Thompson found guilty of two counts of murder in arson deaths

Patrick Ryan Thompson, 27, of Nevada was found guilty Monday of two counts of first degree murder and one count of arson. He will be sentenced to life in prison.

A Monroe County jury found that Thompson killed his 12-year-old stepsister Paige Exline and her 16-year-old cousin Shakiah Cockerham in a fire he set at the Guthrie Center home of their grandmother, Shirley Exline. Shakiah had grown up in the home. Paige had moved there a month earlier after she made allegations of sexual abuse against her father. She had previously made the same allegations against her brother.

Paige was a student at the Greene County Intermediate School before moving to her grandmother’s home.

The trial lasted 11 days. The jury deliberated two hours before releasing its verdict.
According to assistant Iowa attorney general Denise Timmins, Thompson set the fire to silence the girls, to prevent them from testifying against Paige’s brother,  Noah Exline,  and her father, James Exline. Thompson is stepbrother to Noah and James’ son.

Timmins and assistant Greene County attorney Thomas Laehn successfully prosecuted a case against James Exline. He was found guilty in June of sex abuse- second degree and sex abuse- third degree. He was sentenced in August to 50 years in prison on the first charge and 25 years in prison on the second. The sentences are consecutive.

The trial of Noah Exline, now 20, has been delayed until the disposition of the cases against his father and stepbrother.

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