Todd Thompson


A Desha County jury sentenced a Dumas man to 62 years in prison on Thursday for the February 2015 shooting death of a Dumas teen and the non fatal shooting of another.

Todd Wesley Thompson, 21, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Jeffrey Morgan and second-degree attempted murder and aggravated assault of 19-year-old Kace Nelson.

The shooting occurred in the area of West Waterman and Peach streets where Thompson had a verbal altercation with a person in a group of seven young men and teens walking down the street. The verbal altercation, according to testimony during the 3-day trial in Arkansas City, was about the alleged robbery of Thompson’s cousin the night before.

After exchanging words, Thompson exited a car with a gun and fired several gunshots, one striking Morgan in the back and another striking and Nelson in the back of the head.

Morgan died at a local hospital and Nelson is permanently disabled as a result of the shooting, according to Puryear.

Thompson claimed the shooting was self defense, that one of the the seven young men fired at him and he returned fire.

Thompson was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated assault.

A Desha County jury of eight men and four women deliberated three hours before finding Thompson guilty of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and aggravated assault.

After another two hours of deliberation, the jury sentenced Thompson to 30 years in prison for second-degree murder, 20 years for second-degree attempted murder and six years for aggravated assault, the maximum for all three crimes. He was sentenced to an additional six years for the firearm enhancement. The sentences will run consecutively.