Thomas Destories, a.k.a. "Paydirt," Pleads Guilty to Killing Speed-Cam Operator
The Phoenix man (known as "Paydirt"), who shot and killed the operator of a speed-camera van in April of last year, seems to have gotten his wish: photo-radar is now done-zo on Arizona highways.
Not that it's likely to affect him -- he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this morning and probably will be sentenced to more than two decades in prison.
Thomas Patrick Destories, 69, was in Maricopa County Superior Court this morning where he entered the guilty plea to the murder of Doug Georgianni, who was shot and killed while doing paperwork in the back of a photo-enforcement van on April 19, 2009.
Lawyers for Destories had tried to convince a judge that he was crazy. Two different psychologists, however, found that Destories wasn't nuts and perfectly capable to stand trial.
Destories shot Georgianni, a "driver technician" for Red Flex, as he worked in the back seat of a marked DPS photo-radar van parked on the side of the eastbound lanes of the Loop 101, just east of 7th Street.
Check out all the details here.
Destories' attorneys claimed that he suffered from mental illness since the 1970s, which is what prompted him to -- for no apparent reason -- shoot up a photo-radar van.
Once it became clear the crazy train wouldn't be an option, Destories copped his plea.
The deal stipulates that in exchange for a guilty plea, Destories be sentenced to 22 years in prison (which, for him, probably amounts to a life sentence).
His sentencing is scheduled for August 20.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.