Suspected Fort Worth serial killer to undergo mental illness examination before trial

·1 min read

A Tarrant County magistrate has ruled there is reasonable cause to believe suspected serial killer Jason Thornburg has a mental illness or intellectual disability.

Thornburg, 41, is accused of killing three people whose bodies were dismembered and burned in a dumpster in Fort Worth on Sept. 22. He is also accused of killing his roommate Mark Jewell, 61, by setting their house on fire in May and of killing his girlfriend, Tanya Begay, 36, in Arizona in 2017.

After his Sept. 27 arrest for the triple homicide in Fort Worth, Thornburg confessed to killing the five victims to police.

In her ruling issued Tuesday, Mental Health Magistrate Judge Nelda T. Cacciotti ordered a mental health or intellectual and developmental expert to interview Thornburg to see if he has a disability. The order also asks for information on whether he had received any treatment recommendations or services in the past.

According to the order, the findings will determine whether Thornburg is competent to stand trial or if he will have to undergo a complete competency examination. A written report of the interview is to be provided to the Cacciotti no later than 96 hours after the order was issued.

Thornburg described himself as having in-depth knowledge of the Bible and believed he was being called to commit sacrifices, he told Fort Worth police before his arrest, according to an arrest warrant.

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