Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials, at the direction of the State Attorney’s Office, sought an arrest warrant, charging Johnny Lee Farmer, 31, of Milton, with two felony counts in connection with the Nov. 30 accidental shooting death of his friend, Chris Garrett. Farmer was arrested Jan. 31.
However, at Farmer’s first appearance Feb. 1, Circuit Judge David Rimmer, after finding no probable cause, dismissed an aggravated battery with a weapon count, which could have resulted in a sentence of up to life in prison. Farmer still faces a second degree felony count of negligent homicide manslaughter. If convicted that charge could result in a 15-year prison sentence. Judge Rimmer’s ruling reduced the amount of bond from $115,000 to $15,000. He also required that Farmer surrender his firearms to the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office as a condition of release. Subsequently he posted bond and was released from Santa Rosa County Jail Feb. 1.
Read more in the February 6 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.