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Suspect facing 10 years in prison for beating man with weapon

William Cooper Brandt faces a 10-year mandatory prison sentence after beating a man with a...
William Cooper Brandt faces a 10-year mandatory prison sentence after beating a man with a large handgun during a June 2020 incident at the Cooks Motel in Panama City Beach.(BAY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 11:57 AM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Bay County jury has convicted a homeless man for a June 2020 incident in which he beat another man with the butt of a large handgun while staying at a Panama City Beach motel.

According to State Attorney Larry Basford, William Cooper Brandt has been convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm.

In June 2020, Basford said Brandt asked a man living at the Cooks Motel if he could stay with him because he was homeless. We’re told the victim invited him into his room to freshen up.

During this time, officials said the defendant asked the man for some money to help him out. Basford said the victim went to get the man some cash; however, when he came back into the room, Brandt began beating him with a handgun.

The man was able to get away and get help. The state attorney’s office said a deputy with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrived within minutes and spotted Brandt walking across the road with a firearm in his hand. The suspect was detained.

Sentencing for the defendant is set for early August. He faces a mandatory 10 year prison sentence under Florida’s 10/20/Life law.

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