Three charged in fatal Union County robbery
Published: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 10:44 p.m.
Union County authorities on Saturday charged three people with various crimes related to the Friday killing of a man and the assault of his wife during a home-invasion robbery, the Union County Sheriff's Office reported in a news release.
Michael Lynn Pierce Jr., 26, and Lavar Monte Thompson, 31, both of Starke, were charged with murder, home-invasion robbery, kidnapping, arson and grand theft auto.
Amanda Lee Jeffery, 30, of Raiford, was charged with principal to murder, kidnapping, arson, grand theft auto and home-invasion robbery for aiding and assisting in the crimes.
Sheriff's Lt. Lyn Williams said the charges were filed early Saturday morning.
The three are accused of killing William Lee Couch, 69, confining him and his wife, Connie Sue Couch, 39, and burning their travel trailer Friday morning during a robbery. The couple's SUV also was stolen and was found burned in Bradford County on Friday.
Couch was beaten with a handgun, authorities said. He was taken to Shands at the University of Florida and died in surgery.
The crimes were reported to the Sheriff's Office at 8:33 a.m. Friday at the Northeast 118th Street home that the Couches shared with their 3-year-old daughter and Connie Sue Couch's 13-year-old son, sheriff's officials said.
Couch had been in a dispute Thursday night with a crew that paved his driveway. Sheriff's officials said Friday they believed one of the suspects was on that paving crew. While robbery was a motive for the crimes, sheriff's officials said the paving dispute may have been an aggravating factor.
Pierce previously served time in a state prison on an aggravated assault conviction, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website. Thompson has served time in state prison for grand theft auto and several cocaine charges.
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