Shaffer Guilty of First Degree Murder; Sentenced to Life in Prison

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 22, 2018, Billy Herman Shaffer pled guilty to First Degree Murder with a Firearm, Burglary of a Dwelling, and Felon in Possession of Firearm or Ammunition.  He entered a plea to Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet without the benefit of any plea deal from the State.  Judge Overstreet sentenced Shaffer to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Matthew Kelley.  The investigation revealed that on November 18, 2017, Shaffer waited for Mr. Kelley to return to his home.  Once Mr. Kelley entered his residence, Shaffer shot him; he then called 911 and confessed to the crime.  Within minutes, officers arrived on scene and detained Shaffer.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy, Chief of Major Crimes.

For additional information, contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford.

Judge Wright Joins the State Attorney’s Office

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 13, 2018, former Circuit Judge William “Bill” Wright joined the State Attorney’s Office.  Judge Wright will serve as the Chief Assistant State Attorney in the Calhoun County office.

Judge Wright brings extensive experience to the position.  He is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law, and was the first lawyer in the circuit to earn that designation.  He began his legal career as a prosecutor in 1979.  In 1983, he was appointed Chief Assistant State Attorney in the Jackson County office.  While working for the State Attorney’s Office, Judge Wright also taught several courses to the police and corrections cadets at the law enforcement academy at Chipola College.  He was elected Circuit Judge in 1996, and under his direction instituted the Drug Court Program in Jackson County.  He stepped down from the bench in 2016.

The current Chief Assistant in the Calhoun County office, J. Shad Redmon, will take over the position of Chief Assistant in the Gulf County office.

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

Reager Convicted of Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 9, 2018, a Bay County jury convicted Samuel Wyndham Reager of Attempted First Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer with a Firearm, Robbery with a Firearm, and Armed Trespass in the shooting of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer David Brady, the theft of his FWC vessel, and the subsequent break in of a structure in the Cove area.  The events took place on August 7, 2015, while Officer Brady was investigating a disturbance on a boat in St. Andrew Bay.  Reager, who had a warrant for his arrest, shot Officer Brady twice, and he and co-defendant Lachlan Akins fled in Officer Brady’s FWC vessel, attempting to strike him with the vessel while fleeing.  Later, they broke into a garage in the Cove area while attempting to elude authorities during an extensive manhunt.  Akins testified against Reager during the trial.

The case was tried by Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford and Assistant State Attorney Peter Overstreet.  The Bay County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.  Multiple agencies assisted in the investigation and manhunt, including the United States Coast Guard, the Panama City Police Department, the Panama City Beach Police Department, the Lynn Haven Police Department, the Springfield Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  Circuit Judge Brantley Clark scheduled sentencing for March 23, 2018.  Reager faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment.

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

Patterson Sentenced to Life for Killing Cellmate

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess releases the following information:

On February 1, 2018, Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson sentenced Frederick W. Patterson III to life imprisonment.  The Defendant was convicted yesterday of Second Degree Murder by a Jackson County jury.  On October 2, 2015, the Defendant, while housed at Apalachee Correctional Institution in Sneads, Florida, used his hands and feet to beat his cellmate to death. During the two-day trial, the brutal assault was proven through numerous photographs and witness testimony.

The case was tried by Assistant State Attorneys Michelle Daffin and Shad Redmon.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the criminal investigation.

If additional information is needed, contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford.

Inmate Convicted of Murdering Cellmate

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess releases the following information:

On January 31, 2018, a Jackson County jury convicted Frederick W. Patterson III of Second Degree Murder after 40 minutes of deliberation.

The State established that on October 2, 2015, the Defendant, while housed at Apalachee Correctional Institution in Sneads, Florida, used his hands and feet to beat his cellmate to death.  During the two-day trial, the brutal assault was proven through numerous photographs and witness testimony.

The case was tried by Assistant State Attorneys Michelle Daffin and Shad Redmon.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted the criminal investigation.  Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson has tentatively scheduled sentencing for February 1, 2018.

If additional information is needed, contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford.

Former Physician David Flick Convicted in Extensive Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 24, 2017, a Jackson county jury found former physician, David Flick, guilty of two counts of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, one count of conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone, and six counts of principal to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.  The case was the result of an extensive investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigators and agents and task force officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

During two days of witness testimony, Assistant State Attorney Laura Parish proved to jurors that David Flick had committed these crimes through the testimony of eleven witnesses and the introduction of 138 exhibits.  Evidence was presented showing that David Flick had written over 1,000 prescriptions for controlled substances, amounting to a total of 49,896 pills, from his residence during a nine month period spanning February to November of 2015.  Witness testimony showed that during this period David Flick had written prescriptions, generally without any examination, in exchange most often for cash, but at other times as part of an agreement that the person recruit other “patients” to come to him to also receive prescriptions in exchange for cash.
Expert testimony from Dr. Reuben Hoch revealed that a review of the medical files of David Flick showed that the doctor was “grossly inadequate” in both his record keeping and in the practice of pain management.  Dr. Hoch detailed many troubling details regarding the review of the files and stated that David Flick had been regularly prescribing patients a prescription combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a potentially lethal cocktail of substances, that could have led to the patient’s death if taken as prescribed.

Further testimony showed that David Flick required patients to give his live-in girlfriend a portion of the controlled substances once the prescriptions he wrote were filled as part of what was described as a “kickback” program.  The two and eventually others actively recruited individuals, predominantly opioid addicts from the Bay County area, to travel to his Marianna residence to pay $175-$300 in exchange for receiving prescriptions for a variety of substances to include Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Subutex, and Methadone.  Other co-conspirators were encouraged by David Flick to take half of the pills once the controlled substance prescription was filled in exchange for the introduction to the doctor or in exchange for the ride to his residence in Marianna from Bay County.

Evidence also showed that David Flick had at times traded prescriptions for illegal substances, such as crack cocaine, and had watched patients snort the Oxycodone he was prescribing them and had knowledge that others were using the controlled substances intravenously.

Multiple former patients testified that their opioid addictions were much worse after having seen David Flick and receiving prescriptions from him.  One stated, “it was the easiest thing I ever did,” but went on to say the patient’s opioid addiction, which began in 1996, was worse than it had ever been after engaging with David Flick in 2015.  Another described the process as being easy access to controlled substances and a way to receive a prescription for a quantity of 90 Oxycodone tablets in exchange for $200 instead of the $40-$60 a pill they had been paying buying drugs “off the street” in Bay County and surrounding areas.  Further testimony showed that David Flick had knowledge that some of his “patients” were selling the prescriptions once filled, however, he continued to write prescriptions to that person knowing that the pills were being sold on the street.

At the conclusion of the three day trial the jury took a little over an hour to return a verdict of guilty as charged on all counts.  Judge Christopher Patterson set sentencing for February 13, 2018, at 9 AM.

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

Darius Middleton Convicted of Robbery, Tampering with a Victim or Witness, and Assault

Press Release

On January 19, 2018, a Bay County jury convicted Darius Tyrell Middleton of Robbery, Tampering with a Victim or Witness, and Assault.

The State established that in the early morning hours between April 30, 2017, and May 1, 2017, the Defendant robbed one victim of approximately $400.00 and assaulted a second victim, in the area of Maple Avenue and 9th Street in Panama City, Florida.

After the Defendant’s arrest, Detective Donald Knorr with Panama City Police Department retrieved a jail call recording in which the Defendant asked another person to offer to pay one of the victims in exchange for dropping all charges.

This case was tried by Assistant State Attorney Barbara Beasley and Assistant State Attorney Nichole Pieper.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 5, 2018, before Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet. The Defendant is facing Prison Releasee Reoffender and Habitual Felony Offender sanctions.

Contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford at 850-819-6985 with any questions.

Miscal Kimbell Convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct and Soliciting Prostitution

Press Release

 

On January 18, 2018, after deliberating for 8 minutes, a Bay County jury convicted Miscal Lance Kimbell of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct and Soliciting Another to Commit Prostitution.

The State established that on August 9, 2017, the Defendant hired the 15 year old victim to do yard work at his residence.  After the work was completed, the Defendant solicited the minor victim, asking the victim to allow the Defendant to perform oral sex on the victim for $20.00.

The case was tried by Assistant State Attorney Barbara Beasley and Assistant State Attorney Nichole Pieper.  Sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2018, before Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet.  The Defendant is facing fifteen years in prison and being designated as a sexual offender.

Contact Chief Assistant Attorney Larry Basford at 850-819-6985 with any questions.

Mark Graham Returns to the State Attorney’s Office in Expanded Major Crimes Division

Press Release

Mark Graham Returns to the State Attorney’s Office in Expanded Major Crimes Division

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 2, 2018, Mark Graham rejoined the State Attorney’s Office.  Mr. Graham joins Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy, Major Crimes Chief, in the newly expanded Major Crimes Division.  Mr. Graham, a Bay County native, brings significant experience to his new position, having previously worked as an Assistant State Attorney for 18 years.  We welcome Mr. Graham back to the team!

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