Fannin Co. capital murder suspect could face death penalty

By: Jalah Gray Email
By: Jalah Gray Email

FANNIN COUNTY, TX - Fannin County prosecutors say a man arrested for the murder of his three family members could face the death penalty if he's convicted. Tonight, 52 year old Thomas Taunton is in the Fannin County Jail after being extradited from Louisiana.

Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser says because Taunton has been charged with capital murder, they could possibly seek the death penalty. Taunton is accused of killing 73-year-old Harold Harpst, his 79-year-old wife, Sue, and her daughter, 48-year-old Regina Taunton.

Their bodies were found Saturday behind a barn off State Highway 11 near Sherman. Authorities say the victims died from gunshot wounds. Taunton is charged with three counts of capital murder.

Glaser says once filed, he expects a grand jury will probably hear the case in March, but he says they will review the case thoroughly before deciding how to proceed.

"We look to see if the public would be protected, if the death penalty was sought, if the public can be adequately protected without seeking the death penalty, that would be a consideration as well," said Glaser.

Glaser says if they do seek the death penalty it will be the first time in his eight years in office.

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  • by Son Location: Rockwall on Jan 27, 2012 at 05:49 AM
    This guys killed a man with no legs, a woman in her late 70's and his sister. This is not a domestic dispute, this is a person who handles his problems with violence. IN 2009 he beat up a woman cause he couldn't deal with being wrong. This is a cold blooded killer.
  • by Tina Location: Fannin County on Jan 26, 2012 at 07:32 AM
    No one needs to worry about Mr.Taunton's punishment, we are in Fannin County where Judge Laurie Blake is the QUEEN of justice no matter what the case! With that said everyone should know between Mr. Glaser and Judge Blake whatever they want, they make it happen!!
    • reply
      by Fannin Resident on Jan 26, 2012 at 01:16 PM in reply to Tina
      Nothing wrong with "JUSTICE" no matter what the case IMO.
  • by Bea Location: Mayberry on Jan 25, 2012 at 03:28 PM
    Im not a death penalty advocate; but I think I understand Glaser to mean that this being a domestic dispute, the public is not really in jeopardy, if he was given a sentence and someday released on parole. This is so very sad!
    • reply
      by bill on Jan 27, 2012 at 06:52 AM in reply to Bea
      Fannin Co. has a D.A. that rides around in a truck with license plates that read "hang um" thats only because "offer a plea bargin" is to many letters to fit on a plate !!!
  • by still here Location: fannin county on Jan 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
    There's ALWAYS a first time...SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY!! lET'S SEE...we still have one murder unsolved, one persons body found a week or so ago in southern fannin county who hasn't been identified, and several still about putting some manpower into these cold cases and put murders away and lock them in HEll...
  • by web Location: sherman on Jan 25, 2012 at 01:40 PM
  • by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
    Jurisprudence: WOW, a little angry there? Since there are no previous posts, I am not sure who you are addressing, but I agree he has the right to a trial and the state should have to prove him guilty. I haven't heard anything to the contrary, but I have also heard no suggestion that he is mentally ill. The jury will decide this man's fate when they have all the facts. Do you have some knowlege of this man's mental state that the regular news reading public is unaware? Because just because his actions seem crazy, doesn't mean he is - he can just be evil. I am not saying that he is sane either - he may be crazy as a bedbug, but unless you have knowledge that there is mental illness in this case, there is no reason to start suggesting that he is incompetent.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM
    Well, yes...if he is a "capital murder suspect" he very well could "face the death penalty"...that's what the "capital" in capital murder means.
  • by jurisprudence Location: Texoma on Jan 25, 2012 at 08:54 AM
    This comment was posted in a previous story. It bears repeating. Look, I'm going to get a lot of heat for this but, hey! Before you go wiping your backside with the Constitution, the man deserves due process and every right to a fair trial. I'm not saying he's innocent. Maybe he is every bit as evil as your imagination and the media and what has been reported says he is.... but what if YOU were in his shoes? Would you want to be lynched in public? -didn't think so. What say we let the rule of law prevail? No, I'm not a lawyer or affiliated with the ACLU, Amnesty International, bleeding heart liberal organization(s), and I didn't vote for Obama. If the guy is guilty, the investigation will bear that out. Maybe, just maybe, there is some mental help available to him in order to make him aware, therefore accountable for his alleged actions. Last time I looked, we still live in the U.S.......right??
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