Shamal Jeremy Thompson, 22, is a handsome brotha with a taste for the finer things in life. He’s a sharp dresser who gives every appearance of being a young professional on the fast track to success.
But his looks are deceiving — as is usually the case with wanna be ballers who get lured in by Hip Hop’s fake imagery of attaining easy wealth with very little effort.
Unfortunately, for Eugenia “Jeanne” Calle, it was Thompson’s smooth, debonair looks that caught her attention on Tuesday morning as she crossed the lobby of the Aqua building, a luxury hi-rise at 10th and West Peachtree streets where condos sell for up to $2.5 million.
The 57-year-old retired cancer researcher couldn’t tell by looking at him that Thompson didn’t have a job. Or that he was a career criminal looking for an easy mark to hit a lick.
As she approached, she overheard Thompson talking to a real estate agent about viewing condos in her building that day.
Calle, who owned a condo on the 20th floor, was eager to sell so she could move in with her attorney boyfriend. “Don’t forget about mine. It’s for sale, also,” she reminded the sales agent.
But Thompson didn’t forget. Shortly thereafter, a security guard called Calle in her condo to inform her that a man was in the lobby asking to see her condo.
“Would you like for me to escort him up?” the guard asked Calle, according to Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows, who heads the homicide unit at APD. “No, it’ll be fine,” Calle responded. “I don’t want him to think that we don’t trust him.’ “
The guard sent Thompson up to the condo around 2 PM Tuesday. 30 minutes later, Calle was dead.
Her body was found around 11 PM that night by her boyfriend, a tax attorney whose name was not released by police.
According to Meadows, Thompson beat Calle to death with a blunt object. He then dragged her body into her kitchen pantry where he callously removed a diamond ring from her finger. $68 in cash, her credit cards and an electronic entry card were taken from her purse.
Thompson was in a hurry. He had plans for the evening. He went on a shopping spree with Calle’s credit cards, first to Atlantic Station and then to Lenox Square Mall where he purchased clothes, shoes and a $400 watch.
Only expensive brand name items would do for a fake baller like Thompson. According to Meadows, Thompson gave Calle’s diamond ring to a female friend to impress her.
The following evening, Thompson, accompanied by two friends who had fallen for his fake baller act, brazenly returned to the Aqua building. Thompson gained entry to the building using Calle’s stolen electronic swipe card.
When security stopped the group in the lobby, Thompson claimed he owned a condo in the building and flashed the swipe card. But security turned him around. As he left, the security guard took down his license plate number.
By that time, police had already identified Thompson through his cell phone records, and were actively looking for him even before he returned to the Aqua building. “He was extremely brazen,” said Meadows. “It’s a little unsettling when people are that bold. I can’t even put it into words.”
Police arrested Thompson early Thursday morning at a friend’s house off Fairburn Road in southwest Atlanta, where a U.S. Marshals Service had tracked him.
Thompson told police investigators that he pushed Calle in her kitchen and she fell and hit her head. He didn’t think she was dead, he said.