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sanny
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PostSubject: New records released in Somer Thompson's death   Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:32 am

New records released in Somer Thompson's death



Updated: Friday, 16 Apr 2010, 7:24 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 16 Apr 2010, 7:24 AM EDT


ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) - New details about Somer Thompson's
death are available in records released by Florida authorities.
The documents released Thursday include statements to police made by the man accused of killing the 7-year-old girl. Some of Jarred Harrell's statements were redacted, but the records show he told police that he was with his mother at her Orange Park home the afternoon that investigators say Somer died there.
According to the records, Harrell's mother told police she was with him in the hours after Somer disappeared on her walk home from school.
The 24-year-old unemployed restaurant worker is being held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting and killing Somer in October. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill.
------
Information from: The Florida Times-Union, www.jacksonville.com
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PostSubject: Suspect in Somer Thompson slaying: I was at home at time   Fri Apr 16, 2010 7:39 am

Suspect in Somer Thompson slaying: I was home at time



Newly released records touch on case of Orange Park girl’s death


Posted: April 15, 2010 - 5:03pm




Jarred Harrell is seen in this undated booking photo released by the Clay County Sheriff's Office after he was extradited from Mississippi to face child pornography charges. Harrell was charged Friday, March 26, 2010 with murder in the slaying of a 7-year-old Somer Thompson, whose body was found in a Georgia landfill after she disappeared walking home from school Oct. 19, 2009, authorities said.




Follow the case
See the latest updates about the case, including stories videos
Somer Thompson photo gallery


Letter of thanks
Read a letter of thanks from Somer's mother, Diena Thompson. Letter requires Adobe Acrobat reader.Facts in the case

  • Oct. 27 | Hundreds attend Somer Thompson's funeral at First Baptist Church in Orange Park.
  • Oct. 22 | Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler confirms that the body is that of Somer Thompson.
  • Oct. 21 | The body of a small child was found in a Ga. landfill where authorities were looking for Somer Thompson.
  • Oct. 20 | An Amber Alert was issued about her disappearance.
  • Oct. 19 | Somer was last seen wearing a cranberry colored jumpsuit with pink-striped sleeves. She is 3-foot-5, weighs 65 lbs and has brown hair.

Points of significance
Click on the blue points below to view points of significance in the disappearance of Somer Thompson

Somer Renee Thompson[/size] in a larger map
Read or sign Somer's Guest Book Somer Renee Thompson's memorial Guest BookFacebook memorial wall Somer Renee Thompson memorial wall on Facebook

By Jim Schoettler

The man charged with killing Somer Thompson told police he was at his mother’s Orange Park home the afternoon investigators said Somer died there, according to 125 pages of police reports and other records released Thursday.
What Jarred Harrell may know about the 7-year-old’s slaying will likely remain secret until his trial, since authorities redacted portions of his statements to police. The State Attorney’s Office cited several public records exemptions for the redactions, including one that protects details of confessions.
Harrell, 24, was charged March 26 in Somer’s slaying. She vanished Oct. 19 while walking home on Gano Avenue after leaving school. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill two days later. Sheriff Rick Beseler has said that evidence against Harrell includes statements he’d previously made to police.
Harrell was first jailed in Mississippi Feb. 11 on unrelated child pornography charges. The charges stemmed from a case opened in August when Harrell’s former roommates gave police a computer and discs they said he used to store graphic images of young girls. The released records involved that case, but also included new details about Somer’s death.
Harrell once lived with his mother and stepfather at 1152 Gano Ave., which was along Somer’s route home. About a week after her disappearance, police were alerted to Harrell’s use of the home when the parents of one of the former roommates told deputies they spotted his car there.
The parents and roommates knew Harrell once lived at the home. They were suspicious of his possible involvement in Somer’s disappearance because of his connection to child pornography, they told police.
The records show detectives first interviewed Harrell on Oct. 30 in Somer’s case. He allowed them to search the home and property, but they spotted nothing suspicious.
Harrell said he had been with his mother between 3 and 5:30 p.m. on the day Somer disappeared, including time they spent at the home helping her pack for a move to Callahan. Somer was last seen in the neighborhood about 2:45 p.m.
Harrell’s mother, Annis Dailey, told police she was with him, apparently at the home, between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., the records show. She said they left together, gassed up their vehicles, had dinner at a McDonald’s and split up about 5:30 p.m. In a jail call between them months later in Mississippi, Dailey told her son she would provide him an alibi in Somer’s case.
No other details of the Oct. 30 interview were included in the records.
The records include some exchanges between detectives and Harrell after his Feb. 11 arrest in Mississippi. At one point, Harrell agrees to view a pornographic picture of a girl and said he recognized her from a Web site.
“Jarred Harrell realized that he was admitting to having viewed child pornography and changed the subject,” the records state.
Harrell freely spoke to detectives about the charges he faced during his ride from Mississippi to Clay County and when he arrived, but summaries of those discussions are redacted.
The records offer some insight into work done in the child pornography case, which has been the subject of some criticism since Harrell wasn’t charged in that until well after Somer was killed. Beseler has said plenty of work needed to be done before an arrest could be made in the child pornography case.
The records show that Harrell claimed one of his roommates, who kicked him out over a theft allegation, could have set him up by downloading the pornography onto his computer. One of the roommates gave inexplicably deceptive responses when asked during a polygraph if he transferred pornography onto Harrell’s computer, the records show.
Among the other records released Thursday were entries Harrell and his friends made on his MySpace.com page. Under his profile, he said he drinks, smokes and is undecided about having children. He lists horror flicks among his favorite movies and “CSI” among his favorite TV shows. Of books, he wrote, “I don’t read much.”
Harrell’s last log-in was on Nov. 12, more than three weeks after Somer’s death. He lists his mood as tired.
jim.schoettler@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4385
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PostSubject: New Records Released In Somer Thompson's Death   Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:52 pm

New Records Released In Somer Thompson's Death

Posted: 6:40 am EDT April 16, 2010
Updated: 12:11 pm EDT April 16, 2010

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The man accused of killing Somer Thompson, who vanished while walking home from school in north Florida, told police he was with his mother at her home the afternoon investigators say the girl died there, according to police reports and other records.


But the records also show that Jarred Harrell's mother told him she'd provide his alibi during a jail phone call, The Florida Times-Union reported.


The records released Thursday mostly involve unrelated child pornography charges against Harrell, but also included new details about the 7-year-old girl's death.


Authorities redacted portions of Harrell's statements to police, but the documents show he told police he was with his mother at her Orange Park house in the hours after Somer disappeared on her walk home from school. Her body was found in a Georgia landfill two days after she vanished.


Harrell's mother told police she was with him at the home for an hour before they left the house, had dinner together and then split up.


But in a jail call between them months later in Mississippi, where he was arrested on the child pornography charges, she told her son she'd give him an alibi in Somer's disappearance, the records show.


The State Attorney's Office cited several public records exemptions for the redaction, including one protecting details of confessions.


Harrell, a 24-year-old unemployed restaurant worker, is being held without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting and killing Somer in October.


Harrell was first jailed in Mississippi Feb. 11 on the child pornography charges. His roommates had told investigators in August they had kicked him out for stealing and they discovered child pornography.


The parents of one the roommates drove by Harrell's parents' home a few days after Somer disappeared and noticed how close they lived to the girl's house. When they saw Harrell's car in his parents' driveway, they told detectives.


According to the records, detectives first interviewed Harrell on Oct. 30 about Somer. They also searched the home and property, but they spotted nothing suspicious. No other details of the interview were included in the records.


A message left for Harrell's attorney through a spokesman for the public defender's office was not immediately returned Friday morning.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved
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PostSubject: Does Somer's Accused Killer Have An Alibi?   Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:28 pm

Does Somer’s Accused Killer Have An Alibi?

Friday, April 16, 2010 8:54:06 AM Tools:


Person Of Interest Charged With Murdering Somer Thompson
Mom Calls Somer’s Alleged Killer ‘A Monster’
Somer’s Suspected Killer Could Face Death Penalty
Somer’s Suspected Killer Pleads Not Guilty



GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- The man charged with murdering Somer Thompson said he has an alibi.
According to newly released documents, Jarred Harrell said he was with his mother at her Orange Park home the afternoon investigators said Somer was abducted and killed on her way home from school in October.
Harrell’s mother told police she was with him in the hours after the 7-year-old disappeared.
Investigators, however, said they have other evidence showing Harrell is the killer.
Harrell, 24, an unemployed restaurant worker, remains locked up without bail.

**CFNews13
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PostSubject: Picture of Somer Appears In Online Ad   Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:03 am

Picture Of Somer Appears In Online Ad


Ad Links To Bing.com Search Engine

POSTED: Monday, April 19, 2010
UPDATED: 11:41 pm EDT April 19, 2010





JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The picture of Somer Thompson, the Orange Park girl who disappeared and was later found dead, appeared in an ad for an online search engine.
Thompson's story caught national attention and her picture could be found in both local and national news websites. Her picture, however, was used in an Internet ad for search engine Bing.com.
Mike Freed, Thompson family attorney, said it did not surprise him.
"If a mistake was made, it would be randomly generated," he said. "But nothing surprises me in terms of what people do in e-commerce nowadays. It's too easy for people to do bad things and not be detected."
The ad shows Somer's picture linking web users to Bing.com, a well-known Microsoft search engine. When the ad is clicked, it directs users to a search site for different computer wallpaper backgrounds.
Freed said Somer's picture might fit on a news website, or a site that educates the public about child predators, but not in this instance.
It is not the first time, however, that a case like this one has happened. The image of Christopher Barrios, the Brunswick boy who was murdered in 2007, appeared in an episode of General Hospital Night Shift. It led to a legal battle.
Freed, however, said they are not sure if a lawsuit will be filed.
"There's an awful lot of randomly generated images, so at this point it's difficult to tell whether it's something innocuous or more nefarious where action is needed," he said.
Freed said he would consider legal action if someone was trying to profit off of Somer's picture or at least drive Web users to a site. The Thompson family, however, has yet to respond.
Channel 4's Scott Johnson contacted Microsoft regarding the ad. A spokesperson said the company is looking into what happened.
Copyright 2010 by News4Jax.com
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PostSubject: Harrell To Appear In Court On Somer Charges   Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:18 am

Harrell To Appear In Court On Somer Charges


Man Charged With Death Of Somer Thompson


POSTED: 6:45 am EDT April 26, 2010
UPDATED: 7:00 am EDT April 26, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. --


The man accused of kidnapping and killing a local girl will appear in court Monday morning.
Jarred Harrell, 24, plead not guilty to murder and sexual assault charges in connection with the death of Somer Thompson.
Investigators said he grabbed the 7-year-old as she walked home from school last October.

Her body was found a few days later in a Georgia landfill.

**Wesh.com
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PostSubject: Jarred Harrell Case Put off Until Wednesday; Somer Thompson's Mother in Court   Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:05 am

Jarred Harrell Case Put off Until Wednesday; Somer Thompson's Mother in Court


Ann Butler Chris Turner

Created: 4/26/2010 10:07:00 AM
Updated: 4/26/2010 10:22:06 AM

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The mother of Somer Thompson was in court today at a pre-trial hearing for the man charged in her daughter's murder.

The public defender for Jarred Harrell appeared in Clay County court this morning before Circuit Court Judge John Skinner, who passed the hearing onto 1:15 Wednesday. Harrell was not present.

Somer disappeared on her walk home from Grove Park Elementary Oct. 19. Her body was found a few days later in a Georgia landfill. Harrell, 24, has been charged in the case with murder, sexual battery on a victim under 12, and lewd and lascivious battery. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held on a $1.6 million bond.

MORE:


Diena Thompson, Somer's mother, was there this morning and told the media she planned to attend Harrell's hearings throughout the legal process for her daughter.

Thompson said she wants Harrell to know that she's "not going away but he is." She has not seen him face-to-face.

Harrell was arrested Feb. 11 in Meridian, Miss., on 29 counts related to child pornography. The Clay County Sheriff's Office said the pornography crimes occurred in Clay County, but were not part of the Somer Thompson case.

However, officials said at the time that he was considered a person of interest in the case.

He was extradited to Clay County and arrived Feb. 24. He was charged in Somer's death March 26.

©️2010 First Coast News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.
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PostSubject: Oak Tree Memorializes Somer Thompson   Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:04 am

Oak Tree Memorializes Somer Thompson


7-Year-Old Orange Park Girl Killed In October

POSTED: Monday, April 26, 2010
UPDATED: 5:14 pm EDT April 26, 2010





ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- An oak tree has been planted at Clarke House Park in Orange Park to honor 7-year-old Somer Thompson, who was killed in October.
A plaque on the tree has Somer's name on it and the title of her favorite song, "You Are My Sunshine." It's etched in purple, Somer's favorite color.
The tree was planted Thursday at the park where she used to play as part of Clay County's Earth Day activities.
Jarred Harrell, 24, who is charged with Somer's murder and other charges, was originally scheduled to be in court Monday, but his appearance was waived until Wednesday afternoon. He has pleaded not guilty.

**News4jax
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PostSubject: Somer's Mom Sees Jarred Harrell In Court   Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:55 pm

Somer's Mom Sees Jarred Harrell In Court


24-Year-Old Accused Of Killing 7-Year-Old Orange Park Girl

POSTED: Wednesday, April 28, 2010
UPDATED: 11:33 pm EDT April 28, 2010


CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Even before Diena Thompson laid eyes on the man accused of killing her 7-year-old daughter Somer Thompson, the mourning mother was overwhelmed with anxiety and grief at the moment she'd come face to face with him.
When it came time for Jarred Harrell to enter the courtroom for a pretrial hearing Wednesday afternoon, the 24-year-old sat down and never looked back.
Even though Thompson had been preparing for this moment for months, nothing could ready her for the real thing. She was emotional before, during and after the hearing, and Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler sat by her side through the proceedings.

"It was hard to keep myself in the seat and not say anything to him," Thompson said. "He's such a coward. He couldn't even turn around and face the mother of the child he murdered."

In court Wednesday, defense attorneys asked the judge to preserve text messages sent between the deputies who transported Harrell from Mississippi to Florida. The defense also asked that authorities preserve all their notes and memorandums, even though more than 11,000 documents and 35 video tapes have already been entered into evidence.
"I've never seen motions like this," the judge said.
The motions were denied, leaving Thompson with a small sense of victory with more difficult days ahead.
Harrell is accused of kidnapping Somer on her way from her Orange Park school in October. Somer's body was found days later in a Georgia landfill, where Orange Park's trash is dumped.
Knowing Harrell will be back in court in less than month on May 20, Thompson said she believes that justice for Somer will eventually come.
"I just hope the trial goes as good as today's proceedings. That's all I have to say," Thompson said.

**News4Jax
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PostSubject: Somer Foundation Pushes For New Bill   Wed May 19, 2010 1:25 pm

Somer Foundation Pushes For New Bill


Law Would Require Sex Offenders To Live Outside 1-Mile Radius From School

POSTED: Wednesday, May 19, 2010
UPDATED: 12:10 pm EDT May 19, 2010



Somer Thompson disappeared as she walked home from school on Oct. 19. Her body was found two days later in the Georgia landfill where Orange Park's trash is dumped.




ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The Somer Thompson foundation is pushing for a new bill that could soon be in the hands of state lawmakers.
Somer's law, which is under final review by the foundation, would require sex offenders and predators to live outside Somer's safety zones -- or a one-mile radius from any school.
The petition also includes a change to the Amber Alert system, requiring an Amber Alert status be issued within 30 minutes of a possible kidnapping.
Jarred Harrell, the man accused of killing the 7-year-old Orange Park girl, is still in jail.
He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday on some of the 58 felony charges he is currently facing.
Investigators said Harrell kidnapped Somer on her way home from school in October. Her body was found days later in a Georgia landfill.

**News4Jax
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PostSubject: Somer Sunshine Run in Orange Park to Benefit Somer Thompson Foundation   Thu May 20, 2010 12:08 pm

Somer Sunshine Run in Orange Park to Benefit Somer Thompson Foundation



ORANGE PARK Fla. -- There's no better way to remember a child or childhood itself than by doing what children love to do: run and play.

Somer Thompson can no longer run and play like she used to, but her mother and the foundation named after her want to make sure other kids can.

Somer was abducted and killed in October, and her mother Diena has since established the Somer Thompson Foundation to help other families going through the same situation.

Saturday, there's a fun run/walk for families and a 5K run for those a bit more serious about running. There will also plenty of fun activities for the youngsters, including bounce houses, face painting and a dunk tank.

The action takes place at Orange Park Town Hall, and will also feature a silent auction, raffles and limo rides.

It's hosted by Mad Science of Jacksonville, and the action gets underway at 8 a.m. The 5K starts an hour later at 9.

Anyone can register at any 1st Place Sports location, and the cost is $20 for the 5K and $12 for the family fun run. If you register Saturday, the prices go up to $25/$15.

All proceeds benefit the Somer Thompson Foundation.
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PostSubject: Jarred Harrell May Be In Court Today   Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:18 am

Jarred Harrell May Be In Court Today


Accused Killer Of Somer Thompson Is Scheduled For Pretrial Hearing In Clay County

POSTED: Tuesday, August 3, 2010
UPDATED: 7:20 am EDT August 3, 2010



Diena Thompson saw Jared Harrell -- the man accused of killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson -- for the first time in a Clay County courtroom.




GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The man charged with killing a 7-year-old Orange Park girl is expected back in court Tuesday morning.
Jarred Harrell is scheduled for a pretrial hearing for the murder of Somer Thompson, along with other charges connected to child pornography. Harrell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.





Somer Thompson disappeared as she walked home from school on Oct. 19. Her body was found two days later in the Georgia landfill where Orange Park's trash is dumped.

Harrell faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in Somer's death.
As this is an administrative hearing, Harrell may not appear in person at the hearing, but Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, is expected to be in the courtroom. She has said she will attend all legal proceeding involving the prosecution of the man accused of killing her daughter.
Channel 4's Steve Douglas is at the hearing. This story will be updated through the day and Douglas will have a report on the local station at noon.
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PostSubject: Somer's Mom At Hearing; Harrell Absent   Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:53 pm

Somer's Mom At Hearing; Harrell Absent


Man Accused Of Killing Somer Thompson Skips Pretrial Hearing In Clay County

POSTED: Tuesday, August 3, 2010
UPDATED: 12:31 pm EDT August 3, 2010



Diena Thompson saw Jared Harrell -- the man accused of killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson -- for the first time in a Clay County courtroom.




GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- The man accused of killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson was not in court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing, but Somer's mother attended.
Jarred Harrell faces charges of murder in the death of the Orange Park girl, along with dozens of counts of child pornography. Harrell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Harrell faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in Somer's death.
Because this was an administrative hearing, Harrell was not required to attend.






Somer Thompson disappeared as she walked home from school on Oct. 19. Her body was found two days later in the Georgia landfill where Orange Park's trash is dumped.

Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, was in the courtroom. She said she will attend all legal proceedings involving the prosecution of the man accused of killing her daughter.
"It still doesn't seem real. I still don't believe it. I have a hard time really believing it," Thompson said. "I want justice. I want justice for our children. I want justice for my child, and I want to make the streets safer for our kids."
It's been months since Harrell has appeared in court, and Thompson said that time has been a challenge for her, though she said she's prepared to wait for justice for her daughter.
"It is frustrating, but I know that it's what has to happen," Thompson said. "I've already been made well aware of the fact that it's going to take a while to get this case going."
Other members of a group called Justice for Somer also attended the hearing.
"The motorcyclists outside, people honking their horns, (Justice for Somer) signs, seeing the stickers and magnets. I love all of that," Thompson said. "That means that people are still thinking about Somer because we don't want to forget."
"We're here as long as it takes, if it takes days, if it takes months, if it takes years, we're going to be here," said Dee McCollum, who was one of several Justice for Somer members holding signs along the road Tuesday.
Attorneys for the defense and the prosecution approached the bench to make arguments in the case and the case was continued until Sept. 28.
"We're muddling through, and it's going to take a whole lot more than the likes of the monster in the courtroom to knock us down," Thompson said.
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PostSubject: No More Showings, Fast Trial for Harrell   Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:09 pm

No More Showings, Fast Trial For Harrell


Court Documents Give Insight Into Defense's Preparation For Trial

POSTED: Friday, August 6, 2010
UPDATED: 1:33 pm EDT August 6, 2010



Jarred Harrell pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, sexual assault and murder charges in the killing of Somer Thompson.




CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -- Jarred Harrell will not be seen at any more pretrial court hearings leading up to his trial, according to court documents.
Harrell's defense team has waived his right to attend pretrial conferences, along with his right to a speedy trial.
Harrell's attorneys are also trying to save Harrell from the possibility of being on death row. Public defender Matt Shirk is asking the judge to eliminate death as a possible penalty, according to the documents.
The request said the Fourth Judicial Circuit too often seeks the death penalty in an erratic manner. It said the prosecutor's "decision to seek death is governed seemingly by nothing more than the day to day whimsy of the elected state attorney."





Somer Thompson disappeared as she walked home from school on Oct. 19. Her body was found two days later in the Georgia landfill where Orange Park's trash is dumped.

The defense pointed out that the Fourth Judicial Circuit leads the state in number of death row inmates. The judge has not ruled on this request.
Attorney's for 7-year-old Somer Thompson's accused killer are also requesting video from WJXT, according to the documents. A motion was filed asking for all the stories, video and audio that Channel 4 has aired regarding the case. A judge has not ruled on this motion either.
The judge did deny Harrell's motion for a protective order, according to the documents. The issue was brought up by his attorneys on April 28. It's unclear what the protective order was for and what Harrell's attorneys were trying to protect Harrell from.
Attorneys will next meet in late September.
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PostSubject: Somer Thompson Remembered 1 Year Later   Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:40 pm

Somer Thompson Remembered 1 Year Later


Vigil Planned On Anniversary Of Girl's Disappearance




POSTED: 11:49 am EDT October 15, 2010
UPDATED: 12:43 pm EDT October 15, 2010


ORLANDO, Fla. -- It has been one year since the killing of a North Florida girl as she walked home from school.
Somer Thompson, 7, was kidnapped and killed in Clay County before her body was found in a Georgia landfill a few days later.
As the man accused of killing Somer awaits trial, the girl's mother shared her grief on Friday and sent a message to parents during an interview on NBC's "Today."
Diena Thompson said she plans to mark the anniversary of Somer's slaying with a vigil.
Tuesday will mark one year since Somer disappeared on her way home from school. Jarred Harrell is accused of kidnapping and killing the child. He pleaded not guilty.
Thompson vowed to attend every court hearing until justice is served.
"I still feel guilty for what happened to Somer, and I want her to know I will always be there for her no matter what," Thompson said. "The monster has made me stronger."
On the day she vanished, Somer had been walking home with her siblings, including her twin brother, Samuel Thompson.
Thompson said Samuel struggles with Somer's death.
"There's nothing like a mother's love, but I don't know that I would compare a twin's love to my love," Thompson said. "They've been together since the very beginning."
Thompson said it's critical that parents teach their children how to avoid dangerous situations and how to defend themselves.
"We need to stop just telling our children things and teaching them. If you have a bad feeling, run the other way. If someone tries to snatch you, you kick, scream, punch, bite," Thompson said.
Thompson has started the Somer Thompson Foundation to help low-income families who must deal with the slaying of their children and can't afford funeral costs.
Copyright 2010 by WESH.COM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
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PostSubject: Somer Thompson's Mom to Attend Each Day of Trial   Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:20 pm

Somer Thompson's Mom to Attend Each Day of Trial









ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The mother of slain 7-year-old Somer Thompson says she will be in court every day for the trial of the man accused of kidnapping and murdering her daughter.

Diena Thompson told NBC's "Today Show" that she still feels guilty over what happened to her daughter.

Somer Thompson disappeared while walking home from school with her siblings in north Florida last year. Her body was found two days later in a Georgia landfill.

Jared Mitchell Harrell has been charged in her death.

Thompson said Thursday she had taught her daughter about stranger danger, but that parents need to go a step further, teaching them things like running away when they have a bad feeling about an adult.

A vigil will take place on the anniversary of the Somer Thompson's death next week





**Firstcoastnews
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PostSubject: Orange Park Neighborhood Changed One Year After Somer's Death   Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:12 pm

Orange Park Neighborhood Changed One Year after Somer's Death








ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The lazy little neighborhood which surrounds Somer Thompson's home some say is a haven for sex offenders.

Resident Virgil McWhite knows because after the 7-year-old was murdered he began to investigate just who was living near him.

"Soon as it happened, I checked it out. I was surprised how many were in the neighborhood," said McWhite.

In October 2009, 161 sex offenders lived within 5 miles of Somer's home. One year later, the number of offenders has decreased to 145 sex offenders.

"It detoured them. It chased them away. They are somewhere else now," said McWhite.

In the Orange Park-area alone, the number of offenders has gone up by one in one year.

Somer's death changed everything in the neighborhood. Neighbors are on guard and McWhite said they are more aware.

MORE: Somer Thompson childhood slideshow

So Big deal...........it didn't decrease by only a few....
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PostSubject: Vigil Held For Anniversary of Girl's Death   Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:28 pm

Vigil Held For Anniversary Of Girl's Death


Posted: 12:31 pm EDT October 20, 2010





Updated: 1:01 pm EDT October 20, 2010

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Family and friends came together Tuesday for a vigil honoring Somer Thompson, a 7-year-old girl who was kidnapped and killed one year ago while walking home from school.

People in the neighborhood where she once lived marked the one-year anniversary of her disappearance at Orange Park Junior High School. Many left cards, balloons and flowers.

Somer's body was found in a Georgia landfill.

Jarred Harrell, 24, has been charged with her murder and is in jail awaiting trial.

Somer's mother, Diena Thompson, said she was touched by the people who turned out.

"I don't know that anything is ever going to give me closure. You know, it's going to forever be with me, but the support is much appreciated," said Thompson.

Harrell has pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping and murder charges he's facing. If convicted, he could get the death penalty.
Copyright 2010 by wftv.com
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PostSubject: Somer's Family Upset By Jail Calls   Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:04 pm

Somer's Family Upset By Jail Calls


Family Says Jarred Harrell Sounds Nonchalant In Calls With Mother

POSTED: Monday, October 25, 2010
UPDATED: 4:35 pm EDT October 25, 2010




 


Arrested and charged with Somer Thompson's murder, Jarred Harrell appears in a Clay County courtroom.




ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- The family of Somer Thompson said it is upset after hearing the jailhouse calls between the man accused of killing the girl and his mother.
Family members said Diena Thompson, Somer's mom, heard the calls Sunday night, two days after they were released, and was upset by what she heard.
"I just want to get a pizza and some cigarettes and just come home and sit down," murder suspect Jarred Harrell told his mother in the jail calls.
Perry Currier, who considers Somer his daughter, is engaged to her mother, Diena. Somer called him Dad. Currier has not said much in the media since Somer's killing a year ago, but he commented Monday on the jail calls.

"He is worried about a pizza and a cigarette. Now I can't order a pizza for my daughter (Somer) no more," Currier said.





Somer Thompson disappeared as she walked home from school on Oct. 19. Her body was found two days later in the Georgia landfill where Orange Park's trash is dumped.

Currier said Diena was very disturbed by the the calls, which kept her awake at night. She didn't want to talk about them Monday.
Currier, who was reluctant to talk, did say the family was upset by the pizza remarks, but also that there seems to be a nonchalant attitude about Harrell's time in jail.
For instance, in one conversation, Harrell and his mother talk about hearing from other family members and staying positive about the case.
"That is why everybody is going to be sending cards and letters and everything to keep your spirits up," his mother told him. "So hang in there, you know, that kind of thing. It's going to be awhile. Unfortunately, it's not quick, you know. I don't care what anybody tries to tell you."





Diena Thompson sees Jarred Harrell -- the man accused of killing 7-year-old Somer Thompson -- for the first time in a Clay County courtroom.

"They act like it's no big deal, like he's going to get out next week and come and get a pizza," Currier said.
Jail records show Harrell has not had many calls or visitors, mainly just his mother. He has been meeting and talking with his attorney by phone, but those calls are not recorded. His mother said he was sent a Bible, which Harrell said he had not received.
"Take care," Harrell's mother told him. "Like I said, try to read something. Keep your mind off everything as much as you can, and we will keep the cards and letters coming."
Harrell is awaiting trial on 58 charges, including sexual assault and murder. He has not appeared in court since April and has waived his right to appear in any more pretrial proceedings, which means he likely won't be seen again until his trial starts sometime next year. The next scheduled court date is Jan. 4.
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PostSubject: GMJ Exclusive: Gag Order Issued In Somer Thompson Murder Case   Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:40 am

GMJ Exclusive: Gag Order Issued In Somer Thompson Murder Case












GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- A judge has issued a gag order on Jarred Harrell's case. He's the man accused of killing Somer Thompson in Clay County in 2009.
After a couple denials, the protective order was granted on Dec. 14 and applies to just about everyone involved in the case, including prosecutors, defense lawyers, investigators and other people who may testify at trial.
In the order, Judge William Wilkes wrote, "Pretrial comments ... have been substantially adverse or hostile to the defendant."
The judge cited intense local, national and international media coverage of the case as one reason for the order.
"To protect ... the defendant's right to a fair and impartial trial in the county where the crimes were committed ... a protective order is necessary," the judge wrote.
Normally, evidence in a criminal trial becomes public record once it's turned over to defense lawyers. But in this case, that won't happen.
The order also bars the Clay County Sheriff's Office from releasing any more jail calls between Harrell and people who visit him. They previously released some of those conversations, including one that had Harrell telling his mom he wanted some pizza.
Attorney Sean Cronin is not involved in the Harrell case, but talked about his experience with gag orders.
"I am generally against gag orders because they prevent the public from knowing exactly what's going on and being fully informed. But I do believe in some cases such as this one, it's probably appropriate to make sure justice is best served," Cronin said.
Just getting a copy of the gag order took about 30 minutes at Clay County's courthouse. It had to be approved at several levels.
The protective order states the one thing that can be released is a docket listing court dates and routine file information. It is very generic information, lacking any details.
The clerk's office intially declined to release that document, but eventually did two days later after the approval of the judge, defense attorneys and prosecutors.

**FirstCoastNews
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PostSubject: Somer's Mom Fights Cyber Crime Cuts   Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:35 am

Somer's Mom Fights Cyber Crime Cuts


Diena Thompson Traveled To Tallahassee To Lobby For Cyber Crime Units

POSTED: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
UPDATED: 11:38 pm EDT March 29, 2011



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Somer Thompson's mom spent her time Tuesday making a plea to Florida lawmakers. Diena Thompson is fighting to keep funds from disappearing from the state's cyber crime unit.



Nearly a year and a half since her daughter disappeared in Orange Park, and was found murdered, Diena Thompson traveled to Tallahassee Tuesday to lobby against a budget cut for a program aimed at helping exploited kids.
Channel 4 spoke with Thompson inside her Orange Park home, she said, she feels up beat, knowing her passion to save the cyber crime unit could save a child's life and keep another mother from feeling the pain she wakes up with every day.
"I'm fired up," said Thompson. "You couldn't keep me away."
Thompson rallied against statewide budget cuts that will strip $1.4 million from cyber crime units that protect exploited children. Thompson said she feels that cyber crime units are what put men like, Jarred Harrell, the man accused of her daughter's death behind bars where they belong.
"I understand budgets and that people don't want things added on, but if it was their child they'd feel the same way I feel," said Thompson.
According to the Department of Justice research there are at least 38,000 individual computers in Florida that either produce, use, or transfer child pornography.
Thompson said if anything, the state should be adding funding to get predators off the streets..
"It's this kind of person that took my child, and it's this kind of person who needs to know that mamas like me will continue to fight -- and we are coming," said Thompson.
Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com.
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