Updated 12/10/2003 10:25 PM
Thompson brothers found guilty on all charges
After just a few short hours a Travis County jury reached its decision in the case of two brothers accused of beating a young boy after Bible study.
After closing arguments the jury deliberated a little over three hours. The eight women and four men found both Joshua and Caleb Thompson guilty on two counts each. Count one, injury to a child, a first-degree felony and count two, aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.
The Thompsons showed no emotion as Judge Brenda Kennedy read their guilty verdicts, but the boy's mother was visible shaken and in tears.
During the trial, Joshua admitted he repeatedly struck the boy with a tree branch, but said he did it because the boy's parents asked him to so the boy wouldn't go down the wrong path.
Prosecutors said the beating was done out of spite and vengeance because of a fight between Joshua's wife and the boy's mother. The boy ended up in intensive care for a week and was on the verge of kidney failure.
"Josh Thompson unleashed his anger and his rage on that 11-year-old boy, while his brother held him down. Caleb Thompson had a choice. He made his choice and stood by his brother," prosecutor Beth Payan said in closing arguments.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Gerry Goldstein had this to say about his client Joshua.
"When I go home tonight my little boy is going to ask me what I did today. And I'm going to tell him that I stood up for a young man that had the guts and courage to admit his mistake and to ask forgiveness for him. That took a lot in this case," Goldstein said.
As the boy's mother left the courtroom she said justice was served.
"The evidence [was] there so I wasn't worried about it. It was just hurting me so much what they did to my son," the boy's mother said.
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The Thompsons used a tree branch to strike the boy on his back. His punishment for goofing off in Bible study class.
Joshua is a pastor with Capital City Baptist Church. His father Hank is the lead minister, but corporal punishment was not condoned by the church.
Both Joshua and Caleb went directly from the courtroom to the county jail. They will appear for sentencing on Thursday morning.
Neither the Thompsons, their attorneys or anyone affiliated with Capital City Baptist Church were willing to comment on the verdict.
The boy's parents also filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Thompsons.