death penalty news—-TEXAS

Oct. 9


Man accused of killing car salesman attacks Dallas jail guards

A 41-year-old man facing charges of capital murder and robbery for
allegedly killing a car salesman by forcing him out of a moving pickup
truck during a test drive attacked his guards during a jailhouse interview
with a Dallas television station.

James Thorpe, who has a history of mental illness, cut short a 10-minute
interview with WFAA on Wednesday by slamming down a phone and shouting
obscenities. He then shoved and scuffled with two guards before a door
closed, blocking the view of the camera operator.

Witnesses told police that salesman John Phinney fell from the passenger
side of the pickup during the test drive Tuesday night. It was unclear
whether Phinney was pushed from the truck, which was probably traveling
more than 50 mph, police said.

Thorpe was arrested later Tuesday and was being held Wednesday on a $3
million bond at the Dallas County jail. It was not immediately clear
whether Thorpe had an attorney.

Thorpe denied pushing Phinney out of the vehicle in jailhouse interviews
with Dallas-Fort Worth reporters. He said the car salesman jumped out
while the vehicle was going about 50 mph.

Thorpe referred to himself as the "anti-Christ" and said he had no remorse
over Phinney's death because the victim "was possessed."

(source: Associated Press)