Man charged in 3 Texas deaths indicted in roommate’s slaying

Posted at 8:23 PM, February 18, 2022 and last updated 4:50 PM, July 5, 2023

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A man accused of killing three people whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster in Texas in September was indicted Friday in the killing of his roommate, who was found dead in another fire months earlier.

The Tarrant County district attorney’s office says a grand jury indicted Jason Alan Thornburg, 41, on charges of murder and arson in the death of Mark Jewell, 61.
Thornburg was indicted in December on a charge of capital murder of multiple people in the deaths of David Lueras, 42, Lauren Phillips, 34, and Maricruz Mathis, 33. Their bodies were found in a burning dumpster in Fort Worth.

FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Fort Worth Police Department shows Jason Thornburg. On Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, a grand jury in Fort Worth, Texas, returned a capital murder indictment against Thornburg, who authorities said confessed to killing five people, including three whose dismembered bodies were found in a burning dumpster earlier in the year. (Fort Worth Police Department via AP, File)

During an interview with police, he confessed to killing those three as well as his roommate and girlfriend, according to his arrest warrant. He told officers he had in-depth knowledge of the Bible and believed he was being called to “commit sacrifices,” according to the arrest warrant.

Thornburg’s roommate died in a suspicious house fire in Fort Worth in May, the arrest warrant said. At the time, the medical examiner had not been able to determine Jewell’s cause of death.

During the police interview in September, Thornburg said he had slit Jewell’s throat, then uncapped a natural gas line and lit a candle, according to the arrest warrant.

When police asked Thornburg about any other sacrifices, he brought up his girlfriend, according to the arrest warrant.

Tanya Begay, a Navajo woman from Gallup, New Mexico, has been missing since taking a trip to Arizona with Thornburg in 2017.

The FBI on Friday had no update on her case.

Thornburg remained jailed in Fort Worth on $1 million bond. Thornburg’s attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment.