Coker man pleads guilty in 2020 murder of girlfriend’s baby
A 2020 capital murder case came to a close in a Tuscaloosa County courtroom Tuesday morning
WVUA 23 was there as 33-year-old John Michael Charles Thompson became a convicted killer.
By pleading guilty to the charge, we now know Thompson killed his girlfriend’s 1-year-old daughter on July 27, 2020, at a home where they resided in Coker.
As part of the plea, Thompson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but he will avoid the death penalty and a lengthy trial.
”We made that decision not to seek death to save the family the years of continuing to wait for closure in this case as well as the system to go ahead and get this case resolved,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney Paula Whitley said. “We are satisfied that spending the rest of his life in prison is a satisfactory result.”
Thompson declined to make any comment about his actions.
Court documents showed the child experienced severe physical trauma while in Thompson’s care.
“The autopsy revealed and doctors found multiple internal injuries on her body that were of varying ages, but the cause of her death was the injuries to her torso and head,” Whitley said.
The child’s mother was also in the courtroom as Thompson learned his fate.
Whitley said she hopes this outcome will provide some form of closure for the family.
“I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it is to face the reality that the person you trusted with the life of your child is the one who is responsible for her death,” Whitley said. “Hopefully this will give her some ability to move on and continue with her life.”
Thompson was represented by local attorney Jim Standridge, who said because of his client’s criminal history, he believes the settlement is a fair one.
“He is very remorseful and he has expressed that in various ways,” Standridge said. “He asked me to express that. He feels horrible for what he has done and all he can do at this point is take responsibility for what he has done and move on and he has done that.”
Thompson will be transported to one of Alabama’s state prisons, where he will spend the rest of his life.