Man pleads guilty to motel murder

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Clay County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Joseph Thompson

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - A 23-year-old Clay County man pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder a 49-year-old man last year.

Joseph Thompson also pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder, robbery and burglary of an occupied dwelling.

In November, police found Andrew Stiekman in a motel room at the Rodeway Inn in Orange Park. His wallet, cellphone and van were missing from the crime scene. Evidence showed that Stiekman was strangled to death after Thompson and his co-defendant, John Buskager, robbed him.

Authorities also found text messages that showed Thompson and Buskager planned the robbery and murder for weeks. Both defendants once lived with the victim.

Buskager pleaded guilty to charges of murder in the second-degree, robbery, grand theft and grand theft auto. He will be sentenced in September.

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