Defendant in Destin BUI case takes his own life, mistrial declared

Northwest Florida

OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The defendant in the Destin boating under the influence case took his own life Thursday. 

Authorities say Judsen Cunningham had apparently taken his own life at his family home in Destin the day his case was going to the jury. The judge declared a mistrial. 

Cunningham was charged with causing a boating accident in March of 2016 that killed two people, 22-year-old Avery Hatchet and 21-year-old Anna Sorokina. Sorokina’s body was never found. 

All 11 of the survivors, who were on the boat with Cunningham, testified that Cunningham was the captain of the boat when it hit a jetty in Destin’s East Pass.

Cunningham faced several charges including two counts of homicide-negligent manslaughter. 


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