For as long as people have needed places to live, landlords have been in existence. Because the landlord “lords” shelter over their tenants’ heads, these relationships have often been tense. If something is not going the way one of the two parties expects things to go, arguments can erupt, which may result in violence. But there might never have been a case quite as violent and bloody as one that occurred in Hartford, Connecticut, during the last week.

Victor King, 64, a professional bridge player, confronted his tenant at his rental property in Hartford, Connecticut. Because the pair got into a heated argument over the payment process, the tenant, Jerry David Thompson, 42, started waving his samurai sword at the landlord. On Sunday afternoon, King was found dead in the kitchen of his home in Hartford with his head separated from his body. Thompson was arrested on Monday.

Thompson had recently moved into King’s home as a tenant. Following his arrest, he told police he was a sovereign citizen, which puts him above the law. He is refusing to cooperate with the police investigation into the murder of the landlord. King’s body had been partially covered by a sheet when police found his decapitated remains in the kitchen.

The police were called to King’s home after his friends became worried since they had not heard from him. He was usually very responsive.

Thompson was arrested by police the following day because King had called in the incident that Thompson had waved his sword at him during a previous altercation. Following the arrest, he wrote a message to the police that they should look for a “paper in glove compart in Jeep” because it “is all you need.”

The paperwork that Thompson was referring to indicating that he was a sovereign citizen. This means that he is not a typical citizen of the United States.

On Tuesday, Thompson was arraigned in Superior Court. His previous arrests and convictions of assault and robbery were brought before the court. He is currently held on $2 million bail and faces murder charges for what he did to the Connecticut landlord.

King’s cousin, Jim Banks, spoke to reporters about how King won the national championship in bridge in 2016, admitting he was “very good at” the card game.

Banks added, “Very good at teaching others to play it. Just a kind and gentle person whose first love was bridge. [King was] one of the good guys — one that would never hurt a soul. One that would always reach out and help others. He was pleasant as can be. Always seemed to be happy. He was just a joy to be around.”

Paul Linxwiler, the executive editor of the Bridge Bulletin, said that King was among their “highest rank.”

Linxwiler added: “He was known as a top player from New England.”

As the investigators sort through the evidence, they will have to come to terms with Thompson’s paperwork of sovereign citizenship, which could throw a dastardly wrench into the court proceedings.

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