Joseph T. Duhon pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge of manslaughter and brought to an end a homicide investigation from 2007.
Circuit Judge Elijah Smiley followed the terms of the agreement and sentenced Duhon, 27, to 122.7 months in prison.
Assistant State Attorney Bob Sombathy told Smiley that Duhon shot to death Adam Bolton, 20, on Jan. 2, 2007. Bolton's mother, Angela Small, told Smiley that Duhon was the first friend that Bolton made when they moved to the area.
"My son was executed one month before his 21st birthday by his friend Joseph Duhon," Small said. She said for years she endured the chance encounters with Duhon as officers continued to work the case. "He would be smiling at me with that smug grin, knowing he killed my son."
Duhon was arrested last year after Panama City Police presented their evidence to the State Attorney's Office and charges were filed.
"Sgt. Becker and the Panama City Police Department conducted an exhaustive investigation into the murder of Adam Bolton," Sombathy said after court. "The age of the case presented some challenges, but this Manslaughter plea forces Joseph Duhon to accept responsibility for the death of Adam Bolton, and hopefully bring some closure for his family."
Panama City Police Sergeant Jeff Becker released this statement on the closure of the case today.
"No penalty will ever return Mr. Adam Bolton to his family, but the Panama City Police Department hopes and prays that today's sentence will offer them some sense of closure.
"Solving crimes with the right person being charged for those crimes always has been and always will be among our top priorities.
"We appreciate the hard work and dedication of State Attorney Glenn Hess, Attorney Bob Sombathy, and the staff at the State Attorney's Office."
Information provided by the State Attorney's Office