LAVAR T. THOMPSON APPELLANT
STATE OF ARKANSAS APPELLEE
FROM THE DREW COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 22CR-16-18] HONORABLE
SAM POPE, JUDGE
Montgomery, Adams & Wyatt, PLC, by: James W. Wyatt, for
Rutledge, Att'y Gen., by: David L. Eanes Jr., Ass't
Att'y Gen., for appellee.
DAN KEMP, CHIEF JUSTICE
Lavar T. Thompson appeals an order of the Drew County Circuit
Court convicting him of two counts of first-degree murder,
one count of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of
aggravated residential burglary and sentencing him to three
terms of life imprisonment and one term of fifty years to run
consecutively. For reversal, Thompson argues that the circuit
court erred in denying his motion for mistrial. We affirm.
January 10, 2016, Thompson and two of his friends, Jeremiah
Jones and Kareena Gold, spent the early morning hours
drinking and gambling at a juke joint in Monticello.
According to Gold, Thompson had lost most of his money by
gambling with the proprietor, and she and Jones encouraged
Thompson to leave. Gold drove the friends to Jones's
house. When they arrived, Thompson shot Jones and Gold while
inside the car. Jones died immediately. Gold sustained a
gunshot wound to the head but survived. She escaped the
vehicle and ran toward a neighbor's house to seek help.
then drove Gold's car to the home of his former
girlfriend, Shalonda Binns. There, he broke a window, entered
the residence, and found Binns and her boyfriend, Markeia
Jamison, in a bedroom. Thompson shot and killed Binns.
Jamison and Thompson "tussled for the gun," and
Jamison shot two rounds at Thompson. Jamison fled the
residence and called the police. Law enforcement arrived at
the scene and found Thompson, wounded, in the home and
discovered Binns, deceased, with a gunshot wound to the head.
Police also discovered Gold's vehicle near Binns's
residence with Jones's body inside.
February 22, 2016, the State filed a felony information
charging Thompson with two counts of capital murder, one
count of attempted capital murder, one count of aggravated
residential burglary, and one count of felon in possession of
a firearm. The case proceeded to trial, and a jury found
Thompson guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one
count of attempted first-degree murder, and one count of
aggravated residential burglary. The jury sentenced Thompson
to three life sentences for the murder convictions and fifty
years' imprisonment for the burglary conviction to run
consecutively. On November 2, 2018, the circuit court entered
a sentencing order reflecting the jury's convictions and
sentences. From this order, Thompson timely filed his appeal.
sole point on appeal, Thompson argues that the circuit court
erred in denying his motion for mistrial. Specifically, he
contends that Gold's testimony was nonresponsive to
defense counsel's question, irrelevant to the crimes for
which he was tried, and intended to accuse him "of being
a bad man or a criminal." Thompson further asserts that
Gold's testimony was so prejudicial that no admonition to
the jury could have cured it.
trial, the State called Gold as a witness. During
cross-examination by defense counsel, the following colloquy
Defense Counsel: And you-One of the things you told the
police was that the two of them [Thompson and Jones] were a
lot tighter than the ...