St. Louis Man Will Serve 30 Days for Letting Overdose Victim’s Body Rot

A jury deliberated just 90 minutes before finding David Thompson guilty of felony abandonment of a corpse

Mar 6, 2024 at 4:08 pm
David Thompson.
David Thompson. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

A St. Louis jury this afternoon sentenced a 48-year-old man to one month in city jail for allowing the body of an acquaintance who overdosed in his Dutchtown apartment to rot for five days before abandoning the corpse near a back alley.

In her closing arguments, prosecutor Jessica Vestal said that David Thompson took the body of Glenn Williams and "dumped him like he was a piece of trash."

On March 30, 2023, the 47-year-old Williams died of a fentanyl overdose in Thompson's living room, just one day after the two men first encountered each other. Thompson, who took the stand in his own defense near the conclusion of his trial, testified he and WIlliams met when Thompson was out walking his dogs and Williams was dancing in the street. Right away, the two had a "real good energy and vibe," Thompson said.

Back at Thompson's apartment, Williams tried on clothes (he needed a new jacket) and ate a homemade dinner of spaghetti and chocolate cake. He used Thompson's cell phone to call a job resource center, his sister and his girlfriend.

Then, the following night, Williams dropped dead of a fentanyl overdose. 

Thompson testified he didn't call the police for fear of getting evicted. He'd recently lost his job after suffering a concussion from a Lime scooter accident. He'd previously had tension with his landlord. He worried if police showed up, it would be the final straw and he and his dogs would wind up living on the street. 

Thompson testified that there were other factors keeping him from calling the cops. His abusive, controlling ex-husband, Mattie Bono, had recently shown back up in his life, coming to his apartment wielding an ax. In the wake of Williams' death, Bono was back at the apartment, Thompson claimed, controlling the situation. He alleged that one of Bono’s ne'er do well associates, a man named Turbo was there, too. He claimed that Bono and Turbo told Thompson the best thing to do would be to move the body outside, where its discovery wouldn't be associated with Thompson's apartment, sparing him from eviction. 

But there were delays followed by delays, and for five days Williams' body lay on Thompson's living room floor. The undignified situation was made all the more so by a pillow placed over Williams' face. Written on the pillowcase in highly stylized lettering were the words, "I'm not always a bitch. Just kidding. Go fuck yourself."

For five days, Thompson said he talked to the dead man, "comforted" him. During this time, Thompson ate food, steak and potatoes specifically, though he did that in a different room. Thompson said he was mostly around his apartment during that time, though he did go into the building's basement and occasionally venture out to walk the dogs and go to nearby gas stations. 

"It was the weirdest thing ever," Thompson testified about those five days.

During that time, too, presumably to conceal the smell of a rotting corpse, Thompson wrapped Williams' body in a large plastic tarp as well as Saran wrap. He rolled the already-wrapped body in one carpet and then another. On Tuesday morning, five days after Williams’ death, he dragged the body down to the parking pad abutting the alley behind his apartment. He went back inside, got his dogs to take them for a walk and pretended to discover the carpet. 

He then called police, telling them he wasn't sure, but he thought there might be what looked like human feet hanging out of a carpet. They’d better come check it out, he said.

Thompson initially told the skeptical detectives on the scene that he didn’t know who was in the carpet, though his story began falling apart and he eventually told police the man was Williams.

When authorities unraveled the wrappings, they found a body in which significant decomposition had already set in. Williams' face had also imprinted itself onto the profanity-laden pillow. 

Attorney Matthew Mueller made Thompson’s 911 call the focus of the defense, arguing to the jury that Thompson was no hero, but there was no nefarious intent on his part either. After all, he did report to the police the exact location of Williams' body. 

"Who made the 911 call?" Mueller asked the jury during closing arguments. "Was it Mattie Bono? Was it this dude Turbo? No, it was David."

However, in her closing arguments, prosecutor Vestal argued that aside from Thompson, no witnesses placed Bono or anyone named Turbo at the apartment while Williams lay dead inside. And even if Thompson was fearful of Bono, Vestal argued, he had ample opportunities to report Williams' death while walking his dogs or running errands. Vestal also pointed to the fact that Williams had used Thompson's phone to contact his sister and girlfriend. Why didn’t Thompson alert them to their loved one's death?

"Not getting evicted was more important than properly reporting Glenn's death?" Vestal asked the jury to consider. 

People who knew Glenn Williams said he was a free spirit who struggled with addiction. He would go long periods where he worked regular hours and paid his bills, but also slipped into long relapses. 

It was during one such relapse he wound up at Thompson's apartment. 

After two days of hearing arguments, the jury began their deliberation around 11:30 a.m. this morning and returned their verdict after about 90 minutes, finding Thompson guilty of felony abandonment of a corpse.

Thompson left the court today a free man. He will begin serving his 30-day sentence at a later date.

"Thirty days is a win," said his attorney, Mueller, after the trial wrapped up. "They asked for four years." 

On the stand, Thompson said that Williams was the second person to die in his apartment. Someone else had previously passed away there, Thompson said, of a brain aneurysm.

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