Alyssa Watford, an 18 year old woman, was part of a drug deal that took place in Panama City Beach. She is one of six people arrested for being involved in a shooting that took place last July and has agreed to testify against the shooter in a trial that is slated to begin next week.

No contest plea to reduce sentence

Watford will not contest the charges of robbing the dead man which the state will bring against her. She was meeting Ryan Brooks who was 20 years old to purchase 2 ounces of marijuana last July. During this time there was a shootout in which Brooks was killed. 24 year old Randy Jackson has been identified as the man with the gun that took Brooks life. Fort Myers criminal defense attorneys say that Watford’s truthful testimony describing the crime will reduce her sentence to four years of probation for drug related offences.

Suspects testify

Jackson will get a jury trial for manslaughter and faces counts of attempted armed robbery and sale of cannabis, felony charges for possession of a firearm and murder with a firearm. According to Fort Myers criminal defense attorneys following the case, he could face life in prison, if convicted.

Watford is the fourth of the six arrested who has agreed to testify. Heath Smith, aged 23 admitted that he together with Jackson had planned to rob Brooks.

Three people identified as survivors of the shootout had taken shelter at the Club apartments on Richardson Jackson Blvd. were later found and arrested by the police.

Another suspect, 26 years old Joseph Cannizzo initially admitted to the police that he was a witness to the shooting when they arrived to find Brooks dead from gunshot wounds laying face down on the road at about 1 am. He claims to have arrived at the apartment complex shortly after the shooting and saw a Kia Forte speed away while another person ran into the woods and then left in a taxi while he was in the process of calling 911.

The shootout

However, Cannizzo’s story does not corroborate with Smith’s testimony which says that Cannizzo and Brooks worked together and were waiting at the Club parking lot in a green SUV to sell 2 oz. of marijuana.

The deal had been arranged by Watford, who knew Brooks since they had dated previously. Smith and Jackson had planned to rob Brooks, but had not expected the other two to also be armed. Smith walked up to the SUV to buy the marijuana and alleges that Cannizzo brought out a gun aimed it at him while Brooks left the SUV to search the Kia. Brooks and Cannizzo had no idea that Jackson was in the car until they heard gunfire from inside it.

Smith ran to the woods while Cannizzo went to help his injured partner and fired at the Kia in which Jackson had taken off. The police arrived during the shootout which led to additional law enforcement being called for.

Two other suspects Clinton Robert Allen and Nichole Philbrook aged 34 and 26 respectively have agreed to testify. In exchange for their testimonies Allen will receive four years of probation and Philbrook three years.

Being accused or charged with a crime is a serious offense. The Law Offices of John L Corn provides strong criminal defense representation and is available to answer your legal questions today.