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Cape man dies while in police custody early Tuesday

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Cape Girardeau man died early Tuesday morning while in police custody, authorities said.

The body of Lawrence Adolphe Thompson III, 55, was found hanging in a holding room of the Cape Girardeau Police Department around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, said Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton.

Thompson had been involved in a single-car accident earlier that night at Shamrock Court and Silver Springs Road, hitting a stairwell with his vehicle, said Sgt. Barry Hovis, spokesman for the police department. Thompson was placed in custody after midnight pending charges of driving while intoxicated,

He was transported to the police department on Sprigg Street, where he would have been booked, fingerprinted and processed into the municipal jail overnight. Shortly after 1 a.m., Thompson was placed in a small holding room with a grated window and a single wooden bench.

In accordance with department policy, an officer checked on Thompson hourly, Hovis said.

The last time he was checked, at 3:50 a.m., he appeared to be fine, but an officer discovered his body hanging from the latticework of the ceiling about 40 minutes later, Hovis said.

The noose had been fashioned out of clothing.

Department policy dictates that any person placed in the temporary holding room may keep all personal items, with the exception of weapons and controlled substances, Hovis said. Upon transfer to the city jail upstairs, the person is asked to surrender all effects, including clothing.

There are no set guidelines that indicate how long a person can remain in the holding room, but sometimes with DWI cases, the subject will be allowed to sober up there before being taken to the jail, Hovis said.

Because the death occurred while Thompson was in custody, Clifton scheduled an inquest at 6 p.m. Sept. 22. The location has not yet been decided. The inquest will be used to rule out foul play and help determine the cause of death.

In addition to the coroner's investigation, Cape Girardeau police chief Carl Kinnison has asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct an independent investigation. Cape Girardeau police will conduct an internal investigation to make certain all policies were properly followed, Hovis said.

In 2001, Thompson pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in Scott County.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245


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Where's the story?

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 11:10 AM

This is what they call "breaking" a story. When you want the story, it's broken.

-- Posted by Duh... on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 11:13 AM

This is pathetic!!!!

-- Posted by BABE on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 11:44 AM

I think the newsroom rushed out to Arena Park to cover the judging of the pickle relish and the canned beets.

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 11:53 AM

I see you've noticed the problems with our website. We're having issues with the company that hosts our site, so we can't update with new stories. The company is working on it, but we're not sure when it will be fixed.

-- Posted by Matt Sanders on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 12:00 PM

Its an electronic glitch. How can you call that pathetic?

-- Posted by insider63785 on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 12:03 PM

A 55 year old man hanged himself in a holding room and was pronounced dead by the coroner per KFVS.

-- Posted by BABE on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 12:05 PM

here is the link

http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S...

-- Posted by NickeyB63780 on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 12:28 PM

sorry BABE...I took your comment as directed toward the website.

Yes, sad indeed.

-- Posted by insider63785 on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 3:01 PM

"Criminal hangs himself"

What a minute! Are we sure this is breaking news? I could have sworn that I saw the exact same headline 6 months ago. What is going on in Cape County?

-- Posted by gehagge1 on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 7:53 PM

I knew Larry; went to school with him...sorry that he felt like his life was not worth living anymore.

-- Posted by sosassy on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 8:46 PM

So sad, I knew LA from the club he once owned in Sikeston and from his time working at Players. Just saw him downtown a few weeks ago. So sad he left this world like that.

Does seems several people have killed them selfs at Cape PD Department over the years. They might want to rethink their holding cell polices.

-- Posted by timexx on Tue, Sep 9, 2008, at 8:51 PM

For all of you who knew him, you were i guess lucky. I am his 26 yr old daughter who will be turning 27 on friday. I am mourning a man i never knew, and that was by his own choice. He knew where i was at all times and chose not to be in my life. And he leaves not only me behind but a 3 yr old granddaughter as well. I hope that his life wasnt a complete waste and why he felt he had no other choice but to do what he did. I am sorry for his friends who cared for him.

-- Posted by Heather Thompson on Wed, Sep 10, 2008, at 4:22 PM


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