comments

Placer County seeking Oregon jail inmate in 2000 killing

By: The Associated Press and Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
A man who claims to be affiliated with a gang of violent transients who ride freight trains is being held in Oregon and facing extradition to Placer County to face a murder charge, The Eugene Register-Guard has reported. Michael Allen Thompson, 43, who is also known as Michael Adams, also faces extradition to Texas, where he’s wanted on a second murder charge. Thompson was arrested May 17 in Clark County, Wash., after a fight. He was brought to Lane County, Ore., on a charge of failing to appear in court on drug charges after an arrest in Eugene in 2000. Oregon authorities later learned Thompson was wanted by law enforcement investigating deaths in Placer County and El Paso, Texas. Police in Roseville said detectives used DNA evidence to link Thompson to a 2000 homicide but would provide no further information. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office is also taking part in the Thompson case but was not providing details Monday on the slaying 11 years ago. Lane County court records show Thompson has waived extradition to Placer County but has not agreed to surrender to Texas authorities. Police in Texas allege that Thompson beat a 51-year-old homeless woman to death on March 15. In that case, 51-year-old Venus Sloan Driscoll was found covered by dirt and brush in a vacant lot. She was last seen in the company of Thompson, authorities there said. Driscoll died from blunt-force trauma to the head and investigators are alleging that Thompson – also known as “Crazy Mike,” “Dirty Mike” and “Nasty Mike” – acted alone. Thompson told a Clark County sheriff’s deputy that he was an “enforcer” with a train-hopping gang known as the Freight Train Riders of America, said Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Schanaker. In a brief ride to the jail, Thompson told a deputy it was the third time he had been arrested for murder and he had “beaten the rap on the previous two charges.” Thompson has railroad tracks tattooed on the side of his face. When he was arrested, he had a folding black knife in one of his pockets and he wore a black bandanna around his neck – a symbol of elite standing with the gang, The Columbian reported on May 24. El Paso police spokesman Mike Baranyay told the Register-Guard that a potential affiliation with the railroad gang is “not relevant” to the case there. Authorities say Thompson acted alone in killing the woman, whose body was found in a shallow grave. The Register Guard also contributed to this report.