the face, tied his hands and feet together, and strangled him with bed sheets. Beamon also stabbed the victim in the neck with a home-made weapon, but the cause of death was strangulation. The State Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty against Beamon. He faces a minimum sentence of life in prison. Beamon waived his right to a jury trial to determine his sentence. A penalty phase proceeding has yet to be scheduled.
MEHARG TO CHANGE PLEA
A Pensacola businessman charged with violating the U.S. embargo against Iran says he wants to change his plea. 59-year old James Meharg, CEO and president of Turbine Resources International was indicted in July for conspiring to sell and export power generating equipment to a recipient in Iran, and concealing the scheme, as well as having payments routed to him via another foreign country. He pleaded not guilty, but now is scheduled to enter a guilty plea Thursday morning in Pensacola federal court. A trial date has previously been set for September 3rd. Meharg faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge related to violating the embargo and money laundering, and he faces up to 5 years imprisonment for each conspiracy and filing false paperwork charges.
DRIVERS CRITICALLY HURT IN MORNING COMMUTE CRASH
Two drivers suffered critical injuries during a head-on collision on Blue Angel Parkway this morning. FHP says at 7:45, a car driven by 33-year old Anthony Burgett of Pensacola was traveling north on Blue Angel Parkway when he veered out of his lane and into the path of a car driven by 30-year old Josh Fogle of Pensacola who was driving southbound on Blue Angel at Dog Track Road. Both cars hit each other on the front left side. Both drivers were taken to Baptist Hospital with critical injuries. Burgett was cited for failure to maintain a single lane.
OLIVE ROAD LANE CLOSURE BEGINS TODAY
A portion of Olive Road is closed due to construction this week. Crews are installing a 24-inch storm drain as part of the Olive Road reconstruction project closing the portion of Olive Road between Hendrix Avenue and Boyd Avenue. Detours are in place and are expected to last through Friday afternoon.
Thousands of gallons of sewage spills in an Escambia County neighborhood. ECUA says it happened yesterday on Airway Drive just south of Nine Mile Road due to a broken 4-inch sewer main. 3-thousand gallons spilled with 25-hundred of it being recovered by a vacuum truck. The main has since been fixed and the area treated. Bacteriological sampling has been initiated.
FLORIDA PALMS ENDANGERED
Florida’s iconic palm trees are under attack from a fatal disease that turns them to dried crisps within months with no chance for recovery once ill. Lethal bronzing is caused by a bacteria spread by a rice-sized insect. It has gone from a small infestation on Florida’s Gulf Coast to a statewide problem in a decade. University of Florida assistant professor Brian Bahder says thousands of palm trees have died and the pace of infection is increasing. It’s adding to an arboreal nightmare in a state that is already fighting two diseases that have devastated its citrus trees. Florida palm nurseries are taking a financial hit as they scrap infected trees.
PENSACOLA WOMAN BACK HOME AFTER COMPETING IN BET SHOW
A Pensacola woman is grateful for what she calls an amazing show of support. Keyla Richardson competed in the BET gospel singing show Sunday Best, and she made it into the top four before being eliminated. She recently returned home and discussed the experience. She told Channel 3 so many doors have opened for her because of the show, and she thanks her fans for putting her in a position she never thought she’d be in.