Man's defense in double murder death penalty case: Scientology made me do it

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by triumph, Feb 6, 2019.

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  1. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    AZ Central

    Man's defense in double murder death penalty case: Scientology made me do it
    Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic Published 6:00 a.m. MT Feb. 6, 2019


    PRESCOTT — He stands accused of using a hatchet to bludgeon his sister-in-law and her boyfriend to death and setting the house on fire to destroy any evidence. In a bid to escape the death penalty, he is trying a novel defense:
    Scientology made him do it.
    Kenneth Wayne Thompson is not arguing that Scientology turned him violent in March 2012. But he is saying his belief in the religion of Scientology helps explain his actions. In particular, he says, his devotion to Scientology's tenets led him on a 24-hour plus drive from his home in rural Missouri to the eventual murder scene in Arizona.
    Prosecutors say the marathon drive helps show Thompson committed the crimes with premeditation, an element of the first-degree murder convictions they are seeking. On each, the state of Arizona will ask for the death penalty.
    Thompson's attorneys will argue to the jury that the act was rational, if understood through the lens of Scientology. Thompson felt he needed to rescue a child, a nephew to his wife, because the boy's spiritual well-being was at risk.
    Neither the boy nor his sister were in the house at the time of the killings.

    In opening arguments last week in Prescott, Kenneth Thompson's defense attorney, Robert Gundacker, asked the jury to see the events that led to the killings through the eyes of Thompson, a devoted Scientologist.

    More @ Link
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I'm just curious as to why it took almost 7 years to bring this case to trial.

  3. Miss Ellie

    Miss Ellie Patron with Honors

    You can get delays if the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Anything the judge will grant. I am sure the judge is hoping for a plea deal so this can of worms does not spill out in his court room.
  4. chipgallo

    chipgallo Patron Meritorious

    The accused had inherited money but later claimed to not have money for experts needed by the defense. The judge looked into the financial issues and this took a while. Although much of the newspaper coverage is behind paywalls, I found a reference on a legal discussion site. He also ditched his defense attorney(s) in 2015.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  5. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    Much as I hate to say it, but Scientology caused this?


    Scientology causes a lot of grief, but somehow I feel this is all on him.

    And I hate being on Scientology's side under any circumstances.
  6. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    AZ Central
    Arizona murder trial veers into the world of Scientology before jurors begin deliberation
    Richard Ruelas, Arizona Republic Published 6:00 a.m. MT Feb. 16, 2019 | Updated 7:51 a.m. MT Feb. 16, 2019

    PRESCOTT — Testimony in a capital double murder trial veered into the cosmos this week, with discussion of a warlord named Xenu, a story about the burial of souls in a volcano, thetans that live within human beings and other aspects of the Church of Scientology.
    A Canadian college professor testified for about 90 minutes about Scientology as part of the defense case being put on by attorneys for Kenneth Wayne Thompson, who faces two counts of first-degree murder and the possibility of being sentenced to death.
    Jurors were given the case late Friday after attorneys for both sides delivered closing arguments.
    The lesson on the history of Scientology was part of Thompson’s bid to escape the death penalty.

  7. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    Scientology CAN in my view cause temporary insanity, making people do crazy stuff.

    If the man fully believed Hubbard's words about psychiatrists this could have been a contributing factor in his actions.

    I'm not saying that he shouldn't be convicted of 1'st degree murder charges or shouldn't pay the price for what he did. I really don't enough about the case to have an opinion one way or the other. But becoming a true believing cult member can have extreme negative consequences. We've seen tragedies before and unfortunately will see them again in the future. Belief in crazy stuff can and does cause good people to do evil things.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019 at 5:18 PM
  8. The_Fixer

    The_Fixer Class Clown

    Normally I would agree with your comments. We all know scientology makes people do pretty strange things, as with any extreme cult.

    In this case though, it does seem like he's clutching at straws for a defence. I could be wrong, IDK.