PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – After three full days of jury selection, the Michael Harrison Hunt first-degree murder trial began Friday morning at the Bay County Courthouse.
Hunt is accused of killing a teenage girl and wounding three other people back in April 2019. Prosecutors said in their opening statements they believed Hunt’s motive was to kill everyone who could testify against him in another case. He was arrested in September 2018 for sexual assault on a minor. Police believe Hunt was trying to kill his victim but shot the wrong girl.
“The other man, seeing Alexandra Peck, a red-headed girl, run past and go towards the back room, gave chase he went into that room like pure nightmare fuel,” Bay County Prosecutor Peter Overstreet said. “Danny Scoggins heard his daughter crying, ‘Daddy, help me. Please don’t shoot me.’ Two shots.”
The first witness to take the stand following opening statements was the father of the murder victim Danny Scoggins.
Scoggins claimed Hunt and another unidentified man came to his house on Allen Avenue on the evening of April 4, 2019, posing as pizza delivery men. Scoggins is one of the four shooting victims. He said Hunt shot him in the throat, leaving him to bleed out. Scoggins recalls the horrifying moments that followed.
“I heard my daughter, Lexie,” Scoggins said. “She said ‘Dad, help me’ and she said ‘Please don’t kill me.’ Then I heard shots. I knew at that point I had to get out of the house because I knew if I didn’t die there he was going to shoot me again on the way out.”
Alexandra “Lexie” Elise Peck died when she was shot twice in the back of her head at point-blank range. Scoggins suffers from his injuries to this day. He needs a trach to breathe and speak. The other two survivors, whose identities are being protected, did not name Hunt, saying the gunman was a tall skinny black man. Hunt is being charged with first-degree capital murder, premeditated murder, and felony murder. Prosecutors are pursuing the death penalty.