A 33-year-old Bay County man is in jail and facing charges related to the death of another 60-year-old Bay County man whose body was discovered by police on Dec. 27 in Panama City. Both men were apparently residents of the behavioral health, counseling and rehabilitation center where the death occurred.

According to information released by the Panama City Police Department, officers responded at approximately 5:45 a.m. to a call involving an unresponsive male inside a room at a rehabilitation center located on the 500 block of E. 15th Street. First responders attempted to perform life-saving measures on the unresponsive man but eventually pronounced him dead at the scene. Authorities concluded that the man’s death appeared to be suspicious and subsequently found probable cause to take the 33-year-old Bay County man into custody for murder. He was then transported to the Bay County Jail to await his initial court hearing.

Investigators believe the 33-year-old man strangled the 60-year-old man with a sheet. However, they did not elaborate or provide additional details due to federal medical privacy laws. Life Management Center, which was the scene of the alleged murder, provides services related to behavioral health, substance abuse counseling and family counseling.

Violent crimes can often result in severe penalties in the state of Florida. However, an individual charged with violent crimes has the right to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them in court and during interviews with police. A criminal defense attorney could potentially negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors for a less severe charge or a reduced sentence. Furthermore, an attorney might also be able to challenge evidence collected by police in court if the case goes to trial.