Christopher J. Mars was sentenced to Life, Without the Possibility of Parole, plus 5 Years by Judge Kelvin Wells on Tuesday, June7, 2016 after a May 9, 2016 conviction for Sexual Battery on a minor. DeFuniak Springs Police investigated the case along with the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center after the victim, who was a minor, and his parent came forward with allegations of sexual abuse. Mars had made contact with the victim and lured the teen to his home under the premise of hiring the minor for yard work. Mars forced himself on the victim and threatened bodily harm if the teen resisted. “Mars is exactly where he needs to be,” said Chief Mark Weeks. “He will have the rest of his life to think about the harm he did to this innocent teenager. I am pleased with the hard work of our Officers, Detectives, the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, and the State Attorney’s Office for ensuring that Mars will never be able to molest a child again.” Mars faced similar allegations in Okaloosa County, but was ultimately convicted of a lesser crime. Mars still faces charges stemming from his August, 2015 arrest where he made threats of blowing up Police with a bomb and resisting arrest. That case is expected to be resolved in the next few months. Mars could face additional time, although his life sentence means he will spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole.
ORIGINAL: SUSPECT THREATENS TO BLOW UP POLICE DURING ARREST
DeFuniak Springs Police responded to a residence off of Nowling Drive on Thursday just after noon in reference to locating a sexual battery suspect. Officers located the suspect, 47 year old Christopher J. Mars at his home. As Officers were attempting to take Mars into custody, he spit on them and stated that if they touched him, he was going to blow the house up. Mars had what appeared to be a television remote in his hand when he made the threat. He continued to resist and had to be subdued with a Taser.
Due to the threats made by Mars, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad and Walton County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist. As of this release, the Bomb Squad is still clearing the residence. Mars was transported to Healthmark Regional Medical Center for evaluation. Upon clearance, he will be booked into the Walton County Jail on the original warrant charge of Sexual Battery on an Under-aged Mentally Handicapped Person. In addition, Mars is being charged with two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence, and threatening to set off a destructive device. The Judge who signed the original warrant, set a bond at $1,000,000.