A week after slayings of two Manatee County residents, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 22-year-old man Friday on murder charges.
Andrew Thompson, of Bradenton, was booked at the Manatee County jail on an arrest warrant for two counts of second-degree murder, according to the sheriff’s office website.
On Jan. 13, 27-year-old LaShawna Stevenson-Weeks and 32-year-old Berry “B1” Joseph were found shot in the head in the 5200 block of 15th Street Court East around 1:18 p.m.
A manhunt began for a suspect leaving the scene in a dark compact car, which detectives later identified as a gray four-door Pontiac G6 belonging to Thompson’s girlfriend.
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According to the probable cause affidavit, the girlfriend said Thompson altered her car’s appearance because of its involvement in the homicide. Thompson had told her the windshield was broken and being fixed, according to an interview with the girlfriend.
Later on Thursday, a witness positively identified Thompson as the one who killed the pair, and another said he was the only one in the car.
The second week of 2017 proved to be deadly for the county, with four people killed. That Tuesday night, 83-year-old Eugene Matthews was accused of fatally shooting a woman while retrieving her dog at his residence.
The next day, 56-year-old former professor Hollant Maxford Adrien was found dead in the back of an industrial park. After crashing Adrien’s stolen car and being read his Miranda rights, Barry Baer, 20, confessed to stabbing and hitting Adrien 40 to 45 times in the head with a hammer after Adrien made unwanted sexual advances toward him, according to the sheriff’s office.
Thompson was placed on felony probation on Dec. 2 after he pleaded no contest to charges of possession of cocaine and possession of heroin less than 10 grams. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation for those offenses.
Six months earlier, he had pleaded no contest to possession of marijuana and open carrying of a weapon, but was only convicted on the weapons charge. Thompson was sentenced to time had had already served in that case.
In October, he was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license second offense. Thompson was arrested four times between April and May for multiple counts of violation of supervised release for the drug and weapons charges that were still pending at the time and when he previous bonds were revoked.
On March 8, Thompson was arrested and charged with domestic battery and child abuse. The charges were later dropped by the State Attorney’s Office.