PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The first day of a murder trial wrapped up in Bay County Monday afternoon. 39-year-old Christopher Cox is accused of shooting two 14-year-old boys, killing one of them.

Prosecutors said Cox was high on marijuana and was acting strangely all weekend before shooting two 14-year-old boys from Kentucky, killing one of them.  

But defense attorneys argue the two tried to rob Cox, leading to what they claim was a self-defense shooting.

“The reason that he acted in the manner that he acted was that they tried to take his firearm, which was within his backpack from him by force,” Defense Attorney Nathan Prince said.

On the weekend of March 23rd, 2021, prosecutors said Cox was acting strangely. Prosecutor Peter Overstreet said around 11 p.m. Cox met two 14-year-olds from Kentucky; Lucas Lykes, and Jacob Salmon.

Cox was allegedly high on marijuana when he met them. Overstreet said the three chatted for a while, then Cox borrowed Lykes’ vape pen.

He allegedly told the two boys to run down the beach. When they asked why Cox allegedly told them he had a gun and he was going to shoot them.

“First he shot Lucas Lykes which you can hear from the medical examiner,” Overstreet said. “He was shot three times on the right side of his body to the left side of his body. One of the shots going through, striking his lungs, the spinal cord, killing him.”

Overstreet said Cox then shot Salmon a couple of times. He said Cox planted the gun underneath Lykes before running away from the body.

“As they rolled Mr. Lykes over and buried underneath him was the 45 caliber firearm,” Overstreet said.

But Prince said the two boys tried to rob Cox. He said Cox pulled the gun out of his bag in self-defense. Prosecutors said Cox acted strangely for a couple of days before the shooting.

Early Saturday morning Cox’s co-workers Jim Tatum at DAG Architects said Cox texted employees demeaning texts and quit.

Workers from Finn’s Barista Bar and Snack Shack and Coyote Ugly’s both said Cox visited the businesses and was acting strangely.

“It kind of just made us a little uncomfortable because of just the look on his face,” Former Finn’s Employee Jordan Kirby said.

“Palms flat just rubbing the ground,” Coyote Ugly’s Director of Operations Derrick Hammond said.

Overstreet said Cox was paranoid from marijuana, but Prince said the drug wouldn’t have made him violent. He said it is not uncommon for people on drugs to order three smoothies from a restaurant like Cox did at Finn’s, then proceed to zone out.

“He’s high as a kite,” Prince said. “That’s what high people do.”

Cox is expected to testify later this week, as is Salmon, who survived the attack. 

Cox is charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and carrying a concealed weapon. The trial is expected to be finished Wednesday or Thursday.