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Articles written by Kyle Hightower


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  • Jurors clear George Zimmerman

    KYLE HIGHTOWER MIKE SCHNEIDER Associated Press|Updated Jul 13, 2013

    SANFORD, Fla. — Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges Saturday in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice. Zimmerman, 29, blinked and barely smiled when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating well into t... Full story

  • Arrest demands grow in Fla. teen's shooting death

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    SANFORD, Fla. — The investigation into last month's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in an Orlando suburb is out of the hands of the beleaguered police chief and the county prosecutor with the Justice Department looking at possible civil rights violations and a grand jury perhaps considering charges. Until admitted shooter George Zimmerman, 28, is led away in handcuffs, the parents of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the civil rights activists and others who have rallied for their cause say they won't be s...

  • Embattled Fla. police chief steps down temporarily

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — The embattled police chief at the center of a fatal neighborhood watch shooting temporarily stepped down Thursday, saying he had become a distraction to the investigation. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has been heavily criticized after his officers decided not to arrest George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed black teen to death on Feb. 26. "As a former homicide investigator, a career law enforcement officer and a father, I am keenly aware of the emotions associated with t...

  • Zimmerman must surrender; bond revoked

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    SANFORD, Fla — A judge on Friday revoked the bond of the neighborhood watch volunteer charged with murdering Trayvon Martin and ordered him returned to jail within 48 hours, saying George Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had available when his bond was set at $150,000. Prosecutors claim Zimmerman had $135,000 available that had been raised by a website he set up. Zimmerman's wife, Shellie, testified at the bond hearing in April that they had limited funds available since she was a nursing stud...

  • Meter reader says he didn't touch Anthony remains

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The meter reader who found Caylee Anthony's remains testified Tuesday that he didn't touch the bag containing the toddler's bones after he spotted it in the woods and called police. Roy Kronk discovered Caylee's remains in December 2008 in a wooded area near the Anthony family's Orlando home. Under questioning at the murder trial of the girl's mother, Casey Anthony, Kronk denied ever moving them. AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool Roy Kronk, who discovered Caylee Anthony's remains while working as an Orange County m...

  • Casey Anthony may be freed late July or early Aug.

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, MATT SEDENSKY - Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony learned Thursday she could be free in a matter of weeks after spending nearly three years in jail on accusations she murdered her 2-year-old daughter, a case that captured the nation's attention and divided many over whether a killer had been acquitted. While cleared of charges of killing and abusing her daughter Caylee, Anthony was convicted of lying to investigators and sentenced to four years. The judge said she could go free in late July or early August because of the time she has already s...

  • Casey Anthony to go free next Wednesday

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, MATT SEDENSKY - Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony will be freed next week after spending nearly three years in jail on accusations she killed her 2-year-old daughter, punctuating a case that captured the nation's attention and bitterly divided many over whether she got away with murder. While cleared of charges of killing and abusing her daughter Caylee, Anthony was convicted of lying to investigators and sentenced Thursday to four years, the maximum punishment she faced. But she was given credit for the time she has already served and her g...

  • Casey Anthony acquitted of murder

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida jury has acquitted Casey Anthony of murdering her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Anthony showed no reaction when the jury's verdict was read Tuesday after more than 10 hours of deliberations. But she began to cry shortly after and hugged her attorney. She could have received a death sentence if she had been convicted of first-degree murder. She was found guilty of lying to investigators. Judge Belvin Perry will sentence her Thursday. Caylee disappeared in June 2008 and her body was found in w...

  • Casey Anthony acquitted of killing daughter

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Casey Anthony was found not guilty Tuesday of killing her 2-year-old daughter in a case that captivated the nation as it played out on national television from the moment the toddler was reported missing three years ago. Anthony, 25, wept as the judge read the verdict, which jurors reached after less than 11 hours of deliberation over two days. She was charged with first-degree murder, which could have brought the death penalty if she had been convicted. Instead, she was convicted of only four counts of lying...

  • Casey Anthony acquitted of murder

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — In a case that became a national sensation on cable TV, Casey Anthony was acquitted Tuesday of murdering her 2-year-old daughter in what prosecutors portrayed as a cold-blooded attempt to free herself to party and be with her boyfriend. After a trial of a month and a half, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Anthony not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. She was convicted of four counts of lying to investigators who were looking into the June 2008 d...

  • Verdict reached in Casey Anthony trial

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee. AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool Judge Belvin Perry on day 26 of Casey Anthony's 1st-degree murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., Thursday. Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with killing her daughter Caylee in the summer of 2008. Judge Belvin Perry says he will read the verdict at 2:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The Florida jury deliberated for more than 10 hours. If c... Full story

  • Jury ends 1st day without verdict on Casey Anthony

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Jurors did not reach a verdict Monday in the Casey Anthony murder trial after deliberating for almost six hours on the prosecution's claim that the woman killed her 2-year-old daughter Caylee because the toddler interrupted her carefree partying and love life. The jury began considering the case around noon after prosecutors gave a rebuttal closing argument and said the defense's assertion that Caylee's death was an accident made no sense. Faces first-degree murder charge Anthony is charged with f... Full story

  • Casey Anthony weeps as prosecutor calls her a liar

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Casey Anthony briefly wept Sunday as prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments that she murdered her 2-year-old daughter Caylee to reclaim the carefree life she had before the girl was born. Prosecutors portrayed Anthony as a young mother who killed her daughter because she got in the way of her love life. "Something needed to be sacrificed, that something was either the life she wanted or the life thrust upon her. She chose to sacrifice her child," prosecutor Jeff Ashton said during his 9...

  • Jurors see scant evidence in Casey Anthony trial

    KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

    AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool Casey Anthony looks o after the rebuttal testimony is over, ending the presentation of evidence in her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando,Fla., Friday. Casey Anthony, 25, is charged with killing her daughterCaylee in the summer of 2008. ORLANDO, Fla. — After more than 33 days of testimony, 400 pieces of evidence and sweeping promises from attorneys to prove how 2-year-old Caylee Anthony died, neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys have provided concrete evidence showing w... Full story