One case involved a woman’s body dumped by railroad tracks. Another involved a man’s body stored in a freezer.
The role of accomplices in two brutal homicides was detailed Friday in charges filed in the unrelated cases.
A Minneapolis man who beat his girlfriend to death received help from his daughter and sister in dumping the body in St. Louis Park, according to charges. And a Duluth woman was charged with helping a murder suspect hide her boyfriend’s body in a freezer in Shorewood.
Walter Thompson III, 54, inflicted numerous injuries on Nerissa Annette Shaw, whose battered body was found Tuesday partly wrapped in a sheet near railroad tracks behind a business at 5001 Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park, according to a second-degree murder complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. Days later, Thompson recruited his sister, Senaca Ann Thompson, 53, and daughter, Rachel Lee Thompson, 25, to help him move the body, according to felony charges of accomplice after the fact filed against each woman.
A medical examiner determined that Shaw died from injuries that included blunt-force trauma to the face, head and ribs, a large cut behind her right ear and evidence of hemorrhaging from strangulation in her throat. Her jaw was broken and her left kidney and liver were lacerated. Her ribs appeared to have been broken after she died, the report said.
It didn’t take long for police to learn that Shaw, 46, had been involved in a volatile relationship with Thompson, who in the past four years had been charged with multiple counts of domestic violence against her. Security camera footage from Thompson’s apartment showed two women removing a large, heavy plastic container from the building on Sept. 15. Thompson’s friends identified the women in the video as his sister and daughter.
In an interview with investigators, Thompson tried to downplay his relationship with Shaw and initially said he hadn’t seen her in a month before admitting that she came to his apartment Sept. 13, where they drank together.
Charges say Rachel Thompson told police that her father called her Sept. 12 and asked her to find a large container for him. She returned the next day and delivered it to him in the lobby. She returned again on Sept. 15 with Senaca Thompson and the container was now full, heavy and smelled something foul mixed with bleach from inside, she said. She allegedly told police Thompson later directed her to St. Louis Park, where he got out with the full container and returned with it empty.
On the day Shaw’s body was found, Thompson allegedly told his daughter he “made a mistake and it was an accident.”
All three remain held without bail at the St. Louis Park Police Department.
Another accomplice case
Meanwhile, Talisha Nakia Hunt, 30, of Duluth, was allegedly present when Jetaun Wheeler, 29, beat her boyfriend, 58-year-old Eddie Sole, to death with a wooden pole in their Shorewood home, then helped her buy a freezer to store it, according to felony accomplice after the fact charges. Sole’s body was discovered Aug. 21 by officers during a search of the Shorewood home where Wheeler lived with Sole. She was charged with second-degree murder in Sole’s death.
According to charges, Wheeler’s children said a pair of sandals in the home belonged to Hunt, who was staying there when Sole was killed. Charter bus records show that Hunt traveled from Duluth to Minneapolis Aug. 1, while Sole was last seen alive July 31. Surveillance footage showed Hunt and Wheeler buying a chest freezer together from Sears on Aug. 5.
Before Sole’s body was discovered, police found his wallet in an north Minneapolis alley. Police tracked the use of his debit card at an ATM in Harvey, Ill., on Aug. 10, where Hunt used to live. Police searched Hunt’s Duluth apartment Sept. 19, where they found Sole’s debit card in her wallet. In an interview with police, she allegedly admitted that she saw a fight between Wheeler and Sole where Wheeler hit him multiple times with a “stick” until he stopped moving. She admitted to helping with cleaning blood off the carpet, buying the freezer and storing Sole’s body inside, charges said.
Hunt remains in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $1 million. Wheeler remains behind bars in lieu of $2 million bail.
Abby Simons • 612-673-4921