Watson Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison Followed by 2 Years of Probation for DUI Manslaughter

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on June 3, 2019, Senior Circuit Judge Dedee Costello sentenced James David Watson to a total of 13 years in prison, followed by two years of probation, and permanent revocation of his driver’s license.

Watson had been convicted of DUI Manslaughter by a Bay County jury on April 17, 2019.  The State presented 11 witnesses during the trial to establish that the Defendant was under the influence of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances, had a blood alcohol level greater than .08, and caused a traffic crash which resulted in the death of Candi Bailey.

The case was investigated by the Panama City Beach Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Mark E. Graham, who presented evidence at sentencing of the Defendant’s prior record of five felonies and a prior DUI.  The victim’s mother and sisters spoke at the hearing about how the loss has affected their entire family.

For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.