MARIANNA – A Jackson County jury took about 40 minutes Wednesday to return a guilty verdict against a man who sliced his victim from his chest to his neck with a box cutter, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.
Johnathon Clarence Coulliette, 37 of Marianna, was found guilty of Aggravated Battery (With a Deadly Weapon Causing Great Bodily Harm) after a two-day trial. Circuit Court Judge Ana Maria Garcia set sentencing for July 13.
Prosecutor Lawrence Gill is seeking to have the defendant, who was released from prison about two months before this offense, sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender and Prison Release Reoffender. That would double the potential penalty from up to 15 years in prison to 30 years.
“In this case, a defendant who had only been out of prison about two months nearly killed a man,” Gill said. “People making false claims of self-defense will be held accountable.”
Gill and Jackson County Chief Prosecutor Shalla Jefcoat called five witnesses and put on evidence proving that the defendant attacked the victim with a box cutter Sept. 11, 2021.
The evidence showed the defendant’s girlfriend invited the victim and his girlfriend to the defendant’s home, but shortly after they arrived the defendant was upset and pacing back and forth. The evidence showed that the victim and victim’s girlfriend had only been at the defendant’s residence for approximately 15 minutes, when the defendant went into a shed and came back out with a box cutter.
Witnesses said he approached the victim and swung at him, creating a cut from his chest to near his throat that took dozens of staples to close. The jury rejected the defense’s argument that it was self-defense.
The victim and his girlfriend made it back to their car and called 911.
Basford thanked the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their work on the case.
For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at email@example.com, or call 850-381-7454.