Charges Against Former Hillsborough Detective Dropped

Thomas Pettis, 55, was approved by the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office for its misdemeanor intervention program, a prosecutor said. In return, the judge dismissed the case.

Neither Pettis nor his defense attorney appeared in the courtroom for the hearing Thursday morning.

But victim Evan Rees, 44, a biology teacher who had driven about two hours from Sebring, was as he had hoped for a chance to address the judge before a decision was made.

“I feel genuinely ripped off and this guy’s probably sitting at home laughing,” Rees said afterward in an interview. “They made a joke out of our justice system tight now.”

For more on this story, visit Peter Jamison (The Tampa Bay Times)