Jury recommends death penalty for registered sex offender found guilty in Panama City murder and shooting
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - UPDATE 9-15-23: The family of a woman killed in Panama City back in April of 2019 say their faith in our justice system has been restored.
Friday, a jury recommended the death penalty for the registered sex offender who was convicted Wednesday in the killing 19-year-old Alexandra “Lexie” Peck.
It’s now in Judge Shonna Gay’s hands to rule from the jury’s recommendation.
After about an hour of deliberating Friday afternoon, ten out of two jurors voted to recommend the death penalty for Michael Harrison Hunt.
Hunt appeared emotionless throughout Friday’s hearing today and after the jury’s verdict was read.
Peck’s Stepfather and Mother, Danny and Jenna scoggins say it’s been a long process, but they say they’re relieved by Friday’s verdict.
“I’ll be able to sleep now,” said Danny Scoggins.
“Hopefully anybody can see that justice can be found. That if this ever happened to them, by him or anyone else, that they can speak up,” Jenna Scoggins added.
The Scoggins say they are at peace with whatever the judge rules after the jury’s recommendation.
That hearing is set for November 7th at 1:30 in the afternoon.
Hunt was also facing separate sex crimes.
The State Attorney says he’ll be working with the victims of those cases to bring them justice.
He also says the investigation is still active to catch the other suspect involved in Peck’s murder.
Court records show Wednesday afternoon, a jury found Michael Harrison Hunt guilty of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, and armed burglary.
The state is seeking the death penalty in this case.
The sentencing will take place Friday, where a jury will help determine if Hunt will indeed receive the death penalty.
This is in connection to the April 2019 killing of a woman and the shooting of three other people.
One victim who survived being shot in the throat, testified in the case this week, speaking through the trachea.
He testified that he’s had dozens of surgeries.
Testimony also indicated the two other surviving victims were seriously injured.
Investigators say Hunt and another suspect, who’s not been taken into custody, went into the Allen Avenue home, intending to kill a witness to Hunt being involved in sex crimes.
Court records show Hunt was wanted for sexual battery when the shooting happened.
Testimony indicated the woman who was shot and killed was not the alleged witness.
Court records show Hunt pretended to be a pizza delivery driver in order to get into the home.
Testimony indicated Hunt was known to the people in the home.
Hunt will face charges for separate sex crimes in a different case.
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