By David Owens
The Hartford Courant
HARTFORD, Conn. — The man charged with using a samurai sword to decapitate his landlord inside a Hartford home this weekend refused to talk to police about the crime, claiming he is a sovereign citizen.
At his arraignment Tuesday in Superior Court in Hartford, Jerry David Thompson refused to say anything and was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.
Thompson also refused to speak with a public defender and at this point is not represented by an attorney. Judge Ann Lynch continued Thompson’s case to Aug. 18.
According to the warrant for Thompson’s arrest, drafted by Hartford detectives, he was identified as a suspect by friends of victim Victor King, who had rented a room to Thompson inside his Asylum Avenue home. The two men had had a dispute about Thompson not paying rent, according to the warrant, and Thompson threatened King with a samurai sword.
King was so alarmed by Thompson’s threats he went to Hartford police on Saturday, the day before he was killed, and told them Thompson had been waving the sword at him.
On Sunday, friends of King called police to say they could not reach him. Sunday afternoon, police and firefighters forced their way into King’s home and found a lot of blood and King’s badly slashed body covered in bedding.
Police began looking for Thompson to question him about the killing and found him and pulled him over in the North End. Back at police headquarters, detectives tried to talk to Thompson but he would not say anything.
At one point he wrote on a piece of paper, “paper in glove compart in Jeep is all you need.” In the glove compartment of the Jeep, police found paperwork suggesting Thompson viewed himself as a sovereign citizen, people who don’t view themselves as subject to the law. He has previous convictions for assault and robbery.
King was a retiree from Travelers Insurance and an accomplished bridge player.
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