Thursday, June 30 2022

A Port Huron man accused of killing a woman in an alleged drug deal gone wrong will go on trial next month.

Robert Tonchen appeared before St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Lane for a plea hearing on Tuesday. Tonchen’s attorney and the prosecution said no agreement was reached.

The date for the jury trial is set for July 13.

Tonchen is charged with open murder, tampering with evidence, fourth degree arson and habitual enhancement fourth offender in the murder of Stephanie Thompson.

Tonchen was charged after Thompson was found dead in a parked car on Vanness Street in January.

Nicholas Floyd testified at an earlier court hearing. Thompson, who was his girlfriend, met Tonchen shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day to give her drugs.

Floyd said the couple thought Tonchen was going to sell the drugs to pay off a $25 debt.

Thompson was found dead in a parked vehicle with trauma evident to her body in the 2700 block of Vanness Street around 5:45 a.m. Jan. 1, Port Huron Police Department said.

If convicted, Tonchen will face a maximum sentence of life in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years due to the improvement of repeat offenders.

Contact McKenna Golat at [email protected] or (810) 292-0122.

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