TEXAS, USA — After a gruesome series of murders, a grand jury in Texas has returned an indictment against the man police say confessed to three killings.
Police found three dismembered bodies in a burning dumpster in September.
Jason Thornburg, 41, was indicted Monday on a charge of capital murder in the deaths of David Lueras, Lauren Phillips, and Maricruz Mathis. Authorities said Thornburg has also confessed to killing his roommate and girlfriend in Arizona.
Neighbors were caught off guard by the arrest. Thornburg went to church and neighbor's said they never would have suspected him.
"He seemed like a nice guy, the proverbial ax murderer next door," Wendy Patrick, a career trial attorney said, "You wonder what would ever drive someone in their right mind to do something like this."
Thornburg's girlfriend Tanya Begay, 36, disappeared in 2017, days after Thornburg allegedly assaulted her with a glass coffee pot. Those charges were dropped because Begay never showed up to participate in the case.
According to the Associated Press, Thornburg had a long history of domestic violence and other crimes dating back to 2014.
Her body was never found.
According to authorities, Thornburg allegedly confessed to killing Begay in what he described as a “sacrifice” in the name of God after he was arrested in Texas.
"Tying this man to the Arizona case is what investigators are looking at," Patrick said.
The FBI and Navajo Police Department did not return calls or emails for comment on Begay's case.
According to the AP, Texas medical expert told the court in October that Thornburg might be mentally ill. If so, that could complicate a potential murder trial.
"The jury is going to need to solve for themselves the mystery of what someone is thinking when they actually commit a crime," Patrick said.
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