9/25/2012 8:50:00 PM Death penalty defendant hires pair of lawyers
Kenneth Wayne Thompson
Prescott Valley Tribune
PRESCOTT - Kenneth Thompson, who is facing the death penalty if he's convicted of murdering two people in March, has hired a two-man legal team.
Thompson, 28, of Doniphan, Mo., was arrested in connection with the deaths of Penelope Edwards, 35, and Troy Dunn, 38, of Prescott Valley. They were found dead in a burned-out home in the 4000 block of North Tonopah Drive on March 16. Both victims sustained head trauma, and their deaths were ruled homicides, said Prescott Valley Police Sgt. Brandon Bonney.
Thompson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of misconduct involving weapons, and one count each of arson, burglary, criminal damage, and tampering with physical evidence.
He originally had a public defender, William Feldhacker, because, when arrested, he filed a sworn affidavit saying he was indigent, with virtually no assets or cash.
"I plead the fifth," he said, more than a dozen times.
She continued to ask about large deposits made to bank accounts in his and his wife's names and transfers to other accounts held by his wife alone or jointly with his grandmother.
Each time, he refused to answer.
After about an hour of questioning, Hancock said she believed he had access to at least $400,000, although she could not say whether he had the money when the financial affidavit was signed.
After the hearing, Hancock issued an order that Thompson hire his own counsel, as well as pay back the Yavapai County Public Defender's Office almost $27,000 for costs it incurred before he was determined not to be indigent.
Thompson then hired attorney Stephen Glazer, and, because death penalty cases typically require a second-chair lawyer, he has also retained John Napper.
Monday in court, Deputy County Attorney Robert Johnson said that, because this is a death penalty case, he wanted a psychiatric evaluation of Thompson, which is allowed by rule.
Glazer objected, saying he wanted to see the motion in writing so he could prepare a response.
"If you're going to ask this judge not to follow (the rule), that's not going to happen," Hancock said.
She set Thompson's next appearance for Dec. 10. He is being held in the Yavapai County jail without bond.