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Shavonte Thompson murder trial set for this week, 2 years after shooting



Jury selection has been completed in La Crosse County court for the suspect in a 2019 murder on La Crosse’s north side. 

Twenty-nine-year-old Shavonte Thompson is accused of shooting and killing 18-year-old Javier Ayers in an alley near Copeland Park on November 2nd of 2019.  Thompson is one of two suspects accused of homicide in the case, which police believe resulted from a feud involving Ayers and Thompson’s family.

District attorney Tim Gruenke and Thompson’s defense attorney Patrick Flanagan chose jurors during an interview process that lasted about an hour. The trial is expected to last two or three days. 

The Thompson trial is one of several outstanding murder cases from the past three years in La Crosse County which have not gone to trial yet. 

Gruenke says the pandemic is partly to blame for a backlog of homicide trials.

“We usually only have maybe one, two at the most pending, and we get ’em done,” says Gruenke. “But with COVID backing everything up, we’ve got a lot pending now, compared to normal.”

Other local murder cases waiting to be tried include that of Anquin St. Junious, accused of fatally stabbing another man in January of 2019…and of Matthew Kinstler, charged with causing the death of another man during an argument outside a Menard’s store last year.

No trial date has been set for two suspects charged in the shooting deaths of three young men at a quarry in West Salem, in July of this year.


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Where's the Sanity

    November 9, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    The pandemic excuse is getting tiresome. It’s time for Mr. Gruenke to earn his paycheck and take the trash out. I hope he is better prepared than he was in the Sackett trial.

  2. Martha A Solomon

    December 3, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    As long as everyone is safe

  3. Jason F Blay

    December 3, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Don’t laugh at the sick but comfort them

  4. Mary G Polk

    December 3, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Take care of

  5. Jeffrey M Lawing

    December 3, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Let go

  6. Susan T Alonzo

    December 3, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Country is great

  7. Tamara P Connell

    December 3, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Wish the country better and better

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