The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 27, 2018, Circuit Judge Brantley Clark sentenced Samuel Reager to life in prison for the attempted first degree murder of Dave Brady, an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Earlier this year, a jury found Reager guilty as charged of Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Robbery with a Firearm and Armed Trespass. The charges stemmed from Officer Brady stopping a sailboat in St. Andrew’s Bay on August 7, 2015 because of an earlier disturbance. The evidence at trial established that while Officer Brady was attempting to verify the boat’s registration, Reager retrieved a 9mm handgun from the interior of the sailboat and shot Officer Brady twice. Brady dove into the water, but Reager continued to shoot at him and attempted to run over Brady with the FWC patrol boat. Officer Brady was able to return fire and wounded Reager in the left hand. Reager then fled the scene in the FWC boat and was apprehended within two hours by officers from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Panama City Police Department while hiding in a garage in the Cove. This case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford and Assistant State Attorney Peter Overstreet. Basford requested a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the attempted murder of Officer Brady and 25 years to life for the robbery with a firearm.
Basford credited the successful prosecution to the cooperation and hard work of the men and women of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Panama City Police Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Panama City Beach Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Springfield Police Department, and the Lynn Haven Police Department. Judge Clark’s ultimate sentence will require Reager to serve life in prison without being eligible for release, followed by a consecutive 40 year mandatory sentence, followed by another 5 years.
Over 326 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty since 2015, and over 128 officers have been killed by gunfire. We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve and protect us all.
For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.