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Published: Tuesday, 6/3/2008

Jurors selected for murder trial in Toledo triple slayings

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Stoney Thompson leaves the courtroom. He and his brother are charged in the Ohio Street slayings. Stoney Thompson leaves the courtroom. He and his brother are charged in the Ohio Street slayings.
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When police arrived at 410 Ohio St. on Oct. 24, 2006, they discovered a "horror scene," an assistant Lucas County prosecutor said yesterday - one where trails of blood led from one body to another.

One of the men charged with three counts of aggravated murder, each with gun specifications, in the deaths of the three men found inside the home faced a jury yesterday for the first time.

The trial of Stoney Thompson, 28, began in Lucas County Common Pleas Court with jury selection and opening statements.

The trial for his brother, Goldy Thompson, 30, in the case is scheduled for July 7.

If convicted, the men face up to life in prison.

County Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Santoro told the panel of eight men and six women that police arrived at the home just after 4 a.m.

The only way in and out of the home was through a door at the back of the house.

The rest of the house - including doors and windows - was boarded up, he said.

"Witnesses with and without criminal records consistently led to Stoney Thompson," Mr. Santoro said.

Killed were Kenneth Nicholson, 41; his brother-in-law, Todd Archambeau, 44, and Michael York, 44.

Mr. Santoro said Nicholson was found in the kitchen and died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Archambeau and York were found in an upstairs bedroom. Archambeau had blunt-force trauma to his head, bullets in his face and back, and a gash across his neck. York died of a "gaping five-inch wound" that resulted in partial decapitation.

Attorney Drew Griffith, who represents Thompson, agreed that police encountered a gruesome crime scene, but said the evidence and testimony from two witnesses will prove police focused on the wrong men.

Mr. Griffith told jurors two witnesses will testify that they saw two men leaving the house shortly after hearing gunfire. The descriptions they gave to police, he added, were of a white man with wavy blond hair and of a black man.

"Two individuals with the best opportunity to see who the assailants were gave remarkably similar descriptions," Mr. Griffith said.

He added that one of those eyewitnesses believed she knew who the black man was - and it was not Stoney Thompson.

As part of his opening statement, Mr. Santoro said jurors would hear testimony that bloody footprints found at the scene were consistent with the tennis shoes that Stoney Thompson was wearing and the boots Goldy Thompson later wore to work as a temporary employee of the City of Toledo.

Mr. Santoro also spoke of several witnesses who would testify that Stoney Thompson admitted to them he was responsible for the killings.

Mr. Griffith countered that those witnesses would be a part of a "parade of convicted felons" who pointed the finger at Stoney Thompson because they were "seeking to better their own situations."

The trial will resume today before Judge Ruth Ann Franks.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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