Marisha Jeter was a popular student at Union County High School in South Carolina, where she made her mark as a cheerleader, honor student, junior class president and member of the school band & her church choir. But the 16-year-old’s life was tragically cut short when she was kidnapped & murdered by a deranged couple.
And now the man responsible for her brutal slaying has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
GOUPSTATE.COM reports that 22-year-old Pernell Clayton Thompson - a former Wingate University wide receiver who had been seeing Jeter on & off again - received his sentence on Monday for the January 2008 killing of Marisha. Thompson plead guilty to murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of a knife during the commission of a violent crime and criminal conspiracy.
Pernell & his wife, Yolanda Dee Thompson, had lured Marisha to the parking lot of the Union County YMCA - and as Yolanda held Marisha down, Pernell stabbed her 33 times. The couple then stuffed Marisha’s body into the trunk of her own car and drove to a nearby river, where they dumped her body & stripped her of her clothes to make it appear as if she was raped. Her car was driven into the next county & burned. Marisha’s body was discovered by an art student taking pictures of a nearby bridge.
And all this was done because Yolanda wanted Pernell to “prove his love to her“.
In March 2009, Yolanda reached a plea bargain in which she would testify against her husband. And Pernell pleaded to the murder & additional charges on Monday. Both made the pleas to avoid getting the death penalty.
But Marisha’s family still must live with the senseless death of their daughter.
“I did not want my wife … My wife talked about it for the first time today in court, what she feels,” Manning Jeter, Marisha’s father, said in a phone interview. “Right now, my wife is laying down, balled up in a knot in the fetal position. Prior to this, my wife was active in the youth program in church, a Sunday school teacher, ran day care — none of it right now is she able to do.”
And Manning had one last message for Pernell:
“One day, I’ll get to go see my baby,” he said in court. “But you’ll never get that chance. You’re going straight to hell.”