Connecticut man convicted of killing roommate with samurai-like sword after rent quarrel

19 August 2023

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man was convicted Friday of killing his roommate with a samurai-style sword after a rent dispute, prosecutors said.

A jury found Jerry David Thompson, 45, guilty of murder in the 2020 stabbing death of Victor King.

Thompson owed rent on his room in King’s downtown Hartford home, and King was trying to evict him, the Hartford state’s attorney’s office said in a news release, citing trial evidence.

King called police twice on the morning of July 25, 2020 — first telling a tip line that Thompson was menacing him with a sword, and then calling 911 to report that his roommate was threatening him, according to prosecutors.

Surveillance video showed Thompson walking toward the home later that morning with a long object in his hand, then walking back to his car in different clothes about 20 minutes later, prosecutors said.

Some of King’s friends called the police the next day, alarmed that they couldn’t reach him. Police found the 64-year-old had been stabbed to death and left under blankets on his kitchen floor.

Thompson represented himself at trial and filed papers maintaining that the state had no jurisdiction over him, according to The Register Citizen of Torrington. He claimed when arrested to be a “sovereign citizen,” a term used by some who assert that the U.S. government is illegitimate and that its laws don’t bind them.

A message was sent Friday night to an attorney who was appointed to advise Thompson during the trial.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 11.

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