King Convicted of Attempted First Degree Murder with a Firearm, Attempted Manslaughter with a Firearm (x 3), and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 28, 2021, a Bay County jury found Christopher Lee King guilty of Attempted Murder in the First Degree with a Firearm, 3 Counts of Attempted Manslaughter by Act with a Firearm, and Shooting Deadly Missiles into an Occupied Vehicle.

Evidence presented at trial proved that the Bay County Sheriff’s Office responded to East Callaway Heights 5 days after Hurricane Michael, to a report of a man shot.  The victim was found to have been shot in the back of the head and life flighted via helicopter to Fort Walton for trauma surgery.  The other 3 victims were King’s ex-wife and their two children, ages 3 and 5.  King was enraged when his ex-wife came over to pick up their kids after the Hurricane.  King demanded that the ex-wife not take the kids and retrieved his Glock 19 firearm.  After the children were loaded in the victim’s truck, King began shooting multiple rounds at the truck and 4 occupants inside.  One of his shots was to the driver, who was struck.  This shot narrowly missed his 3-year-old daughter. The truck then crashed into a ditch and struck a power pole.   The mother of the children was held at gunpoint and later ran off to call 911.  Thankfully, the children were not injured during the shooting or the crash.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Peter Overstreet and Jacob Cook.  Sentencing is set for May 13, 2021, before Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Holden Convicted of Possession of Methamphetamine and Paraphernalia, Resisting an Officer, and Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

The Office of the State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 27, 2021, a Jackson County jury convicted Anthony Holden of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting an Officer Without Violence, and Driving While License Suspended, Canceled, or Revoked.

Evidence presented at trial proved that on January 7, 2020, the Defendant, after being pulled over by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office for a traffic infraction, immediately abandoned his vehicle and fled the scene. With a quick reaction by law enforcement, the Defendant was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. In the Defendant’s front right pocket, law enforcement located six (6) jeweler bags of methamphetamine.

The Defendant is currently on probation for Robbery with a Firearm and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and faces up to Life in prison.

Circuit Judge James Jefferson Goodman Jr. scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2021. The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Lawrence Gill and Ben Keown.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Taylor Sentenced to 23 Years in Death of Infant Daughter

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 23, 2021, Judge James J. Goodman, Jr., sentenced Lisette Taylor to 23 years Department of Corrections for her February 24, 2021, conviction of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child for the death of her 19-day old infant daughter in 2017.

Evidence presented at trial demonstrated a pattern of conduct whereby the defendant neglected the infant after ingesting a large amount of methamphetamine, staying up for 24 hours, and then co-sleeping with the 19-day old infant for over 10 hours in a post-methamphetamine crash, resulting in the child’s death.

The case was investigated by the Graceville Police Department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.  It was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Mark Graham and Benjamin Keown.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Sims Convicted of Drug Possession, Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 21, 2021, a Gulf County jury convicted Storm Sims of Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Oxycodone, Possession of Heroin, Possession  of over 20 grams of Marijuana, Flee to Elude Law Enforcement, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Evidence presented at trial proved that on December 12, 2018, Sgt. Shane Ferrell and Deputy Matthew Peek with the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop on the Defendant, who fled while the deputies pursued him with lights and siren activated. The Defendant jumped out of the moving vehicle and fled on foot into a heavily wooded area. The vehicle he was driving continued until it was stopped by trees. The Defendant was apprehended in the woods a short time later by Sgt. Shane Ferrell.
After the Defendant was taken into custody, the vehicle was searched and a large quantity of drugs and over $470,000.00 in cash was found as well as a loaded 9 mm firearm.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Tracy Smith. Sentencing is scheduled before Circuit Judge Shonna Young Gay on May 4, 2021.
For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Tipton Convicted of Drug Trafficking and Possession of Paraphernalia

Press Release
The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 21, 2021, a Bay County jury found Richard Daniel Tipton guilty as charged of Trafficking in Amphetamines, Trafficking in Illegal Drugs, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
At trial, the State presented evidence that Investigator Gage Cowart with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop the defendant after witnessing the defendant riding a bicycle at night without any lights or reflectors, and  failing to yield to the pedestrian signals while crossing Thomas Drive. The defendant failed to stop for the officer and instead rode his bike into a park where he was seen throwing items towards the nearby pond. After the defendant was secured, law enforcement scanned the area and found two baggies that contained methamphetamine and one baggie that contained heroin. The methamphetamine weighed approximately 30 grams, and the heroin weighed approximately 5 grams. The State is seeking to have the defendant sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender because of his prior criminal record. Judge Ana Garcia will sentence Tipton at a later date.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Nicole Reed and Barbara F. Beasley.
If you need additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Kostic Sentenced to 14 Years

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 13, 2021, Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson sentenced Kayla Kostic to 14 years in prison for her role in the murder of Mark Jankiewicz.  Kostic entered a plea agreement with the State on January 31, 2020, where she agreed to testify truthfully against Emilio Jack.  Kostic pled to Principal to Robbery with a Deadly Weapon and Accessory After the Fact to Second Degree Murder.  Kostic provided her testimony to a Bay County jury who found Jack guilty of Second Degree Murder with a Deadly Weapon and Robbery with a Deadly Weapon on March 30, 2021.

On July 27, 2019, Mark Jankiewicz was found covered in a blanket under a picnic table at the Hathaway Bridge boat ramp.  Jack fatally stabbed the victim six times using two screwdrivers.  Jack’s sentencing is set for May 11, 2021, before Judge Christopher Patterson.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Bob Sombathy and Frank Sullivan.  The case agent was Sgt. Steve Rhinehart of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

For additional, information contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Whitley Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 13, 2021, Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson sentenced Jarquez Jerome Whitley to 8 years in prison for Aggravated Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer and to a consecutive 5 years in prison for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.  The total sentence is 13 years in prison.  Whitley was previously found guilty of the crimes by a Bay County jury on March 23, 2021.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Peter Overstreet and Jacob Cook.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Sexton Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping and Robbery with a Deadly Weapon; Sentenced to 10 Years

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 9, 2021, Joshua Brandon Sexton entered a plea of guilty to Kidnapping and Robbery with a Deadly Weapon and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The State was prepared to present evidence that the Defendant had called for a cab ride and later directed the cab driver at knifepoint to drive him to Georgia to meet a female he had been talking to on the internet.  The victim was able to flee the scene and call law enforcement after taking the Defendant to Georgia to meet the female.  The Defendant was later interviewed by authorities in Georgia and confessed to the robbery and kidnapping.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Peter Overstreet.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Carrizales Pretell Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Sexual Battery Upon a Person Less than 12

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 9, 2021, Circuit Judge Dustin Stephenson sentenced Jhon Albert Carrizales Pretell to life imprisonment without parole for Sexual Battery Upon a Person Less than 12 Years of Age. The Defendant was designated a Sexual Predator.
The Defendant had been found guilty as charged by a Bay County jury on March 9, 2021.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Nicole Reed and Ian Gray.  Investigator Jesse Cieslik of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office was the case agent.
For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

Thomas Convicted of Manslaughter with a Firearm and Tampering with Evidence

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on April 6, 2021, a Bay County jury found 26 year old Jacorian Thomas guilty of manslaughter with a firearm and tampering with evidence.   Sentencing is set for April 23, 2021, before Circuit Judge Brantley Clark.  Thomas faces up to 35 years in prison.

Evidence presented at trial proved that on August 18, 2018, at Abbots Trailer Park in Callaway, Thomas shot and killed 19 year old Demetrius Traylor with a 9 millimeter handgun.  Thomas admitted being high on illegally procured pain pills at the time.  Thomas and Traylor were thought to be friends at the time of the shooting.  Thomas dragged Traylor’s body out of the mobile home and left him sprawled out on a dirt road.  Thomas then attempted to clean the blood from the crime scene.  Thomas fled the scene and remained a fugitive until arrested on August 9, 2019, in Polk County, Florida.

Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy prosecuted the case for the State, and Sgt. Jared Turner was the case agent for the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.