Anatomy of Murder

A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.

No Way Out

No Way Out

Wed, 03 Mar 2021 08:00

A double homicide inside an auto dealership … just one part of a killing rampage. How investigators solved it, was completely unexpected.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © audiochuck

Read Episode Transcript

If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. I mean, he just reminded me of a beast when I was in the courtroom with him. A savage, huge animal getting ready to attack people given the chance. I wanted the jury to actually get a dose of what he was capable of. But he truly was a beast. I'm Scott Weinberger's, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Classie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction, and this is anatomy of murder. You know, we often talk about cases where the victims were murdered as part of a relationship that turned violent or murdered as a result of a dispute over money. But sometimes it just comes down to a coldness and a lack of any sort of respect for human life. And that's what I think we're talking about today. Shortly, you'll hear the voice of Larry cells, who's a veteran homicide prosecutor. And I've known Larry for years as a journalist. I've covered some of his cases. But I always wanted to focus on this case. It's a case he prosecuted and then when he retired he wrote a book about it. The title of the book should tell you a lot. It's the beast of Newcastle. And I've heard since I've written this book from people in Newcastle that have read it, but tell me that he truly was a beast. March 14th, 1991 in the South part of Indianapolis at the Hills Auto sales, and that's one of those smaller independent car dealerships which specializes in used cars. You've all seen these. Do you hear a lot? Bad things about used car salesman, used car dealers, or they wanted anything like that. They had a real close knit family operation. Everybody liked him. 2:30 in the afternoon, an employee walks into the sales office, stepping into a scene of a double murder. Boys when they arrived, they saw two men lying in their offices of the building had been brutally murdered. The owner of Hillis Auto sales was Melvin Hillis, and another employee, Robert Beeler, were shot execution style as they sat at their desks. It was a back small office that the two were killed in. Southern Hills was shot at least four times. The fatal bullet actually went through his neck and severed his spinal cord. And Robert dealers and shot twice while he was lying on the floor. He was shot when the bullets went through his neck in his brain, and Kelvin almost immediately. So one of the first thing police are looking for is, you know, why did this happen? Why are these two men lying here dead? And the first thing that jumped out is that it appeared to be a robbery. I mean, anything of value there seemed to have been taken. Even the pockets of the pants that these men were wearing were turned inside out. No money, no checks. The file cabinets in the office turned inside out, where it was apparent that somebody had been looking for perhaps more money. The two men had been in that back office at the time. They were working on the receipts for the day, so of course they had cash around. Of course the paperwork was there, but there was no money and no checks. Just the two men murdered. Shell casings were recovered from the scene and it seemed to indicate only one weapon was used and it happened so quickly from the evidence collected shell casings, imports. They determined if they were both shot with a 9 millimeter semi automatic, the back office as you mentioned, had two deaths. It was such a small office but they couldn't avoid being shot. There's no way they could go. So investigators determined that Melvin Hillis was first to be shot and then seconds later, Robert Beeler. He cannot find a way to safety before more shots rang out and Robert Behler tried to dive underneath his chair and he was shot underneath his desk. Who were these two men? Well, Melvin Hillis was 68 years old. He was the owner of Hillis Auto sales. He and his family owned that dealership for years. You know, we've all seen in the movies and the jokes that are said about the car salesman and the used car salesman, but these people show that that absolutely is not always the case. Some decent people, people that couldn't afford cars, came into their business. They were able to buy them. And they just went out of the way to be good business people and help people that needed help. Melvin Hillis was married. He was a grandfather, and he also had stepchildren. So it really was a pretty big family brood. So when you think about what was left behind, it wasn't just his life, but all those people left in the wake. And you didn't just have one victim, you had two. One of his employees, salesman Robert Beeler, was 47 years old. He was a vet who had served his country. He worked at Hillis Auto sales the last 11 years. He also was married. And they both have families as well, and their spouses and children were all close with one another. So when you start to think about these cases and these crimes, the victims reach far beyond the people who are taken. So clearly for investigators, this is their active crime scene. Two things to note is that this crime happened in broad daylight, and based on the way that there was evidence left behind, this didn't seem to be the work of a skilled assassin. I mean, there was Ballistics evidence left behind. The place was still in disarray. So now the police had to try to figure out who might have wanted these men dead. Or why they may have committed this crime. And they did recover a few 9 millimeter shell casings, and they did determine that only one weapon was likely used in this attack. And as we've said, it happened in quick succession. Hillis was shot and then Behler was shot. Then the suspect or suspects turned around and walked out. So at this point we need to determine what other evidence could be found, either within that office or outside, like potential witnesses. There were no prints or anything left from which forensic evidence could be established to help identify the person or people that did it. And there was nobody that saw anything. There were people that said they saw. You know one or two other men on the lot, but they couldn't identify anybody and so this case like most others. The next step is to do a canvas. Police look around to see if anyone may have been outside or driving by or in any position to see something and didn't take long before they got a pretty good tip. We learned later from somebody that was there, not too far from the scene that described a a brownish colored vehicle. That's all they could say. Now it's pretty vague, but yet a still a useful lead. I would rather have more information to pick apart than less. So any information that could be determined to be potentially connected with this double homicide is valuable until it's not. But ultimately that lead went nowhere. In fact it dried up quickly and after that every lead followed and did at a dead end. Rolling forcement lawsuits were pretty stymied. They just could not develop any solid leads. So what do investigators do, you know, when you have a homicide case that just really isn't going anywhere from so early on? I mean, you have to look at it from 2 angles. You have to assure the family that you're doing everything you can to find out who murdered their family members. And the second part of his continue to follow any evidence that you have, you know, the Ballistics and also it's 1991 and not many of these small auto dealerships had surveillance cameras. So we're striking out with that potential evidence that we would likely have. Today you have to follow the only evidence that you have, so it is super frustrating when you can't give the family answers and you can't learn more about the potential shooter or shooters. You can't pull something out of nothing. And something that I always have to remind families is that while the passage of time is difficult and tough, sometimes time can end up being an investigations friend and that is exactly what happened. It was a year later that police would get a call from a man who says he knew exactly what happened that day. He had a wild tale to tell. His name was Doug Percy. He said he knew who committed this double brutal murder. He knows because he was there. Fast forward one year to March 1992. An attorney called the precinct and said he has a client who knew something about the murders that occurred over at the auto dealership. His name was Doug Percy and he was known to police to be a low level criminal, not really involved in any violent crimes. And looking at a photo of Amanda Sega, it looks like not really. Which I've been assuming man at all. Now when I look at him, the first thing I wonder is, you know these people that said that they saw two people leaving the dealership and getting into the car. Remember that dead end that went nowhere? Well, could this guy have been one of the two people that was seen? There's attorney requested community for anything you had to say. Meaning nothing. He told them to be used against them and that's as long as he told the truth, the entire truth about what he knew. Bernie worked it out with the police and the local prosecutor, Doug Percy, sat down and he had quite a tale to tell. He said that he worked nearby at a Kroger bakery and he was on his way to work. He had his eye on a car that he had seen a black Buick Riviera on the lot there to help us auto lot. Or he was with a fellow by the name of Jerry Thompson, who he had met, who about a year and a half before, right after Jerry Thompson had gotten out of prison. Thompson was with their saying he drove him to that lot, and he wanted to go to Hillis auto sales that day to look at the. Start to test drive it to determine whether this was the car for him. Person looked over the car and then he went into the office there and he asked if he could have a key so the vehicle, because he wanted to look inside, he wanted to see how it ran and he did that and he came back in to the office and he's bickering with pillows about the price of the vehicle because it had a leaky valve cover gasket. Then Doug Percy told investigators that out of nowhere, Jerry Thompson just casually walked in behind him and he was physically a huge, menacing man, according to Percy's 6 foot five, about 300 plus pounds, and he was covered in tattoos pretty much all over his body. Jerry Thompson walks in there with his semi automatic 9 millimeter handgun and points it right at Melvin Hillis. He shoots Melvin Hills in the chest and Melvin Hills no. The shooter he claimed was Jerry Thompson. He shoots in again and that's a shot that went to his neck and the bull was found in the wall right behind where police had been sitting and dealer dies underneath the basket that time he shot and wants his lying there. Thompson walks right up to the to the desk, leaned under knees and puts a gun almost right at dealers neck and far as a bullet air. The first question had to be did Doug Percy know any of this was about to happen? And his answer throughout was no, he had no idea. Now, he did go on to admit that after Jerry Thompson had shot the two men that he being dug, Percy participated in the robbery that ensued. The two men went through the drawers of that small office. Now he says that he was forced by Thompson, yet he did admit that he was one of the two that actually took these actions. He said that he was forced by Thompson. You get into the drawers, they got into the pockets of Ellison dealer. Remember that Robert Beeler and Melvin Hillis that when they were found their pants pockets were turned inside out? Well now this goes with exactly what Doug Percy said when they took off and Thompson. No Cadillac. Now, honestly, do we know how rare it is to be sitting either in a prosecutor's office or in a police precinct and somebody walks in and wanting to confess that they took part in a murder, let alone a double murder? And while it's rare, it is interesting about the way this unfolded because it automatically involves immunity. And the question is, does that give their story more validity? What do you think? I think it actually gives it less right. Because if they're all of a sudden willing to spill the beans, if you will, about another person, but they want to make sure that nothing they say can be used against them, well, the first thing I'm asking is why, you know, what crime are they going to admit about themselves that now they're making sure that they can't be charged? And while we do as prosecutors make those deals, because sometimes you have to make the deal with the smaller fish or even one of two fish to get to the other, you really want to know the why, and that was all vetted by. Investigators and prosecutors, and they decided that in this case where they had absolutely nothing and the bealer and Hillis family had just sat there, that they were going to take their shot. However, Doug Percy would only get that immunity if he was telling the truth and if they could prove it. You know, I see this admission as sort of a road map for investigators because basically the job there is to corroborate it independently of what he's telling you. Does the evidence tell us that? Is there anything else that he's? Knows about the crime that has not been talked about in public, that only somebody who was there would actually know occurred. And that's exactly it, right. When you talk about corroboration, you think about the pockets. I mean, that's one of those perfect pieces that that's not appearing anywhere, that the pockets were turned inside out or at least presumably not. So that's one of the things that you're going to check the box. But the big question for me is the prosecutor is why, why is this guy walking in off the street a year later to basically give up a guy who they found? Very quickly, who dug? Percy had known for a long time and give evidence against him in a murder. And so then you look right away at their relationship and these two guys, they were pretty much just, you know, a crime duo. They were involved in some illegal activities. Pumps and his girlfriend were staying with piracy at Percy's home with his wife and his three daughters. When you look at the two, their physical differences is pretty striking. It's almost like the linebacker and the kicking. I think it was more like a linebacker and a waterboy. Jerry Thompson was this guy. 6 foot five, 300 pounds. Well, you look at Doug Percy. He was 5/8 and you know, maybe 16170 if dripping wet if it could not have been a bigger difference. Between the presence of these two men, but right away, the police, they want every single detail that Doug Percy is able to provide, because then they have to look beyond his words and see if there is proof that what he's saying is true. Let's start with the gun. While Doug Percy's description of events does match up to the forensic evidence located at the scene of the murder, it's what Doug Percy offered up next that would really send this investigation into high gear, he said. The weapon was taken from us in June of 1991. We were in Illinois and got stopped by an analyst state trooper, and the trooper found that gun and another one inside this van that they were driving. So it had been seized by law enforcement and they were charged over in Illinois with some minor offenses and allowed to leave. Well, he told them that that gun was there. State police were just getting ready to destroy that. Because it had access to. You know what I take? I'm sure a lot of people are questioning in their mind. Why would police destroy a weapon that was recovered during an arrest? Something like that actually happens all the time, and here's why. Just think about all the crimes that are committed, or at least evidence or potential evidence being seized that ultimately either goes nowhere or more importantly, that the case is closed. So what are they going to do with the gun is just sit there? No, you can't put it back out on the street, obviously. So very often they do these. Evidence burns. They destroy evidence. They literally get rid of things that have no potential use, especially with contraband, whether it is drugs or weapons, all the type of things that can cause really no good. If they make it back onto the street, they are routinely destroyed after it is determined that they are of no way further use. Now here we can see why that may have been a very big mistake, but as far as police knew, that gun was leading back to nowhere. It was just pulled out of a car. During a car stop. But let's make note of one thing when that happened was three months after Melvin Hillis and Robert Beeler were murdered. And once that weapon was back in police possession of the Indy detectives, the 9 millimeter handgun was sent to the lab for comparison. And you know, I get asked this a lot about bullet and forensic evidence and how it's determined whether there's a match. So let me just quickly kind of go through how that occurs, in case you're interested. No. When a semi automatic weapon is fired, a small hammer slams into a firing pin that strikes right at the back of the bullet. Now that ignites gunpowder that propels that bullet down the barrel. Now the recoil of that shot forces the casing out of the gun. It ejects it out the side if it's a semi automatic weapon. Each gun leaves a unique etch on that casing it expels. That mark becomes that firearms fingerprint. So since this was 1991, they did it the old fashioned way, comparing the markings using photographs. They were able to match up the weapon found in Illinois with the shell casings found at the crime scene in Indiana. That weapon was a match. They got the gun brought back to Indianapolis, in Marion County crime unit, and discovered that, in fact, it was gun that killed Hillis, the dealer. So now they have a witness and they have a murder weapon. But the bigger question for me is, is this a strong case or do they need more? Clearly, having Doug Percy's story confirmed with this new forensic evidence really helps this case. So now it is a circumstantial case. Now turning into a forensic case in my mind. But what else do you got? Because I can already hear the defense saying. So they gave immunity to this guy who lays it all out, who's there, who basically admits he's there for all of it. How do we know that it's Jerry Thompson instead of Doug Percy that pulled the trigger? But Doug? Mercy wasn't done because then he went on to tell the police that he wanted to let them know how it was that Jerry Thompson got that gun and that tale beyond the gun involves more murder. So police already believe that Doug Percy is a pretty credible witness because his information has been solid so far. But he's about to tell them about another case that involves the very same weapon. Person told them that they've got that gun on Valentine's Day, March 14th, 1991, just a month before it. Also dealer arrived and killed, low level don't dealer and New Castle IN. So they went over there to see Wesley Crank. Now Wesley Crandall, he's a low level marijuana dealer. He was about five, 10130 pounds. He's someone that Jerry Thompson had known for a long time and had actually been to his house multiple times before to buy marijuana. So going over to his house that day, that was pretty status quo. He enjoyed taking a sawed off shotgun with him over to buy some marijuana. Yes, Thompson. Why they need that shotgun and is that Thompson told him just for protection, because you never know when they got over there or in the process of purchasing marijuana. All of a sudden the conson punches Grandal, knocks into the floor, stomps on his neck and broke his neck. Person said it sounded like somebody smashing a pumpkin. And that after he's done with Wesley Crandall, that then Jerry Thompson starts searching for Crandall's guns. He starts looking everywhere. He knows that they're there and he takes multiple guns. They took the shotgun, put a pillow over channel head, nearly blew his head off with that 12 gate, sawed off shotgun that they brought. And then they got into the refrigerator because they knew that's where I don't kept his dope and got all those marijuana collected all almost all of the guns. Cook some money and high tell it back to Indianapolis. Law enforcement had no idea either Thompson or Percy were involved in that robbery and murder of Crandall on Valentine's Day in 1991 in Newcastle. You know, and say here, if we're taking Doug Percy's word as face value, 3 homicides in one month, is he technically a serial killer? When I think serial killer automatically, I always go to those with the depraved mind that they look for a particular type of victim. There's very often a some sort of a sexual satisfaction component or something deep hatred of a particular type of person. But, you know, according to the FBI and I was looking this up recently, when they look at a serial killer, it's basically three or more separate events. Three or more separate locations, and there's a cooling off. And emotional cooling off. Where the killer kind of takes a break, if you will, to set themselves up psychologically for the next kill. So here, while we have three, we have a multiple murderer, but we don't have a serial killer, at least not yet. So by the time police are sitting down with Doug Percy, it's a year after the car dealership murders and 14 months after the shotgun murder of Wesley Crandall. But there's something those investigators didn't realize at the moment, something that is unbelievable. The thing about this murder that Doug Percies now talking about is that, according to police and prosecutors, that case had already been solved. Two other men have been convicted of it. They were entertainment. And the case against these two guys, the type of evidence that the police had, it involved a confession from not one, but both. So right away you have to say, well, if Doug Percy's to be believed, that those confessions at the very least were false. Scott, let's just step back for a second. Because just hearing that you have this guy Duck Percy, who is giving information, not just that he knows that Jerry Thompson committed this crime, but that he knows because he was with him. And so far, everything he's saying is bearing out. So then you have to look about, well, wait a second, there's another two guys that are already in jail, and on top of that, they've confessed. And so if Percy's credible, it means that you have two men who were wrongfully convicted. And let's just talk about the steps that just to investigate that. What happens next? Well, independently you have to confirm stories that were used to convict these two men in Newcastle and still try to work on Doug Percy story to confirm the details within that, just like in the case at the auto dealership, does this information pan out to the evidence that was collected? Is it credible not just because he's saying it, but is it credible backed up by evidence? When they really dug into dug Percy's statement, he knew not only just every nook and cranny of the layout of Wesley Crandall's apartment where they had been, but he talked about things happening and where potential evidence would have been left behind and that investigators knew was on the money. And they also found out that Crandall had purchased that 9 millimeter Stallard that was used from a gun dealer, and so everything told them that Doug Percy was telling the truth. Nothing to do with it. Barely knew one another, then course confessing to a crime that they didn't even commit, and they enter county prosecutor's office. They were convinced they had the right men until they were told what the investigation and Indianapolis had shown. There wasn't too long after that that the two men that were imprisoned or released. The fact that new evidence made it crystal clear that case investigators obtained false confessions is a stain on law enforcement. Fortunately, it's a rare occurrence, but it is inexcusable nevertheless. Both defendants in this case would sue, and they would both win big against the city, but neither would ever have a chance to have a better life as they both died a short time later of natural causes. After the convictions were set aside, I actually was involved in the case at the time that was involved in prosecuting around 70 murder trials. This is the first one I've ever had where they learned that somebody else had been at the crime of and the person that had confessed and was convicted. I mean, I I've never heard about it happening. You know, there's this saying that, you know, multiple guilty should go free before 1 innocent is convicted of a crime they did not commit. And that absolutely holds true. And by and large, every prosecutor and every member of law enforcement lives by that code because we want to get it right. But here, they got it very wrong. But luckily, and I will say this, you know, whatever I think about Doug Percy and whatever roles he played in this case, he helped free two people that were in jail. Yet innocent of those crimes? And you know, everything that we're hearing about all the information that Doug Percy's giving. I'm just sitting there. And the thing that I want to know if I'm sitting in that room with him is why. Why? Why? Because if you don't know his motive in saying it, well, then all the rest is quickly going to fall apart. Doug Percy tells a tale of what Jerry Thompson and always said to him. No witnesses, no problem. That's what Jerry Thompson wanted Doug Percy to realize, is that he was a witness to Jerry Thompson's own actions. And if he didn't stay on the straight and narrow, he could meet the same fate. And he told Pearson said, I'm gonna show you what I'll do to you if you ever decide to tell, first of all, you're involved in this stuff. We picked up the rear axle of a truck. A true like a spear that pierces persons is barely got out of the way. In February of 1992, the two men were arrested for a car theft and Percy was able to bail out, but Thompson could not because at the time of the arrest he was currently on parole. I kept cold person, they told person the person that I keep his mouth shut and he's going to reach out and touch him and reach out and touch his family and his daughter came to him, his youngest daughter and told him once Thompson was locked up about how Thompson. And then the last thing. And that to me, when I hear that that is the only straw that he says that his daughter was molested repeatedly by Jerry Thompson. And so now he knows that Thompson's in jail in a place that he can't hurt him. What is he ever going to do to Jerry Thompson if he gets out based on his own fear of this guy? So it is that repeated sexual assault that was his motivator to really kind of give him the courage to go in there and talk to law enforcement. I mean, I am not naive enough to think that Doug Percy would have done this on his own out of the goodness of his heart. I think it was that motivator for what happened to his daughter on top of the fear factor of Jerry Thompson that let him walk in and talk to police and let me step back for one second just to throw this in and Sega is Doug Percy is obviously so crushed by what his daughter had told him. Is it possible that all of these tales is a way to get back at Jerry Thompson 100%? It works both ways, and if I'm the defense attorney, that's exactly where I'm going. So the police. You really need to dig into everything he says to see if it's true. Because he's talking about these crimes not only because he says that Jerry Thompson told him about them, but that he was there. So that's exactly it, Scott. So is it that he now has the motivation to tell the truth or that he now has the motivation to set Jerry Thompson up? You know, and he wasn't done there. He had another murder tale to tell, this one involved not one, but another. Two people that Percy claimed Thompson killed this time a woman and a man, Alan White who was 38 years old and Kathy Boggs who was only 28. And this murder happened on September 4th of 1991. Now Thompson was a bouncer at a bar and Alan and Kathy had confronted him because he owed them money, but when confronted, Thompson now turned it around on them. Anyone killed them and then they were sitting in the car in the garage. So the question is, was Thompson either talked to by police? And was he charged? And he was he was questioned by police. You know, everyone knew that they'd not only been in the bar at the same time, but that they could link Thompson to them because he'd been a bouncer at that bar. But even though he was questioned, they never had enough to actually tie him to the crime. They never had enough evidence. So that case technically remained unsolved. So we have five separate homicides. Whether anyone wants to talk about him being a serial killer, I'm thinking it's pure evil. 5 homicides all uncovered. By the testimony of Douglas Percy. And you know, if I'm using the FBI criteria for the serial killer, it fits, right? You have three different locations, more than three victims. There is a cooling off. Although I don't know if it comes to Jerry Thompson, if there's anything all that emotional about any of them, but it kind of fits. But for me, in my head as a homicide prosecutor, he fits into where I would just call a multiple murderer. That's nothing you're going to necessarily find in a textbook, but it's just kind of my own little the way that I would look at someone like this who just seemed out of just a pure coldness commit these crimes. But now the question is. What is the strategy for this type of a case? Because all this evidence is great, but not if you can't bring it into a courtroom and hopefully have them held accountable for all this carnage. A person indicated Jerry Thompson's modus operandi was he said, I'm the other going back to prison. The way I'm gonna handle this is I'm going to take these people out. No witnesses? No problem. So let's go back to where the story started, and that is with the homicide of Melvin Hillis and Robert Beeler. Prosecutors took Jerry Thompson to trial for those crimes. Good to file the death penalty this Jerry Thompson. And whether you are for this as a punishment or against it, everyone can understand that. That brings a whole another confluence of evidence and considerations. And this is about as big of a case as a case can get. We knew that he had committed at least 5 murders in a six month period and nothing about trying Jerry Thompson was easy. Even just his physical appearance had to be accounted for because he had tattoos from his neck to his toes, including quite a few that were white supremacists in nature and there was no way that the jury can see that. Remember, a jury is not supposed to consider anything other than the evidence for that particular crime. So in this case Doug Percy admitted. Witnessing Jerry Thompson killed Melvin Hillis, Robert Beeler his reason to go to police is to stop him from killing more. You know, the defense went hard at Doug Percy as they should have and they basically said, no, no, this wasn't Thompson, this is really Percy and somebody else. Ladies and gentlemen, because we found that this man was lying, that he didn't tell us the entire truth and we could jerk that immunity agreement that he was given, charge him with the murders and go after the death penalty for him. I said, well, look at this man. Does he look like this meek little guy, look like the type of person that would spearhead of violent crimes like this. Compare him to the the guy sitting over there and this at the defense. Who do you think was the controlling person and what occurred? Percy's credibility was critical to the state's case. His testimony was an essential element in the chain of evidence pointing to Thompson, as the killer had also placed Percy himself at each of these crime scenes. More by not saying something sooner on waiting a year to say anything, Tillison bealer his countered has caused their deaths. He might be a coward, but you've heard his testimony and you know he's been challenged on it and make that found no evidence of him getting inconsistent statements. While you may have your own ideas about Doug Percy getting immunity. It doesn't impact all the proof, the evidence against Jerry Thompson. And so while you may think that Doug Percy should have been held accountable for his own part, at least in the aftermath of these crimes, all the evidence, they only pointed at one person as the actual killer, and that was Jerry Thompson. Warrior made a big mistake when his questioning personage tried to find out why they're saying these things about Jerry toss. You were there too. Or why should we believe you over him? Why are you doing this? They're causing the loss of my daughter and that's shut up. Here's the thing about that prosecutors would normally never be able to get that out in front of a jury. You can't ask Percy why it was that he came in to have him say that it's because Thompson had molested his daughter, right? That's incredibly prejudicial. It's uncharged, certainly unproven at that point in a court of law. The jury in that case had to decide whether Thompson was guilty of the murders and the other crimes charge based only on that. But since the defense brought up on cross examination, or at least elicited that during their own questioning, well, it went in front of the jury and I'm sure there was an instruction. The judge that they couldn't consider it, you know, it certainly didn't help. The verdict in this case was guilty, but if you remember this case was going to be a death penalty case and that isn't something that they just decide right after a verdict of guilt or non guilt. Now there is a second phase, it's almost another mini trial if you will, that now they're going to have to make another decision of what the penalty should be. So for Larry sells, part of the strategy is for the jury to understand what a violent man they were seeing sitting across from them. Early actually always get a dose of what he was capable of. I want to see him erupt in an act of violence, and Larry sells is not the kind of prosecutor to ever hold back. In an attempt to avoid a potential death sentence, the defense put Jerry Thompson's mother on the stand to appeal for mercy jurors and the entire courtroom would get a chance to see the rage of Jerry Thompson first hand. She had her kids and she testified to this go in the grocery stores to steal food so they can eat because the husband didn't provide for or. It was a pretty sad story and I was watching, the jurors said. All your kids and your older kids went through the same treatment. They were treated the same way. You said yes, because I know. How many people did they kill? Exploded out of his chair and over like this shot from a damn rocket. And yelled at the top of his lungs. Stop this. Stop this right now. I won't have my mother up there begging for my life, for something I didn't even do. And what's up with the judge? I couldn't see **** died underneath the bench, which I with the jurors. They almost broke the backs of their chairs trying to get away from this guy. Now what's over him? And by that time, he was looking at me too, on this melda words. Thank you. Seeing the blow up from Jerry Thompson, I can only imagine that it had to somewhere fit into the jurors determination. Remember, they've already decided that he's guilty of the crimes. Now they have to decide if they're willing to sentence him to death. And this is not the forum for us to debate what we think about the death penalty or not. But it was for that jury. And they had to make that decision. And each one of them made the decision that they were going to sentence Jerry Thompson to death. Let's not leave the courtroom or a legal proceeding without even talking about the responsibility here of Doug Percy. As important as it is to have one potential Co defendant flip on another, obviously that other person is the shooter. I personally have never been comfortable with full immunity. Especially in cases where the person doesn't come forward right away and knowing how dangerous Jerry Thompson was and knowing it had already killed 5 people, that still puts in my mind some reason for some other responsibility for either law enforcement or the courts to find a different resolve than Doug Percy just walking away. President to Monday morning quarterback. And I'm not saying that you're doing it all, Scott, but when I'm thinking about it myself, unless you're really in it, you don't know what they could have done without him or if he would have cooperated at all. But for that full immunity. And just think for a moment if Doug Percy had not cooperated. In this case Jerry Thompson. There was no case against Jerry Thompson without Doug Percy. And it's one of those things that absolutely, I get it. Because of course I think this guy, he admitted to being at least. Part and parcel of the robbery aftermath in all these cases. But I always have told the jurors, you know, if you don't like a deal, be angry at me, the prosecutor, because I'm the one that made that deal. But don't take it out on the case itself, because this case is about a crime that was committed and whether their evidence can prove that the person or people sitting in that chair if the evidence points to that person's guilt. Flashing forward, Jerry Thompson was sentenced to death, but he didn't ultimately die the way you might imagine. Only on death row is allowed to be escorted from their cells and go to recreation area or two years after Jerry Townson what the death row, he was jumped by 5 fellow death row inmates and stabbed 25 times and killed. I didn't care much for them either. Much of this case relied on us talking about Jerry Thompson and all the victims that he left in his wake. But like always, I think we have to come back around to who those victims were. Two men, fathers, grandfathers. You had another man who was just at home when he was robbed and his life taken. And then you have the two men that sat in jail, convicted of that crime they never committed. And also the young couple, two more people murdered. And that, to me, is the biggest horror of Jerry Thompson. There's different types of killers that kill for different reasons. But clearly Jerry Thompson held no value for human life. TuneIn next Wednesday, when we'll dissect another new case on anatomy of murder. Enemy of Murder is an audio Chuck original, A Weinberger media and forseti media production summit. David is executive producer.