william thompson
william thompson

William Thompson was sentenced to death by the State of Kentucky for the murder of a prison guard. According to court documents William Thompson was serving a life sentence for a contract killing at Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County on March 18, 1998 when he would strike Correctional Guard Fred Cash repeatedly with a hammer causing his death. William Thompson would be convicted and sentenced to death.

Kentucky Death Row Inmate List

William Thompson 2021 Information

Active Inmate

PID # / DOC #:211826 / 091746
Institution Start Date:1/23/1984
Expected Time To Serve (TTS):DEATH SENTENCE
Minimum Expiration of Sentence Date (Good Time Release Date): ?DEATH SENTENCE
Parole Eligibility Date:DEATH SENTENCE
Maximum Expiration of Sentence Date:DEATH SENTENCE
Location:Kentucky State Penitentiary
Eye Color:Green
Hair Color:Brown
Height:5′ 10″

William Thompson More News

Thompson was sentenced to death on March 18, 1998 in Graves County. Thompson entered a plea of guilty on January 12, 1995, to the following charges: capital murder, robbery in the 1st degree, and escape in the 1st degree, which occurred on May 9, 1986. Thompson, of Pike County, Kentucky, was sentenced to life for the 1986 murder of Correctional Officer Fred Cash at the Western Kentucky Farm Center in Graves County on March 18, 1998. Thompson was currently serving a life sentence at the Western Kentucky Farm Center for the offense of willful murder for hire in Pike County. While working with an inmate crew at the dairy, Thompson struck Correction Officer Fred Cash repeatedly in the head with a hammer, dragged the body into a barn stall, and fled n the prison farm van. Police arrested Thompson in a bus station on his way to Indiana. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death in October 1986 in Lyon County, but seven years later the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction and ordered a new trial. Thompson also won a change of venue from Lyon County to Graves County.

William Thompson Other News

In 1986, Thompson, having served 12 years of a life sentence for an unrelated murder for hire, killed his prison-farm supervisor, stole his possessions, and fled. Thompson was captured and convicted of murder, robbery, and escape. Thompson was granted a retrial on direct appeal, then pleaded guilty to all three counts to avoid jury sentencing. A state court held that Commonwealth was entitled to jury sentencing despite the plea agreement. The jury returned a death-penalty verdict. In state post-conviction proceedings, Thompson succeeded on his claim that the trial court had failed to hold a mandatory competency hearing but was unsuccessful on his other claims for relief. After the trial court held the required competency hearing and found that Thompson had been competent to plead guilty, the Kentucky Supreme Court affirmed Thompson’s convictions and sentences. The Sixth Circuit affirmed denial of Thompson’s federal habeas corpus petition raising claims that the jury improperly considered extraneous evidence when it discussed a news account about another violent criminal who had committed a murder after earning parole at age 70; that jury instructions violated the Supreme Court’s 1988 holding, Mills v. Maryland, because they stated that the “verdict” had to be returned unanimously but did not expressly state that unanimity was not required for a juror to find a mitigating factor; and the Kentucky Supreme Court did not adequately conduct a comparative-proportionality review in assessing whether Thompson’s death sentence was excessive or disproportionate.


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