16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said he was informed Monday by South Carolina Court Administration that Judge Lee Alford of York will be on the bench for the trial of the former Wingate University football player.
No date has been set for the trial.
“The next step will be sitting down with the defense counsel and the judge and reviewing the information we have and attempting to set a date,” Brackett said. “The date is set by the judge. Hopefully the trial will be held by late summer.”
Thompson, 21, and his wife, Yolanda Thompson, are charged with murder in the death of 16-year-old Marisha Jeter.
In a hearing on Dec. 8, Brackett served notice on Pernell Thompson that the state intended to seek the death penalty for him if he is convicted of killing Miss Jeter.
Brackett said no decision has been made on whether the state will seek the death penalty for Yolanda Thompson.
“She certainly is eligible,” he said. “Obviously we haven’t served her with notice, but each case is treated separately; there are two different defense counsels. We are proceeding with each case independent of the other.”
Both Pernell and Yolanda Thompson, who lived on Sulphur Springs Road in Jonesville, have been held in the Union County Jail since there arrests on Jan. 5, 2008.
The Thompsons are accused of luring Miss Jeter to the YMCA parking lot and murdering her on Jan. 3, 2008. Authorities said Miss Jeter, the Union County High School junior class president and a cheerleader, was stabbed multiple times. Her body was found in the Broad River on the Chester County side. Her car was taken into Chester County and burned.