Death penalty sought for Thomson

It was just a matter of time.

But prosecutors finally announced Friday that they are seeking the death penalty against a three-time convicted rapist from Washington state who is charged with killing a man in the Cajon Pass in 2006 and then days later attacking motorists in Victorville.

The process of deciding whether to seek the death penalty is not taken lightly and requires an in-depth evaluation of the case, say lawyers. And one of the best parts – at least according to this writer – is that victims’ families get to talk with the prosecutors and weigh-in on the decision.

Here’s an excerpt from the story that’s running Saturday in The Sun, regarding the District Attorney’s decision. It will have details from the case. Once the story posts to The Sun’s web site, I’ll post the link here.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against John Wayne Thomson, a thrice-convicted rapist from Washington who is suspected of killing a businessman in the Cajon Pass in 2006.

Deputy District Attorney Robert Bulloch made the announcement Friday during a hearing for Thomson in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Mr. Thomson, over the last 25 years, has left a string of victims as his crimes have progressed in severity, Bulloch said, after the hearing.

Thomson is charged with brutally stabbing 55-year-old Charles Hedlund, who stopped to help a stranded Thomson in the Blue Cut area of the Cajon Pass on Aug. 2, 2006.

Days later, Thomson attacked three motorists in Victorville while trying to take their cars, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department.

The case garnered regional attention when two newspaper High Desert pressmen, responding to a womans screams, caught Thomson in the midst of a carjacking and bound him with plastic zip ties until authorities arrived.

Thomson, 48, is scheduled to appear in court again May 2.

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