POTOSI, Mo. – A 35-year-old St. Francois County serving a life sentence for murder has died in prison. The Missouri Department of Corrections reports that Jeffrey Thurman was pronounced dead at the Potosi Correction Center Friday at around 8:45 pm.
Thurman entered the prison system on December 16, 2011. He pled guilty to the 2007 beating death of Ricky Haynes and accepted a life sentence without parole so the state would not seek the death penalty.
Thurman’s attorneys argued that he was not eligible for the death penalty because of mental impairment. A doctor said he was born with brain damage. But, the lawyers did not argue that he was incompetent or not responsible for the death.
David Bradley was also convicted for murder for the death of Ricky Haynes. Thurman admitted to helping Bradley to commit the murder.
Ricky Haynes disappeared in January of 2007. Police started looking for David Bradley and Jeffrey Thurman to question them about his disappearance and the theft of several vehicles.
Thurman eventually helped the police find the body. He confessed to choking Haynes and stomping his head. The body was dumped in a rural area.