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Roger THOMPSON

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: March 31, 2004
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: October 10, 1969
Victims profile: His girlfriend Lisa Shelton, their daughter Aushanai Thompson, 9, and Shelton's three other children -- William Parker Jr., 16, Wrendell Parker, 13, and Wanee Parker, 12
Method of murder: Strangulation / Beating with a lead pipe
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on December 22, 2004
 
 
 
 
 
 
photo gallery
 
 
 
 
 

State of Michigan
Court of Appeals

 
People of the State of Michigan v. Roger Thompson
 
 
 
 
 
 

Man who killed family gets life

Detroiter strangled his ex-girlfriend and beat his daughter and 3 other kids to death.

By David G. Grant - The Detroit News

Thursday, December 23, 2004

DETROIT --A 36-year-old Detroit man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after being convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, their 9-year-old daughter and the woman's three other children in a crime that stunned the city.

"This was a very disturbing and terrible crime that affected everyone associated with (it)," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. "The defendant received justice at a fair trial, and I just hope that this verdict will give the families and friends of the victims some type of peace, especially during this holiday season."

Last week, a Wayne Circuit Court jury found Roger Thompson guilty of five counts of murder in the deaths of Lisa Shelton, 33, Aushanai Thompson, 9, Wanee Parker, 12, Wrandell Parker, 14, and William Parker Jr., 16.

The slayings occurred on the morning of April 1 in the Thompson home on Minnesota, between Brush and John R on the city's near east side.

Police said Thompson told them he strangled Shelton after they argued about money. He then bound and gagged the children in their bedrooms and beat them to death with a lead pipe, police said.

A fifth child inside the home, a cousin, Christina Knott, 13, also was bound and gagged and put into a closet, but hours later, she escaped and told neighbors, who called police.

After Thompson was arrested, he told homicide investigators he was distraught over his inability to support Shelton and her children.

He said he was tired of always arguing about money and the fact he did not have a job.

Thompson faces mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 
 

Jury Reaches Verdict For Fatal Family Beating

Roger Thompson Could Spend Life In Prison

Clickondetroit.com

December 9, 2004

The man accused of killing his girlfriend, daughter and three other children will reportedly be going to prison.

A jury found Roger Thompson guilty Wednesday for the fatal beatings in a Minnesota Street home in April.

Thompson's girlfriend Lisa Shelton, 33, the couple's 9-year-old daughter, Aushanai Thompson, and Shelton's three other children -- William Parker Jr., 16, Wrandell Parker, 13, and Wanee Parker, 12 were found bound, gagged and beaten around 10:30 a.m. April 1 in their home at 158 East Minnesota St. on Detroit's northeast side.

Shelton's 13-year-old sister -- who was also bound and beaten -- reportedly played dead, escaped the home, called for help and led police to the suspect, according to Local 4 reports.

Police said they recovered a lead pipe from the home that they believed Thompson used in the beatings, Local 4 reported.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office determined that all four children died of blunt force trauma to the head and Shelton died of strangulation.

Thompson was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. He also was charged with an alternative count of felony murder in Aushanai's death, with first-degree child abuse as the underlying felony.

Thompson will be sentenced on Dec. 22, Local 4 reported.

 
 

Suspect in family murder stands mute at arraignment

Man ordered to jail without bond

April 1, 2004

A 36-year-old man was arraigned Friday afternoon on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of a woman and her four children.

Roger Thompson was ordered to jail without bond by a judge at the 36th District Court.

The judge initially ruled that Thompson was in no condition to complete his arraignment Friday afternoon.

Thompson, when asked by the judge if he understood the murder charges against him, swayed his body side-to-side and would not answer.

After repeating the question several times and failing to get an answer, the judge decided to postpone the arraignment until Saturday.

But after a short delay, Thompson returned to the courtroom and the arraignment was completed.

Thompson was charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Lisa Shelton and her four children in their northeast-side Detroit home.

Detroit police say Thompson and Shelton had an on-again, off-again relationship and had recently reunited. Thompson was said to be abusive at times, Local 4 reported.

He was spotted Thursday running through a vacant lot after police arrived at the scene of the crime.

A 13-year-old girl who survived the attack inside the house escaped and alerted police.

Thompson reportedly had nothing to say as police led him to a squad car and onward to the Wayne County Jail Thursday.

His face showed remnants of tears after he finished hours of questioning by officers, Local 4 reported.

Thompson is accused in the deaths of his girlfriend, Shelton, 33, their 9-year-old daughter, Anjana Thompson, and Shelton's three other children -- William Parker Jr., 16, Wrendell Parker, 13, and Wanee Parker, 12.

The victims were found bound, gagged and beaten around 10:30 a.m. Thursday in their home at 158 East Minnesota St. on Detroit's northeast side.

Shelton's 13-year-old sister -- who was also bound and beaten -- reportedly played dead, escaped the home, called for help and led police to the suspect, according to the station's reports.

Police say the teen waited for Thompson to leave and ran to a neighbor's house.

Officers who arrived at the scene located Thompson outside the home and chased him into a nearby field, where he was taken into custody.

Police say they recovered a lead pipe from the home that they believe Thompson used in the beatings, Local 4 reported.

Local 4 learned that Thompson has a criminal record, which includes charges for driving a stolen vehicle in 1990, driving without a license in 1994 and a 1996 arrest for breaking and entering.

Police say they're working to determine the motive in the killings.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says Thompson could get life in prison without parole if convicted as charged.

School Mourns Loss Of Children Beaten To Death

Grief counselors are meeting with children at a Hamtramck school Friday following the beating deaths of some classmates.

Kosciuszko Middle School students Wrendell Parker, 13, and Wanee Parker, 12, were killed in their Minnesota Street home Wednesday night, allegedly bound and beaten at the hands of Roger Thompson, according to Detroit police. The children were found dead along with their mother and siblings around 10:30 a.m. Thursday by Detroit police.

A call from the children's 13-year-old aunt -- who was also bound and beaten -- led police to the suspect after she escaped from the house, according to Local 4 reports.

Police say the teen waited for Thompson to leave and ran to a neighbor's house.

The other victims include Thompson's girlfriend and the children's mother, Lisa Shelton, 33, their 9-year-old daughter, Anjana Thompson, and Shelton's son, William Parker Jr., 16.

As students and staff at Kosciuszko Middle School learned of the deaths, teary students filled the hallways, Local 4 reported. The front office was filled with crying children and an ambulance was called for an instructor who suffered a seizure shortly after hearing the announcement at the school.

Principal Tom Trawick said many of the students have been meeting with counselors.

Wrendell and Wanee were described as exciting little girls with tremendous numbers of friends in the school. Wanee was cast as the lead in the school play, "Annie," and a poster with her picture hangs in the hallway at the school, the station reported.

Family Members Gather At Brutal Murder Scene

Screams were heard outside the home on 158 East Minnesota St. as family members arrived to discover Shelton and her four children had been brutally murdered, Local 4 reported.

Police used a white sheet to shield family and friends from seeing the parade of bodies being carried out of the home.

One woman was apparently overcome by emotion and collapsed while a man was seen running across the street yelling, "Where's my sister? Where's my sister?"

William Parker Sr. arrived at the scene to find that his 16-year-old son, William Jr., was among those killed.

"All (the) lieutenant told me was my kids were dead. That was it," said Parker.

Harold Jackson, a friend of the family, said Shelton recently finished writing a book and that her children had a bright future ahead.

"All the kids were doing good in school," said Jackson.

Detectives believe the beatings may have started Wednesday night and lasted through Thursday morning, Local 4 reported.

A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals was placed at the steps leading up to the front of the home that Shelton had recently purchased and planned to fix up for her family.

 
 

Man charged in Detroit beating deaths

April 1, 2004

DETROIT (AP) A man was charged Friday with killing his girlfriend, their daughter and three other children, as mourners from all over the city streamed by the victims' home to place toys, cards and candles at a makeshift shrine.

Roger Thompson, 36, was arrested Thursday after a 13-year-old girl who survived the bloodshed alerted police. Police found the victims beaten to death in the house in the northeast section of Detroit and caught Thompson running through a vacant lot across the street.

"These five horrible deaths illustrate in the strongest possible terms the problem we have with family violence in this country," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said.

Thompson had not previously been arrested for domestic violence, and had no criminal record.

"We don't have any indication that this has occurred in this home before. That doesn't mean it hasn't we just know there haven't been any police reports, there hasn't been any indication that would lead one to believe that we could have prevented this," Worthy said.

Worthy gave no details about a possible motive and did not discuss the cause of the deaths. She said Thompson had been "quite remorseful."

Thompson is the father of the youngest victim, 9-year-old Aushanai Thompson. Relatives said he and Aushanai's mother, 33-year-old Lisa Shelton, had an on-again, off-again relationship.

The other victims were Shelton's children: William Parker Jr., 16, Wrandell Parker, 14, and Wanee Parker, 12. The girl who escaped was Shelton's sister.

Police told the Detroit Free Press that Thompson said he strangled Shelton with an extension cord early Wednesday after arguing about money. He then beat Wanee and William, and forced William to tie up the other children. The medical examiner's office determined that all four children died of blunt force trauma to the head, and Shelton died of strangulation.

Thompson was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. Michigan does not have the death penalty.

At Thompson's arraignment Friday evening, Magistrate Steve Lockhart entered an innocent plea on his behalf and ordered him held without bond. First appearing before the judge via video, Thompson only wept and shifted from foot to foot. Less than a half hour later, he was again brought before the judge via video but had regained his composure, and was able to state his name and that he understood the charges against him.

A hearing in the case was scheduled for April 13.

The suspect's mother, Mary Thompson of Georgia, sat sobbing in a wheelchair after the hearing. "He needs help," she said. "Pray for my child, pray for Lisa's family."

Meanwhile, mourners visited a makeshift shrine outside the victims' home to add to the collection of stuffed animals and other offerings.

"I just really came to pray for the kids to be at peace and the mother to be at peace," said Alex Dawkins, a 39-year-old auto mechanic who brought teddy bears.

A few relatives of the victims also came by the house, which had garbage in the yard, plastic over the windows and was roped off by police tape.

"She was my world," said Shelton's 20-year-old sister, Tyann. "She was my best friend."

 

 

 
 
 
 
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