LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Lyndon man currently on trial for murdering his former girlfriend and business partner is now facing a new charge. Thomas Kessinger was arraigned as a persistent felony offender in the middle of day two of his trial for the death of 51-year-old Diane Tanselle.
Prosecutors want the persistent felony offender charge added to the three he is currently on trial for, including murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
A grand jury indicted him Tuesday based on previous drug convictions he has here in Kentucky. He also pled guilty to possession of marijuana and escaping police in Indiana after he led police on a chase when they showed up at his house back in April 2010 when Diane Tanselle went missing. Jurors have not yet heard of this new charge. His attorney is objecting to adding it in considering they are already on day two of this trial.
Jurors did hear from a wide range of witness from police to Diane's daughter and boyfriend as well as Kessinger's neighbors. They told the jury he was always nice, but they did notice some odd behavior on April 5, 2010 three days after Diane was last heard from and two days before her body was found dumped in a van in an apartment complex parking lot.
"Between 11:30 and noon we were eating lunch through my bay window saw my neighbor behind his house sort of like a wooded lot, looking for something. . Thought someone had broken into his car and he was looking for what they dropped as I was going to ask for help he got in his car and drove away," says neighbor Drew McCoy.
Police eventually found Tanselle's broken cell phone in that wooded area. Jurors also saw pictures of Kessinger at Home Depot around the time Tanselle was missing buying duct tape and a tarp as well as testimony from Crime Scene Investigators about possible blood samples found in Kessinger's home. Prosecutors say they belonged to Tanselle.
The prosecution is expected to rest its case Thursday, at which point the defense for Kessinger will begin their case.
The trial could wrap up by Friday.