BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– Jurors in a Raleigh County courtroom heard from the mother of a seven-year-old murder victim on Wednesday, November 2, 2022.
Testimony opened during the third day of Rashad “Rico” Thompson’s trial for the murder of Tre-Shaun Brown at Lewis Ritchie Apartments on March 18, 2021.
Thompson is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, two counts of domestic battery, malicious wounding and attempted murder.
Police said he stabbed Felicia Brown during an argument and then beat her disabled son to death with a hammer while Brown was next door asking for help.
Under questioning by Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Hatfield and Thompson’s defense attorney, Stanley Selden, Brown testified that Thompson, a former all-star high school basketball player, had briefly attended Bluefield State University on a partial sports scholarship, but Brown said she was not involved with him when he was a college student.
Brown testified she and Thompson met in 2016 when they both worked at Tamarack Marketplace.
Felicia Brown said Thompson was in a long-term relationship with another woman and had two children with her when she and Thompson began dating.
Brown added she also had two children, including Tre-Shaun, who was autistic and disabled and required 24-hour care since birth. He needed diapers and could not talk.
Selden asked her if the victim, 7, sometimes threw objects. She said that he did.
“He was a handful, wasn’t he?” Selden pressed.
“I learned to deal with it, at a young age,” replied Brown, who was a teenager when Tre-Shaun was born.
When Thompson and Brown entered a relationship, she testified, she worked until the couple’s daughter required additional care. She said she quit working and Thompson continued to work, sometimes two jobs, to care for his children and Tre-Shaun.
Brown said on March 17, 2022, she had been home alone with Tre-Shaun and the couple’s toddler from 2:30 to around 9:30 p.m. She testified she’d called Thompson to alert him that she was upset about an incident at Tre-Shaun’s elementary school. The two made plans to view a school surveillance video together.
Brown testified two of the kids had fallen asleep, one on each living room sofa, about two hours before Thompson came home. She could not recall which sofa Tre-Shaun was sleeping on, she added.
She said she had administered Tre-Shaun’s prescribed sleep medicine to him.
According to Brown, Thompson returned home around 11 p.m. on March 17. She said she and Thompson had alcohol with dinner and began to argue.
“The kids had a cold, and he started arguing with me, telling me the kids were sick because a few days prior I took them outside to play in the rain,” she testified. “I told him kids get sick from germs, not rainwater.”
She said she stepped outside the front door to smoke and text a girlfriend, in order to cool the situation.
Ten minutes later, she said, she came back inside the apartment and continued texting.
She testified Thomspon again began arguing with her about the kids, that he choked her and then called his mother to tell her, “I love you.”
After that phone call, she testified, Thompson told Brown she “was going to die that night” and that he stabbed her multiple times with a knife from her kitchen.
She said she didn’t believe Thompson would hurt the kids. After she was stabbed, she said, she ran next door to ask a neighbor to call for help and to get her kids.
She testified her daughter followed her to the door.
At the neighbor’s apartment, she said, she removed her clothing and wrapped her head in a shirt. The shirt filled with blood, so the neighbor brought a towel, she said.
“You don’t try to rescue either of your two children who were in the apartment that night,” Selden said.
“Correct. I was trying to get help,” Brown replied.
Thompson’s attorney asked if she had told the neighbor Thompson was going to kill her son. She said she did not recall.
“I remember telling her to go get my kids, repeatedly,” she said.
Selden alleged Brown had told Beckley Police Department Detective Lt. Morgan Bragg, around a week after the stabbing, that she’d carried the baby to the neighbor’s apartment.
“I didn’t lie,” Brown testified. “I was losing a lot of blood. I didn’t recall if I swooped her up or if (the neighbor) got her.”
She said she could not recall who carried the baby from the apartment.
“She followed me to the front door. I ran for help,” Brown said.
She testified the neighbor entered Brown’s apartment to get Tre-Shaun. She said she heard her neighbor “gasp,” from her position 20 feet away from her front door.
Brown said the neighbor took her daughter upstairs but would not give her information about Tre-Shaun. She said Thompson’s mother arrived at the apartment and began to apologize to her.
Brown testified she was losing a large amount of blood and fading in and out of consciousness.
Ambulance workers transported her to Beckley ARH Hospital because they were afraid she would not survive a slightly longer trip to the trauma center at Raleigh General Hospital, Brown testified.
Selden suggested someone besides Thompson could have harmed Tre-Shaun, pointing out that some articles of clothing had blood from Brown and Tre-Shaun.
“Isn’t it true that Tre-Shaun was already dead when you left that apartment?” Selden asked Brown.
“That is incorrect,” she shot back.
She said she had not touched Tre-Shaun since he had fallen asleep on the sofa.
Brown said she did not know the reason for Thompson’s alleged attack.
“I still don’t know,” she added.