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Online exclusive: Thomas takes stand in Henson trial

by Canda Harbaugh & Western News
| December 8, 2008 11:00 PM

Drugs, sex and shopping sprees.

That’s how teen Stephen Thomas described the days leading up to Larry Kingsley’s murder on July 12 at Sylvan Lake Campground. Thomas took the stand Tuesday on the second day of Heather Henson’s trial.

Henson is being tried for deliberate homicide, physical evidence tampering and theft of a pickup.

Thomas, a soft-spoken 18-year-old who also faces charges in Kingsley’s death, provided lurid details of the events leading up to the shooting. Thomas said that on July 9 after he was introduced to Kingsley, Henson suggested that they go to an adult bookstore in Kalispell. There, adult items including “fuzzy handcuffs” for Thomas and three “erotic, lingerie outfits” for Henson were purchased.

Thomas testified that while in Kingsley’s camper trailer at the remote Sylvan Lake campground, Henson modeled the lingerie outfits for the 67-year-old Kingsley as well as Thomas. He then testified that after drinking and taking prescription pills, the three engaged in sex.

Over the next few days, Thomas said Kingsley took them on shopping sprees. They also consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana, took prescription medication and shot off Kingsley’s six guns, Thomas said.

Kingsley’s campsite was scattered with several hundred fired and unfired bullet cartridges, according to testimony of lead investigator Dean Byrns of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. Beer cans and bottles of liquor were strewn inside and outside the camper, he said.

On July 10, two nights before the murder, Thomas described how Kingsley began “acting crazy. Kingsley pulled a knife on Thomas, demanding that he “give” Henson to him, Thomas said.

“I figured he was just drunk and wouldn’t remember anything in the morning,” Thomas testified. “I said, ‘Sure, she’s yours. Calm down.’”

The trial before district court judge Michael Prezeau will continue on Wednesday with Thomas’ testimony.