Fannin Co. capital murder suspect could face death penalty

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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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