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Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer dies responding to crash on northside

A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer has died in a morning crash on the I-295 East Beltway and Alta Drive. 

The officer was responding to a vehicle crash around 4:30 a.m. when the officer crashed into a tree line. 

“Weather was probably a factor but that is under investigation”, said Sheriff Mike Williams. 

The officer’s name has not been released by the Sheriff’s Office until family members are contacted.  The officer worked a Midnight shift.   

“It’s a tough day for JSO and for the city”, Sheriff Williams said.  “It doesn’t get any more real than this”. 

A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper had already been on scene investigating a crash and witnessed the crash involving the Officer.  FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan tells WOKV News that rain was heavy in the area and likely played a role in the crash. 

Today is Peace Officers Memorial Day, first established in 1962, to pay special recognition to law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.  

Sheriff Williams said there is a JSO Honor Guard in Washington D.C. for Police Memorial Day observances.  

Duval Superintendent finalists selected

The Duval County School Board has narrowed the list of candidates to be the next Superintendent, down to three.

The field of five was cut by the Monday vote, with Michael Dunsmore, Diana Greene, and Erick Pruitt still in contention. The Board will now hold a second round of interviews with the candidates- one each day Wednesday through Friday, from 9-11am, in the Cline Auditorium at the School Board building. The interviews are open to the public.

Following those interviews, the Board intends to choose their preferred candidate Friday at 4PM.

DCPS has the resumes for each candidate posted online.

Fallen Police K-9s honored during Police Week for the first time

As Police Week gets underway in Washington DC, it’s with a new ceremony that officers say was much needed. 

For the first time in the event’s history, fallen police service dogs were honored as part of the week of commemorative ceremonies and services. Close to 40,000 law enforcement officers are in DC to take part in events like the memorial Friday, honoring those that made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Hillsboro, Oregon Police Department Officer Corey Zaugg lost his dog Billy, when a car side-swiped his patrol car. 

“The K-9s, they dedicate their lives to us, and they dedicate their lives to the citizens,” Zaugg says. 

Billy is one of 24 dogs that made the ultimate sacrifice in 2017. 

GALLERY: Police K-9s honored as part of Police Week

There is a candlelight vigil for fallen officers on Sunday, and a ceremony at the Capitol Tuesday, where the President is expected. 

The memorial service Friday included a wreath laying ceremony to honor the memory of police K-9s who have given their lives in the line of duty. Although Police Week formally starts Sunday, events are already taking place.

Teen accused of trying to steal Blake Bortles’ truck, trespassing in Brandon Linder’s home

A Fletcher High School student has been arrested after rummaging through Jacksonville Jaguars’ Quarterback Blake Bortles’ truck and entering the home of offensive lineman Brandon Linder without invitation.

The arrest report for 18-year-old Joseph Horton says video surveillance at Linder’s home on Hopson Road shows Horton walking up the driveway and getting in to Bortles’ truck. Bortles told police the vehicle was unlocked and had the keys inside, according to the incident report. He also left his wallet inside, with the arrest report saying Horton looked through it, although he didn’t take anything. 

Police say Horton turned on the truck’s engine, moved it back and forth a little, and looked around- as if trying to figure out how to get the truck out of the crowded driveway. Eventually, he abandoned it, and went in to the home itself. 

The arrest report says at one point Linder asked Horton who he was, but didn’t think much about it because there was a “large number of people” in the home. Later on, Linder and another person found Horton walking upstairs, at which point they contacted police, according to the arrest report. 

When Jacksonville Beach Police arrived, they found Bortles, Linder, and offensive lineman Chris Reed all standing with Horton. 

The arrest report says Horton claimed he went in to the home to look for an ex-girlfriend, but he couldn’t say why he was looking for her or why he got in Bortles’ truck. Nobody in the home knew Horton or the name he gave as his ex-girlfriend. The arrest report lists Hortons’ home as a different location on the same street as Linder, Hopson Road. 

Horton is charged with burglary, motor vehicle theft, and trespassing.

THE PLAYERS parking sold out for Saturday

Parking continues to quickly sell out for THE PLAYERS Championship.

The tournament now says parking is at capacity Saturday. This comes a day after we were told parking was sold out for Friday as well.

FAN GUIDE: What to know for THE PLAYERS 2018

Tickets to the tournament are still available, and parking passes can still be purchased for Sunday and the remainder of Thursday. No parking passes are sold on site, instead you have to reserve it online.

If you don’t already have a pass, other options include the Downtown shuttle, Uber, and more. 

Ribault High School boosting security following large fight, one arrested

There will be more security at Ribault High School Thursday, following a brawl on the campus which included trespassers- one of who was armed. 

We told you about the fight through Wednesday, with the Duval County Public School District reporting there was a planned fight, and trespassers went on to school grounds for that. The District says the fight was quickly broken up, and one of the trespassers was found to have a gun. 

Video obtained by our partner Action News Jax shows students and other people involved in the brawl. 

“Violence on our campuses is unacceptable,” says a statement from DCPS. 

Now, we’ve confirmed one person has been arrested for possession of a firearm on school property, 43-year-old Sharon Kelly. The arrest report says a School Resource Officer saw Kelly not only involved in the fight, but also holding a gun in the area. She yelled that it was registered to her, when the SRO told her to drop it, according to the report. Police say she ultimately put it down and was taken in to custody without further incident. The gun was fully loaded, but did not have a round in the chamber.

Because unauthorized people were able to get on the campus, WOKV asked what changes are being made to ensure students are safe. We’ve confirmed there is one armed school resource officer- who is sworn law enforcement- and six school security personnel regularly stationed at Ribault High School. DCPS says all secondary schools have an SRO and many have security as well. 

In the aftermath of the fight, DCPS says they will have an increased security presence at Ribault Thursday. The school is also working with the District to review their safety procedures and determine if further action is needed. 

“Please know that we take all threats to the security of our campuses seriously,” DCPS says. 

DCPS further praised the police and staff response that stopped the fight and separated everyone safely.

Motorcyclist dies following Southside crash

A Southside crash that tied up traffic for hours, has left a motorcyclist dead.

The crash was on I-295 northbound before Baymeadows. For a period of time, all lanes of the highway both northbound and southbound were shut down, then, only northbound lanes were closed for several hours, while JSO redirected traffic on to Philips Hwy. Just before 4:30PM, all lanes re-opened.

The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department says the motorcycle was on fire when crews arrived on scene.

The Florida Highway Patrol now confirmed to WOKV that this all started when the motorcyclist hit the back of a pickup truck, although the reason for that is not yet known. The motorcyclist was ejected, and FHP says he was then run over by a semi truck. The motorcyclist was taken to the hospital, but has since died as a result of his injuries.

FHP says both drivers stayed on scene and are cooperating as the investigation continues. Any additional charges stemming from the initial collision are pending further investigation. The identity of the motorcyclist has not yet been released.

FHP says they’re working as quickly as they can to clear the travel lanes, and hope to have that done before rush hour. The WOKV Traffic Team is frequently updating the drive in that area. Tune in to 104.5 FM/AM 690 for the latest information on delays and detours.

THE PLAYERS parking for Friday sells out

If you’re planning to attend THE PLAYERS on Friday and you don’t already have a parking pass, you’ll have to figure out another way to get to the tournament.

THE PLAYERS says general parking for Friday is sold out. If you don’t have a pass, you’re encouraged to use Uber, the Downtown shuttles, a cab, a bike, or a private parking lot in the area. There will not be any parking passes sold on site for the duration of the tournament. 

FAN GUIDE: What you need to know for THE PLAYERS 2018

All parking passes that were already sold will be honored. Tickets for the tournament action on Friday and parking passes for other days are still available. 

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If you plan to use Uber, the drop-off and pick-up point is 880 A1A North, in the Ponte Vedra shopping plaza. A shuttle will be provided from that location to the Couples Gate at TPC Sawgrass. In the Uber app, use “THE PLAYERS Championship” as your destination.

There is complimentary bike parking available from 7:30AM through the end of play. That parking is available at the Couples Entry off ATP Blvd or Gate B inside the Sawgrass Gates off PGA Tour Blvd.

Complimentary golf cart parking is also available at Gate B, inside the Sawgrass Gates off PGA Tour Blvd.

If you’re going to the tournament from Jacksonville, there are shuttles running from Downtown Thursday through Sunday.

Pick Up Times: 

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville – 

• 7:45 a.m. 

• 9:50 a.m. 

• 10:45 a.m. 

• 12:50 p.m. 

Hogan Street side of the Jacksonville Landing – 

• 8 a.m. 

• 9:30 a.m. 

• 11 a.m. 

• 12:30 p.m. 

DoubleTree Riverfront – 

• 8:15 a.m. 

• 9:15 a.m. 

• 11:15 a.m. 

• 12:15 p.m. 

Lexington Hotel – 

• 8:20 a.m. 

• 9:10 a.m. 

• 11:20 a.m. 

• 12:10 p.m. 

For the return trips Thursday through Saturday, the shuttles leave TPC Sawgrass at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Sunday shuttles will leave at those times as well, but have an additional 8 p.m. option.

Woman who kidnapped Jacksonville newborn: “My mindset at the time wasn’t logical”

Twenty years after she took a newborn from a Jacksonville hospital and brought the baby to South Carolina to raise as her own daughter, Gloria Williams is telling the court why.

Williams says she was in an abusive relationship with a man, Charles Manigo.

“He took me to a place that was dark. My soul, my spirit was broke, my heart was broke,” she says.

She says Manigo wanted her to have a baby, and she thought that would help bring peace to their home, so she ultimately got pregnant. Williams says she miscarried as a result of the stress of the abuse, but she didn’t initially know it, because her body continued to change. She prepared her home for a baby and even had a baby shower, before realizing what happened- but even after she got it medically confirmed, she didn’t tell anyone.

In July 1998, Williams says she was leaving work, when she essentially went in to autopilot, and instead of stopping at her home, she kept driving. She says she doesn’t know why she drove down I-95 from her home in South Carolina, or what she was  thinking when she ultimately got off the highway in Jacksonville.

“It was definitely not to take a baby, that’s for sure,” she says.

That blank slate continued as she walked in to the hospital.

“I really just cannot tell you what was on my mind. My head back then, I was a different person. My head was in a different place, I was just broken. I had a broken heart, I had a broken spirit, I didn’t feel good about myself, I didn’t feel good about anything,” she says.

Williams says she went and looked at the other babies and thought about the one she had lost, and then walked in to Shanara Mobley’s room, again telling the defense she wasn’t sure why.

Williams says she spent a lot of time talking with Mobley and helping her out. She was still wearing scrubs from her job, and while she told the prosecutor that she didn’t claim to be a nurse at the hospital, she admitted that she knew that’s what Mobley thought. Then the newborn, Kamiyah Mobley, was brought in to the room.

“I was thinking about, you know, maybe this baby could help Charles, that’s what I was thinking. It was like, she [Shanara] was so young, and she just wasn’t real sure about what she was gunna do, and just my mindset at that time wasn’t logical, it definitely wasn’t logical. But for what I was thinking at that time, it seemed right, it seemed right,” Williams says.

Williams would ultimately take the baby back to her home in South Carolina, renaming her Alexis Manigo, and telling Charles Manigo it was his baby. She says the baby did not bring peace to their home after all, though, and when she ultimately had a custody agreement with her two sons from a prior marriage changed because of the abuse, she decided to leave with Kamiyah as well.

“I just thought to myself, I can’t have him around her. I can’t do it, and she deserves better,” Williams says.

The defense walked Williams through a series of photos showing awards, celebrations and gatherings featuring Kamiyah while she was growing up. Williams further said Kamiyah was always cared for and provided for.

Things changed, when Kamiyah decided she wanted to start working. Williams says Kamiyah asked for her birth certificate and social security card, so she could finish all the paperwork on a job she had already lined up.

“I said, ‘you’re not my daughter’. I said, ‘I took you a long time ago’,” Williams says she told Kamiyah at that time.

Williams says she offered to turn herself in at that time, but Kamiyah told her not to. They went on another year and a half or so before the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office ultimately learned about Kamiyah and reached out.

“She wanted me to run. I told her I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t leave her, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t have a life like that. I was already in this for too long, and the truth was going to come out,” Williams says.

Williams says she had thought often about bringing Kamiyah back, but couldn’t do it.

“I think fear, I think just crippling fear. And then I fell in love with her,” Williams says.

The prosecutor questioned Williams to show she made choices and decisions along the way, to lead to where we are now. Williams agreed that how this went is the “worst” possible outcome for Kamiyah, and that she could have even left her anonymously at a hospital at any point when the child was young. Upon questioning from the prosecution, Williams said her motivation for taking the baby was not out of concern for how Mobley would raise her, but for selfish reasons.

Despite that, she is asking for forgiveness from all parties involved, including from Kamiyah.

"I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to hurt you. I just love that child so and I never meant to hurt you, I never meant to cause you any harm, any pain, any of that. And I’m sorry, and I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I tried to love you the best way I could, the only way I could. I tried to nurture you, but nothing can take away what I took from you. Nothing can replace that. I will always love you, always. And the joy that you brought me, I thank God the world can’t take it away from me. But you're not mine. Your mother and father are sitting right here,” Williams says.

And to Kamiyah’s biological parents- Shanara Mobley and Craig Aiken- she apologized as well.

“I pray every day, every day for the good Lord to renew your hearts, renew your minds, and to heal your hearts, and to give you the peace and joy that comes from knowing His word. I can’t explain where I was back then 20 years ago, I know I wronged you, and I’m so sorry and so many days, so many days, so many days, so many days I just wanted to pick that child up and say, ‘C’mon, let’s get in this car and go’, I just couldn't. I couldn’t. When I left Jacksonville, I didn't look back, I didn't know what you went through,” she says.

Williams is facing up to 22 years in prison, after pleading guilty earlier this year to kidnapping and custody interference of the child. She says, if she’s allowed to return to society, she wants to help young girls who are in abusive relationships. She intends to return to South Carolina to live with her husband, who supports her.

The prosecutor asked Williams what penalty she thinks she deserves for what she did. She said she knows she needs to be punished for her crimes, but isn’t able to say what that should look like. Instead, she says she will abide by whatever the judge decides.

The judge is taking everything under consideration, and will impose a sentence for Williams on June 8th.

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