ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – A possible hate crime is under investigation in St. Francois County, where a man is charged with kidnapping his neighbor in a rural area north of Bonne Terre and beating him for almost two hours.
The sheriff said jail may not be the best place for the suspect.
The victim, Llynn Thompson, spent Tuesday visiting doctors. He said he’s still in a great deal of pain.
“It was very scary,” he said. “I thought I was going to die.”
Brock Striler was charged in the case. Court papers indicate Striler held Thompson at knifepoint for two hours while punching him in the face.
“Got three stitches, broke three bones in my face…he hit me so hard the tooth went right through,” Thompson said.
St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock said Striler struck Thompson several times in an attempt to get Thompson to answer several questions for him.
It could be also be a hate crime. Llynn is married to Kirk Thompson. Llynn said Striler repeatedly used homophobic slurs during the beating.
A month before the beating, court documents indicate Striler may have tried to set the victim’s home on fire. Kirk Thompson showed some of the burn marks on the front porch.
“(Striler) went crazy and snapped,” Kirk Thompson said.
He said Striler’s personality seemed to change recently.
“He kept saying he heard voices and he could hear our thoughts,” Kirk Thompson said.
The victim, his loved ones, and the sheriff seem to agree Striler may need some mental health treatment.
“It seems like the guy may be have some mental health (issues) going along with the criminal activity,” Sheriff Bullock said.
Still, folks want Striler put in prison if convicted.
Court records show Striler has had multiple criminal run-ins with authorities. His bond was set at $75,000 cash-only.