PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The State of Florida rested its case against Christopher Cox in a murder trial Tuesday evening.
Prosecutors stated Cox murdered a 14-year-old boy and shot his step-brother on March 23rd, 2021, behind the Shores of Panama.
There’s no denying Cox shot the teens but he said it was in self-defense.
Cox said Lucas Likes and his brother tried to rob him of his backpack, where he was carrying a gun. But in testimony, the surviving teen said he and Likes hung out with Cox for an hour and a half.
The teen said Likes and Cox smoked marijuana together.
But the evening allegedly took a turn when Cox told the teens to walk to the shoreline. When they asked him why the teen said Cox told them it was because he intended to shoot them.
“He shot my brother,” the teenager said. “My brother fell and I ran”
He said Likes told him to go find help. As police arrived on the scene, the teen ran to find his family in the Shores of Panama Resort. He told Likes’ mother that Likes was bleeding badly.
“He said the last time I seen him he was on the beach and there was a lot of blood,” Amy Likes, the victim’s mother said. “And at that point, the police officer, the paramedic, is asking what other son. And that’s when all the pieces started coming together.”
Witnesses staying on the 23rd floor of the resort said they saw Cox run away after the shooting.
“The guy that was running around frantically, he ended up kind of just sitting behind one of the chairs that was set out,” Witness Jake Michalski said.
Panama City Beach Police testified Cox ran away from them before they apprehended him. On Monday, two workers testified Cox was acting strange before the shooting. Another tourist testified Cox was acting strange when she met him almost two years ago.
“We kind of got a little uncomfortable because late at night, random guy comes up here at the beach,” Tourist Kinlee Adams said.
But the teenage victims said Cox was acting ‘normal’ when they met him, up until the shooting.
Cox is expected to testify tomorrow. He is being charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and concealed carry of a weapon.