After serving 18 years for 4 rapes, Curtis Thompson returned to Seattle and committed more crimes -- rape and, allegedly, murder. His trials have spanned a few years, as he has been evaluated for competency. A trial with such a volatile defendant presents special challenges. Here are highlights, in headlines and a few article excerpts:
- DNA evidence links sex offender to rape of Eastlake woman, Seattle P-I, Sept. 3, 2004
Thompson appeared in court yesterday wearing the jail garb of an ultrasecurity inmate and shackled hand and foot.
Defense attorney Richard Warner tried to argue that his client should appear without shackles.
Warner said after the hearing that he was simply trying to ensure Thompson receives a fair trial.
"He's presumed innocent," Warner said.
But during the hearing, O'Toole argued that Thompson is a danger, citing threats Thompson allegedly made at the time of his arrest, in which he said he would kill police and corrections officers.
"This man is a very dangerous person inside and outside the jail," O'Toole said.
- Ex-con charged in slaying found competent for trial, Seattle Times, Dec. 1, 2006.
- Ex-con charged in slaying found competent for trial, Dec. 1, 2006.
- Officers slam struggling defendant in courthouse, Seattle P-I, March 13, 2008.
When his hearing ended Thursday, five King County Jail officers were leading him out of the courtroom when he struggled and "made sort of a jerking motion, as if he was trying to get away," said Deputy Prosecutor Scott O'Toole.
The officers restrained Thompson and drove his face into a wooden bench in the courthouse hallway, O'Toole said. They then led him back to the jail, leaving a trail of blood along the courthouse's marble floors.
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Thompson's attorney, John Hicks -- who has unsuccessfully sought to be taken off the case -- said it didn't appear the officers acted inappropriately.
"He obviously struggled somehow, and they found it necessary to put him down," Hicks said. "I know these corrections officers, and they wouldn't have acted that way unless it was necessary."
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Hicks, a veteran defense attorney, has taken to sitting at the prosecutors' table, leaving a few empty chairs between himself and the man who regularly threatens his life.
- Volatile offender faces 1st of 3 trials, Seattle Times, Sept. 12, 2008.
- Shackled defendant takes the stand for alleged crime spree, Seattle Times, Sept. 30, 2008.
- Rapist convicted of assault in University District elevator attack, Seattle Times, Oct. 4, 2008.
- Crime-spree suspect Thompson starts trial by lunging at lawyer, Seattle Times, Feb. 17, 2009.
- Two more trials for serial rapist: Once current case is over, man faces murder charge, Seattle P-I, Feb. 17, 2009:
Thompson, as in previous trials, has remained a difficult defendant. Outside the jury's view, he has been transported into court on a low-slung restraint chair because of previous outbursts. He's also requested that his attorney, John Hicks, be removed from the case; Hicks previously received accolades from Judge Palmer Robinson for his handling of a challenging case and client.
- Serial rapist takes stand, claims he's the victim, Seattle P-I, Feb. 25, 2009:
"Are you the victim here?" Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O'Toole asked Thompson, as the convicted serial rapist again faced a jury Wednesday on charges of burglary, car theft and first-degree rape related to a 2004 attack.
"In a sense, yeah," Thompson answered, shackled and seated at the defense table. "You want a list of how long the government has been oppressing me?"
- Curtis Thompson found guilty of '04 rape of Eastlake woman | Seattle Times Newspaper, Feb. 27, 2009.
- Thompson convicted again in 2004 post-prison rape spree, Seattle P-I, Feb. 27, 2009.