Kathryn Varn, Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

Kathryn Varn

Pinellas Sheriff, Clearwater Police, St. Petersburg Police Reporter

I cover breaking news and public safety in Pinellas County. That includes police and fire departments, hurricanes and any other topics in the death and destruction arena. In other words, I’m really fun at parties. Before coming to the Times in 2015, I was a student at the University of Florida studying journalism. I picked the major as a prerequisite for law school, but once I started covering crime for my college newspaper, I couldn’t get enough. When I’m not sweating under deadline, I’m singing with my rag-tag adult A Cappella group, Weird and Wonderful, or hanging out with my fat cat, Rose.

Drejka attorney's ex-wife breaks into Largo law firm, police say

Meredith Lynn Recio and Colton Lumpkin broke into the law firm of prominent Pinellas defense attorney John Trevena, according to Largo police. Recio was married to Trevena until they divorced in March. [Pinellas County jail]
Longtime criminal defense attorney John Trevena confirmed Monday that his former wife, Meredith Lynn Recio, and her boyfriend broke into his law firm in a plaza at 801 W Bay Drive in Largo.

Parking lot shooter Michael Drejka asks judge to disqualify prosecutors who charged him

Clearwater parking lot shooter Michael Drejka, middle, filed a long-shot motion asking the judge to disqualify the prosecutors on the case, alleging they gave in to political pressure when they charged Drejka with manslaughter. The motion was filed by one of his attorneys, John Trevena, left. DIRK SHADD   |   Times
"I have never seen a more ludicrous, frivolous motion filed that I can think of," said Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe

A video showed a white Largo cop appearing to choke a black teen. Now he's out of a job.

A video posted on Facebook in April shows a Largo police officer later identified as Brian Livernois struggling with an African-American teen. [Kashe Williams/Facebook]
The video starts with Officer Brian Livernois telling the teen to put out a Black and Mild cigar he was smoking. Then the two start to exchange words.

Michael Drejka’s defense wants to call a surprise witness: Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri

Clearwater parking lot shooter Michael Drejka, left, wants the sheriff who decided not to arrest him to testify at his manslaughter trial. The defense intends to call Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri,right, to speak as an expert witness, according to a new court filing. [Times]
It was the sheriff who first decided not to arrest Drejka after a fatal July 19 shooting. Now Drejka faces trial, and the defense wants the jury to hear from Pinellas’ top cop.

Tampa Bomb Team: Suspicious object outside Don CeSar was a grenade replica

Authorities determined a suspicious object found in the bushes outside the Don CeSar hotel was a non-functioning training grenade. [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office]
Deputies were called to the hotel at 3400 Gulf Blvd. about 11:30 a.m. based on a report that an object that appeared to be a grenade was found in the bushes.