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Guilty verdict

Chad Thompson could spend the rest of his life in jail after he was convicted Thursday for the brutal murder of his cousin, who was beaten to death with a hammer before his body was dumped in the Collins River.
Thompson, 34, was found guilty on charges of first-degree murder and facilitation of aggravated robbery for the November 2011 killing of his cousin, Tracy Martin, 38. The conviction brings an automatic sentence of life in prison, a sentence which will officially be imposed at 1 p.m., April 10 by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley.
In the meantime, Thompson will remain held without bond at Warren County Jail where he has been an inmate since his arrest for the murder last February.
Maintaining his innocence to the end, Thompson predicted he would not be convicted following the first day of his two-day trial.
“They don’t have anything,” Thompson said during a short conversation with the Southern Standard. “I told you I didn’t do it.”
In an interview with the Standard before his arrest, Thompson said was being followed and harassed by officers and was being blamed for a crime he did not commit. However, during trial officers said it was the other way around as Thompson seemed too interested in their investigation to be a casual bystander.
“He was always lurking in the shadows,” said sheriff’s chief investigator Marc Martin, who felt he and other officers were being stalked by the suspect while they were pursuing leads in the homicide. “He would call and try to milk me for information.”
Investigator Steven Carpenter said Thompson was shadowing him when he went to speak to a member of the suspect’s family concerning the case. In that instance, Carpenter said when Thompson realized he had been spotted he fled, prompting a chase. He was caught behind Arms Apartments.
“I asked him why he ran,” Carpenter said. “He told me he thought we were there to get him.”
At other times, investigator Bo Ramsey said Thompson would “keep showing up” when he was working on the case. In one instance, when he was talking to Thompson’s mother, the suspect came in and started yelling at him.
“He was irate that I was talking to his mother,” said Ramsey, noting Thompson then stood over him trying to look at his notes before he was ushered out of the apartment.
Thompson’s conviction came following four hours of deliberation by the nine-man, three-woman jury that heard two days of testimony. The defense decided not to present any witnesses with Thompson opting not to testify in his own behalf.

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