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Friend says he called police on man facing charges after woman tortured, beaten

Jacksonville police say 30-year-old Chelsea Thompson died after being hospitalized

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.Editor’s note: This story contains details that some will find graphic. Discretion is advised.

A 37-year-old man has been arrested after police say a Jacksonville woman was beaten and tortured, and later died from her injuries.

Henry Lannon II is held in the Duval County jail without bond. Relatives identified the woman as 30-year-old Chelsea Nicole Thompson.

According to Lannon’s arrest warrant, an older woman who brought the 30-year-old to a fire station said the 30-year-old had been arguing throughout the day with Lannon.

According to JSO, when police confiscated the older woman’s phone, they learned Lannon had gone to a friend’s house in St. Marys. Police there went to the home and talked to the friend there.

According to the warrant, he said Lannon had been staying with him and Lannon told him that he “he killed a girl in Jacksonville” and “needed to burn some stuff.” Police said a burn pile was observed in the friend’s backyard.

RELATED: Jacksonville police investigate murder of 30-year-old woman who was tortured, beaten

On Friday, News4JAX spoke with the friend interviewed by police, who asked not to be identified, saying he’d already received a threat from someone.

“I said, ‘What’s up? What’s going on with you?’ He said he messed up and he needed to burn some stuff,’” the friend recalled.

The friend says he figured Lannon may have gotten into some trouble, but nothing serious, so he granted Lannon’s request to burn something in the back yard without asking him what he needed to burn and why. He says at first, Lannon never mentioned anything about physically harming anyone, but as time went by, he says Lannon told him about a physical confrontation.

“He said, ‘Man, I think I might have killed a girl.’ I said, ‘Henry, you’re not a killer. You didn’t kill anyone.’ Then he went into details about it,” the friend recalled.

The friend told police that Lannon said he tied up the 30-year-old, waterboarded her, smothered her with a pillow and hit her, according to the arrest warrant. The warrant states the friend told police that Lannon said he wanted her to shut up, so he “tortured her” and that “the girl begged for her life.”

“I didn’t know what to believe,” the friend said.

Days later, he said, he began to believe Lannon’s story and that Lannon started to act even more suspicious after finding out Thompson was being taken off of life support.

So, the friend said, he called St. Mary’s police.

“I said he may be wanted in connection to a homicide. I’m not certain, but said he says he may have killed someone,” the friend recalled.

Days later, a warrant out of Jacksonville was issued for Lannon’s arrest. The U.S. marshals were alerted and they found Lannon on Nov. 23 at a hotel on Salisbury Road, according to an arrest report.

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