SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scottsdale police have arrested a 26-year-old Tempe man in the stabbing death of former Arizona State University football player Tyrice Thompson.
Ian MacDonald was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder. His girlfriend, Samantha King, 22, of Gilbert, was arrested for assault and hindering prosecution.
Probable Cause Statement
MacDonald is accused of getting into a fight with Thompson, 27, in the parking lot of Martini Ranch after he and his girlfriend were kicked out of the Scottsdale club at about 1 a.m. on Jan. 27. Thompson was working as a bouncer at the bar.
Scottsdale police took MacDonald into custody a few days later but released him while they continued the investigation.
Detectives have determined that club security workers escorted MacDonald and King from the club then left them unattended to respond to a large fight in the parking lot.
Another bouncer then saw MacDonald on the ground with Thompson and said King was pulling Thompson's hair, according to police. The bouncer removed King from Thompson's back and Thompson staggered through the parking lot and collapsed on the sidewalk.
Thompson was stabbed five times in the back, hip and arm. He later died from those wounds.
Club personnel said they did not see anyone else around MacDonald, King and Thompson.
Police interviewed King and said that she admitted to pulling Thompson's hair while he was on top of MacDonald. She also admitted to jumping on the victim's back and hitting him on the right side of his face.
MacDonald told police that he was pushed into the parking lot and held down on the ground by Thompson. He claimed no punches were exchanged and denied stabbing Thompson.
"They [police] have no eyewitness to say he did it," said MacDonald's attorney Jeffrey Mehrens during MacDonald's initial appearance in court on Thursday. "They have no confession. They have no murder weapon. They have exactly nothing. They have him at the scene of a fight."
Detectives interviewed acquaintances who were with MacDonald the night of the stabbing. They said he admitted that he stabbed Thompson and asked for their help in disposing of the knife. Police believe the knife was thrown in a dumpster in Mesa sometime after the stabbing. It has not been located at this time.
MacDonald was transported to MCSO jail for arraignment. His bond was set at $75,000 cash. King was booked and released.
Richard Thompson remembers his deceased son as a person with a lot of charisma.
"When he walked into a room you knew this was a guy that got along with people and that was his greatest asset, he loved people, just like his pops," Thompson said.
He said the legal wrangling that has already begun is much ado about nothing because it won't bring back Tyrice.
"Nothing will change the fact that I've lost my son," Thompson said.
Thompson's funeral is set for Sunday. An account has been established to help pay medical bills and funeral expenses. Anyone interested in supporting the family's efforts can contact any Comerica Bank location in the Valley and use Tyrice Thompson Memorial Fund and account number 8002373853. For more information visit www.thesundevils.com/sports.