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					                                                    IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
                                                    SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND
                                                    FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

                                                    CASE NOS. 2008-CF-15606-O







       This matter came before the Court on May 20, 2011, upon the Court’s own motion, to

show cause why ELIZABETH ANN ROGERS, DOB July 7, 1981, should not be found in direct

criminal contempt of court pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.830.

       During individual questioning of a potential juror in this matter, Elizabeth Ann Rogers

was seated in the general audience in the courtroom. Suddenly, Ms. Rogers stood up and

shouted, “She killed somebody, anyways.” As a result of Ms. Rogers’ actions, the potential juror

had to be excused from voir dire.

        This Court personally observed Ms. Rogers’ actions and clearly heard her statements.

Ms. Rogers was brought before the Court to face charges of direct criminal contempt. She was

given an opportunity to explain why she should not be held in contempt. The Court heard and

considered Ms. Rogers’ explanations and other statements.

       In Smith v. State, 954 So. 2d 1191 (Fla. 3d DCA 2007), the court stated:
        The purpose of criminal contempt is “to punish assaults or aspersions upon the
        authority and dignity of a court or judge”, not to avenge personal affronts. A
        finding of direct criminal contempt may be based upon either a violation of an
        order of the court or an act which is facially contemptuous. Contempt has been
        defined by the Florida Supreme Court as follows:

                [A]ny act which is calculated to embarrass, hinder, or obstruct the court in
        the administration of justice, or which is calculated to lessen its authority or its
        dignity, is a contempt. The test is not the physical propinquity of the act to the
        court, but its tendency to directly affect the administration of justice.

Id. at 1194 (citations omitted). Ms. Rogers’ actions were clearly contemptuous and were without

question an assault upon the authority and dignity of the court. Immediately upon finding Ms.

Rogers in contempt, the Court entered an Order so finding. However, upon notice, the Court

was made aware of case law from the Second District Court of Appeal which requires

appointment of counsel for Ms. Rogers prior to a finding of contempt. Consequently, Ms.

Rogers was appointed counsel and returned to Court. A new hearing on contempt was held with

Ms. Rogers represented by Mr. Dwight Wolfe, an assistant public defender with the Office of the

Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida present. Testimony was taken on the issue as

to why Ms. Rogers should not be held in contempt.

        Therefore, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:

        1. Elizabeth Ann Rogers is found to be in direct criminal contempt of court.

        2. Elizabeth Ann Rogers is sentenced to two days incarceration in the Pinellas County


        3. She may file a notice of appeal in writing within 30 days of the date of this Order.

        4. After questioning Ms. Rogers under oath as to her financial background, this Court

finds that Ms. Rogers is indigent. Hence, the Office of the Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial

Circuit is hereby appointed to represent Ms. Rogers in this matter and for any appeal.

       DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers at Clearwater, Pinellas County, Florida, this 20th

day of May, 2011.

                                                    Belvin Perry, Jr.
                                                    Circuit Judge

                                      Certificate of Service

      I certify that a copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. mail this 21st day of
May, 2011, to:

• Linda Drane Burdick, Jeffrey L. Ashton, and Frank George, Assistant State Attorneys, 415
North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801

• Jose Baez, Esquire, The Baez Law Firm, 522 Simpson Road, Kissimmee, Florida 34744

• J. Cheney Mason, Esquire, J. Cheney Mason, P.A., 390 North Orange Avenue, Suite 2100,
Orlando, Florida 32801

• Dwight Wolfe, Assistant Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender, sixth Judicial Circuit
of Florida, 14250 49th Street North, Clearwater, Florida 33762

and to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office by hand delivery to Sgt. Stefanie Campbell this 20th
day of May, 2011.

                                                    General Counsel


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