Man's defense in double murder death penalty case: Scientology made me do it - 2019-02-06
Kenneth Wayne Thompson is not arguing that Scientology turned him violent in March 2012. But he is saying his belief in the religion of Scientology helps explain his actions. In particular, he says, his devotion to Scientology's tenets led him on a 24-hour plus drive from his home in rural Missouri to the eventual murder scene in Arizona.
Prosecutors say the marathon drive helps show Thompson committed the crimes with premeditation, an element of the first-degree murder convictions they are seeking. On each, the state of Arizona will ask for the death penalty.
Thompson's attorneys will argue to the jury that the act was rational, if understood through the lens of Scientology. Thompson felt he needed to rescue a child, a nephew to his wife, because the boy's spiritual well-being was at risk.