Trial begins for man accused of shooting two teenagers, killing one

Christopher Cox Trial
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 8:03 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The trial is underway for a man accused of shooting two teenage boys, killing one and injuring the other, on the beach in Panama City Beach in 2021.

Christopher Cox, 39, is facing charges of murder, attempted murder, and carrying a concealed weapon.

Monday, attorneys made their arguments to the jury. Prosecutors argue Cox had been acting erratically in the days leading up to the shooting and was high on cannabis at the time of the incident.

”In no way, shape, or form... no matter what you hear today... is even bordering on self-defense,” Prosecutor Peter Overstreet told the jury. “But rather, a man spiraling out of control. A man losing his grip on reality. A man in desperation. Or for whatever reason, we may never know, decided to shoot these two innocent boys.”

However, the defense argued that the two teenage boys had tried to rob Cox of his backpack, and the shooting was in self-defense.

”You’re not going to be instructed by the court that the state has to prove motive beyond a reasonable doubt” Defense Attorney Nathan Prince said. “That’s not an element of the offense. However, your motive theory should make sense if you want the jury to believe that the defendant was acting with force for some other reason than in self-defense.”

The jury also heard from three witnesses on the stand Monday afternoon. Court officials said they expect the trial to wrap up Wednesday or Thursday.