PANAMA CITY, FL — Orlando Ricardo Thompson, 27, has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of his coworker, Caleb Joshua Halley, 33.
The weapon involved was a “decorative sword.” The argument that ignited the fatal fury was over gumbo spice.
From 2004 to 2007, the man who died portrayed “Chief Osceola,” the football mascot of Florida State University.
On June 23, 2015, Thompson and Halley, who had once been friends and even roommates, stood working side-by-side during a busy day at Buddy’s Seafood Market. Surveillance video, shown in court, depicts an argument breaking out in a back room in which Halley disapproves of Thompson’s gumbo-seasoning techniques.
On the video, the two men yell, shove one another, and arm themselves. Halley pulls out a pocket-knife. Thompson grabs a two-by-four piece of wood. They cool down, though, and drop their weapons. Everything seems okay.
Alas, 11 seconds later, Thompson can been seen running into a spice closet and storming back with a foot-long sword. Halley picks up a mop handle, and they go at it again.
Thompson ultimately stabbed Halley so severely in the fracas that, on the video, intestines drip visibly out of the wounds. Halley died from his injuries two days later.
The jury deliberated for two hours before returning the guilty verdict. He faces life in prison for the crime and will be sentenced on May 4.