The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announced in a press release this week that, on Nov. 20, a Bay County jury convicted Michael Vonkee Carson of three counts of aggravated child abuse and three counts of neglect of a child causing great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement.
In 2014, officials say, Carson burned a 5-year-old child with a lighter, beat her with a belt buckle, whipped her and burned her in scalding water over a period of time. Carson never sought any medical care for any of the child’s injuries, the release stated. The child was rescued by Cynthia Brandt with Family First Network when she discovered the injuries on an unannounced home visit with the child’s aunt, officials report. Ms. Brandt immediately reported the abuse and injuries to law enforcement and the Child Abuse Hotline.
The case was investigated by the Panama City Police Department with assistance from the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Officials say Carson has 13 prior felony convictions and is facing possible sentencing enhancement as habitual felony offender.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Barbara Beasley and Nichole Pieper. Sentencing is scheduled before Circuit Judge Ana Maria Garcia on Jan. 7, 2020 at 9 a.m. Carson is facing a possible sentence of 30-60 years for the aggravated child abuse convictions and 30 years per count as to the remaining charges.