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Cloquet man charged with killing mother, son, unborn child, bail set at $1 million

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CLOQUET, MN -- The man accused of killing a mother, her son, and an unborn baby in Cloquet was charged with three counts of murder Tuesday morning.

Sheldon James Thompson, 33, of Cloquet, appeared in Carlton County Court, where a judge set his bail at $1 million.

Thompson was arrested after the bodies of Jackie Defoe, 27, and her 20-month-old son, Kevin Junior, were found inside a Cloquet home on Locke Lane Sunday morning. Court records show Defoe was 13 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

According to the criminal complaint, on Saturday, March 7, someone called 911 to reported they had spoke with Thompson, who they told police was acting unusual.

That person told police Thompson allegedly admitted he had killed Defoe and made a gesture indicating he may have strangled her.

After receiving that report, officers with the Fond du Lac Police Department went to Defoe's house in Cloquet Saturday to check on her.

According to the criminal complaint, officers knocked on the door, but no one answered. Authorities say officers couldn't see anyone inside, but saw damage to the front door.

Court documents indicate a Fond du Lac Housing worker told officers he had been doing work at the home on Friday and saw the home to be in "disarray," which he told authorities was unusual. The worker told authorities that both bedroom doors were closed and he did not enter the bedroom.

Officers then applied for a search warrant.

When they entered the bedroom, they found Defoe's body in a closet with several deep cuts, according to the criminal complaint.

In a separate bedroom, officers found Kevin Junior's body with bruising around his head.

According to court documents, Thompson sometimes lived at the home, but wasn't present when officers were there.

Law enforcement began searching for Thompson, according to court records.

They determined he was allegedly in a vehicle with another person. Court documents indicate that person picked Thompson up from a home in Cloquet and, after driving around for a period of time, dropped him off on the side of the road.

Court documents show Thompson apparently called 911, wanting to turn himself in and gave authorities a location.

When officers arrived at that location, Thompson was apparently not there.

He was eventually located and arrested in a wooded area about eight miles from the crime scene with help from a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter and K9.

Police have not shared an exact motive for the crime, but they did say that Thompson and Defoe knew each other and may have had a past relationship.

Thompson is due back in court on Monday.

According to past court records, Thompson has been convicted of assault six times.

His most recent assault conviction was from 2016. He was also convicted of violating a domestic abuse no contact order in 2017.

Briggs LeSavage

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