A valley father is accused of killing the family dog, and then putting it into a BBQ smoker. Police say Patrick Thompson told them he was having some kind of episode and believe he needed to make a religious sacrifice.
Thompson has deep ties to the valley. He's a former ASU football player, and once worked for DCS. He currently owns a catering company.
Court paperwork says this all started as an argument with his daughter, and then quickly escalated to a disturbing crime, killing the family dog, and claiming the devil made him do it.
Thompson made his first appearance in court Monday, after facing animal abuse charges. Paperwork shows the incident began when Thompson got into an argument with his daughter at their Goodyear home over a t-shirt he thought had something to do with the devil. Thompson forced his daughter to burn the shirt in a smoker.
The documents say Thompson went into the home and told his family that a male needed to be sacrificed, that it had to be him, his 6-year-old son, or the dog. In front of the entire family, Thompson grabbed the small poodle and broke its neck, then put it into the smoker. Thompson told them he had to do it for God, and that the devil told him to do it.
Thompson's wife says they are focusing on family right now.
"What I will tell you is this, this girl that just answered the door is getting ready to graduate from high school, and that is what we're concentrating on," she said.
The news has shocked neighbors.
"He was a hard working man. He was always preparing the barbecue to wherever he took it afterward," said one resident.
One neighbor described him as having a heart of gold.
"He was very disciplined, a very good guy. I'm very sorry to hear about it because they seemed like very nice and hard working people," said another neighbor.
The family did issue a statement on Facebook in part, "Pat is suffering from a deeply mental problem from being overstressed from the business. His family is grieving from this, and we ask that you please give his family some peace."