On Friday, June 18, 2010, a Dallas County jury sentenced Donald Andrew Bess to death for the rape and murder of SMU student Angela Samota in 1984. The case had remained unsolved until 2008, when Bess’ DNA was matched to the slaying. He has been serving a life sentence for another rape since 1985.
According to the Dallas Morning News, “Bess, 61, suffered a heart attack during the trial, which caused a three-day delay, and suffers from diabetes, morbid obesity and heart disease.”
This is the sixth new death sentence in Texas thus far in 2010 and the first from Dallas County this year. Dallas County has sent 98 individuals to death row since 1976.