Use, discharge of firearm in attempted killing equal a 20-year sentence

A domestic argument that erupted with shots being fired at a gas station and a nearby home 3 years ago ended with a plea of no contest and a 20-year prison term, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Assistant State Attorney Frank Sullivan said that under Florida’s 10-20-Life law, Daniel Joseph Betsy, 49, of Panama City, will have to serve every day of the 20-year sentence imposed by Circuit Court Judge Dustin Stephenson before he is released. He pled no contest to Attempted Second-Degree Murder with a Firearm, Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle, Aggravated Assault with a Firearm, 2 counts of Tampering with a witness and being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

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Daniel Betsy

While no one was injured in the June 27, 2020 shooting at a Parker gas station and residence, the discharge of a firearm during the defendant’s attempt to cause harm made him eligible for the penalty. The defendant was upset after seeing his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend at a gas station, fired shots at their vehicle as they departed, then followed them and fired more shots at her residence.

“He used a large-caliber pistol to shoot at a moving car and did it again after he followed it to the victim’s home,” Sullivan said. “Then he pointed the gun at a witness. The defendant endangered not only the lives of the people in that car, but of everyone in the vicinity.

“Florida’s 10-20-Life addresses crimes like this,” Sullivan continued. “If you use a firearm during the commission of a crime here, there is a heavy price to pay.”

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