High-profile murder trial moved to Albia

MGN Online

A change of venue means a Heartland jury will decide the fate of Iowa man accused of murder and arson.

Patrick Thompson is accused of setting the May 2017 fire in Guthrie Center. that killed his stepsister Paige Exline and her cousin Shakiah Cockerham .

His trial has been moved to Monroe County.

The case was originally set to be heard in Guthrie County, just west of Des Moines, but was moved to Decatur County because of pre-trial publicity.

However, before that trial got underway last week in Leon, jurors heard a man in the courtroom discussing media coverage.

The second change of venues means Thomas will be in court on Sept. 24 in Albia.

He faces two counts of First Degree Murder, two counts of Attempted Murder and one count of First Degree Arson.

If convicted on the murder charges, Thomas faces life in prison.

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