BURTON — The man convicted of murdering Burton police officer Terry Thompson in 1983 will appear today (Aug. 20) before Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Celeste Bell on a writ of habeas corpus seeking an appeal of his murder conviction.
Burton Mayor Duane Haskins said he and members of city council will be at the courthouse to lend support for the Thompson family as the convicted killer asks the judge to grant him an appeal stemming from a law passed in
Michigan in 2012 which deals with people convicted as minors.
Shane Patrick Richey, who was 16 when he shot and killed Thompson, will appear before Judge Bell at 9 a.m. today.
“So far, the vicious killer has served 37 years of his life sentence without parole,” said Haskins, addressing city council Monday night. “There are guidelines and stipulations the prosecutor and the judge will have to abide by with this new law. We’re going to make as much of presence as we can at the court to let the family of Terry Thompson know we support them.”
Due to COVID-19, the court is only going to allow 10 people in the courtroom, but Haskins said the Burton supporters of the Thompson family will be making a presence outside the courthouse.
City Council President Steve Heffner said it was too bad the council couldn’t have passed a resolution to let the family know the city supports the judge not granting the appeal.
Haskins said his office just found out about it the hearing and couldn’t do more than rally community support.
Thompson was shot and killed while responding to a burglary alarm at the Super City location on South Saginaw Street, July 5, 1983. The store’s alarm monitoring company heard voices inside the store and notified the manager and police department.
The manager let Thompson into the store to search it and then waited by the front door. Moments later one of the two suspects, Richey, shot Thompson. A second suspect who was 17 at the time was convicted of breaking and entering and was later released from prison.
According to reports, other officers surrounded the store but were unable to rescue him for two hours, but he had already passed away from his wounds. He had been shot seven times by Richey.
Richey was arrested, convicted as an adult and sentenced to life in prison.
Thompson was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the agency for 8 years. He was survived by his wife, parents, sister, and brother.
Thompson was the last Flint-area police officer to be shot to death in the line of duty.