Murder Conviction Based on Impossible Prosecution Theory - The Timothy Thompson Story

By Timothy Thompson

Edited by Clara Boggs, JD Editor-in-Chief

Justice:Denied magazine, Issue 27, Winter 2005, page 4

I am writing this story with the hope that someone may read it and could possibly help me in proving my innocence.

I was convicted of the second degree murder of a Mr. Cygan and the second degree assault on my wife in 1975. I have not been free for over 30 years.

My situation started after I came back from Viet Nam in 1969. I came back using drugs and not thinking quite right. I was, and still am, nonviolent, and I was sick of the military and the war. After my return stateside, I jumped straight into sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I got married and tried to forget about the war. I became a hippie in every sense of the word. As per the hippie lifestyle, my ex-wife and I lived with groups of people.

In 1974 a friend of ours needed a place to stay so he moved into my house to live with my wife and me. The prosecuting attorney said I had a motive in the murder charge against me as our friend was having sexual relations with my wife. The assault charge was for an assault I was supposed to have committed against my wife at that time for having an affair. I am innocent of both the murder and the assault. I knew that my friend and wife were having a sexual relationship; I simply didn't care. She had sexual relations with anyone she wanted to and I didn't ask or care because that was our lifestyle. Since I just didn't care, there was no motive.

My wife had no evidence of an assault on her; there were no marks, no photos, and no doctor's report. When asked about the assault, everyone who took the stand at my trial said that she looked fine and that there were no marks on her. Police are trained observers, and they were at the house within three days of the alleged assault, yet they saw no evidence it had occurred.

They were at our house to investigate the disappearance of the murder victim. There were no witnesses to the murder or the alleged assault. There is a third party -- the actual killer -- who was also a friend who turned state's evidence and was given immunity in return for his testimony. His testimony about the events that happened while he was at my house prior to the murder are inconsistent with the testimony of my ex-wife. There are many discrepancies in how events unfolded, what took place, who was where, and what was done. For example, my wife (now ex-wife) testi-fied that I left our house with the victim at 2:00 a.m. and returned at 7:00 a.m. Yet a friend, Rick Seward, said that I was at his house visiting with him in his living room from 2:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., which made it impossible for me to commit the murder.

To top everything off, at that time I was shooting (injecting intravenously) speed -- a very large amount of speed, for an extended period of time. According to the testimony, I at-tacked my friend, dragged him to a back bedroom, tied him to a set of bedsprings and tortured him for part of the night. It was said that I beat him repeatedly with a rubber hose. Later in the night I was supposed to have put the murder victim in a sleeping bag, picked him up -- even though I was strung out on speed and the victim outweighed me by 40 pounds -- carried him out to the garage, put him in the trunk of the car and took him out and buried him alive. The fact is, there was no evidence of abuse found on the body, hence, no torture.

My case is in the books, State v Thompson, 88 WN.2d 518. The trial transcripts show it would take ten minutes to drive to Seward's house from my house. The body was found by a river that was approximately five miles from my house. Based on the prosecution’s timeline, I would have had to have put the person in the car, driven to the river through town in the early morning hours, dug a hole, buried the victim and driven back to Seward's house (a ten minute drive) - all within twenty minutes. To top this off, I wasn't even driving. I was coming down off a speed run. I had been awake for a week. It would have been impossible for me to drive in the condition I was in.

There are three different versions of what happened that night. I proclaim my innocence. My ex-wife and Seward can't agree on what happened, who was where, or what was done. My ex-wife said that we went to Seward's house in the victim's car. Seward and his two kids were at the house. Seward said he drove my ex-wife and me to his house in his car and there was a baby-sitter at the house. Seward is the one who took the cops to the body. A police report says:

“Richard Frank Seward, witness to Thompson's at-tack on Cygan on August 6, 1974, was placed in the Tacoma City Jail on a parole hold charging him with withholding knowledge of a felony involving vio-lence. On October 9, 1974 Seward said that he learned from an unidentified person that Thompson had buried Cygan on the east bank of the Puyallup River in the vicinity of the sawdust pile and the Burlington Northern and Seattle-Tacoma Bridge. Seward would not divulge his source of information, nor would he accompany the officers to the site at the time. Seward then met with his attorney, Gary We-ber, and Weber emerged from this meeting with his client saying that Seward would cooperate if granted immunity from prosecution. Weber then met with Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ellsworth Connelly and M. A. Steward, parole officer, regarding immu-nity for Seward in return for his cooperation. Mr. Steward and DPA Connelly agreed and Seward led investigating officers to Cygan’s burial site. The autopsy performed on Cygan by Dr. Apa of Puget Sound Hospital found no apparent cause of death, but there was a good possibility that death was caused by suffocation due to being buried alive.”

During the testimony of Dr. Wood, a pathologist who had done pathological work for NASA, he said there was no trauma to the body. I could not have beat Cygan as testified to by my ex-wife and Seward. Dr. Wood testified that if Cygan had been beat with a rubber hose as described by my ex-wife and Seward, the bruises would have been readily apparent had they been there before death.

As of my last parole board hearing, I was given the rest of my time which means I'll do another eight years and four months.

I have tried to fight my case and I have run up against the procedural roadblocks of time bars, etc. At this time I have a motion for production in the trial court that has been there for quite some time and the transcripts I managed to get my hands on were incomplete or altered; some parts of the transcript that should have been there were left out. [JD Note: It is not uncommon for portions of trial transcripts to be in the condition described by Mr. Thompson.]

As of this writing, I know of fourteen constitutional violations in my conviction. These violations include issues with my lawyers, a prosecuting attorney who knowingly used perjured testimony, no search warrant, and tainted evidence. According to testimony at my trial, I was in two different places at the time I was allegedly killing my friend. So I think that the prosecution knows that I was framed and will do anything to keep me from being able to prove that I did not commit the crimes that I was convicted of.

I would be grateful for any help a person can provide me with. I am willing to share any settlement I receive for my wrongful conviction with the person(s) who helps me prove that I did not do the crimes I was framed for. I am willing to answer any and all questions from any interested parties. I have all of the pertinent paperwork with the exception of all the police reports. I am in the process of petitioning to obtain them. If anyone would like to help me I can be contacted at:

Timothy A Thompson  235088WSR   A-1-01
PO Box 777
Monroe, WA  98272-0777