Jarred Harrell Guilty in Murder of Somer Thompson | News
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The man accused of killing a 7-year-old Florida girl whose body was found in a Georgia landfill has pleaded guilty to molesting and strangling her.
Jared Harrell is accused of killing Somer Thompson who disappeared from her Orange Park home in 2009 while walking home from school. Her body was found in a landfill two days later.
Authorities said Harrell's mother lived on the street where the little girl walked. He was arrested a year ago in Mississippi on unrelated child pornography charges before he was indicted in Florida on first-degree murder.
Today, Judge Don Lester sentenced Harrell to several life sentences for molesting and strangling Somer. Lester allowed victims' statement from the family.
Somer's mother, grandmother, grandfather and twin brother, as well as her aunts spoke about the loss of Somer in their lives.
"You and only you made the choice that brings us here today," said Somer's mother Diena Thompson. "Your punishment does not fit your crime."
Thompson's son, Somer's twin, Samuel, spoke briefly, yelling"You're going to jail."
Both Thompson and her mother asked Harrell to look at as they started their statements them but he apparently refused, prompting Thompson to call him "cowardly."
Denise Fosky, another aunt of Somer Thompson, said she now feared for her own children because of people like Harrell. "119 weeks and 2 days ago my life, my heart, my peace of mind were violated."
Thompson ended her comments by telling the court that it was now time to "take out the trash."
Harrell agreed to plead guilty to first degree murder, kidnapping, sexual battery and lewd and lacivious molestation. He called Harrell's actions "inconceivable" and said the family's pain could not "be overstated."
Harrell received life sentences without parole for each, in addition to five-and 15 year terms for lesser associated charges. Lester repeatedly asked Harrell if he understood and agreed with the plea deal. Harrell repeated "Yes, Sir," to the judge over and over; those were his only words during the proceeding.