Former partner of Rashad Thompson says “he isn’t capable of murder”
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - After breaking for the weekend, the trial against Rashad “Rico” Thompson, a Raleigh County man accused of murdering a seven-year-old with a hammer continues into its second week.
On Monday, the defense began its case, and first to the witness stand was Karmella Simone Wynne. Wynne was in a 14-year relationship with Thompson, and together they have two sons.
It was stated in court, that around 2017, Thompson left Wynne to be with Felicia Brown, who was pregnant with his daughter.
Thompson is on trial for murdering Tre-Shaun, Brown’s son from a previous relationship, and attempting to murder Brown. This happened at the couple’s Beckley apartment complex in March of 2021.
Monday morning, the defense focused on Thompson’s temperament toward Wynne and their children.
“I would characterize him as a hardworking, loving, caring, respectful father who does anything for his kids. He had a great reputation. Everybody enjoyed Rico. They praised about him all the time. About how much of a good father he is. About what a hard worker he is...”
She further testified that Thompson was a quiet person- that she never even heard him raise his voice.
“He was quiet, and he didn’t really speak unless spoken to,” she said. “People would joke around with me and say, ‘Does he even talk to you?’ and I would say, ‘Sometimes he does,’ because he is very quiet, and that’s just how he was.”
However, the State brought up a Domestic Violence Petition (DVP) that Wynne filed against Thompson in 2018, a year after their relationship ended. Wynne said when she found out Thompson was cheating, they got into a physical altercation in which she revealed she was the aggressor, but she admitted that she filed the petition claiming Thompson was violent because she was angry. She retracted the DVP the following day.
The defense asked which is true...was Thompson violent then or not violent now?
BEN HATFIELD, RALEIGH COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY: “Did you tell the court that you were the aggressor on the date in question back in 2017?”
WYNNE: “No, not on that paper.”
HATFIELD: “Why didn’t you tell them that you were the aggressor?”
WYNNE: “Who would?”
HATFIELD: “Who would, right? You wanted them to believe your story...So you’re willing to use the legal system any way you see fit as long as it benefits you in a way you think you’re entitled to.”
WYNNE: “Uh, no.”
In addition, Wynne said, during their relationship, Thompson had a tendency to black out and forget what had happened when he had been drinking excessively. Both Thompson and Brown had alcohol in their systems on the night of the attack.
Following Wynne, the defense continued to call witnesses to testify on Thompson’s character. This included former co-workers, his high school basketball coach, and his own mother.
The courts are closed on Tuesday for Election Day. The defense will resume its case on Wednesday.
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