Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ebron Seeks 2 Trials for His Charges; but Prosecutor Says Alleged Plot to Escape Points to Guilt in Other Case

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ebron Seeks 2 Trials for His Charges; but Prosecutor Says Alleged Plot to Escape Points to Guilt in Other Case

Article excerpt

Byline: Larry Hannan

William Ruben Ebron Jr. wants to go on trial twice for the crimes he's been charged with.

Ebron, 32, is charged with child neglect and lying to police officers in the disappearance of toddler Lonzie Barton. He also is charged with three criminal counts involving a potential escape that police say he was plotting.

Lawyers for Ebron argued Tuesday that he should go on trial Dec. 7 as scheduled on the child neglect and lying to police officer charges, but that he should have a second trial for the prison escape charges.

Prosecutors want to try Ebron on all the charges at one trial. Circuit Judge Mark Borello did not rule on the issue Tuesday, but said he would issue a ruling in the next few days.

Assistant Public Defender James Boyle said there should be two trials because the jail escape attempt happened over a month after Ebron was arrested on the original charges.

"In this case, the crimes are separated by both time and space," Boyle said.

But Assistant State Attorney Rich Mantei disagreed and said Ebron's escape attempt is directly relevant to the neglect charges because it shows evidence of guilt.

Under questioning from Borello, Boyle conceded that the cases would have to be tried together if his client had attempted to escape the day he was arrested on the original charges. But Boyle argued that the month between the charges required they be separate.

LONZIE'S MOTHER

Ebron is the boyfriend of Lonna Lauramore Barton, Lonzie's mother. She also is charged with child neglect and lying to police and is scheduled to be tried Dec. 7 with Ebron.

Two separate juries will hear the charges against Ebron and Lauramore Barton, and Lauramore Barton's jury would not be in the room when evidence of Ebron's jail escape try is presented.

Lauramore Barton's final pretrial is set for Dec. …

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