After the jury returned the verdict and were asked to decide on his punishment, they learned Thompson had previously been convicted of second-degree burglary, escape from a penitentiary, possession of a firearm and auto burglary. The convictions dated back to the mid-’90s with the most recent conviction occurring in December 2008 when he escaped the penitentiary.
“He was already a five-time convicted felon on the day that he broke into Art Strozewski’s home,” Miller said. “He cannot behave outside of the walls of a prison. He can’t do it. He’s out of prison, he commits another crime. He gets convicted, he commits another crime.”
Further statements by Caswell reminded the jury that Thompson went to Strozewski’s home prepared that night.
“He came prepared with his duct tape and his zip ties and a knife,” Caswell said. “He entered that home and he slaughtered Art Strozewski.”
Testimony and evidence presented throughout the trial showed Strozewski suffered in between 38 and 41 stab wounds, which damaged vital organs. He also suffered three fractures during the incident.
When police arrived to Strozewski’s home at 9305 Winston Way, they saw a blood-soaked Thompson come down the stairs and run out the back door of the home. Search teams later found him in the area, still wearing blood-soaked clothing.
Police also found Strozewski and his son duct taped in the upstairs bedrooms. Both his teenage son and daughter were home during the incident but remained physically unharmed, aside from when the son was forcefully duct-taped.
Testimony from the children placed Shepherd in the home during the homicide, but neither of the men knew where Strozewski lived. However, Hawks had been briefly living with Strozewski, and a white vehicle, matching the description of her vehicle, was recorded on a neighbor’s security camera just after 3 a.m. driving past Strosewski’s home.