Prison Term Handed Down in an East Bay County Slaying

A Mexico Beach homicide case has resulted in a Port St. Joe man being sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years probation.

Fifty-four-year-old David Lee Barnes was convicted in Bay County Circuit Court in early September on a manslaughter charge in the death of Michael Speights in Mexico Beach in October of last year.

At the sentencing Tuesday before Circuit Judge Glenn Hess, the victim’s brother, Lamar Speights, Jr., read a statement to the court which described Barnes and Michael Speights as lifetime acquaintances who had become friends.

He told the court Barnes did not have to stab his brother and had ample time to call 9-1-1 after he knew be had stabbed Michael, but he didn’t.

Judge Hess ordered Barnes to prison for 10 years at the conclusion of Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.