A week after detectives say he shot two people dead — including who they say was his cocaine dealer — a 22-year-old Bradenton man will held in jail without bond, a judge ruled Friday.
Andrew Thompson, of Bradenton, was arrested early Friday morning and charged with two counts of second-degree murder. He is being held at the Manatee County jail.
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.
Thompson and his live-in girlfriend altered her car’s appearance because of its involvement in the homicide, according to detectives. 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.
On Friday morning, Thompson refused to appear before Circuit Judge Teri Kaklis Dee for his first appearance hearing, but Dee found sufficient evidence to hold him without bond.
Homicide Detective Jeffrey Bliss detailed the evidence against Thompson as Assistant State Attorney Art Brown and Assistant Public Defender Anne Hunter questioned him.
Bliss said he was the first detective on scene and saw Joseph laying dead in a driveway with a gunshot wound to the head, and Stevenson-Weeks was found inside a Ford Explorer. It was not until the victims’ autopsies, however, that he learned Stevenson-Weeks had died from three gunshot wounds, two to the head and one in the shoulder.
Broken glass had been found at the scene, but it was not from the Explorer.
Detectives with the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit believe one of the bullets went through Stevenson-Weeks and then hit the windshield of the car Thompson had been driving, according to Bliss.
“I believe the victim is his cocaine dealer,” Bliss added during his testimony.
Thursday night, the Homicide Investigative Unit conducted an undercover surveillance and were able to follow Thompson as he drove the suspected vehicle from Sarasota back to Manatee County, where detectives conducted a traffic stop, Bliss said. The car was then seized, but it has not yet been officially search.
“Inside the vehicle we could see some remnants of the glass still there,” Bliss said.
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.