Roulhac Sentenced to Mandatory 20 Years Under Florida’s 10/20/Life Law

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 25, 2019, Senior Circuit Judge Allen Register sentenced Jerome Roulhac, Jr., to 20 years of imprisonment, which he will serve day-for-day under Florida’s 10/20/Life law.  Roulhac was convicted of Attempted Second Degree Murder with a Firearm by a Bay County jury on February 12, 2019.  Assistant State Attorney Peter Overstreet presented evidence at trial proving that Roulhac had been in an ongoing dispute with the victim.  After an argument with the victim, Roulhac returned to the victim’s home, exited his car, and attempted to shoot the victim.  A neighbor witnessed the event and immediately called 911.  The case was investigated by the Panama City Police Department.

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

Rogers Convicted of Multiple Sex Offenses

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 22, 2019, a Bay County jury found John Rogers guilty as charged of Sexual Battery Under Specified Circumstances, three counts of Lewd and Lascivious Battery, Lewd and Lascivious Conduct, and guilty of the lesser included offense of Lewd and Lascivious Battery.

Evidence presented at trial by the State established that the Defendant had a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old victim for over a year. The evidence showed that after a year, the victim no longer wanted to have contact with the Defendant, at which time the Defendant became angry and forcefully raped her and threatened to harm her family.

This case was investigated by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Nichole Pieper and Barbara Beasley.  Circuit Judge Ana Garcia set sentencing for April 4, 2019.  The Defendant faces a term of 30 years to life imprisonment.

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

O’Neal Sentenced to Life for Second Degree Murder

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 22, 2019, Circuit Judge James J. Goodman sentenced Damieyon Dontrell O’Neal to life in prison for Second Degree Murder with a Firearm.  O’Neal previously entered an open plea to the charge, with no sentencing agreement.

The State was prepared to prove at trial that on April 27, 2017, the Defendant shot the victim, Kaycha Smith, three times and left her body on the edge of a field in Marianna.  Smith was pregnant and claimed the Defendant was the father of the child, and had obtained an injunction for protection against the Defendant two months earlier.  The Defendant told his brother that he had killed Ms. Smith, and a third party led investigators to the murder weapon, which was located in a drainage ditch in Panama City.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy, Chief of Major Crimes, and was investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Chipley Police Department.

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

Allen Convicted of Sexual Battery on a Child, Lewd Exhibition

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 21, 2019, a Bay County jury convicted Reggie Eugene Allen of two counts of Sexual Battery on a Person Less Than 12 Years of Age, Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition in the Presence of a Child, and Sexual Battery.
The evidence presented at trial by the State established that the Defendant performed oral sex on the victim when she was 9, 11, and 13 years old, and that he masturbated in her presence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Barbara Beasley and Nichole Pieper, and was investigated by the Panama City Police Department. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4, 2019, before Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson. The Defendant is facing a mandatory life sentence and being designated as a sexual predator.

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

Pierce Convicted of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 6, 2019, a Bay County jury found Sonny Eric Pierce guilty as charged of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle.

Evidence presented at trial proved that the incident occurred on June 12, 2013, in the Panama City Home Depot parking lot.  The Defendant discharged a firearm, striking Jeramy Ducharme in his chest.  The victim testified that when he got back into his vehicle and looked up, he was facing the barrel of the .357 firearm that the Defendant was pointing at him.  The jury deliberated for 30 minutes before returning a guilty verdict.

The case was investigated by the Panama City Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Cord Grimes and Jennifer Hawkins.  Circuit Judge Brantley Clark, Jr., set sentencing for March 22, 2019.  The Defendant faces up to 25 years of imprisonment and a 20-year minimum mandatory sentence under the 10/20/Life statute.

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

Sam Armstrong Joins the State Attorney’s Office

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on March 1, 2019, Sam Armstrong joined our Jackson County office as an Assistant State Attorney in the felony division.

Mr. Armstrong received his law degree, with honors, from the University of Florida College of Law. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Armstrong worked as a Certified Public Accountant, having obtained an accounting degree from the University of North Florida.  Mr. Armstrong has litigation experience from both private practice and as a prosecutor.  While in private practice, Mr. Armstrong worked on a wide variety of civil cases and was a partner with the Miami law firm of Richey, Munroe, Fine, Goodman, and Armstrong.  Mr. Armstrong has served as both a state and federal prosecutor, and worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for a total of 22 years.  While an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Armstrong worked in the forfeiture, civil, and criminal divisions, and served as a press spokesperson.  He also served as the Chief of the Ocala Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.  More recently, Mr. Armstrong served as an Assistant State Attorney in the State Attorney’s Office for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.  Mr. Armstrong has tried a wide variety of criminal cases, including trials in bank robbery, strong arm robbery, drug, murder, solicitation for murder, assault, tax evasion, law enforcement corruption, immigration, firearm, and burglary cases.  We welcome Mr. Armstrong to our team!

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

Sherry Moore Retires After Nearly 21 Years of Service

On Friday, we celebrated the retirement of Sherry Moore, who worked as a legal assistant in our Holmes County office for nearly 21 years.  Thank you, Sherry, for your many years of service to our office and to the citizens of Bonifay and the 14th Circuit.  We wish you all the best in your new position as a full-time grandmother!

Fiquett Sentenced to 15 Years

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 28, 2019, Circuit Judge Brantley Clark, Jr., sentenced Matthew Fiquett, Jr., to a minimum mandatory 15 years in the Department of Corrections.  Fiquett was sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender and Prison Releasee Reoffender.

Fiquett was previously convicted of Robbery by a Bay County jury on February 7, 2019.  Evidence presented at trial proved that on August 12, 2018, Fiquett, along with two juvenile co-defendants, devised a plan to meet and rob another juvenile at the Men’s Club in Callaway, Florida.  The juvenile victim testified at trial that when he arrived, he was expecting to meet one person, but there were at least three others present.  He told the jury the older man, Fiquett, asked him to come into a wooded area that was out of the line of sight from the roadway.  The juvenile victim testified when he bent down to retrieve Xanax from his backpack he was hit in the face.  Fiquett put him in a headlock and held on to him while the two other juvenile co-defendants fled the area with some of his belongings; including a backpack and tablet.

After the other juvenile co-defendants left, Fiquett released the juvenile victim and told him to give him his watch.  After Fiquett left the area, the juvenile victim walked out of the wooded area and found two officers sitting nearby in their patrol vehicle.  He approached the officers, allowed them to take photographs of him and his injuries, and gave them a description of the individuals who attacked him.  The patrol deputies contacted the on-call investigator with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Christian Williams.  Investigator Williams responded to the scene and while he was walking around the Men’s Club looking for evidence, the juvenile co-defendants returned to the park.

The juvenile co-defendants implicated Fiquett as the leader and the one who devised the plan to steal from the juvenile victim.  Investigator Williams was able to locate Fiquett at his girlfriend’s house later that night.  Inside the house, Investigator Williams located the juvenile victim’s birth certificate, shredded and stuffed into the toilet bowl, and he found the juvenile victim’s tablet in the water tank of the toilet.  He also located the juvenile victim’s backpack in the bedroom where Fiquett stayed.

Assistant State Attorneys Cord Grimes and Alyssa Yarbrough prosecuted the case with the help of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the juvenile victim.

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

Brinegar Convicted of Attempted Second Degree Murder, Firearms Offenses

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 13, 2019, Michael Brinegar was found guilty as charged by a Bay County jury of Attempted Second Degree Murder with a Firearm, Shooting into a Building and Discharging a Firearm While Under the Influence.  The charges arose from an incident on September 30th, 2017, when Brinegar was angry with his neighbor and shot a firearm more than 10 times at his neighbor’s family, including three children. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Frank Sullivan and investigated by the Bay County Sheriff’s Department. Brinegar faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 20 years in prison under Florida’s 10/20/Life law. Sentencing is set for March 26, 2019, before Circuit Judge Brantley Clark, Jr.

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

Chapman Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on February 26, 2019, Circuit Judge Brantley Clark, Jr., sentenced Antwain Chapman to 15 years in the Department of Corrections.  Chapman was sentenced as a Prison Releasee Reoffender.

Chapman was previously found guilty as charged of Burglary of a Dwelling by a Bay County jury on January 16, 2019.  Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the victim, who was the Defendant’s former brother-in-law, saw the Defendant on his way to work, and knowing that he had just gotten out of prison, attempted to help the Defendant by providing him clothing, money, and a place to stay for the night. However, after the victim left for work, the Defendant returned to his residence, kicked in the door, and stole some items out of the victim’s home. Surveillance video captured the Defendant walking away from the victim’s residence with a pillowcase stuffed with the victim’s belongings. The jury deliberated for 48 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty as charged.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Peter Overstreet and was investigated by the Panama City Police Department.

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