Stephen Thompson murder trial begins

Local News

((JOPLIN, Mo.)) September 20, 2021 4:24 PM: Brock Carney, a trauma surgeon with Freeman Health System testified this afternoon. He said Kristina Thompson was brought into the hospital in “extremis” condition. He said she was in shock, with a high heart rate and low blood pressure. She had a wound in her right upper abdomen from being shot at close range from a shotgun. He says there was a “very good chance she may not survive these injuries. Thompson was in the hospital for nearly two-and-a-half months. She left the hospital on August 21, 2015.

September 20, 2021 2:35 PM: Catherine Chenault, was a traffic officer with JPD when incident took place. She transported Stephen Thompson from the scene of the crime. She said he told her in the police car, which was recorded, “I hope I killed both of those b!+@*$, man. One is my wife. I know I heard them say the one in the backyard is dead. That’s good. Tried to kill both of them.”

September 20, 2021 1:46 PM: The autopsy for Carissa Girard showed she was struck multiple times by bullets to her right forearm, left lateral buttocks in dense pattern, left lateral torso, her 11th and 12th ribs, thoracic muscle and spinal column as well as spleen and left kidney. Rusty Rives, who previously served with the Joplin Police Department, testified when he responded to the call he found Stephen Thompson sitting on the curb. Rives placed him in handcuffs and he said, “he only came here to kill them (Kristina Thompson and Girard).”

September 20, 2021 1:30 PM: Sean Dodson with the Joplin Police Department was the next to take the stand. He was a detective in 2015. Dodson said when he arrived on scene, Stephen Thompson was sitting on the curb on a cell phone. He said Thompson “was projecting no real emotion” and he “cooperated fully.” Dodson said he found Kristina Thompson at the back door of the neighbor’s house with a gunshot wound and saw another female trying to administer help. He saw another female, later identified as Girard, laying on the ground “clearly deceased.”

September 20, 2021 1:17 PM: Kristina Thompson’s next door neighbor Crystal Vanglider was next to take the stand. Vanglider said drama occurred at the Thompson’s over “various disputes” prior to the Jun 10, 2015 incident. Vanglider says all five members of her family were home that day and her son started yelling there was someone in the backyard. That’s when she saw Kristina Thompson saying, “help me, he’s after me, I’ve been shot.” Vanglider said Thompson was covered in blood. Vanglider dragged Thompson insider her home and applied pressure to her wounds with a towel, she said “she was in shock.” Vanglider said Thompson stayed at her house until the paramedics arrived.

September 20, 2021 12:11 PM: Kristina’s 23-year-old son Tyler Bowers was the first witness to take the stand. He described Kristina and Stephen’s marriages as “toxic.” He was 17 at the time of the alleged shooting. He says Stephen came in through the garage while Bowers was in the kitchen and asked where his mom was. Bowers said when he saw the gun, he “froze”. Bowers said Stephen pushed the bedroom door open and started firing, that’s when Bowers said he ran to the neighbor’s house and called 911.

September 20, 2021 11:47 AM: The trial began this morning against Stephen Thompson who is charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action and first degree domestic assault with serious injury. Those charges are from a June 10, 2015 incident where Thompson is accused of shooting and injuring Kristina Thompson and shooting and killing Carissa Girard.

In her opening statements, Jasper County Prosecutor Theresa Kenney said Stephen Thompson deliberately shot his estranged wife with the intention of killing her. Kenney described the couple’s marriage as short and tumultuous, where he lost custody of their 2-year-old son. Kenney said when Kristina asked Stephen to leave it angered him, and she also told him she was in a relationship with Girard and the two were moving in together. Kenney said Stephen started laying out his plan on June 5th and at 2 AM on June 10th, went to his mother’s house in Oklahoma and got his stepfather’s shotgun. She said he returned to Joplin at 9:30 on June 10th and saw Girard’s car at Kristina’s home. That’s when he went to a storage unit and put one shell in the gun and seven in his pocket. Kenney said Stephen returned to the home around 11:30 that morning and ran into Kristina’s 17-year-old son, who ran and called 911. Kenney says at the home Stephen shot Girard in the side. When she attempted to escape over the fence, the followed her. Kenney says Stephen shot Girard three times and Kristina four times. While a neighbor helped Kristina, Kenney said Stephen went back to her home and left the gun in the walkway.

In his opening statements, Stephen’s attorney Thomas Jacquinot said Kristina and Stephen were struggling and that Stephen’s “dreams were crushed” when he and Kristina split up. Jacquinot said Stephen was disabled and unable to work and “he started to fall apart” as his marriage continued to deteriorate. Jacquinot said seeing Kristina’s and Girard’s relationship was a “byproduct of events.”

JOPLIN, Mo. – On June 10, 2015, Joplin man Stephen R. Thompson shot two victims with a twelve gauge shotgun – Carissa Gerard, 38, and estranged wife Kristina Thompson, 44. Gerard was found deceased upon the arrival of officers and Thompson was transported to Freeman Hospital, critically injured. Thompson, who was shot trying to flee, survived the multiple gunshot wounds.

The affidavit states that prior to the murder and assault, Thompson drove more than 96 miles to obtain the shotgun, then traveled to Grove, Oklahoma to buy ammunition before heading to Kristina Thompson’s home located at 4215 W. 26th Place in Joplin – where the incident took place.

Thompson, 60, is charged with first degree murder, first degree domestic assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

After being postponed twice, Thompson’s trial will finally take place this month.

The Jasper County prosecutor’s office were seeking the death penalty in the case, but last month, it was dismissed to preserve September’s trial date. The motion to dismiss the death penalty was due to the pandemic making it “impossible to obtain a fair and reliable determination of punishment.”

Thompson’s lead attorney, Thomas Jacquinot, indicated at an August hearing that the defense would be receptive to proceeding with the September trial date with the death penalty removed.

He also indicated that Thompson might be willing to change his plea prior to the trial, although that has yet to happen.

The trial will begin on September 16. To stay updated, follow @KSNLocalNews and @KODEnews on Twitter for live tweets.

For daily recaps, visit FourStatesHomepage.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories