Woman, 2 others jailed for alleged plot to kill husband in Cedar Creek Park
It was a bizarre murder plot — a woman and her co-workers at a fast-food restaurant would use knives to slit her husband's throat in a park in Rostraver, pull out his teeth with pliers and burn his body so he couldn't be identified.
But the Christmas Eve plot in Cedar Creek Park was thwarted when Adam Thompkins, bleeding from two stab wounds, escaped his attackers, police said. Westmoreland County Park Police have charged his wife, Kimberly Jane Thompkins, 26, and her alleged accomplices, Daryith Lorraine Stevens, 18, of Jacobs Creek and Robert Lee Crosby, 24, of West Newton, with attempted homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and aggravated assault.
“All three worked together at the Burger King in Rostraver Township. And they all lived in the same house in Jacobs Creek,” said county Detective Richard Kranitz.
Park Officer Edward Bricker said he was sent to Cedar Creek Park at 11:53 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a disturbance. Bricker said he found Adam Thompkins “covered in blood.”
Thompkins was taken by medical helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh with knife wounds on his face and left temple, Bricker said.
Because of his injuries, police couldn't speak with Thompkins about the attack immediately, Bricker said.
District Attorney John Peck said Thompkins was released from the hospital on Wednesday and investigators interviewed him. Peck declined to discuss the motive behind the plot to kill him.
“That is still under investigation,” he said.
On Thursday afternoon, Jamie Damm, 24, the victim's sister-in-law, said her family was visiting from Indiana at the Jacobs Creek home of the Thompkinses, who live with their three children, Stevens and Crosby. The village is about 11 miles west of New Stanton, near Smithton.
Damm told the Tribune-Review that the attempt on Adam Thompkins' life was “kind of” surprising.
“It wasn't expected,” she said on the front porch of the two-story, wood-frame house that sits between railroad tracks and the Youghiogheny River. The family's Christmas tree was visible through the front window.
Her brother-in-law would have no comment on the incident, Damm said.
“He's home; he's fine,” she said.
Neighbors, too, said they were surprised by the attack but wouldn't discuss it.
“We all stay to ourselves down here,” said one, who refused to give her name.
Bricker said police and county detectives found Crosby and Kimberly Thompkins in the park, and Stevens arrived a short time later with a can of gasoline, pliers and a change of clothes.
“All three individuals initially gave conflicting statements,” Bricker said in the affidavit.
Police determined that the trio had formulated the plot to kill Adam Thompkins earlier in the day at the Burger King along Route 51 in Rostraver, where the three worked, Kranitz said.
“Adam Thompkins was driven to the park by his wife ... while Robert Crosby and Daryith Stevens waited in a separate vehicle,” Bricker said.
When the Thompkinses arrived, Bricker said, “Crosby stabbed the victim with one of two knives supplied by (Stevens).”
The gasoline was brought to burn the man's body after he was killed.
“Stevens also brought a change of clothes and pliers to pull the victim's teeth so he could not be identified,” Bricker wrote.
Adam Thompkins is unemployed, Kranitz said. He had worked at an area Wal-Mart until last summer, then left the area for about three months.
“We understand (Adam Thompkins) was doing odd jobs at various locations in West Virginia and just came back into this area recently,” Kranitz said.
The Thompkinses' children are staying with relatives, authorities said.
The couple met in Modesto, Calif., and attended Grace M. Davis High School, where Adam Thompkins graduated in 2003. They married on Dec. 10, 2006, according to their Facebook pages.
Authorities said the Thompkinses have lived in Westmoreland County for about two years. They previously lived in California, the St. Petersburg area of Florida and West Virginia.
The trio are being held in the county jail on $100,000 bail each. They were arraigned at 3:30 a.m. on Christmas Day before Scottdale District Judge Chuck Moore. All three were unable to post bail and remain in the county jail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6 before West Newton District Judge Charles M. Christner.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Craig Smith contributed.