Walton County Man Arrested for Double Homicide of Missing Panhan - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Walton County Man Arrested for Double Homicide of Missing Panhandle Couple

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Walton County law enforcement called him a "cold blooded killer" and now 27 year old Barry Davis is behind bars for the murder of a Panhandle couple missing since May.

At a news conference in Defuniak Springs on Wednesday, the family of one of the victims called Davis "evil."

It was a bittersweet day for them. A step towards justice, certainly; but the affidavit paints a picture of Davis as a man who was out for money, taking two lives in the process.

"Davis is a cold blooded, pre-meditated, calculated, killer," said Sheriff Mike Adkinson.

Davis was arrested Wednesday morning for the murder of Panhandle couple Heidi Rhodes and John Gregory Hughes.

"He has a history of violence and has made no uncertain terms about his willingness to use violence to achieve his ends," said Adkinson.

Davis and Hughes met in jail, according to investigators.

In May of last year, Davis claimed to have been hired by Hughes to manage his properties. He said he last saw the couple on May 7th.

A missing person investigation would start a month later.

With Davis as a person of interest, it was an eye witness testimony outlining how Davis murdered the couple for money that led to his arrest.

The affidavit alleges Davis beat and strangled the couple before drowning them in the tub at Hughes' Grayton Beach home. It goes on to say he admitted to dismembering the bodies, burning them and seeking help in disposing of the ashes.

Their bodies have been located, but State Attorney, Bill Eddins, said they have plenty to prosecute Davis.

"We will have a committee to view the aggravating and mitigating circumstances to determine whether or not it's appropriate to seek the death penalty," said Eddins.

It's perhaps a bittersweet day for Hughes family, who is seeking justice for their loved ones.

"In our opinion, Davis is a dangerous person and he is an evil individual," said Susan Hughes, Hughes' cousin.

Sheriff Mike Adkinson vowed justice will be served.

"I think Davis is under the illusion that he's smarter than the rest of us and as such he's going to beat us at court, but I can assure you he's got another thing coming," he said.

Davis will make his first appearance on Thursday and has requested a speedy trial that could take place within 60 days.