Man arrested in suspected murder of wife in Burleson
BURLESON – Richard Allen Ward originally told police that his wife, Cynthia Thompson, had hanged herself. But authorities believe Ward actually killed her.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s database indicates Thompson, 52, was pronounced dead at Texas Health Huguley Hospital Fort Worth South at 5:03 a.m. on Sat. Jan. 28.
The results of the subsequent medical examiner’s investigation, being conducted by Dr. Marc Krouse, were still pending on Friday, Feb. 3, results show.
“We’re waiting on that final report,” Burleson Police Chief Billy J. Cordell said.
Burleson Police Sgt. Wes Routson said authorities were called to the couple’s home between 3:45 a.m. and 4 a.m. Sat. Jan. 28.
Attempts to resuscitate the victim with CPR were unsuccessful, and authorities were wary of Ward’s explanation that his wife had died by her own hand.
“Once they went on scene – and after consulting with the medical examiner’s office – they determined it was not a suicide as reported by the husband,” Sgt. Routson said.
Ward, 53, was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to the Johnson County Jail, where he remained Friday, Feb. 3, reports show.
“We asked him to come to the PD on Monday (Jan. 30) to talk,” the sergeant explained. “An arrest warrant was issued and we then arrested him at the PD with the warrant and transferred him to jail. Bond was set at $500,000.”
Information about the state of the couple’s marriage – such as if Ward had ever been violent toward Thompson – was not immediately available.
However, Burleson Police are combing through Ward’s history as part of their investigation, the chief said.
It is known that in September 2015, Ward was convicted in Johnson County Court At Law #2 after pleading guilty to “assault causing bodily injury/family violence,” a Class A misdemeanor.
As a result, Ward was sentenced to 38 days in jail – with credit for 38 days time served, records show.
It was not immediately clear Wednesday if the victim in that case was Ward’s wife.
This was Burleson’s first homicide of 2017, records show.
The city's homicide count has been pretty low over the years, the police chief added.
There was a traffic related homicide case in April 2016 and another traffic related case in 2015, he said.
“Our Crime Analyst looked at data back to 2000 and we had a murder in 2012 but no other murders back to 2000,” the police chief said.