PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — There are more developments Wednesday afternoon in that weekend bar fight that ended with a local man’s death.
Panama City Beach Police have arrested four more people, in addition to 23-year-old Ross Allen Johnson of Illinois, a mixed martial arts fighter who’s already charged with manslaughter for the death of 31-year-old Dayvon Larry of Malone.
Timothy Lynn Helton, 32, of Salesville, Ark., was charged with simple battery.
Toby LeShane Wallace, 30, of Carterville, Ill., was charged with simple battery.
John Dero Chester II, 23, of Carterville, Ill., was charged with disorderly conduct on the premises of an establishment.
Malcolm David Santiago-Ramos, 26, of Panama City, Fla., was charged with inciting a riot.
Defense Attorney Al Sauline is representing Johnson and he said there are conflicting witness accounts, and also stated that Johnson maintains the presumption of innocence.
“It’s a horribly tragic incident for both families, for the families of Mr. Johnson and the alleged victim in the case, a military member as well,” Sauline said. “It is of great concern to all finding out the truth of what actually happened. I know there is a lot being said about Mr. Johnson being an amateur MMA athlete. My understanding is that much like karate and other forms of martial arts, mixed martial arts has a rule that you do not engage in that type of behavior outside of a formal fighting competition.”
Sauline said it is too early to determine if the incident was self-defense.
“We need to have the total information from the state before you can really begin exploring the best possible defenses for the client,” Sauline said. “Florida does have a Stand Your Ground law that is actually in issue in Gulf County and a little over a week with the trial down there, but in this particular circumstance, whether or not Stand Your Ground applies is something that will be flushed out upon watching the video and speaking to the eyewitnesses.”
Despite a 2018 allegation in Oklahoma that ended up being dropped, Sauline said Johnson has a clean record.
“The family has tremendous remorse for the entire situation that has occurred,” Sauline said. “Their hearts go out to the family of the alleged victim and it’s just a very tragic situation.”
Johnson is being held on a $250,000 bond.
His family expects him to be released this afternoon.