Police: Love triangle behind Christmas Eve murder plot
A love triangle was the motive behind a bizarre failed murder plot on Christmas Eve in a Westmoreland County park, according to investigators.
Kimberly Jane Thompkins, 26, of Jacobs Creek was in love with a fast-food restaurant coworker, Robert Lee Crosby, 24, of West Newton, and not her husband, said District Attorney John Peck.
“Obviously, that meant removing Adam Thompkins from the picture,” Peck said on Monday in arguing for a higher bail for the three suspects. “The only way to do that was to kill him.”
Kimberly Thompkins, Crosby and Daryith Lorraine Stevens, 19, of Jacobs Creek are accused of planning to kill Adam Thompkins, 28, in Cedar Creek Park in Rostraver.
The three suspects waived their rights to preliminary hearings on Monday on attempted homicide and related charges. District Judge Charles Christner increased bond for each from $100,000 to $250,000.
Authorities allege that the group worked together at a Burger King in Rostraver and conspired to slit Adam Thompkins' throat at the park, pull out his teeth with pliers and burn his body so he couldn't be identified.
The attack was thwarted when a park police officer found a bloodied Adam Thompkins with knife wounds in his face and left temple about noon Dec. 24, police said. Peck alleged that Crosby stabbed the victim.
“This was a very deliberate and premeditated plan,” Peck said.
Adam Thompkins was treated in a Pittsburgh hospital. He declined to comment after court proceedings.
Peck successfully argued for higher bond for the three suspects, saying that $100,000 was “not sufficient.”
The suspects' defense attorneys argued that the cases don't warrant a bail increase.
“I don't think that Mr. Peck has demonstrated any change in circumstances,” argued attorney Brian Aston, who represents Crosby.
“There's nothing new that we know today ... so there's no reason for the bail to be increased,” said Stevens' attorney, Michael Worgul.
“I think at this point to raise it would not be proper,” attorney Anthony Bompiani argued on Kimberly Thompkins' behalf.
Christner called the crimes “very serious in nature” in deciding to raise the defendants' bond.
Adam Thompkins was driven to Cedar Creek Park on Dec. 24 by his wife while Crosby and Stevens waited in a separate vehicle, according to court documents. Crosby is accused of stabbing him with a knife allegedly supplied by Stevens, who brought a change of clothes and pliers to pull the victim's teeth, police said.
The victim fought back and managed to end the attack in the park, but Peck alleged that the trio drove Adam Thompkins to Webster with the intent of dropping him off along a road. Instead, they drove him back to the park where the plan was disrupted, Peck alleged.
“They explained (to police) that the victim had fallen, and the victim was bleeding profusely at that time,” Peck said.
The trio later admitted to the alleged plot, he said.
“Fortunately ... for Adam Thompkins' sake, the plan failed,” Peck said.
Police have said that Adam Thompkins had been in West Virginia for a few months and returned in the days before the alleged attack.
Kimberly Thompkins, Crosby and Stevens are being held in Westmoreland County Prison on charges of attempted homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.
The women did not respond to reporters' questions and Crosby said “no comment” as they were led out of the courtroom.
Formal arraignments are scheduled for Feb. 26.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.