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Man sentenced to life for beating mom to death with crowbar

December 19, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines man has been sentenced to life in prison for beating his mother to death with a crowbar and then remaining with her body for five days before contacting authorities.

The Des Moines Register reports that 33-year-old Christopher Thompson was sentenced Friday for first-degree murder in the March death of Paula Thompson.

Court documents show she had been trying to get her son to move out of her home and had confided to friends and on social media that she was frightened of him.

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Prior to trial, Thompson pleaded guilty to a separate charge of animal cruelty for killing his mother’s cat with the same crowbar. A separate sentencing hearing on that count is scheduled for Tuesday.

Court records show Thompson has already asked the court to set aside his guilty verdict. His attorneys claim that restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 unreasonably compromised their ability to thoroughly question potential jurors.