PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — On Thursday afternoon a jury convicted a 58-year-old man of beating another transient to death with a rebar.

Panama City Beach Police arrested Charles Strickland for the murder of Clifford Lowrey in November 2020.

PCBPD were called to an area behind ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in search of a suspect who stole from a liquor store. Officers found a body in a retention pond and another one in a shallow grave.

Lowrey was in the shallow grave. The other man was John Douglas, another transient.

Prosecutor Mark Graham said this was one of the most gruesome deaths he’s seen in his career.

He said the sentence of life in prison is justified.

“He’s been violent for a while,” Graham said. “This, in my career, has probably been one of the most horrendous deaths, even Doctor Radtke made a remark saying vicious beating. He beat Lowrey to death with that rebar. He deserves the sentence of life.”

Defense attorneys said a life sentence was too long of punishment for Strickland. He was also convicted of tampering with evidence after he dragged Lowrey’s body to the shallow grave.

But he wasn’t the only one involved in the murder. Samantha Booth has been convicted of accessory after the fact of murder and tampering with evidence. Booth will be sentenced Monday.