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News Story
Updated: 04/19/2014 08:00:01AM

Man gets life for setting wife on fire

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A central Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire.

As part of a deal with Polk County prosecutors to avoid the death penalty, 34-year-old Joshua Kimbrough pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder.

Authorities say Kimbrough and his wife, 26-year-old Megan Kimbrough, had been staying in an abandoned Lakeland home in August 2012 when Joshua Kimbrough set her on fire. Burned over 80 percent of her body, she lived for another three months before dying in November 2012.

Neighbors saw Megan Kimbrough running from the abandoned home covered in flames. They told detectives the woman said her husband set her on fire.

Absent headlight leads to gun charges

A 22-year-old man was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a gun by a felon, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest on April 8, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Dominic Xavier Young, of 385 Ralph St., Bartow, was stopped for riding a bicycle without a headlight and when he was asked about it he began to act nervous and paced and did not make eye contact with the officer, according to reports.

Upon this the officer asked if he could pat down the suspect for his safety. Young allegedly began to run away. When caught and put on the ground, Young said, “Hey, I’m going to tell you the truth. I got a gun and little bit of weed,” police say.

At this time Young was arrested and a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol was found in his front right pocket and marijuana in a cigar packet was found in his shirt pocket, police reported.

Upon doing a check on his name it was discovered he had a criminal history in which he’d been convicted of a felony, according to police.

Woman arrested after giving real name

A 36-year-old woman was charged with giving a false name, resisting arrest and violation of community control March 27 when she was questioned by an officer that morning, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Melissa Ann Croka, of 1460 E. Main St., Bartow, ran from police after she gave them a false name as the officer questioning her didn’t believe information that came back with the name she gave, a report showed.

While patroling in the area of U.S. 98, Officer Randy Tagliarini saw a green Jeep station wagon backed up at a closed business. Michael Burkett exited the Jeep as did Croka. Burkett said he was given permission to be at the business to wash his clothes. The officer asked them for ID and ran their names, the report said. Burkett’s name back clear and the Croka, who gave the name Trudy C. Bush, also came back clear. However, Tagliarini knew the woman had been arrested before by the Bartow Police Department, according to reports.

Upon further checking her name came back without any arrests under the name Bush. Tagliarini told Croka that he knew she had been arrested and she said her correct name. During a subsequent check of her name she became actively resistant and ran away from the other officers, reports say. Officer Eric Sudhoff chased her and tased her to stop her, police say.

Croka was in the process of being handcuffed but she continued to be resistant puling her arms away and getting up from the ground. She was tased a second time and then complied to being handcuffed, police reported.

By now the check of her name came back and she was on probation of possession of a controlled substance and there was a special condition that showed there was a curfew on her set to end Aug. 27, police reported.

One domestic fight, both arrested

Two men were charged with domestic violence on April 1 as they allegedly physically fought with each while visiting relatives.

Tyler Craig Finch, 35, was charged with battery, domestic violence, accused of pushing his boyfriend onto the ground and punching him in the back of head. Also, Paul David Crabtree was charged with battery domestic violence from the scuffle.

Finch and Crabtree were visiting relatives on April 1 when they got into an argument, reports say. They went outside when Finch grabbed Crabtree by the shirt and pulled him to the ground, according to police. Finch then hit Crabtree on the back of the head, police reported, and then dragged him across the pavement.

When Crabtree got back on his feet, he went inside. Crabtree then grabbed an umbrella and pushed Finch with to keep him out of the house, reports say.

Finch then pushed Crabtree with the intention to hurt him, police reported.

Both said they didn’t require medical treatment and Crabtree was given a victim’s rights pamphlet. He gave police a written statement and photos of the injuries were taken.

Concluding the investigation, the officer was not able to determine who the primary aggressor was because there were no independent witnesses, the report said. Both were taken into custody and booked into the Polk County Jail.

Woman charged with choking husband

A 51-year-old woman was charged with battery domestic violence on April 2 after she allegedly choked her husband and accused him of waiting at a tire repair shop for another woman, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Felix Jean-Baptist was at a tire store on U.S. 17 when Catina Jean-Baptist drove up there with her son. She accused him of waiting there for a woman and got out of the car and grabbed him at the neck, according to reports. Her son told her to get back into the car.

Police saw the injuries to his neck but he didn’t need medical attention, reports say.

Police sought Catina Jean-Baptist and arrested her, they reported.

Argument over money leads to arrest

A 23-year-old man was charged with battery domestic violence on April 3 after he and his wife argued and fought over money, the Bartow Police Department reported.

Christopher Billy Brannan was booked into the Polk County Jail after being taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pains after police arrived.

Brannan and his wife were arguing over money. Brannan took his wife’s purse and when she tried to take it back from him, Brannan allegedly pushed her toward the bed. Brannan then wrapped himself around her in a bear hug and said he was going to break her neck, police reported. He also said to her he was going to mess her up before the police arrived, the report said.

The woman left the house and Brannan followed her and yelled at her outside the house, reports say. When police arrived they were still arguing and the woman appeared to be scared, the police reported.

After getting a statement from the woman, Brannan was arrested. Complaining of chest pain, EMS took him to Bartow Regional Medical Center. After waiving his rights at the hospital, Brannan asked what his wife told them and they told him the story here. He told police this isn’t the first time he’d been arrested for domestic violence and this was the same story she told the previous time.

He said he did give his wife a bear hug while telling her that he loved her. He said his wife has several mental illnesses and he was trying to calm her down, police reported. Brannan did not give a written statement, police reported.

Traffic stop leads t o drug charges

After being pulled over on April 5 for driving without headlights, Pedro Conzalo Velazquez-Cabrera, 33, of Lake Wales, was charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, Bartow Police Department reports.

Officer Randy Velez pulled over a gray BMW with a trailer pulling a boat at 4:12 a.m. The car had a New York license on it, the trailer had a Florida tag on it, Velez reported.

When he asked Velazquez-Cabrera for his license and insurance, he said he did not have his driver’s license and the car was just bought and was not yet registered, reports say.

The New York tag came back as expired on Jan. 28, 2010, and belonged to a Toyota Corolla. While looking to get a VIN from the car, Velez noticed Velazquez-Cabrera had a knife. The knife was removed and he was patted down in search for more weapons, police reported.

He was asked if there were any more weapons in the car or any drugs and Velazquez-Cabrera said there was not. When asked if the car could be searched, Velazquez-Cabrera said yes, police reported.

Inside the center console was a case of Gold Lip stick tube and inside that was a tied plastic bag with a crystal like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, police reported. Also, a clear tube was found inside the phone case with a rolled up cigarette. The substance tested positive for marijuana. Two pieces of aluminum were located in the glove box as was a packet of cigarette papers.

The total weight of the methamphetamine was 1.3 grams, the marijuana, 0.3 grams, according to reports.

Employee drunk at work

An employee of a local gas station was fired from work and arrested April 5 when he showed up for work drunk, the Bartow Police Department reports.

Louis F. Mundankurian, 46, of 1626 Taylor Drive, Bartow, was charged with resisting arrest without violence, trespassing and disorderly intoxication, police reported.

Police responded to the Citgo gas station at 1193 E. Main St., at 10:09 p.m. where people said Mundankurian appeared drunk and was not acting as he normally does, reports say.

When officers made contact with Mundankurian, his speech was slurred, he had glossy eyes and swayed, police reported. He smelled of alcohol and he was not able to focus on the conversation, police reported.

The owner was called to the gas station. When he arrived Mundankurian was verbally aggressive, according to reports. He was fired and was told he told he was no longer welcome on the property.

When asked for his ID, Mundankurian refused. He refused a second request, police reported.

Mundankurian was then taken into custody.

Man accused of punching girlfriend

George Preston Agner, 25, was charged with battery domestic violence on April 8 when he punched his girlfriend several times in the head while he was sleeping, the Bartow Police Department reported.

At 3:12 a.m. Agner allegedly punched his girlfriend in the head after she tried to wake him up. She started screaming for a witness who was outside the house and he came in and got Agner off her. She then left the house and Agner was arrested without incident, police reported.


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