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Double Murder, Arson Trial Moved to Monroe County After Mistrial

Patrick Thompson (WHO-HD)

ALBIA, Iowa – A new trial date and location have been chosen after a mistrial was declared Monday in Patrick Thompson’s double murder and arson trial.

Thompson will now stand trial in Albia, in Monroe County, on September 24th.

Thompson is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of arson for the May 2017 fire that killed his stepsister Paige Exline and her cousin Shakiah Cockerham in Guthrie Center.

His first trial had been moved out of Guthrie County because of pre-trial publicity and began Monday in Decatur County.

Before opening statements could be given, the judge declared a mistrial. Shortly after jury instructions Monday, someone came into the court room and started talking loudly about media reports involving the case. Because the conversation took place in front of jurors, the defense requested and was granted a mistrial.

Paige Exline’s father James Exline has already been convicted of sexually abusing her before her death. There were two mistrials in his case before the guilty verdict. He is appealing the conviction to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Paige’s brother, Noah Exline, is charged with sexually abusing her. His trial is scheduled for October 30th.