Murder Charge Nets 8-Year Sentence

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By Shannon Taylor

Post Associate Editor

A Weakley County woman, 38-year-old Jessica Rena Thompson, was sentenced in the 27th Judicial District Circuit Court on Monday, Nov. 13 by Judge Jeff Parham to serve 8 years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections for charges stemming from January 2022.

Thompson and her husband, Christopher Thompson, were both arrested Jan. 22, 2022, after they were accused of the murder of Christopher’s niece, Mandy Noe of Paris, after an alleged dispute between the couple. 

The investigation then showed that the couple took steps to hide the body on their property via a tractor that was rented with attachments designed to move dirt. Captain Marty Plunk with the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department led the investigation and Noe’s body was discovered in a clandestine grave on the property off of Highway 190, in the Jolley Springs area, by former Weakley County Sheriff Mike Wilson, Sheriff Terry McDade and Investigators Neil Cantrell and Mason Wortham along with members of Weakley County Ambulance Service. 

The couple was indicted by the Grand Jury in May 2022. Both were charged with aggravated neglect of a vulnerable adult and abuse of a corpse. Christopher was additionally charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. Jessica was additionally charged with accessory after the fact and false reports. 

Christopher accepted a guilty plea lesser charge for the first-degree murder, which was reduced to second-degree murder. All other charges were dismissed. He has to serve 100 percent of his 20-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Corrections. 

For the count of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a Class B felony, Jessica was facing a minimum of eight years and a maximum of twelve years with fines up to $25,000. Parham sentenced her to 8 years in TDOC to serve at 30% before she is eligible for parole. 

For the count of abuse of a corpse, a Class E felony, Jessica was facing a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years with fines up to $3,000. Parham sentenced her to 2 years in TDOC to serve at 30% to run concurrent with the 8 years. This means that her sentence runs at the same time as her other sentences. According to Justia Law, “A Judge can give a concurrent sentence to a defendant convicted of more than one crime as a form of leniency or plea bargain with the longest period of time among the sentences is controlling.”

For the count of tampering with evidence, a Class C felony, Jessica was facing a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years with fines up to $10,000. Parham sentenced her to 3 years in TDOC at 30% to run concurrently.

For the count of accessory after the fact, a Class E felony, Jessica was facing one to six years with fines up to $3,000. Parham sentenced her to serve 2 years in TDOC at 30% to run concurrently. 

For the count of felony false reports, a Class D felony, Jessica was facing two to twelve years with fines up to $5,000. Parham sentenced her to serve 2 years in TDOC at 30% to run concurrently.

The count of aggravated neglect of an elderly/vulnerable adult, a Class B felony, was dismissed.

Thompson received pretrial jail credit from Feb. 2, 2022 to Nov. 13, 2023. 

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