Apalachicola murder suspect may mount insanity defense

Local News

Michael C. Baucham

APALACHICOLA, Fla. (The Apalachicola Times) — The man accused of murdering an Apalachicola man in front of his 23rd Street home in Dec. 2019, and wounding the man’s father, plans to mount an insanity defense.

Joseph Bodiford, attorney for Michael C. Baucham, Jr., 35, last month filed a motion before Circuit Judge Jonathan Sjostrom that asks the court to pay for the hiring of Dr. Ronda Harrison-Spoerl, a Tallahassee psychologist, as a confidential expert, according to News 13 partner The Apalachicola Times.

Bodiford’s motion said he has “reason to believe that the defendant may have been insane at the time of the offense at issue in this case. This is based on discovery, deposition testimony, and investigation.”

If granted, the results of Harrison-Spoerl’s findings would be provided only to Bodiford, and would become part of the case only if the attorney deemed it beneficial in his client’ defense.

Following an August 24 grand jury hearing, Baucham now faces first degree murder charges in the Sunday evening, Dec. 22, 2019 gunning down of Keenan Ivory Turrell, 29, in the driveway of the mobile home where he lived at 303 23rd Street.

Turrell’s father, Albert “Sonny” Turrell sustained a gunshot wound in his hand, and later recovered at Bay Medical Center in Panama City.

In addition to raising the murder charge to first-degree, which carries the possibility of the death penalty, the grand jury determined Baucham should be charged with attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of Sonny Turrell.

The arrest of Baucham took place later that night after the suspected killer fled on foot from the scene, and was later seen driving a 2014 black Mazda near the area. The apparent weapon used in the shooting, a 40-cal. Glock handgun, was found on the seat, according to Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith.

Neighbors told law enforcement they heard several shots fired, and Smith said there had been multiple shots, all from Baucham’s pistol.

While the court has determined Baucham is indigent, and entitled to a court-appointed lawyer, Bodiford, a board certified criminal defense attorney, has been retained, according to court filings, by Baucham’s mother, Margarette Rochelle, Tina Owens and others.

An April 2021 filing indicates Bodiford is charging a $30,000 retainer, with $11,500 having been paid so far at that time.

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