Prosecution plays Stephen Thompson interviews of Joplin murder

Trial continues for Stephen Thompson in a 2015 Joplin murder case
Trial continues for Stephen Thompson in a 2015 Joplin murder case

JOPLIN, Mo. – A jury continues to hear arguments in a 2015 Joplin murder case against Stephen Thompson. The prosecution says he shot and killed Carissa Gerard and critically injured Kristina Thompson, his estranged wife. At the time of the crime, Gerard and Kristina were in a relationship.

According to court documents, the prosecutor’s office charged Stephen Randell Thompson with first-degree murder, first-degree domestic assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Trial Day 2 of Stephen Thompson

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021, is day two of the trial. KOAM’s Ty Parks is in the courtroom. The defense is arguing for second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder.

Kristina Dines (formerly Thompson) took the stand this morning, reliving the day. KOAM spoke with her in 2017. You can read her story here: Special Report: A Survivor’s Story.

The defense filed a motion to restrict statements made by Thomspon during a previous court appearance on September 5th, 2019. During that previous trial, he stated that he sat out to do what he sat out to do – to execute those girls. According to the defense today, those statements showed his emotional state years later, not his emotional state the night of the crime.

The court allowed Thompson’s statements into the trial.

Prosecutors called Justin Barnett to the stand to testify. At the time of the crime, he was a detective with the Joplin Police Department. He interviewed Thompson a few hours after the crime. During his time on the stand, Barnett showed the jury how a single shotgun was used.

The defense cross-examined Barnett, looking at the interviews he had with Thompson following the shooting.

According to KOAM’s Ty Parks, Kristina was in the courtroom and there were lots of tears when attorneys played the interviews involving Thompson and Detective Barnett. One of the interviews was at the police department, one was during a walk-through at the crime scene, and statements from a previous court appearance were also played.

Thompson spoke to the detective about events the day before and after the crime. Barnett also answered the defense’s questions concerning Thompson’s demeanor during the interview. Barnett says he was calm and his demeanor only changed when he was talking about his son.

Kristina and Stephen had a son together. In March of 2015, the couple’s one-year-old son was taken from the home because of suspicions the parents were using meth in the home. Kristina’s older son, Tyler, also lived at the home. He was there the day of the crime. Stephen was his stepfather.

During the interview at the crime scene between Detective Barnett and Thompson, Thompson said he would rather his son go into foster care.

Parks says Thompson has not looked back at anyone watching the trial. He laughs and jokes with his defense team during breaks.

The State continued playing statements made by Thompson. On September 5, 2019, Thompson made a statement that he did what he did, he has no remorse, and that he would do it again.

The State then rested.

Day three of the trial will begin tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Trial Day 1 of Stephen Thompson

Representing the State is Theresa Kenney, Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney, and by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Kimberly Fisher and Michael Schafer.

Thompson appeared in the custody of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and with attorneys Thomas Jacquinot, Pat Berrigan, and Devon Passley.

Prosecutors announced that it was withdrawing its request for the death penalty. Around 10:03 a.m., a jury of 12 and two alternates was seated and sworn in. The court read them their opening instructions.

The State and Defense gave their opening statements.

The rest of day one consisted of the state presenting evidence against Thompson.

The Crime

On June 10th, 2015, Joplin police responded to 4215 W. 26th Place. They found Carissa Gerard dead and Kristina Thompson critically injured, both from gunshot wounds. Police arrested Stephen at the home.

According to court documents, Thompson drove more than 96 miles to get a twelve-gage shotgun. Authorities say he traveled directly to Grove, Oklahoma and bought ammunition for his gun. They allege he then went directly to 4215 W. 26th Place where he saw Carissa Gerard and shot her.

While at the home, court documents say Stephen Thompson then shot his estranged wife, Kristina Thompson, numerous times while she was fleeing from him. Emergency personnel took her to the hospital in critical condition. She survived her wounds.

Documents listed the Thompsons and Gerard all three living at that address at the time of the crime. In 2015, authorities told KOAM and FOX 14 that they believed the incident was the result of an estranged relationship between husband and wife.

Stephen Thompson’s Criminal History

Authorities say Stephen Thompson has a history of criminal violence. Records show he had served prison time for writing bad checks and was on parole after 2006. Authorities have investigated multiple reports of violence in the home, including a case in 2013 when Stephen Thompson allegedly choked his wife and stabbed her half-brother.

Previous Articles on Stephen Thompson

Missouri crime updates can be found at https://www.courts.mo.gov/.