Tenant decapitates landlord over rent dispute

HARTFORD, Ct. – A Connecticut man decapitated his landlord with a sword after being told he had to move out because of overdue rent, according to Hartford police.

The Hartford Police Department responded to a 911 call last Saturday morning from the landlord, Victor King. He said that his roommate Jerry Thompson, 42, had been “waving a sword at him in a threatening and terrorizing manner” amid a rent dispute, according to an arrest warrant filed by Hartford police detectives.

King gave officers Thompson’s cell phone number, according to the warrant affidavit. It did not say if police spoke to Thompson on Saturday, CNN reported.

The next day, police received calls from a neighbor and then a separate friend of King’s who were concerned about his safety, the affidavit said.

Police entered the residence last Sunday afternoon to find a grisly crime scene and King’s body “covered by numerous articles of bedding” on the floor, according to the warrant.

A medical examiner investigator’s preliminary observations suggested King’s injuries were consistent with a large edged weapon, noting “lacerations to the landlord’s right arm, upper chest and across the neck causing decapitation.”

Surveillance video also revealed a male exiting a white Jeep, carrying a “long skinny white object in his right hand,” walking into the residence Saturday afternoon, and exiting about 30 minutes later with the same object, the affidavit said.

Thompson refused to speak with detectives, but wrote that the “paper in glove compart (sic) in Jeep is all you need,” police said.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and discovered the paperwork. According to the writings, Thompson believed he was a “sovereign citizen,” or an individual who believes he is not subject to any statutes and interprets the laws in their own way, the detectives wrote.

The amount of rent owed and Thompson’s employment status were unknown.

Jerry Thompson, 42, is accused of decapitating his landlord-roommate over a rent dispute. (Hartford Police Department)

Jim Banks, the victim’s cousin, told the Hartford Courant King “was one of the good guys.”

“One that would never hurt a soul. One that would always reach out and help others. He was pleasant as can be. Always seemed to be happy. He was just a joy to be around.”

Shortly after Thompson was formally charged with murder, detectives and members of the Hartford Police Dive Team recovered the suspected murder weapon about 10 miles away in the Farmington River, department spokesman Lt. Paul Cicero told CNN.

They did not reveal what led them to the location.

Investigation also revealed that King was Thompson’s landlord, according to a rental agreement that was discovered, Cicero said.

At his Tuesday arraignment in Hartford Superior Court, Thompson refused to speak with a public defender so he was not assigned one, according to an audio recording of the proceeding.

Consequently, he was detained in lieu of a $2 million bond before his next court appearance on August 18, according to the recording and state department of corrections.


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