Patrick Thompson’s Defense Attacks Fire Investigation Again in Murder Trial

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ALBIA, Iowa  --  Testimony during the second day of the First Degree Murder trial of Patrick Thompson centered on whether or not there is proof that a fire that killed two girls was intentionally set.

On Thursday the state called on fire officials who responded to the scene in May 2017 and immediately thought the fire was suspicious.

The jury watched body camera video from Guthrie County Sheriff's Deputy Nathan Grove's uniform.  It shows his interactions with Shirley Exline and how shaken up she was at the scene of the fire at her home.    Shirley's granddaughters, 12-year-old Paige Exline and 16-year-old Shakiah Cockerham, were unable to escape the home and died in the fire.

Attorney's for Thompson, who is Paige Exline's stepbrother, questioned the expertise of the officials who have testified that the fire was unusual.  Officers admitted they did not have proper training in fire investigation.

Thompson is charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, two counts of Attempted Murder and once count of Arson.

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