Lavar Monte Thompson Convicted, But A Potential Death Penalty Sentencing Is On Hold

Margaret Slack, left, and Lavar Monte Thompson, in court. Thompson was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder among other charges. (Zoe Sessums/WUFT News)

A Starke man was convicted Wednesday for the 2012 murder of William Couch.

The prosecution’s decision on whether to pursue the death penalty or not is on hold, the state attorney’s office said.

Lavar Monte Thompson, 35, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Couch, as well as home invasion robbery, burglary while armed with a firearm and battery, two counts of kidnapping and arson.

With the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Florida’s death penalty sentencing system is unconstitutional, the prosecution will wait to decide whether to pursue the death penalty or not.

Multiple agencies were involved in this case including the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The jury deliberated over the conviction for more than an hour. Sentencing for Thompson will be decided at a later date, until a decision over how to handle the death penalty has been made.

Two co-defendants in the case, Michael Pierce and Amanda Jeffrey, were previously sentenced in the case. Pierce previously served time in a state prison on an aggravated assault conviction, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.

Thompson also served time in state prison for grand theft auto and cocaine charges.

About Alexia Fernandez

Alexia is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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