LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Tuesday, one of the men who has pleaded guilty to helping Thorsten Rushing murder his father and brother took the stand.
Four men have already pleaded guilty to their roles in the 2014 murders of Uwe Rushing and 13-year-old Stefan Rushing. Those four men are Ethan Thompson, Wesley Bankston, Cody Davis and Timothy Delahoy. Tuesday, Thompson testified in the trial.
Thompson began his testimony on Monday, but Rushing's defense attorney, Stephen Jones, objected to the line of questioning. He said he did not feel the state had enough evidence to prove the conspiracy, so he did not believe Thompson should be able to testify on the conspiracy. Ultimately, the judge ruled Thompson could testify but the jury had already been sent home for the day.
Thompson was supposed to testify again Tuesday morning, but the jury was called back out of the court room after Thompson refused to testify unless the district attorney renegotiated his deal from life in prison without parole to 25 years in prison. When the Comanche County District Attorney's Office refused to do that, Thompson agreed to testify.
In that testimony he said Rushing planned the murder of his father Uwe and offered money and guns to Bankston, Davis and Delahoy. He said they never discussed killing Stefan. Thompson said on the Friday before the murders occurred they attempted the crime but failed when Uwe noticed that Davis was on his back porch and called 911.
After the close call, Thompson says they told Rushing they were no longer interested in helping. He says Rushing told them that was unacceptable and began telling them about his new plan for that Sunday night.
Thompson said he never fully agreed to help with the second plan, but never stopped it from happening.
Thompson said on that Sunday he went to rushing house to play video games. He said when Uwe and Stefan returned home from fishing he was told by Thorsten to hide in the closet. He says he was there from 7:30 p.m. until almost 2 a.m. when he left the closet after hearing shots fired. Thompson says he watched him shoot Stefan right between the eyes and noticed that Uwe had already been shot in the back of the head.
Thompson says Thorsten was very quiet before telling him that Stefan was not bleeding out fast enough. He says Thorsten then put on gloves and covered Stefan's mouth and nose so he would die faster. Thompson says he was then given the gloves, gun and clothes and was told Bankston was coming to pick him up. He says they then rented a cheap motel before heading out of town to burn the evidence.
Thompson also said while he was in prison, Rushing tried to contact him through another inmate. He says he wrote down everything he had told to police for the inmate to give to rushing.
Jones then took over the questioning, just before lunch, and asked Thompson if he and Bankston were actually the ones to kill Uwe and Stefan. Thompson said no and told the jury that Thorsten was the trigger man.