The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on April 26, 2018, Billy Wade Mathis was found guilty by a Bay County jury of Sexual Battery of a Victim Less Than 12 Years of Age and two counts of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation. The jury heard from the victim, her mother, and Deputy Ward of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. The victim relayed that her mother’s ex-boyfriend molested her and performed sex acts on her starting in 2005 at the age of 5 years old, until she reached the age of 11. The abuse ceased in 2010 when the Defendant and the victim’s mother ended their relationship. The victim reported the abuse to family and authorities between December 30, 2016 and January 3, 2017. After some Facebook messages from the victim to the Defendant letting him know that she had reported the crimes, the Defendant attempted to hang himself. Deputy Ward testified to arriving at the attempted suicide where the Defendant had already attempted to asphyxiate himself with a belt. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Peter Overstreet and Lawrence Gill. Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet scheduled sentencing for May 14, 2018.
For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.