Patrick Thompson Sentenced to Life in Prison for Setting Deadly Fire

Patrick Thompson at his sentencing hearing. (WHO-HD)

GUTHRIE COUNTY, Iowa — Patrick Thompson was sentenced to life in prison Friday for setting a fire that killed his stepsister and her cousin back in May of 2017.

Thompson was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson on October 8th.

Investigators say Thompson intentionally set fire to a Guthrie Center home. Paige Exline and her cousin Shakiah Cockerham were killed in the fire. Two other family members suffered injuries in the fire.

Prosecutors say the motive behind the fire was to stop Exline, his stepsister, from testifying in a sexual abuse trial against her father James Exline. James Exline was convicted, after Paige’s death, of sexually abusing her.

During the sentencing hearing, Paige’s brother Noah Exline spoke. He said Patrick Thompson had no soul and called Thompson’s mother Satan’s wife.

Noah Exline is facing charges for allegedly sexually abusing Paige Exline. His trial had been scheduled to begin later this month but online court documents indicate a plea deal is in the works.

Thompson will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.