Judge Sentences Goedtke to Maximum Sentence of Life in Prison

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 27, 2020, Circuit Judge Timothy Register sentenced John Roland Goedtke to life imprisonment, the maximum sentence.  Previously, on January 23, Goedtke entered an open plea to the Court, with no agreement from the State, to three counts of DUI Manslaughter, one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, and one count of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked.  The crash took the lives of linemen Ryan Barrett, George Cesil, and James “Bo” Ussery.  On October 24, 2018, the men were working along Highway 77 to restore power after Hurricane Michael.  Six family members from the Ussery family, the Barrett Family, and the Cesil family addressed the Court at today’s sentencing hearing.

Goedtke had a lengthy prior arrest history from South Florida.  The case was investigated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Chipley Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  It was prosecuted by State Attorney Glenn Hess and Assistant State Attorney Mark E. Graham.

Grubbs Convicted of Being a Felon Possessing a Firearm

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 24, 2020, a Bay County jury found Quentin Darryl Grubbs a/k/a Quentin Ladarius Grubbs guilty as charged of being a Felon Possessing a Firearm, a second degree felony.

Evidence presented by the State at trial proved that on March 24, 2019, the Defendant was a passenger in a vehicle with only one headlight and a traffic stop was conducted. Ofc. Luis Hernandez and Ofc. Teddy Stalnaker with the Panama City Police Department both smelled the odor of marijuana after making contact with the occupants. The Defendant initially refused to exit the vehicle and pulled away from officers. He was handcuffed and searched. Ofc. Hernandez located a holstered and loaded .357 Ruger firearm underneath the Defendant’s hoodie.

A test fire was completed by Inv. Shawn Muguadog at the Panama City Police Department proving that the firearm was operational.

The State entered into evidence 12 certified felony convictions from Bay County Circuit Court. Deputy Phillip Thorne with the Bay County Sheriff’s Department performed print comparisons proving that the convictions belonged to the Defendant.

The Defendant was sentenced to the maximum penalty by Circuit Judge Ana Maria Garcia for a total of 15 years prison with a 3 year minimum mandatory.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Barbara Beasley and Ian Gray.

Cromartie Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison followed by 5 Years Probation

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 24, 2020, Circuit Judge Dustin Stephenson sentenced Xsavian “Rozay” Cromartie to a total of 25 years in prison, followed by 5 years of sex offender probation.

Cromartie was designated a Sexual Offender.
Cromartie was previously found guilty as charged by a jury on January 16, 2020, of Lewd and Lascivious Battery, Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, and Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Nicole Reed and Frank Sullivan. Voyager, the Facility Dog from the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, provided support for the victim in this case during court proceedings.

Grantham Convicted of Being a Felon Possessing a Firearm

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 23, 2020, a Bay County jury found Donald Mark Grantham guilty as charged of being a Felon Possessing a Firearm.

Evidence presented at trial proved that on January 20, 2018, the Defendant was a passenger in a pickup truck and had a .44 caliber rifle resting against his thigh concealed under a flannel shirt.  When Ofc. Gore from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission asked the occupants of the vehicle if there were any weapons in the truck, the Defendant removed the flannel shirt and picked up the rifle stating he got it from a deceased family member.

Sentencing is scheduled before Judge Ana Maria Garcia on March 3, 2020, and the Defendant is facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison as a Habitual Felony Offender.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Barbara Beasley and Lynelle Dowe.

Goedtke Enters Plea to DUI Manslaughter (x3), Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, and DWLSR; to be Sentenced Monday

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 23, 2020, John Roland Goedtke entered an open plea to the court to three counts of DUI Manslaughter, one count of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death, and one count of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked.

As the factual basis for the plea, the Defendant admitted to the following. As dusk fell on October 24, 2018, four lineman were working to restore electricity after Hurricane Michael, along the power line that runs on the east side of State Road 77, one mile north of Wausau in Washington County, Florida, just north of the Talton Road intersection. Ryan Barrett was a 22 year old employee of Lee Electric Construction. His supervisor, George Cesil, was 52. James “Bo” Ussery was 61. He was a lineman with West Florida Electric Cooperative. They were standing beneath the power lines 20 feet from the edge of the roadway. Robert Morgan was working above them in a bucket truck.

The Defendant was driving a pickup truck towing a large, enclosed U-Haul trailer northbound on SR 77 at a high rate of speed. Just south of Talton Road, the Defendant ran upon a string of 5 or 6 cars traveling north. He swerved into the southbound lane. Two Musgrove powerline construction trucks were in that lane adjacent to the line of cars the Defendant was attempting to pass. The first truck drove into the ditch. The Defendant passed between the first truck and the line of cars. The second Musgrove truck steered onto the shoulder as the Defendant passed. The Defendant then swerved back into the northbound lane causing the trailer to fishtail. At that point, the Defendant lost all control of his rig. It careened through the ditch on the east side of SR 77. It then launched up over Talton Road. When it landed, it skidded into the three linemen sending two flying and dragging the third under the Defendant’s truck. The Defendant jumped from the truck running north along the highway. He was later arrested at Blue Pond Park, 6 miles away. Denying that he was the driver of the truck, the Defendant told officers – correctly – that his driver’s license was revoked.

Mr. Cesil died at the scene. Ryan Barrett died shortly thereafter while a life flight helicopter was enroute. Bo Ussery died at the hospital. A legal blood draw and lab analysis showed that at the time of the manslaughter the Defendant had 156 ng/mL of methamphetamine and 51 ng/mL of amphetamine in his blood – a quantity rendering the Defendant impaired.

The case was investigated by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Chipley Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by State Attorney Glenn Hess and Assistant State Attorney Mark E. Graham. Sentencing is set for Monday, January 27, 2020 at 9 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse before the Honorable Judge Timothy Register. The Defendant faces a minimum of approximately 34 years in prison and a maximum of life.

Cromartie Convicted of Lewd and Lascivious Battery, Molestation, and Exhibition

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 16, 2020, Xsavian “Rozay” Cromartie was found guilty as charged by a jury of Lewd and Lascivious Battery, Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, and Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition.  The victim testified at trial that in December 2016, when she was 12 years old, she and her friend, who lived with the victim and dated Xsavian Cromartie, were picked up by the defendant and taken to a motel on Harrison Avenue, near the bus station.  When they arrived at the motel, the friend stayed in the car and the defendant and the victim went into the motel room.  In the room, the victim was told to get on her knees and perform oral sex on the defendant who was 26 at the time.  Not knowing what to do the defendant grabbed the victim’s hand and showed her what to do.  When the victim didn’t perform oral sex for a length of time to the defendant’s liking, the defendant asked the 12 year old to push her breasts together and then masturbated in front of the victim.  The defendant then paid the victim $60.  The victim testified that she was afraid to disclose at the time.  About 18 months later the victim disclosed to a friend who encouraged her to tell a teacher, who immediately notified law enforcement.

During the trial, the State presented the testimony of the victim and Cpl. Kristian Shaw of the Panama City Police Department.  The jury deliberated for 40 minutes before returning the guilty verdicts.  The defendant faces a maximum of 45 years in the Department of Corrections and is scheduled for sentencing on January 24th before the Honorable Judge Dustin Stephenson.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Nicole Reed and Frank Sullivan.  Voyager, the Facility Dog from the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, provided support for the victim in this case during court proceedings.

Lavanway Sentenced to 20 Years for Manslaughter

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 15, 2020, Dakota Mitchell Lavanway entered a no contest plea to Manslaughter With A Deadly Weapon in Calhoun County Circuit Court.  Judge Shonna Gay accepted the plea and sentenced Lavanway to 20 years in the Department of Corrections.

On January 17, 2019, Lavanway got into a physical altercation near the Mossy Pond area in Calhoun County with Gerald Becker, 62 of New Hampshire.  Lavanway, 21, beat the victim down and then stabbed him.  The victim later died at the hospital.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney William Wright.

Bruner Sentenced to 13 Years for DUI Manslaughter

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 15, 2020, Starla Lynn Bruner of Altha, Fla. entered a
straight
up no contest plea to the charge of DUl Manslaughter in Calhoun County Circuit CourtJudge Shonna Gay accepted the plea and sentenced Bruner to 13 years in the Department of Corrections.

The charges came from an incident on June 16, 2018 wherein Bruner drove her vehicle while under the influence of methamphctaminc and ran headon into the vehicle of the victim, Brandon Matthew HallThe victim, an off duty correctional officer died from the injuries he receivedAfter hearing testimony from the victims family, Judge Gay sentenced Bruner to 13 years in prison which was beyond the recommended guideline sentence.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney William Wright.

Carson Sentenced to 105 Years for Multiple Counts of Aggravated Child Abuse and Neglect

Press Release

The Office of the State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 7, 2020, Circuit Judge Ana Maria Garcia sentenced Michael Vonkee Carson to 105 years prison and designated him a Habitual Felony Offender.  The Defendant was found guilty at trial on November 20, 2019 of three (3) counts of Aggravated Child Abuse and three (3) counts of Neglect of a Child Causing Great Bodily Harm or Permanent Disfigurement.

In 2014, the Defendant burned a 5-year-old child with a lighter, beat her with a belt buckle, whipped her and burned her in scalding water over a period of time.  The Defendant never sought any medical care for any of the child’s injuries.  The child was rescued by Cynthia Brandt with Family First Network when she discovered the injuries on an unannounced home visit with the child’s aunt.  Ms. Brandt immediately reported the abuse and injuries to law enforcement and the Child Abuse Hotline.

This case was investigated by Panama City Police Department with assistance from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.  The Defendant has 13 prior felony convictions.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Barbara Beasley and Assistant State Attorney Nichole Pieper.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Glenn Hess.

Dorsey Convicted of Trafficking, Sale, and Possession of Multiple Types of Drugs

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on Wednesday December 11, 2019, Raphael Lashun Dorsey was found guilty as charged following a jury trial for the charges of Possession of Cocaine, Trafficking in Hydrocodone 14-28g, Trafficking in Oxycodone, Trafficking in Methamphetamine 28-200g, Sale of a Schedule IV Substance, and Possession of Marijuana in Excess of 20g.

During the trial, the State proved that on August 31, 2018, a confidential informant was utilized in performing a controlled buy from the defendant.  The CI purchased 4 Alprazolam pills for $40.  During the continued surveillance of Dorsey, members of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office watched as Dorsey exited the trailer where he was staying, carrying a black backpack, and entered a waiting vehicle.  When the vehicle was stopped, the black backpack was searched and the officer located a variety of contraband including marijuana, cocaine, and a trafficking amount of oxycodone.  A search warrant was performed on the trailer in which members of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office located a safe. Inside the safe was one of the $20 bills that was used in the controlled buy.  There were also numerous narcotics including a trafficking amount of hydrocodone and a trafficking amount of methamphetamine.  A fingerprint of the defendant’s was also located on the bag of hydrocodone that was in the safe.

The case was investigated by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Frank Sullivan and Nicole Reed.  Sentencing is scheduled for January 3, 2019, before the Honorable Judge Stephenson.  The State will be seeking to have the defendant classified and sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender.

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