billy thessing arkansas death row

Billy Thessing was sentenced to death by the State of Arkansas for the murder of an elderly woman. According to court documents the victim, sixty seven year old Mattie Basinger, was found dead in her home. The woman had been stabbed multiple times. One of Billy Thessing friends would go to the police and tell them of Thessing involvement. Billy Thessing would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.

Arkansas Death Row Inmate List

Billy Thessing 2021 Information

ADC Number 000964

Name: Thessing, Billy


Height 69 inches Weight 180 lbs.

Birth Date 09/11/1968

Initial Receipt Date 09/20/2001

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Billy Thessing More News

On February 17, 2003, Susan Basinger Sweet went to the home of her mother, Mattie Basinger, a sixty-seven year old cancer survivor.   She discovered that Ms. Basinger’s car was not there.   She sent her son, Jeremiah, into the home first, but Susan and her children entered subsequently and found Ms. Basinger dead.   They immediately went outside and called the Little Rock Police Department.

Takeisha Gilbert, a patrol officer for the department, was the first police officer to arrive at the scene.   She observed blood throughout the house and found Ms. Basinger’s body in the bedroom.   The autopsy later revealed that Ms. Basinger had a total of six stab and cutting wounds on multiple parts of her body.   She also received blunt force wounds to her head.

Two of the stab wounds were in her cheek region, which caused bleeding inside her mouth.   The bleeding in her mouth caused her to aspirate blood into her trachea that subsequently went into her lungs.   The medical examiner testified at trial that Ms. Basinger was alive when she received all these injuries.   He concluded Ms. Basinger was alive and breathing in her own blood for ten to fifteen minutes before a blunt force trauma to her head caused her death.

On February 17, 2003, Pam McNew went to the Benton Police Department to talk to police officers after seeing a news report on television about Ms. Basinger’s murder.   She testified at trial that Thessing, a friend since childhood, came to her house late on the evening of February 11, 2003.   She saw him in her yard when she returned from the store.   He was burning trash in her front yard.   They both went into her house, and he told her that he had killed someone earlier that evening.   He then went back outside and brought in some groceries, a television set, vitamins, unfilled prescription slips, and a large Bible.   Ms. McNew also told the authorities that the car he drove to her house was the car that belonged to Ms. Basinger.   She later found Ms. Basinger’s wheelchair in her shed.   Police officers also found silverware and credit cards on the premises which were taken from Ms. Basinger.

Ms. McNew further stated that Billy Thessing had tried to convince her fiancé, who was also at her house, to go with him to burn down Ms. Basinger’s home so he could try to make the murder look like an accident.   At the ensuing trial, Ms. McNew testified that she, Thessing, and her fiancé used crack cocaine together that night.   Although Ms. McNew did not believe Thessing at first, she later ordered him to leave her house, because she had a child and because she did not want to get in trouble herself.   She stated that Thessing left in Ms. Basinger’s car.   The police officers came and recovered all the things Thessing had left at her home.   Ms. McNew received a $400 reward for going to the police.

Also on February 17, 2003, Thessing wrecked Ms. Basinger’s car and was arrested by a Benton police officer for public intoxication.   Inside Ms. Basinger’s car, police officers found a pair of boots with Ms. Basinger’s blood on them.   Additionally, police investigators found Thessing’s fingerprints in Ms. Basinger’s home.

On April 16, 2003, the prosecuting attorney filed a four-count information against Billy Thessing, charging him with capital murder, residential burglary, and theft by receiving property valued in excess of $2500.00.   The information further charged Thessing with misdemeanor theft by receiving property valued at less than $500.00.   The information added that Thessing was a habitual offender with four or more prior felony convictions.

Before trial, Billy Thessing moved for an order that he was incompetent to stand trial.   He was later judged competent to stand trial at a pretrial hearing.   He was tried and convicted of all four charges against him.   He was sentenced to death for the capital murder charge.

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