After the tragedy, Charles Thompson turned himself in, in the presence of his father.
On May 1, 1998, charges of manslaughter were filed against him in the case of Darren Cain. When Ms. Hayslip died, the charges were changed to capital murder on May 7, 1998.
Because two people lost their lives, the prosecution ensured that Charles’ case would be a capital murder trial. This is allowed according to Texas law, but ONLY if it was premeditated murder in both cases, which is not the case at all. There was no premeditation in either death.
On April 12, 1999 the trial started. The key issue of the trial was whether, as alleged, Thompson caused the death of Dennise Hayslip. The jury had only two options: either it was capital murder for both deaths, or it was murder for Cain only. If the jury would have not have decided for capital murder for both deaths, Thompson would have received no punishment for the death of Dennise Hayslip. This made the decision for the jurors very easy, especially considering the inadequate defense Thompson got at his trial.
The trial lasted only three days, at the end of which Charles Thompson was found guilty of double capital murder.
Two days later, on April 16, 1999, he was sentenced to death.