Crime I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Bond Denied For Man Charged In Daughter's Death, Solicitation Of Minor

By: Andy Alcock; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Andy Alcock; Julie Montanaro Email
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By Andy Alcock

Text messages read in court point to a 38 year old Monticello man having sex with a 13 year old girl.

New charges of lewd and lascivious battery and solicitation of a minor using an electronic device against David Courson come after the manslaughter charge he faces for the death of his 6 year old daughter.

Last month, court records state Courson was a passenger in his pick up truck with a 13 year old girl driving.

Investigators say the girl accidentally backed up over Courson's 6 year old daughter Becca who was shirtless and shoeless at the time.

Investigators found open containers of alcohol, marijuana and a home made bomb in the truck.

Investigators also found a cell phone with 200 text messages between Courson and the 13 year old driver.

With Courson's wife listening in court on Monday, the prosecutor read some of those messages including one from Courson to the girl about his wife.

"I think she's jealous of you, you're everything she is not...pretty, sexy and smart," said the message.

There was also this exchange between Courson and the girl about their sexual encounter and what Courson's wife would think about it.

"If she knew what had happened in her bed she would need counseling," said Courson. "It was on her side of it too," the girl replied. "Ha, ha, ha all she would need is sound effects," Courson replied.

Prosecutor John Wilson argued for a high bond for Courson on the new charges.

But Judge Karen Gievers took it a step further and ordered no bond out of concern Courson could get access to electronic devices if let out of jail.

"And I have not been able to identify anything that will minimize danger to children," Judge Gievers said.

Following his arrest last month, Cara Courson told us she was supporting her husband.

After court, we asked her if she still was and she referred us to David's lawyer Tim Jansen.

Jansen said he hadn't had an opportunity to speak with Cara and declined our request for an interview.


By WCTV Eyewitness News Web Staff
February 24, 2014, 2 p.m.

Monticello, Fla. –- A 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge has decided David Courson, a man charged in connection with the January death of his daughter and having sex with a 13-year-old girl, will stay in jail for now.

Judge Karen Gievers denied bond for David Courson at a hearing this morning.

Court records state Courson was a passenger in his pick-up truck when a 13-year-old girl was driving and accidentally backed over his 6-year-old daughter, Rebecca “Becca” Courson.

A cell phone found in that truck showed 200 text messages between Courson and the 13-year-old driver.

Messages read in court this morning indicated Courson had sex with the girl.

In addition to the original manslaughter charge, Courson is now charged with lewd and lascivious battery and solicitation of a minor.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
Feburary 21, 2014

A Monticello man accused in an accident that resulted in the death of his 6 year old daughter is now facing more charges.

David Courson was arrested for manslaughter in January.

This week, prosecutors filed more charges after examining a trac phone found in his truck.

Arrest papers say on it were sexually explicit text messages between him and a teenage girl.

Arrest papers say the teen told investigators she had previously had sex with Courson in his home.

Courson is now facing charges of lewd and lascivious battery and solicitation of a minor.

Courson's attorney, Tim Jansen, denies the accusations and says the new charges will be addressed in court on Monday morning.


Updated By: Joe Hellriegel
January 22, 2014, 11pm

New information on a father being charged with manslaughter in the death of his daughter.

David Courson is being represented by Tim Jansen.

Investigators say Courson was a passenger in his pick-up truck when a 13-year-old girl - who was driving - accidentally ran over and killed 6-year-old Becca Courson.

They add the driver and David both had alcohol on their breaths.

Marijuana was also found in the truck.

A judge has set a $350,000 bond.

"Our feeling right now is that this is a tragedy not a crime, or at least on behalf of Mr. Courson, that his family has suffered enough that he has never been in trouble before that we believe that no files should be charged against him and that we believe he should be able to go home and tend to the burial of his child," said Tim Jansen, Courson's attorney.

Jansen also says the State Attorney's Office has not reviewed the case and expects more facts to come forward.


The wife of a Jefferson County man accused of the manslaughter of their six year old daughter is supporting her husband.

Cara Courson says she doesn't blame anyone for the death of her six year old daughter Rebecca, including her husband David Courson.

"I need him with me he's my rock," she said.

Cara came to the Jefferson County Jail Wednesday morning to see David.

Early Monday evening, investigators say David Courson was a passenger in his pick up truck when a 13 year old girl, who was driving, accidentally ran over and killed 6 year old Becca Courson.

Investigators say the driver, who's a friend of the Coursons' older daughter and David Courson had alcohol on their breath.

Marijuana was also found in the truck.

Charges may be pending against the girl depending on the results of her blood test.

"No I don't think she should be charged," said Cara. "The girl is 13 years old, 14 years old," she said. "She's a baby, she's a baby too, she's somebody's baby," Cara said.

Wednesday morning, a Jefferson County Judge set a $350,000 bond for David Courson's negiligent manslaughter charge.

If Cara can raise the 10 percent needed to get David out of jail, he won't be allowed to drink alcohol or take drugs.

He can't return within 500 feet of the accident scene and he can have no contact with minor children, including his two surviving children.

"I think its ridiculous, but if that's how it has to be, that's how it has to be," said Cara.

"We could have another hearing to address that issue and certainly that will be something we'll look into," said the assistant public defender Davis Revell who appeared in court for David Courson.

Meanwhile, Cara Courson wants to get David out of jail so he can grieve with the rest of his family and help plan his daughter's funeral.

"I had to go and look through a glass, a fricking glass to say David, do you want your daughter to wear a purple dress," said Cara.

She says the whole story hasn't come out yet because investigators have yet to interview her 8 year old son, who was in the back seat of the pick up truck.

A spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed investigators haven't interviewed the boy yet.

Cara also says her husband would never give alcohol to minors.

Revell says the marijuana didn't belong to David and he was trying to stop the girl from driving the truck.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen informed Eyewitness News he's now representing David Courson and was meeting with him at the jail.


By: Andy Alcock
January 22, 2014, 12 p.m.

Monticello, Fla. -- Bond details have been released for David Courson, a father charged with Negligent Manslaughter in the death of his 6-year-old daughter.

The bond amount has been set at $350,000.

He is also to have no contact with minor children, no alcohol or drugs, and be administered breath tests 3 times per week.

His curfew has been set as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and he is ordered not to go within 500 feet of premises where the alleged crime occurred.

He is currently waiting on his wife, who may be posting bond for him.


Monticello, Fla. -- Her favorite color was purple and she loved princesses.

Six year old Becca Courson's mother provided Eyewitness News with a picture of her daughter which reads "Happy New Year Rebecca".

A first grader at Jefferson Elementary School in Monticello, grief counselors from Big Bend Hospice broke the news of Becca's death to her classmates on Tuesday.

"It's difficult for our students, it's difficult for our teachers, it's going to be very difficult for our community," said Assistant Principal Nancy Whitty.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, a 13 year old girl accidentally ran over Becca in a pick up truck at the Courson's home in rural Jefferson County .

He says the girl intended to go forward, but put the truck in reverse.

The spokesman says Becca's father, 38 year old David Russell Courson, was a passenger in the front seat and her 8 year old brother was in the back seat.

He says the girl was simply moving the pick up truck from one part of the property to the front of the Courson home when the accident happened.

The spokesman says Russell Courson, his 12 year old daughter who wasn't in the truck and the 13 year old driver all had the smell of alcohol on their breath.

He also says no in the truck realized Becca had been hit until after they parked and left the truck.

Russell Courson is charged with negligent manslaughter in his daughter's death.

"The loss of a child, you expect your children to outlive you and bury you, not you bury one of them," said neighbor Warner Miller.

Miller says he knows the Coursons.

He also knows what it's like to lose a child.

His nephew Tyler Biggins was one of three victims in a Tallahassee fatal crash nearly two years ago on St. Patrick's Day, 2012.

Whitty says she knows all three Courson children well.

She taught Becca's older sister in fourth grade.

Becca's brother is currently in the second grade at Jefferson Elementary.

And Whitty says Becca was loved by faculty, staff and her classmates.

"She was just a sweet little beauty that always aimed to please," said Whitty. "She just always wanted to please her teachers, the adults, her classmates, she was just a little angel, a little first grade angel," she said.

Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs says Russell Courson is being held in an administrative cell at the Jefferson County Jail in Monticello where he can be watched around the clock.

Courson declined our request for an interview.

The FHP spokesman says the 13 year old driver could face a DUI manslaughter charge depending on the results of her blood test.

Becca's aunt tells us it's the family's hope the girl, who's a friend of the oldest Courson daughter, will not be charged.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News Web Staff

Monticello, Fla. -- 38-year-old David Courson has been charged with Negligent Manslaughter in the death of his 6-year-old daughter.

Courson was a passenger in the vehicle driven by a 13-year-old girl that hit and killed his daughter.

Courson is being held in the Jefferson County Jail, and we will have much more on this story tonight in our newscast.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News Web Staff

Monticello, Fla. - A 6-year-old child is killed after being hit by a truck driven by a 13-year-old in Monticello, Fla.

Florida Highway Patrol says around 5:30 PM on Monday, the 13-year-old was driving on private property on St. Augustine Road. The 6-year-old child was behind the vehicle as it was backing up, and was run over.

The child was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and later pronounced dead.

FHP is still investigating, and WCTV will bring you the details as they are released.


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