Former Marianna prosecutor, veteran attorney rejoins SAO

A U.S. Army veteran, former Marianna prosecutor, and private practice attorney is now the State Attorney’s Office newest Bay County prosecutor.

State Attorney Larry Basford swore in Zachary VanDyke Monday morning and announced his return to the SAO effective today.

State Attorney Larry Basford, right, welcomes the SAO’s newest prosecutor, Zachary VanDyke.

“This office has a great reputation and out of all my years of practicing law, the State Attorney’s Office in Marianna was the coolest job that I ever had,” VanDyke said, adding, “Up until I got to sit in this chair in Panama City.”

VanDyke ran a private practice law firm the last 10 years in Panama City, serving as lead counsel in about 10-12 trials each year. From 2005-2007 he served as a prosecutor in the SAO Marianna office where he carried a load of about 200 misdemeanor and felony cases.

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VanDyke joined the U.S. Army in 1988 and became a commissioned officer in 1996 after a break in service for college. VanDyke graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2004 and served in the Alabama Army National Guard from 2006-2014, retiring with the rank of Major and a combined 22 years of active and guard service

Originally from Birmingham, Ala., VanDyke said he has long felt the pull of living in Bay County.

“My family lives here and I love this place, and I want to contribute to making it safer by protecting the people of the community,” he said.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.