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A Minnesota Man Murdered His Pregnant Girlfriend and Her Toddler Son. Then He Called His Cousin for a Ride.

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Source: Cloquet police; MEGA

Oct. 2 2023, Published 12:04 p.m. ET

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Shortly after murdering his pregnant girlfriend and her toddler son, a man called his cousin for a ride. Right after she picked him up, he confessed to his crimes.

The killer is now spending the rest of his life in prison for the three deaths.

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A judge in Minnesota sentenced Sheldon Thompson, 35, to life in prison for the death of his girlfriend, Jackie Defoe, and her 20-month-old son, Kevin. Defoe was pregnant at the time of her killing.

As a result, Thompson was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder, according to CBS3.

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In March 2020, police in Cloquet, Minnesota, got a call from someone who said they spoke with Thompson. The caller, later identified as his cousin, said Thompson was acting unusual and confessed to the killing, according to KARE 11.

Prosecutors went to Defoe’s home and knocked on the door but got no response. They obtained a search warrant and then found Defoe dead in the closet with deep cuts.

In another room, police found Kevin dead with severe bruising around his neck, according to KARE 11.

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The cousin told police that Thompson called her after the murder to pick him up. She then dropped him off on the side of the road, according to KARE 11. Thompson also called police and said he wanted to turn himself in. When authorities arrived, he had left.

Thompson was arrested a short time later.

Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola told a jury during an opening statement at trial the relationship between Thompson and Defoe was one of power and control.

"The power he exerted over her extended even to that (unborn) baby," Ketola said, according to the Duluth News Tribune. "He was going to decide whether or not it come into the world."

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Thompson left a bloody handprint at the scene and other forensic evidence, according to the News Tribune. There were also previous incidents of domestic violence between the two.

However, the defense contended that Thompson had no motive and there were no witnesses.

"There is no evidence of an attempt to divert attention away," defense attorney Steve Bergeson said, according to the News Tribune. "There is also no evidence that this crime scene was disturbed — that someone washed, bleached, cleaned, did anything to clear the tracks of what they did. Ask yourself: Is that a crime scene of premeditation beyond a reasonable doubt?"

Despite the pleas, Thompson was convicted of the triple murder and now heads to prison.


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