William “Bill” Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit, announced today that the State will seek the death penalty for Cory M. Hagwell, who is charged in the First
Degree Felony Murder of 3 year old Adelynn Merrell.
The charges arose from an incident which occurred November 9, 2017. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office was called to the home of the Defendant and was told that the
child was missing. The other children in the home were found to be severely malnourished and the investigation revealed they were routinely confined in bedrooms and closets.
Adelynn Merrell was found several hours later, deceased, in the woods less than a mile from the defendant’s home. She had suffered blunt impact injuries to her head as well
as over her body. The investigation revealed that the Defendant had kicked the child in the head and then confined her in a closet, where she was found deceased several hours
later. The Defendant then removed the victim from the home and dumped her body in the woods.
Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason will be responsible for the prosecution. Any additional questions may be directed to Assistant State Attorney Angela Mason at (850)