Panama City Beach, Fla. - Bay County Sheriff's deputies released more information Monday about the Sunday morning murder of an Arnold High School student.
Investigators wrote that four Arnold High School students were at Taco Bell, just over the Hathaway Bridge, Saturday evening when they met up with four men from Auburn, Alabama at the Taco Bell. At least one of the Arnold students purchased pills from one of the men from Auburn, and the group smoked marijuana together outside the restaurant.
"The men from Auburn wanted to purchase more marijuana, so one of the Arnold High School students called a friend that had marijuana to sell. This marijuana dealer was with the victim, Jason Ian Price, and one other Arnold High School student, and they drove to the CVS store parking lot at Wildwood Road and Highway 98 to meet the other Arnold students and the men from Auburn," officials wrote. "The victim, Jason Ian Price, remained in the car, watching as the drug deal went down in the parking lot. One of the men from Auburn pulled out an AK-47 and, with two other men from Auburn, began to batter and rob the Arnold High School students and the young man with the marijuana to sell."
Price saw this, got out of the car to help and was shot and killed
Two Arnold students and the marijuana dealer remained at the scene and they told deputies that the four men from Auburn fled on foot, one of them going down Wildwood Road.
After a concerned citizen made a suspicious person call to the BCSO, deputies immediately responded to the end of Wildwood Road and, with the assistance of a BCSO K9 tracking dog, deputies located one of the men from Auburn. Three others from Auburn were quickly located in the parking lot of a nearby motel. The gun was also recovered.
The four men from Auburn were interviewed and three were subsequently arrested.
"One of the men from Auburn had gone to sleep on a bench in the parking lot of the CVS store during the incident and was not arrested," officials wrote.
Rodney Jones, 18, was charged with felony murder and armed robbery. Gertavious Montrez Canada, 24, was charged with felony murder and armed robbery. Demarcus Giddens,21, was charged with an open count of murder and armed robbery. Investigators added that Giddens did the shooting that killed the victim.
One of the Arnold High School students that witnessed the incident refused to respond to the door of his Thomas Drive home when investigators knocked on it, asking to take a statement from him.
"This caused resources to be reallocated from the homicide investigation. One investigator remained at the witness' door for hours, another had to write a search warrant and get it signed, and finally several had to serve the search warrant just to get into the residence, speak to the witness, and get information to help solve the murder," officials wrote. "The witness and his father, also in the home when investigators were knocking on the door, were arrested."
Kevin Jacobs, 46, of 9002 S. Thomas Drive, Panama City Beach, was charged with resisting an officer without violence. The witness, a juvenile who was not named in the news release, was also arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence.
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