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Trial begins for man accused of killing former FSU mascot in gumbo spices fight

Orlando Thompson claims he fatally stabbed Caleb Halley in self-defense

Orlando Thompson is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Caleb Halley, who portrayed Florida State University mascot Chief Osceola from 2004-07.
Orlando Thompson is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Caleb Halley, who portrayed Florida State University mascot Chief Osceola from 2004-07. (Bay County Sheriff's Office/Jeff Romance)

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – The trial of a man accused in the fatal stabbing of a former Florida State University mascot has begun.

Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Orlando Thompson, who is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the June 2015 stabbing death of Caleb Halley.

Panama City Beach police said Halley, 33, and Thompson were co-workers at Buddy's Seafood Market when they got into an argument about the amount of spice to put into the restaurant's gumbo.

Police said the argument escalated, and Thompson fatally stabbed Halley.

Thompson, now 27, claims he acted in self-defense.

"This wasn't self-defense," Panama City Beach police Lt. J.R. Talamantez testified Tuesday during the trial, according to the Panama City News Herald. "It was the exact opposite."

Halley portrayed Chief Osceola at FSU football games from 2004-07.


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