The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announced that on April 20, 2017, after a three day trial, during which the court had to conduct a Daubert/Frye hearing concerning the effects of repeated use of “wax”, a concentrated form of THC, a Bay County jury found Orlando Thompson guilty as charged of second degree murder. Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy, Chief of the Major Crimes Division, called 10 witnesses to the stand to establish that Thompson killed Josh Halley during an argument about preparing gumbo while the two men were at work at Buddy’s Seafood Market in June of 2015. During the trial, the defense attempted to convince the jury that self defense was involved and that the defendant had a right to stand his ground. However, ASA Sombathy presented evidence to contradict that defense including the defendant’s statements that he had never been so angry in his life and a video of the altercation depicting the defendant retrieving a sword from the restaurant and becoming the aggressor. Sentencing is scheduled for May 4, and the defendant faces a potential sentence of life in prison.
ASA Sombathy was assisted at trial by ASA Barbie Beasley, Investigator Shannon Mitchell, Legal Assistant Stephanie Glidden and Victim Advocate Lisa Lea Humpich.
Please contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford at 850-819-6985 with any questions.