Johnny Lamar Lever, 63, was found guilty of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Eighth Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. announced the sentencing after the jury took just over an hour to hand in a verdict.
On April 8, 2014, Harold Dean Price, 53, was shot three times in the back at Lever’s home. Laurens County authorities pronounced Price dead at the scene. Lever was then taken into custody.
During Lever’s sentencing, Deputy Solicitor Warren Mowry told the court that the defendant previously killed another person, which was ruled as self defense. Lever also had a pending sexual harassment charge involving the wife of the victim.
“Our prosecutors and law enforcement were once again able to work hand-in-hand to put a menace to our community behind bars,” Solicitor David M. Strumbo said following the sentencing. “This sentence sends a message that violent crime will not be tolerated on the streets of the Eighth Circuit. My office will continue to work closely with our law enforcement officers to keep the streets of our community safe.”