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Thompson free again

Accused killer Russell Thompson was released from Eagle County Jail yesterday after a judge found that new charges against him might be “unreliable.”Thompson, who is accused of beating a man to death with his fists in El Jebel in February 2001, was out on $70,000 bond. One of the conditions of his bond was to avoid further trouble with the law.Thompson was arrested in Colorado Springs Aug. 6 for assault after his girlfriend accused him of beating her up. Once the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office learned of that arrest, they asked a judge to revoke his bond in the manslaughter case and have him arrested for allegedly violating conditions of his bond.Judge Richard Hart granted the request, and Thompson had been back in Eagle County Jail for about a month.

But Thompson has maintained that his ex-girlfriend, Lisa Milloy, invented the story after he broke up with her. The couple, who met while they were both inmates at the Eagle County Jail, started a relationship in November 2003, according to an Eagle County Sheriff’s detective’s report.Thompson said Milloy became angry with him when he decided to leave her because he couldn’t tolerate her drinking. Milloy claimed Thompson beat her on the morning of Aug. 6. She said she opened a refrigerator door and hid behind it but Thompson threw her into a cabinet, then hit her several times in the face and body with his fists, breaking her ribs and knocking her unconscious.Thompson claimed that Milloy hurt herself the night of Aug. 5 while they were arguing. He alleged she was drunk and lost her balance on the front porch of their apartment and fell into a rock garden, breaking her ribs.Thompson’s attorney, public defender Ken Barker, argued in court yesterday that while a condition of Thompson’s bond was avoiding additional trouble with the law, it was out of his control if someone invented charges against him.He told the judge that Milloy had been previously convicted of false reporting, though he didn’t say in what type of case. “So Ms. Milloy is a known fabricator,” said Barker.

He questioned Milloy’s credibility further by noting that she recently sent a letter to Eagle County authorities recanting her allegations against Thompson and labeling herself the “abuser” in their relationship. “The probability of conviction in that El Paso County case is extremely low,” claimed Barker.Assistant D.A. Arly Minor agreed that there may be problems with Milloy’s credibility. If it turns out she lied about Thompson beating her up, Minor said she would pursue false reporting charges because the Colorado Springs case affected the Eagle County case.However, Minor argued that Thompson’s bond should remain at $200,000 because there was no certainty the charges in Colorado Springs were false.

Hart disagreed. “The facts as they were presented may be unreliable,” he said of Milloy’s allegations.He noted that he set Thompson’s bond at $70,000 in the El Jebel homicide case and felt that amount was appropriate once again.Thompson was released from Eagle County Jail at about 5 p.m. on a personal recognizance bond, which must be replaced by a $70,000 surety bond later this week when Thompson’s bondsman can fill out necessary paperwork, according to a jail spokesman.Thompson was supposed to be tried Sept. 23 in the El Jebel manslaughter case. It has been postponed to a date that has yet to be determined. Thompson maintains he is innocent in the beating death of Timothy “Chico” Destromp.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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