NORMAN — A Cleveland County jury panel went into deliberation shortly after noon today to determine a verdict for Eddie Thompson, 35, who faces four felony charges including first-degree murder. Jurors returned a guilty verdict shortly after 2 p.m.
The jury asked that Thompson be sentenced to life without parole for the first-degree murder charge and receive a life sentence for the three remaining charges including first-degree burglary and two counts of kidnapping.
Thompson was charged with the murder of Arthur Strozewski after police found Strozewski lying in his bed with more than 20 stab wounds and Thompson was found soaked in Strozewski’s blood. He was charged with first-degree burglary after breaking and entering the Cleveland County home around 3 a.m. while Strozewski and his two children were sleeping.
The kidnapping charges were a result of police finding Strozewski and his son duct taped in their upstairs bedrooms. Strozewski’s daughter, who was also at home during the Aug. 31, 2012, incident, called 9-1-1 and informed dispatch she saw two men in the home, one of whom matched the description of Thompson.
Thompson was charged conjointly with Loretta Hawks and Sebastian Shepherd. Testimony from the children also places Shepherd in the home during the homicide, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys asked the jury to consider that no evidence can put the knife in Thompson’s hand during closing statements. Prosecutors said the law states that if you go into a person’s home to commit a crime, even if you’re not the one holding the knife, you are both responsible for all of the crime’s committed there.
The trial took place in the courtroom of District Judge Thad Balkman.