Convicted child killer in Fayetteville resentenced to life in prison

Christopher Segerstrom was resentenced to life in prison for the murder of 4-year-old Barbara Thompson in 1987.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A Fayetteville man convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a 4-year-old child in 1986 has been resentenced for the crime.

Christopher Segerstrom was originally sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for Barbara Thompson’s death in 1987. On Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, Segerstrom was resentenced to life in prison for the murder. 

Segerstrom was 15-years-old on when he was convicted of capital murder for sexually assaulting and killing Thompson. He is accused of hitting Thompson on the head with a rock and suffocating her in a wooded area near the University of Arkansas.

He was released from the Arkansas State Hospital last year and court records show he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and an antisocial personality disorder. He was being held at the Washington County Jail up until his recent resentencing. 

His resentencing comes after the U.S. Supreme Court and Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that juveniles could not be sentenced to life without parole. Meaning, that anyone who was sentenced as a teen to life without parole has to be resentenced.

In April 2017, the State of Arkansas filed a motion for resentencing in Washington County Circuit Court under the Fair Sentencing of Minors Act of 2017 (FSMA).

During the resentencing trial, a doctor from the Arkansas State Hospital testified that while Segerstrom has a low IQ, he believes that the convicted killer does have the mental capacity to act out to “get what he wants.” 

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