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home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

9/25/2012 8:50:00 PM
Death penalty defendant hires pair of lawyers
Kenneth Wayne Thompson
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.

But in a July hearing, Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock questioned Thompson about his father's death in a motor vehicle accident, and whether he had received money from his estate.

"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.

Related Stories:
• Suspect in murder of Prescott Valley couple will go on trial in 2016
• Judge not convinced double homicide suspect is indigent, believes he has access to $400,000
• Double murder case at 'standstill' Kenneth Thompson again claims he's out of money
• Homicide defendant must hire own lawyer
• Suspect to face death penalty in Prescott Valley double murder/arson case
• Suspect may face death penalty in double homicide

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014
Article comment by: Lupe Chavez

This creep needs to be tried sooner. Why are we waiting so long to try this guy. Those people he killed were my friends. Death penalty for him

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