Domestic abuser sentenced to 406 months in prison for murder


Walter Thompson III was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for killing his girlfriend in Minneapolis and then dumping the body in St. Louis Park, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Thompson, 55, was sentenced to 406 months in prison by Hennepin County District Court Judge Fred Karasov Monday. He had been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend Nerissa Shaw, 46, in September 2013. He ultimately pleaded guilty to second-degree murder early last month.

Thompson had a long history of domestic violence against Shaw. In 2011, she obtained an order of protection against him and in 2012, Thompson was convicted of violating that order. In addition, he had nearly 20 domestic assault convictions with various women. Police determined he had assaulted Shaw again two weeks before her death.

According to the criminal complaint, on Sept. 17, 2013, someone working at a business at 5001 Cedar Lake Road in St. Louis Park found Shaw’s body by the fence behind the business. She had been beaten to death.

On Sept. 12, Rachel Thompson received a call from her father asking her to come to his Minneapolis apartment. When she got there, she noticed her father seemed depressed and his hand was swollen. He asked her to bring him a large container. She returned with a container the next day and her father took it from her in the building lobby, but did not invite her upstairs.

It was two days later, on Sunday Sept. 15, when Thompson asked his sister, Senaca Thompson and his daughter to come to his apartment again. This time the container was heavy and had a foul smell coming from it with bleach mixed in. Thompson loaded the container into Rachel Thompson’s car and eventually they drove near to the place where the body was found and Thompson removed the container from the car, according to the criminal complaint.

Rachel and Senaca Thompson were both charged with aiding an offender. Rachel Thompson is scheduled for trial on Jan. 12 and Senaca Thompson on Jan. 20.