3 men convicted in deadly Milton drive-by shooting

Milton deadly drive-by shooting trial update

A Santa Rosa County jury started their trial deliberations around 5 p. m. on Friday evening and have found all three men guilty.

The three men, Kyhem Johnson, Dedric Davis and Walter Ford are on trial for the murder of Thomas Buckhalter.

According to the report, Johnson, Davis and Ford were named as suspects in a deadly drive-by shooting in Milton incident that occurred in February of 2017.

On Thursday, the prosecution called two key witnesses to the stand that put all three suspects on the scene.

After the defense rested on Friday, the state issued its last rebuttal.

Closing arguments were given Friday afternoon.

The jury received instructions from the judge at approximately 4:30 p.m.

After two hours of deliberation, the jury found the three men guilty on all their charges.

Dedric Davis and Walter Ford were both convicted of second degree murder and two counts of attempted second degree murder.

Kyhem Johnson was convicted as a principal in the shootings.

Channel 3 News spoke with the victim's mother and a woman who survived five gun shots.

"I was shot five times. They had to resuscitate me right here in this backyard. I got 'life-flighted' to Sacred Heart and there they had to remove a foot of my intestine and six inches of my colon. I still have bullets in me, in my back, in my spinal cord and two in my leg," said Ashley Johns.

Johns said she's reminded of that night every time she walks by a memorial for her friend Thomas Buckhalter. He was killed in the shooting. His shoes still hang on a power line nearby.

"My friend's not here no more and I still am," said Johns.

The victim's mother, Mamie Buckhalter, fought back tears after the verdict was read.

"I'm happy but I'm still hurt. It just doesn't make no sense. They're 'hoopin' and crying. Their children are still here. My baby's gone., and his birthday is tomorrow," said Buckhalter, "And this is not over. I still got another trial to go to."

The trial for Melissa Pocopanni, whose car was used in the drive-by and was in the car that night.

She will be tried separately as a principal in the shooting.

A judge set the sentencing hearing for the three men on October 17th.

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