Five women die in traffic accident. It should have never happened.

The first post I did (Nov. 2021) in my latest stint with the Center cataloged the $3,000 plus in unpaid court fines racked up by then-state Rep. John D. Thompson (DFL-St. Paul).

John Derrick Thompson (b. 1971) left office early this year, having failed in his bid for re-election. His son, Derrick John Thompson (b. 1995) was in the news this weekend, in connection with a horrific car crash that killed five young women, ages 17-20. Quoting from the Minneapolis Star Tribune,

Though police have not publicly named the driver, two sources identified him as 27-year-old Derrick John Thompson, of Brooklyn Park. Public records indicate that he is the son of former state Rep. John Thompson, DFL-St. Paul.

The always alert Lou Raguse of KARE 11 reports on Twitter that the younger Thompson is out of the hospital and now in jail on murder charges:

Searching the state judicial database for “27-year-old Derrick John Thompson, of Brooklyn Park” produces 13 other results, mostly vehicle-related.

The most recent result was a parking ticket the younger Thompson (or at least his vehicle) received in June 2021 in NE Minneapolis.

You need to go back to June 2018 for the next case in Minnesota, which involved speeding and marijuana possession. A July 2017 case involved fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and presenting a false ID. The original charge involved a felony count, later pled down to a gross misdemeanor.

There were additional marijuana and crack cocaine possession charges dating from December 2016 and May 2015. The 2015 case (for crack cocaine) resulted in a felony conviction.

Gun-related felony charges from January 2014 were pled down to a single misdemeanor conviction. A one-year jail sentence was stayed. One of the dismissed felony charges involved a “Crime committed for Benefit of a Gang.” He was later accused of violating parole in this case by having contact with known gang members, on two separate occasions, for which he served 90 days in jail.

One of those gang members appears to be someone who was later convicted of second-degree murder. A second appears to have been involved in a separate drive-by shooting incident. Neither case involved Thompson.

Thompson’s October 2015 probation violation report notes that he himself is a “Documented gang member.”

The charge he pled guilty to involved the possession of a 9mm Luger with a filed-off serial number.

Later probation violations involved failed drug tests for marijuana and opiates, among other violations.

Another fleeing from police/gun possession case occurred in July 2014.

The other cases involved minor traffic violations. But to recap his driving record in Minnesota: convictions for speeding, driving after license revocation/suspension, and fleeing police.

All of which pale in comparison to his conviction in California in a September 2018 hit and run case. A 2020 headline in the case reads,

Driver in Montecito hit-and-run that put woman in coma sentenced to 8 years in prison

Montecito is a small beachside town near Santa Barbara, CA. The report from local TV on the 2018 incident continues,

Derrick John Thompson, 23, pleaded guilty to evading an officer, causing injury, leaving the scene of an accident, causing permanent injury and conspiracy to possess marijuana for sale – all felonies.

Indeed, the police found the following in Thompson’s car,

Officers searched the vehicle and found more than 17 pounds of marijuana and over $20,000 in cash.

Thompson was eventually identified as the suspect and was arrested and extradited from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Meanwhile, the woman that was hit by his vehicle fought for her life while in a coma for several weeks.

His 8-year felony conviction appears to have resulted in little prison time, if any. Had authorities in Minnesota and California taken the career of Mr. Thompson more seriously, then 5 young women would still be alive today.

The Star Tribune reports that Thompson’s Minnesota driver’s license was reinstated in March 2023. KSTP reports that Thompson’s license wasn’t reinstated until June 7.

The New York Post includes video of the weekend accident in its reporting.

The Star Tribune is also reporting that Thompson was driving a 2023 Cadillac Escalade that he rented at the airport just 25 minutes before the collision.

The Star Tribune mentions Thompson’s prior Minnesota driving violations, but makes no mention of any drug or gun-related charges or alleged gang affiliation in Minnesota.

Since we last reported on the senior John Thompson in April 2022, he has accumulated four (4) more traffic convictions and an additional $650 in unpaid court fines.