Abused Wife or Murderer Trial: FL v. Marcia Thompson

Posted at 6:38 AM, July 23, 2024 and last updated 6:39 AM, July 23, 2024

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — A U.S. Customs officer has been found not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of her husband.

combo image of man and woman

(L) Terry Thompson (Family provided), (R) Marcia Thompson (Court TV)

Marcia Thompson was charged in the Aug. 2019 death of Terry Thompson at their Florida home. An arrest report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office states an officer noted six bullet wounds on Terry’s body and nine fired shell casings in the living room. The couple’s two children were home but did not witness the shooting.

Marcia claimed the shooting happened after Terry threatened to slit her throat and kill her during an argument. In the arrest report, the officer wrote, “I do not believe Terry Thompson posed such a threat that deadly force was necessary.”

In court documents, Marcia’s defense claimed she “acted in self-defense and was suffering from both battered spouse syndrome and post-traumatic stress.” A judge previously denied her motion to dismiss charges under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.


DAY 6 – 7/22/24

DAY 5 – 7/19/24

  • The presentation of evidence has concluded in the case against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Supervisor accused of shooting and killing her husband in their Palm Beach County home in August 2019.
  • Dr. Michael Brannon, a forensic psychologist, determined that Marcia Thompson suffered from ‘Battered Wife Syndrome,’ a subset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, when she shot her husband, Terry Thompson, nine times.
    • Jo Wilensky, Assistant State Attorney, asked Dr. Brannon if a person who suffers from ‘Battered Wife Syndrome’ could unlawfully commit murder, to which he answered, “Yes.”
  • Detective Jeremy Gelfand was recalled to the witness stand to testify to text messages between Marcia Thompson and Terry Thompson.  The text messages in the six months before the incident in August 2019 did not show “anything outside” of what you would see between a husband and wife.
  • Judge Rowe ruled against the defense motion for a Reverse Williams Rule, which would have allowed Terry Thompson’s ex-girlfriend to testify.
  • Closing Arguments begin Monday.
  • WATCH: Victim’s Ex Surprise Proffer: ‘He Threatened Me with Machete’

DAY 4 – 7/18/24

  • Marcia Thompson testifies.
  • Marcia and Terry Thompson separated following the 2011 incident, and they reconciled in 2014 when they moved to Loxahatchee, Florida.
  • Terry Thompson allegedly repeatedly threatened to “kill” Marcia throughout their marriage. She feared for her safety and the safety of her children.
  • Jurors heard from Marcia Thompson’s supervisor and coworker about Terry Thompson’s alleged “aggressive” behavior.

DAY 3 – 7/17/24

DAY 2 – 7/16/24

  • Jurors heard two taped audio interviews between lead Detective Jeremy Gelfand and the defendant Marcia Thompson.
  • Daniel Steelman, a Crime Scene Reconstructionist, told jurors that there is no evidence that the victim, Terry Thompson, stood up before he was shot nine times, and there is no evidence Thompson had a weapon near him.
    • Marcia Thompson told police she only remembered her husband, Terry, threatening her, then the shots, and could not remember anything else.
    • Detective Jeremy Gelfand told jurors he looked for evidence in the living room to support Marcia Thompson’s recollection of events, but did not find any weapons near her husband’s body.

DAY 1 – 7/15/24

  • The jury hears opening statements:
    • Prosecutors said Marcia was “fed up,” and she shot her husband, Terry, while he slept on a sofa in the couple’s living room.
    • Marcia’s defense said she’s “not guilty,” and the jury will hear evidence of a history of violence between the couple.
    • WATCH: Abused Wife or Murderer Trial: Opening Statements
  • Terry died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death was a homicide. Thompson was shot nine times.
  • Marcia exited the couple’s home following the shooting, wearing her full uniform and the inner layer of her service belt. She was not crying, and her demeanor was described as “very quiet.”
    • There were no visible injuries on Marcia.
  • Jurors were shown a pillow and a blanket that had bullet holes from the night of the shooting.
  • Investigators found Marcia’s 40-caliber weapon was collected from on top of the home’s refrigerator. It matched the gun and bullet casings fired at the scene. There was one other gun found in a safe in the couple’s bedroom, but it was not of the same caliber.