Man Gets Life For 1985 Panhandle Murder

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Associated Press News Release

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (AP) -- A man already serving a life sentence for murder in Georgia has received another life sentence for a 1985 murder in the Florida Panhandle.

As part of a deal with Okaloosa County prosecutors to avoid the death penalty, 51-year-old Mickey Lee Wilson pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday.

The Northwest Florida Daily News ( ) reports that 35-year-old Donald Tidwell was found stabbed to death at an Okaloosa Island motel in February 1985. The case remained unsolved for more than two decades until sheriff's detectives reopened the cold-case in 2011. DNA found at the scene turned out to be a match for Wilson, whose DNA had been entered into a national database in the mid-2000s.

Wilson will return to Georgia, where he will continue to serve life plus 35 years for a June 1991 murder and armed robbery.


Information from: Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.),

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