Schaefer was killed in prison in 1995 awaiting execution for killing two Broward County girls whose mutilated remains were discovered in April 1973 near Blind Creek Beach on Hutchinson Island. The State Attorney’s authority is derived from the Constitution and the Florida Statutes. “I found myself relating more toward law enforcement people than toward the defense side,” Colton said. “Port St. Lucie had miles of paved roads on the west side of the turnpike and no houses. Walsh recalled being a 24-year-old attorney fresh out of law school in 1979 seeking his first job — one Colton tried to talk him out of. Continue reading Use the contact form on the profiles to connect with a Saint Lucie County, Florida attorney for legal advice. Attorney profiles include the biography, education and training, and client recommendations of an attorney to help you decide who to hire. “I got a call from Bruce and he said, ‘I don’t like what I do, if you ever have an opening, would you consider me?’ ” Stone recalled. Colton shied away from the notion he’s leaving behind a legacy. “He was going to come back for them after he got off duty,” Colton, 73, recalled. They also negotiate and acquire land approved under the St. Lucie County Environmentally Significant Land program and are responsible for the acquisition needs of the County's Municipal Services Benefit Unit projects. Kelley & Fulton, P.L. Address: 2300 Virginia Avenue, Fort Pierce, FL 34982, Watch short video below showing new features in Municode. He kidnapped them in a sheriff’s car.”. STATE ATTORNEY BRUCE COLTON Serving Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties The State of Florida is divided into 20 Judicial Circuits and the Constitution provides that there be an elected State Attorney in each one. “I was really impressed with him, I thought he was a very ethical guy and I liked him.”. More: Domino's Pizza killer Tommy Wyatt dies on death row waiting for state execution. St. Lucie County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. Melissa E. Holsman is the legal affairs reporter for TCPalm and Treasure Coast Newspapers, and is writer and co-host of Uncertain Terms, a true crime podcast. When Litty was elected public defender in 1992, she turned to Colton for help to get badly needed resources for her staff, who were still using electric typewriters. Litty, too, became best friends with Bruce Colton’s wife Becky Colton, who she met when the couple were on a first date at a New Year’s Eve party in the late 1980s. FindLaw's Lawyer Directory is the largest online directory of attorneys. “He's honorable and he operates with integrity,” Morgan said. “They'd offload and take off.”. In addition, the County Attorney supervises the Property Acquisition Division and the Criminal Justice Coordinator, both of which are located in the County Attorney's Office. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for State Attorney locations in Port St Lucie, FL. Fort Pierce Criminal Lawyer Brian Mallonee is a creative, aggressive AV rated criminal defense attorney focused on getting results! “He agreed to forgo some of his budget request, so that I could start moving into the 21st century.”. Other cases bugged him too, he said, he didn’t like helping defendants go free when he knew they were guilty of a crime. If you are looking for a family attorney in Port St. Lucie, St. Lucie West, Tradition, Stuart, Jensen Beach, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, or Sebastian (or anywhere on the Treasure Coast, including Martin County, St. Lucie County… “We tried a bunch of cases together,” said Morgan, adding the key to Colton’s longevity in office is competence and “how he treats people.”. Pretrial Diversion Programs in St. Lucie County & Martin County The State Attorney has a huge caseload. An inventory of all County owned real property including buildings, parks, vacant land, and county roads  is maintained by the Acquisition Division. By 1985, Colton was tapped by Gov. Teaming up to conduct trials, Morgan said he and Colton racked up about two dozen murder convictions and never lost a case. “My only advice to him is just keep doing what he’s doing,” he said. The Property Acquisition Division also reviews site plans and subdivision plans to ensure adequate right-of-way is present and noting any encroachments on county property. For example, if the decedent was a resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida at the time of death, the probate of the estate will be initiated in the St. Lucie County Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court. Retiring Indian River County Judge David Morgan worked for Colton for 15 years until he took the bench in 1996. The two sent Tommy Wyatt to death row in one of Vero Beach’s most infamous murder cases. See reviews, photos, directions, phone numbers and more for State Attorney S Office locations in Port St Lucie, FL. Serving St. Lucie County, Florida The attorneys of Kelley & Fulton, P.A. The two remained close until Becky Colton died in 2010. The County Attorney's Office provides legal advice, legal counsel, and legal representation to the Board of County Commissioners, County Administration, and various boards and committees created by the Board of County Commissioners on substantive legal issues involving such matters as the regulation, use, and development of land; contracts, bidding, and purchasing requirements; personnel compliance with State and Federal regulations; utility and general administrative issues; and litigation. “Bruce didn't have much more, but they had computers,” she said. If you’re a resident in the St. Lucie County area, you can take comfort in the knowledge that Kulas Law Group, Medicaid & Estate Planning Attorneys are always here to meet your elder law and estate plan needs. Need an attorney in Saint Lucie County, Florida? [1] The county's seat is Fort Pierce. In August 2005, the County Attorney was assigned the responsibility of supervising the Criminal Justice Coordinator. In some instances, it may be beneficial for the prosecution to offer pretrial diversion. “She was my best friend,” Litty said. Pretrial diversion is an opportunity to complete several conditions mandated by the court, in exchange of having criminal charges reduced or dropped. FAX: 772-462-1440 The county is home to many residents that enjoy the Atlanic coast line, along with the parade of tourists that enjoy the waves. St. Lucie County Traffic Ticket Attorney – DUI Lawyer in St. Lucie County St. Lucie County is located on the East coast of Florida. In September 1972, when Colton was hired by then-Public Defender Elton Schwarz, Schaefer was a one-time Martin County sheriff's deputy in custody for abducting two local girls and chaining them to a tree on Hutchinson Island. At that time, St. Lucie County had three or four prosecutors handling more homicide cases in Fort Pierce than the city of Miami, Walsh said. “The girls were afraid to call the police because he was the police. Walsh echoed a respect and fondness for Colton that’s shared throughout the area’s legal community. Address: 2300 Virginia Ave, Ft. Pierce, FL 34982. During Colton’s 35-year watch, his office grew from less than a dozen prosecutors in the early 1970s to a pool of 58 prosecutors with a staff of about 150. “It was during that time he killed another girl; that all came to light later,” Colton said. Use the contact form on the profiles to connect with a Saint Lucie County, Florida attorney for “They're the ones that have set an example for the young prosecutors that have come in,” he said. “But your grandkids really don’t want you hanging around too much.”. Like Walsh, Colton hired Litty out of law school. On Jan. 5, that job will fall to veteran Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl, who won Colton’s open seat without drawing an opponent. Call for a free consultation if you, or a loved one, are facing criminal charges for a DU, State, Federal or other crime in St Lucie, Indian River, Martin, or Okeechobee County, FL Last Updated Need an attorney in Saint Lucie County, Florida? Longtime State Attorney Bruce Colton announces he'll retire in 2021, Tom Bakkedahl elected as Treasure Coast's new State Attorney, Domino's Pizza killer Tommy Wyatt dies on death row waiting for state execution, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. “Becky and I ran nine marathons together.”. Get help now. Thursday, January 07, Partly Cloudy, 69ºF, Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option, Small Business Development Center at IRSC, Harbor Branch Ocean Discovery Visitor's Center. Wyatt was 49 in 2013 when he died of natural causes awaiting execution. Please enable JavaScript in your browser for a better user experience. FAX: 772-462-1440 The three victims, including a husband and wife, were from Fort Pierce. Colton’s early career coincided with the Treasure Coast’s notorious drug smuggling boon in the late 1970s and early 80s that kept law enforcement busy busting shipments of marijuana and cocaine coming by plane and by boat. “He’s earned a reputation that is just beyond reproach,” he said. "One of the sheriff's offices talk to me about, not a paying job, but maybe review some cold cases to have fresh eyes look at it," he said. More: Tom Bakkedahl elected as Treasure Coast's new State Attorney. [2] As of the 2019 Census Estimate, St. Lucie County has a population of 328,297. They provide information to many of the county's departments, the public, professional developers and other local and state government agencies. Determined to switch sides, Colton called then-State Attorney Bob Stone, who he’d already squared off with in court during a first-degree capital murder trial, which Colton lost. That’s something Walsh’s wife, Public Defender Diamond Litty has known for decades. Browse more than one million listings, covering everything from criminal defense to personal injury to estate planning. That was 1973 and before the world knew of Schaefer, believed to be the region’s most prolific serial killer who Colton represented as a rookie assistant public defender working in Stuart. Stone, now 84, was quick to hire the bright 26-year-old Colton, he said. Additionally, the Criminal Justice Coordinator is responsible for implementing the criminal justice system assessment action plan, and carrying out the County's directives, which includes, but is not limited to, gathering data, implementing initiatives and coordinating task forces. He once spied a huge boat unload pot from the top floor of a waterfront condo building on North Hutchinson Island. “It was really, really busy and important work,” he recalled. Schaefer was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and sentenced to six months in jail. The Representation You Need in St. Lucie County County Attorney: Daniel S. McIntyre “If Bruce Colton said something, you can take it to the bank.”. “One of the things that's made this really easy, leaving, is knowing that Tom's going to take over.”. “I was a single guy and I’d lived in Tallahassee, and before that I lived in Gainesville and I grew up in Jacksonville,” Walsh said. News Region St Lucie County Fort Pierce Actions Facebook Tweet Email State Attorney's Office says Fort Pierce Police lost cell phone used as evidence during … Over the years, Litty said she and Colton collaborated to establish diversion courts, including drug courts, mental health courts, veteran’s court and reentry programs to help recently released jail inmates. Browse more than one million listings, covering everything from criminal defense to personal injury to estate planning. Phone: 772-462-1441 The beach and the laidback lifestyle bring a … He insisted the success of his office is because of its attorneys and staff. Compare top Florida lawyers' fees, client reviews, lawyer rating, case results, education, awards, publications, social media and work history. The Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the St. Lucie County Department of Public Health and Wexford Medical to conduct strategic COVID-19 testing. County Attorney: Daniel S. McIntyre Phone: 772-462-1441 As of the 2010 census, the population was 277,789. They would come in and knock down the street signs on the corners so the planes could land,” Colton recalled. Lovette, 61, remains in state prison, serving 10 life sentences for murder, robbery and kidnapping. FindLaw's Lawyer Directory is the largest online directory of attorneys. State Attorney Bruce Colton began his long legal career defending criminals instead of convicting them, but that soon changed after his client turned out to be a savage murderer and suspected serial killer. And he’s worked with or hired a number of seated and retired Treasure Coast judges, including Thomas Walsh, a St. Lucie County judge for 26 years before retiring in 2015. Martindale-Hubbell® Client Review Ratings display reviews submitted by clients of lawyers and law firms. Find 11 listings related to States Attorney in Port St Lucie on YP.com. Attorney profiles include the biography, education and training, and client recommendations of an attorney to help you decide who to hire. As Colton sets to retire Dec. 31 after 48 years in the legal profession — the past 35 years serving as state attorney — he said defending Gerard Schaefer helped him realize he was working for the wrong side. “That was fun.”. “Bruce was my boss for six years, I adored him,” Litty said. 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