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Woman pleads not guilty in W.Va. slaying

April 04, 1997

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Tonya Teresa Thomas, one of two Illinois women charged in the stabbing death of former Morgan County businessman Ted Compton, pleaded not guilty Friday in Morgan County Circuit Court, according to court officials.

Thomas, 23, of Marseilles, Ill., pleaded not guilty to murder, conspiracy to commit murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, grand larceny, and conspiracy to commit grand larceny, according to a spokeswoman in the Morgan County Prosecutor's office.

Thomas' trial has been scheduled for Aug. 5.

The second woman charged in Compton's death, Christina Bess Richardson, 23, of Mendora, Ill., is expected to be arraigned next Friday, officials said. Richardson faces the same charges as Thomas.

Compton, former owner of T.H. Compton Trucking in Berkeley Springs, met Thomas and Richardson in Florida and invited the two women to Morgan County, police said.

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Compton was stabbed to death in his Berkeley Springs home March 17, according to officials and testimony.

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