Taylor Sentenced to 14 Years for Manslaughter

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on March 2, 2021, Judge Ana Garcia sentenced 27 year old Sidney Taylor to 14 years in prison after she entered an open plea to Manslaughter.  The maximum sentence for Manslaughter is 15 years in prison.  Taylor delivered a deadly combination of Heroin and Carfentanil to the victim, 32 year old Justin Peters.  Mr. Peters died within moments after ingesting Taylor’s drugs.  Instead of calling 911, Taylor attempted to revive Mr. Peters by shoving Methamphetamine into his mouth.  She fled the scene and avoided law enforcement for several months.  Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy advised the Court that Carfentanil is used primarily by veterinarians on large animals such as horses and elephants.  Carfentanil is not approved for use on humans in any dosage.

The case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Special Investigation Divisions of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, and the case agent was Sgt. Christian Williams.

State Attorney Larry Basford said that this is a tragic case and he hopes that it will serve as a reminder that ingesting just a little bit of an illegal substance can sometimes be lethal.

For additional information, contact State Attorney Larry Basford.

 

Taylor Convicted of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on February 24, 2021, a Jackson County jury found Lisette Lee Taylor guilty as charged of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child in the death of her 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.  Sentencing is set for April 23, 2021 before Circuit Judge James J. Goodman, Jr.

Lawrence Gill Returns to the State Attorney’s Office

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that Lawrence Gill has returned to the State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney in the Jackson County office, assigned to handle felony cases. Mr. Gill previously served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Bay County office from 2016 to 2019, handling both misdemeanor and felony cases. He most recently worked as an Assistant General Counsel at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee. We welcome Mr. Gill back to our team!

John Pettis Joins the State Attorney’s Office

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that John Pettis has joined the State Attorney’s Office as an Investigator in the Holmes and Washington County offices.  Inv. Pettis comes to us from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, where he was most recently the supervisor of court house security.  He previously worked at the Walton Academy Charter School, where he was in charge of transportation, cafeteria, custodial, and security operations.  Prior to that, he worked at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the DeFuniak Springs Police Department, and was a corrections officer for the Department of Corrections.  He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Business Administration and Management.  We welcome Inv. Pettis to our team!

Jennifer Lieb Joins the State Attorney’s Office

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of State Attorney Larry Basford announces that Jennifer Lieb has joined the State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney in the Panama City office.  Ms. Lieb comes to us with a wealth of experience, having worked at the 1st Circuit State Attorney’s office for nearly 15 years.  Ms. Lieb was assigned as a special prosecutor for child victim crimes and internet crimes against children for over ten years.  She has handled all aspects of prosecution – from intake through disposition – of misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony cases.  We welcome Ms. Lieb to our team!

Briggs Enters Plea to Second Degree Murder with a Firearm; Sentenced to 40 Years

PRESS RELEASE

The Office of the State Attorney Larry Basford announces that on January 21, 2021, Circuit Judge Ana Garcia sentenced William Arthur Briggs, 43 years old, to 40 years in the Department of Corrections, with the first 25 years to be served without gain time day-for-day, for the murder of Tammie Shrie Ash, 46 years old.

Evidence in the case established that on January 22, 2020, William Arthur Briggs shot and killed Tammie Shrie Ash at their residence on 205 Kraft Avenue, Panama City, Florida. Briggs was charged with 2nd Degree Murder with a Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Trafficking in MDMA (ecstasy).

On January 21, 2021, Briggs entered a no contest plea to the above stated 3 charges and 2 additional charges. He was sentenced to 40 years in the Department of Corrections for the murder of Tammie Shrie Ash and 5 years prison concurrent on the remaining 4 charges.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Mark E. Graham.

Price Convicted of Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, and Grand Theft Auto

Press Release
The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on December 9, 2020, a Bay County jury convicted Rachel Nicole Price of Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, and Grand Theft Auto after deliberating for nearly 45 minutes. Rachel Price and her boyfriend/co-defendant, Adam Horne, were in Panama City Beach after absconding from North Carolina. While at the Pier Park, Horne and Price developed a scheme to return to North Carolina by convincing the victim, an 80 year old woman, they were down on their luck. She agreed to give them a ride back to their hotel.. During the ride, Horne pulled out a knife, held it to the victim’s throat, and demanded that the victim drive them out of state.

The victim was then able to pull into the VP Gas Station at Middle Beach and Alf Coleman Rd, near Shipwreck Island,  Horne demanded money for the gas and the victim, afraid for her life, complied by giving up her credit card.  When Horne exited the car, the victim floored the car out of the gas station leaving behind Horne. Price then demanded to be let out of the car and exited. Video surveillance showed Price running back to Horne and proceeding down the road to the Villages at the Grand Panama. Once at the Grand Panama, the couple stole another person’s truck.

Within an hour, deputies with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office stopped the stolen truck near the intersection of Hwy 231 and Hwy 20.  Horne was searched and found to be in possession of the first victim’s stolen credit card.  Police also located the knife Horne used in the backseat of the robbery victim’s car.

This case was investigated by the Panama City Beach Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Calie Overstreet and Alexis Sykes. Circuit Judge Brantley Clark scheduled sentencing for December 17, 2020 at 9:00 am.

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

New Assistant State Attorneys Sworn

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on November 23, 2020, four recent law school graduates were sworn in by State Attorney Glenn Hess as the newest Assistant State Attorneys in the 14th Judicial Circuit.  Jillian Barnard, Erica Gloyd, Daniel King, and Celeste Murphy-Gerling were sworn in after receiving notice that they had passed the fall 2020 Florida Bar exam.

Ms. Barnard is a graduate of Barry Law School in Orlando.  Ms. Gloyd is a graduate of Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee.  Mr. King is a graduate of Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport.  Ms. Murphy-Gerling is also a graduate of Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee.  They are all May 2020 graduates.  All of the new Assistant State Attorneys join our Bay County office in the Misdemeanor Division.  We welcome them to our team!

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

(Photo: State Attorney Glenn Hess, Jillian Barnard, Daniel King, Erica Gloyd, and Celeste Murphy-Gerling)

Britton Convicted of Attempted Second Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer; Faces Life Sentence

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on November 19, 2020, a Bay County jury found Terrance Lamont Britton guilty of Attempted Second Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer, Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer with Lights & Sirens with High Speed or Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injury, and Driving Under the Influence.
On December 28, 2017, Officer Klingensmith and his trainee, Officer Shoemaker witnessed the Defendant at a gas station stumbling and entering a vehicle.  Believing Britton to be possibly impaired they attempted a traffic stop after the vehicle he was operating crossed into oncoming traffic and was swerving.  Britton then fled from the officers as they attempted the traffic stop at high speeds.  The pursuit was dangerous and the officers terminated the pursuit.  Britton then drove down Kendrick Road in Parker and the officers waited on Cherry Street for him to exit.  After waiting they discovered Britton had crashed into an unoccupied vehicle, leaving his wife unconscious and bleeding inside the vehicle.  The officers saw Britton walking away from the crash and attempted to detain him.  Upon doing so, Britton brandished and pointed a silver 9mm handgun at the officers.  Officer Shoemaker discharged his issued weapon twice at Britton and Officer Klingensmith discharged his weapon once before it jammed.  Britton was not struck by the gunfire and ran from the officers.  Officer Klingensmith then was able to catch the defendant and tackled him.  After tackling Britton, Britton shoved his firearm underneath the vest of Officer Klingensmith.  Officer Kligensmith grabbed the slide of the firearm to keep it from discharging and fought for his life.  Sergeant Rexford from Springfield Police Department also arrived on scene and used his taser to subdue Britton.  After tasing Britton, Officer Klingensmith was able to remove the firearm from Britton’s possession.  Defendant’s blood was later taken and found to contain cocaine and a 0.127 blood alcohol level.  Britton is a Prison Releasee Reoffender after just being released from prison for Armed Robbery from Palm Beach County, where he served 10 years.
The Defendant is facing a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole, and up to 65 years of consecutive time.  Sentencing will be set before Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson at a later date to be determined.
For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.