Bellville resident Thomas Thompson was sentenced to six years in prison last week for five counts of theft from the elderly; a fourth-degree felony.
His charges are a result of several fraudulent incidents with Bellville, Butler and other area residents, in which Thomas would collect payments from potential clients, and fail to complete construction work they were paying for.
In addition to a series of other court cases in Richland County, Thompson is of note for providing critical testimony in the 2008 trial of former Bellville Police Officer Maurice King III.
King was convicted in December of 2008 on seven counts including four felonies, stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to purchase stolen guns from Thompson and another felon who were acting as informants.
King served 22 months in prison after being convicted of several charges including receiving stolen property, possessing criminal tools and dereliction of duty. He was convicted in a second trial following a first proceeding that ended in a hung jury. King filed an appeal to his case in 2010, which ultimately upheld the local court’s verdict.
Following his sentence, the former Bellville Police Officer has been attempting to clear his name with an audio tape that contains an alleged conversation he had with Thompson. King claims the audio tape contains an admission from Thompson that he lied to avoid his own prosecution.
Reach Jones on Twitter @Bellville_Jones or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org