PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — A two-day murder trial wrapped up in Bay County, Florida with a man sentenced to spending several consecutive life sentence in prison for a robbery where one person was killed.
After two hours of deliberation, jurors found LaGregory Grigges, 25, guilty of first-degree murder. Grigges was accused of shooting and killing 55-year-old Eric Thomas during a robbery.
Prosecutor Peter Overstreet said on Dec. 7, 2019, Grigges and his cousin Willie Whitsett broke into Thomas’ home to rob him, believing he had $50,000 in his home. Overstreet said the home was a known drug house.
Witness Juanita Jones said the two burst into the house brandishing guns. She said Grigges began tussling with Thomas before shooting him several times. But Tuesday, Grigges testified Whitsett shot Thomas.
“After he got Mr. Thomas on the ground, that’s when Willie shot him,” Grigges said. “Pulled the gun out from his waistband from his jacket and shot him.”
Grigges said he initially lied to police about the crime when he was apprehended. Prosecutor Peter Overstreet said Grigges’ lies continued during his testimony.
“If you were willing to lie then, what’s stopping you from lying now?” Overstreet asked Grigges.
“What do I got to lie for?” Grigges said.
“I don’t know you’re on trial for first-degree felony murder and two counts of armed robbery,” Overstreet responded.
After the verdict Grigges’ family members begged the judge for a light sentence.
“Well I just ask that you have mercy on him please,” Grigges’ grandmother said.
But Thomas’ family asked for justice.
“I beg you that you will make the right choice that justice will be served,” Thomas’ niece said.
Judge Shonna Young Gay sentenced Grigges to life in prison. He will serve three consecutive life sentences after being convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery.