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Man who confessed to killing Arizona girlfriend indicted for Texas murders

Jason Thornburg allegedly confessed to killing his girlfriend in Arizona after he was arrested for a series of separate slayings.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A grand jury in Texas has returned a capital murder indictment against a man authorities have said confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster earlier this year.

The Tarrant County district attorney’s office says Jason Thornburg, 41, was indicted Monday on a charge of capital murder in the deaths of David Lueras, Lauren Phillips and Maricruz Mathis.

Their bodies were discovered in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth in September.

RELATED: Suspected serial killer claims he 'sacrificed' his missing girlfriend in Arizona, police say

According to his arrest warrant, in addition to confessing to their killings, he also confessed to earlier killing his roommate and girlfriend from Arizona.

Tanya Begay, 36, was in a relationship with Thornburg until she disappeared in 2017. Pima County authorities noted Thornburg’s long history of domestic violence and other crimes like carjacking dating back to 2014.

The two also lived in New Mexico where police said Begay was found beaten and bloodied with shards of glass strewn across her face. She told officers Thornburg threw a glass coffee pot at her.

Begay’s family said the couple’s relationship was abusive and often involved hard drug use until she was reported missing.

Her body was never found. However, people living in the Navajo Nation reported seeing Thornburg burning objects near his home in Dilkon right after Begay vanished.

After being arrested in Texas, Thornburg allegedly confessed to killing Begay in what he described as a “sacrifice” in the name of God.

A Texas medical expert told the court in October that there is a reasonable possibility that Thornburg is mentally ill or has an intellectual disability. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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