Juvenile pleas to lesser charge in attempted murder case

A juvenile charged with attempted murder has accepted a plea to a lesser charge.

17-year-old Wesley Charles Ehrie of Chipley was charged with attempted second-degree murder after what law enforcement officers called a drug deal gone bad in October 2020.

Ehrie accepted a plea agreement on Monday to the lesser charge of aggravated battery and received a 10-year sentence. The lesser charge was agreed to after taking into consideration Ehrie’s age and the victim’s family agreeing to the terms of the plea agreement.

According to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office report, the victim Tyler Bell, then 18, was to meet Ehrie, then 16, at Gap Pond Community Center to make a drug deal. 

As Bell exited his vehicle, Ehrie came out of the woods and shot him in the back of the head with bird shot. Bell was able to leave the scene and call for help. Ehrie and a juvenile companion fled the scene but were later tracked down by law enforcement officials.

Before Bell’s arrival, Ehrie and the juvenile had broken into a truck at the boat ramp and stolen a camera, some clothing, and a gun. Ehrie used the gun to shoot out windows of the community center and later, Bell.

Ehrie was charged with nine other counts, four of which were Bay County cases. Those charges are as follows: burglary of a structure – two counts, preventing or obstructing the extinguishment of fire, grand theft, burglary of a structure – two counts – Bay County, grand theft – Bay County, petit theft – Bay County, and loitering and prowling.

Ehrie will serve his sentence in the Florida Department of Corrections.