News

Alleged Killer of Speed-Camera Operator May be Claiming Crazy

The trial for the man accused of murdering a speed-camera operator as he sat parked on a Valley freeway has been delayed so psychologists can determine whether he is competent to be tried.

Thomas Patrick Destories, 68, was scheduled to stand trial on January 11 for a first-degree murder charge stemming from the murder of 51-year-old Doug Georgianni, as he sat in the back seat of a speed-camera van filling out paperwork on April 19 of last year.

According to authorities, Destories pulled behind the van and then next to it before firing.

No motive has been released to the public, but it seems Destories was trying to damage the van, not the person sitting in the backseat filling out paperwork.



"I'm sorry. I was going to turn myself in,'' he told police when he was arrested. "I didn't mean for anyone to get hurt. I saw it on the news. The gun is in the saddlebag."

Destories attorney, Vanessa Smith, says in court documents uncovered by the Associated Press that her client has a history of mental illness dating back to 1970 and that he has acted paranoid during conversations with her. As a result, she's requested a psychological evaluation.  

"Mr. Destories may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect that affects his ability to understand the proceedings against him and to rationally assist in his own defense,'' Smith wrote in a court document.

Destories competency hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King