Tarver charged with capital murder in Lavinda Counce death

Published: Aug. 13, 2015 at 6:37 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2015 at 10:04 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A man accused of kidnapping and killing an elderly Bay woman will face capital murder charges.

Richard Jordon Tarver, 30, of Bay is charged capital murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated residential burglary, abuse of a corpse, theft of property and possession of a defaced firearm.

Tarver is accused of July 3 abduction and killing of Lavinda Counce, 90. Her body was found on July 12 on a Craighead County road between Bay and Jonesboro.

According to an email from Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District, the capital murder charge is "the most serious criminal charge on the books."

If found guilty, Tarver could be sentenced to death or life without parole.

Police arrested Tarver on July 17 at his home in Bay.

Ellington credited the joint efforts of Sheriff Marty Boyd, Bay Police Chief Paul Keith, and the numerous officers from each of the law enforcement agencies working the investigation, as well as public support for building the case.

"The arrest in this case is the result of many hours of fine investigative work by law enforcement," Ellington said. "The community support by the people of Bay and the surrounding area was outstanding, and this arrest is the fruit of their labors, as well. We are continuing to build this case and will pursue full justice for Mrs. Counce, her family, and the good people of Bay.

To read the 7-count felony information records filed in Craighead County Circuit Court, click here.

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