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Thompson bound over; Next court date August 24th - KOAM TV 7

Thompson bound over; Next court date August 24th

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

According to Circuit Judge, David C. Dally, Thompson entered a plea of not guilty. Pre-trial motions or change of plea set for September 21, 2015 @ 9 AM. 

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Stephen Thompson waived his preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial. His next court is August 24th

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Official charges have been filed against the man accused of shooting two women in Joplin yesterday afternoon.

54-year-old Stephen Thompson has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and domestic assault.

His bond has been set at $1 million.

Authorities continue to work at the crime scene, which includes two residences, 4215 and 4223 West 26th Place.

38-year-old Kristina Thompson is the estranged wife of the suspect in custody.

She is currently in critical condition at Freeman Health System, after being shot numerous times with a twelve gage shotgun used by the suspect.

"Based on our knowledge of the situation, this was the result of an estranged relationship between husband and wife," said Captain Bob Higginbotham, Joplin Police Department.

Officials say there is a call history at the 4215 residence, where both Kristina and the deceased, 38-year-old Carissa Girard, lived.

The suspect, 54-year-old Stephen Thompson, also gave the same address to authorities as his place of residence.

Nearby residents we spoke with immediately following the incident say this was not the first act of domestic violence at the home.

"There's been a few domestic disturbances," said Nathan Wagner, neighbor. "There was a house fire caused by one of them. They've been arguing a lot."

Officials say there are often many challenges to working domestic violence cases.

"The most significant challenge to a domestic violence case is gaining the cooperation of the victim," Higginbotham said.

"Statistics say that when they finally do decide to leave, that's when the abuse often escalates or turns lethal," said Louise Secker, development director at the Lafayette House in Joplin.

Secker says the Lafayette House has assisted around 540 domestic violence victims in the four-state area within the past year.

"We just encourage women to seek help," Secker said. "Call 911 or come to Lafayette House if they feel they're in danger."

As for the Thompson case, authorities say they cannot release any further information regarding the criminal activity that occurred at this time.

Last month, authorities followed up with the Thompson residence regarding the arson that was reported in April.

According to police records, Stephen Thompson, at that time, told authorities everything was under control and that police assistance was not needed.

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