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Charges dismissed in St. Louis stabbing that led to fatal encounter with police

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ST. LOUIS — The Circuit Attorney’s Office has dismissed first-degree assault and armed criminal action charges against a suspect accused of handing a knife to a spouse before city police fatally shot the spouse in 2017.

A spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner declined to explain the dismissal, calling it a closed case.

Kristy Thompson

Kristy Thompson, charged in connection with a stabbing that triggered a fatal confrontation between officers and Kenneth "Kiwi" Herring, according to police.

A prosecutor Friday filed a dismissal memo dropping the case against Kristy Lynn Thompson, 31, who police say handed Kenny “Kiwi” Herring a kitchen knife that Herring used to stab a neighbor.

The man police said Herring stabbed had lived downstairs from Herring, Thompson and their three sons in a two-family flat. They had argued with the man over a barbecue fire pit on a back deck that the man denied starting. The man survived the stabbing.

The confrontation drew police to the 5200 block of Ridge Avenue on Aug. 22, 2017, where two police officers opened fire, killing Herring during a scuffle.

Herring, 30, died at the scene. Herring’s death prompted vigils and a march involving members of the LGBT community who said Herring was a transgender woman and that Thompson is a transgender man who were married.

Kenny "Kiwi" Herring

Kenny "Kiwi" Herring, in a photo posted on social media by friends and members of Herring's family.

Court records say Thompson entered a pretrial diversion program in August 2019 but was rejected from the program in December of that year when Thompson’s lawyer failed to appear for a plea hearing. Gardner has hailed diversion programs as integral to providing rehabilitative resources to low-level nonviolent offenders. It is not clear if Thompson resumed the diversion program or why Thompson was eligible.

Gardner’s spokeswoman said the police killing of Herring remains under investigation.

Thompson’s lawyer could not be reached Wednesday.

Protesters hold candlelight vigil

People hold a candlelight vigil for Kenneth "Kiwi" Herring, a transgender woman, at Hunt Avenue and S. Vanderventer Avenue on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Herring was shot and killed by police on Tuesday. Police say Herring stabbed an officer in the arm before she was shot and killed. Officers responded to Herring's house because there was a report of a stabbing in the area, police have accused Herring of being the suspect who stabbed a man at the scene. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

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Joel Currier is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter here: @joelcurrier.

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