Liquor store owner, worker accused of murderApril 13, 2010
DYER | Burdened by thousands of dollars in recent gambling debts, the 61-year-old owner of a south suburban liquor store enlisted the help of an employee Friday to kill his wife in their Dyer home and make it look like a burglary, prosecutors alleged Monday.
Douglas A. Thompson, 61, of 632 Hillside Drive, and his employee Reginald Coleman, 56, of 1945 Hart St. in Dyer, were charged in the death of 62-year-old Beverly Thompson. Her daughter found Thompson dead about 6 p.m. Friday in the Hillside Drive home.
Douglas Thompson, who owns Torrence Discount Liquor and Deli in Lynwood, lost more than $62,000 at Majestic Star Casino in Gary between March 10 and Wednesday, and the investigation revealed his business is failing financially, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday. The daughter told police her parents lived together but argued a lot.
Police found Beverly Thompson on an upper level landing of the home in a pool of blood, with a large wound to the back of her head. Investigators said dresser drawers and closet doors were opened, but it appeared as though nothing inside was disturbed. Kitchen drawers were pulled out, but a purse and bank bag with more then $1,100 also were left untouched, according to the affidavit.
The Thompsons own the home where Coleman lives. There, police said they found bloody jeans that are the same brand, waist size and inseam as Thompson's while executing a search warrant Saturday. The jeans were at the bottom of a yard waste bag, along with socks and a shirt, investigators said. Several pieces of Beverly Thompson's jewelry were found hidden within a heating and cooling unit in a pickup truck at the Hart Street property, according to the affidavit.
Inside Coleman's residence, a T-shirt hung over a shower rod, a pair of tan pants were inside the washing machine and a pair of tan work boots in the living room were stained and smelled strongly of bleach, investigators said. When police removed the pants from the washing machine, Coleman started to get chest pains and was taken to the hospital, where he was medically cleared, the affidavit states.
Surveillance footage from a neighbor's house shows Thompson arrived home at 3:20 p.m. Friday and his wife arrived home about 25 minutes later, police said. At 4:32 p.m. Douglas Thompson was seen driving away from the residence, according the affidavit.
The daughter told police she last spoke to her mother by cell phone about 3:30 p.m.
The Lake County coroner's office said Beverly Thompson died of blunt force trauma to the head. The cause of death was ruled a homicide.
The couple had been married more than 40 years.