Man convicted for killing roommate with sword

Jerry Thompson, a 45-year-old Connecticut man, has been convicted of the brutal decapitation of his roommate, Victor King, using a samurai sword. The gruesome act was the culmination of a rent dispute, as stated by the Hartford State Attorney’s Office. Thompson, who dismissed his court-appointed lawyer, chose to represent himself during the trial, speaking minimally and refraining from cross-examining the state’s witnesses.

Thompson submitted a handwritten legal document, “Sovereign Immunity,” in which he claimed that the Connecticut Superior Court had no jurisdiction over him. Thompson was found guilty of the murder of King, a retired Travelers employee and a nationally recognized bridge player.

The conflict between the two men escalated when King attempted to evict Thompson due to unpaid rent. On July 25, 2020, King reported to the Hartford Police Department that Thompson had threatened his life with a samurai sword. Surveillance footage from their shared apartment later showed Thompson carrying a long, slender object.

Days after receiving calls from worried neighbors and friends, Hartford Police discovered King’s decapitated body in his kitchen, covered with blankets. His body showed severe trauma to his arms, chest, shoulder, and neck. A samurai-style sword, matching King’s injuries, was later found in a river about 10 miles from the crime scene.

Thompson was arrested after police tracked his cellphone. Upon his arrest, Thompson handed over a note stating, “paper in the glove compartment is all you need.” This note suggested that Thompson considered himself a “sovereign citizen,” not subject to government statutes or proceedings. Thompson’s sentencing is set for Oct. 11.

Victor King was a celebrated bridge player, having won a national championship for the United States in 2016. He was a Middlebury College graduate and had retired from Travelers Insurance in 2018 after over two decades of service. King was also an accomplished athlete and excelled at card and board games.

Thompson’s sister, Sky Thompson, wrote a letter to the Hartford State Attorney supporting the state assembly’s “Right to Counsel” bill, which provides certain low-income tenants with a state-provided lawyer if they face eviction or loss of their housing subsidy. She stated that her brother was mentally ill and had struggled with the consequences of his mental fragility in a society lacking meaningful social safety nets.