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Autopsy confirms W.Va. man stabbed to death

March 19, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Morgan County businessman who was found dead in his home here Tuesday morning was stabbed five times in the upper body, according to West Virginia State Police.

Two of the stab wounds found on Harry Theodore "Ted" Compton's body were fatal, said Sgt. Deke Walker.

There was "another small injury" on Compton's body, but Walker declined to say what it was. The injury did not play a part in the death of Compton, former owner of T.H. Compton Trucking Co. in Berkeley Springs, Walker said.

Police were able to determine the cause of death after Compton's body was sent to the state Medical Examiner's office in Morgantown for an autopsy, officials said.


Two women whom police believe Compton met in Florida have been charged with murder in the slaying. Tonya Teresa Thomas, 23, of 1017 Union St., Marseilles, Ill., and Christina Bess Richardson, 23, of 61038 59th Road, Mendora, Ill. were charged after police began chasing a 1997 Ford Mustang through Jefferson and Berkeley counties late Monday night.

After the car ran off the road near the Winchester Avenue interchange on Interstate 81, police noticed that one of two women in the car had a plastic bag with bloody clothes in it, police said.

After determining the Mustang belonged to Compton, police went to Compton's Berkeley Springs, W.Va., home and found him dead, Sgt. Jack Hockman said.

Police were still trying to determine a motive for the slaying Wednesday, according to Walker. Walker said Compton had invited Thomas and Richardson to Berkeley Springs while vacationing in Florida, but it was unclear whether Compton brought the women here or if they arrived here on their own.

Thomas and Richardson had been staying at the Berkeley Springs Motel, located in town near the intersection of U.S. 522 and W.Va. 9, Walker said. Compton had been paying for the womens' room, Walker said.

The owner of the motel declined Thursday to talk about Thomas and Richardson.

Compton's house was located about two miles south of the Berkeley Springs Motel along U.S. 522.

Thomas and Richardson were still being held without bond Wednesday night in the Eastern Regional Jail near Martinsburg.

Preliminary hearings for the women have been sheduled for 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday in Morgan County Magistrate Court.

Thomas is being represented by attorney Craig Manford and Richardson is being represented by attorney Jerry Dambro.

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