CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Three days after pleading guilty to the murder of Somer Thompson, Jarred Harrell is now in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence of life in prison.
Harrell entered his plea Friday afternoon.
Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler said Harrell was transferred from the Clay County Jail at 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Harrell will serve his sentence at Florida State Prison in Raiford.
As Somer's family members gave victim impact statements on Friday, Harrell wouldn't look them in the eye. During an interview Monday, State Attorney Angela Corey said that didn't surprise her.
"A lot of times, criminals will not face their victims no matter how much the victims try to compel them to," Corey said. "(Somer's mother) Diena (Thompson) wanted him to look her in the eye, but he was not going to apologize. He entered a plea of guilty and he was going to be done with it."
Corey said the plea deal was the best course of action for everyone involved in the case.
"We were slightly reluctant, but once you analyze everything involved in a death case and the endless appeals for years and years and years, when a defendant like this comes to you and is willing to plead to everything and waive all of his rights, we have to take that kind of a plea," Corey said.
Harrell also pleaded guilty to charges of molesting a 3-year-old girl and possession of child pornography.
He was given six life sentences.
Beseler said he felt compelled to attend the court proceedings, having become close with Somer's family.
"This case has changed me as a law enforcement officer. In 38 years, it's the worst case that I've ever had to personally be involved in."