I have the following info I found while researching the family,as to how and why Thomas. Today, I look back on this as a possible needless tragic death, due to beliefs and superstion....
Thomas Cornell (Jr.) was accused, tried, convicted and hanged for the alleged murder of his mother, Rebecca Briggs Cornell, in Portsmouth in 1673. He was convicted using circumstantial evidence as well as spectral evidence, where witnesses recounted dreams involving ghosts pointing to his alleged guilt. American jurisprudence was later modernized to exclude the use of apparitions and dreams as evidence in trials. This case and its history has been chronicled in the book Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell by Elaine Forman Crane.
Courtesy Dave Waz:
Thomas had two wives. His first wife was Elizabeth Fiscock whom he married 2 Nov 1642 in Portsmouth RI. They had four sons:
Thomas (abt 1653 - 14 Oct 1714)
Stephen (1656 - before 1723)
John (b. 1658/9)
Edward (born after 1660 but before 1667 - 1708
Thomas' second wife was Sarah Earle. They had three daughters:
Sarah (abt 1668 - 25 Jun 1748)
Mary (b. abt 1670)
Innocent (after 23 May 1673 - 1720)