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Man Gets Death Penalty In Murder Of Three Women

February 11, 1987

DALLAS (AP) _ A jury Tuesday ordered the death penalty for a man who said he hacked three women to death with a hatchet after he tired of hearing them argue.

David Martin Long, 33, previously told the state district court panel he wanted the death penalty and was afraid he would kill again.

He was convicted Saturday of capital murder in the Sept. 27 deaths of Donna Sue Jester, 37, Dalpha Lorene Jester, 64, and Laura Lee Owen, 20, in the house they occupied in Lancaster, a suburb of Dallas.

During the punishment phase of the trial, defense attorneys followed Long’s instructions and presented no evidence.

Lancaster police Sgt. Matthew Hunt testified Monday that Long willingly provided details about a 1978 beating of a gas station attendant in California and an arson killing in 1983 of a cable television manager in Matagorda County.

Long was the first person convicted in Dallas County under a provision that provides the death penalty for multiple or serial killings.

During the trial last week, he resisted his attorneys’ attempts to build an insanity defense. Long claimed to be possessed by demons, but not insane. He said the killings occurred after he became swept up by satanic influences.

Constant arguments provoked Long to kill the three women, with whom he had been living for about a week, he told police. He said he hacked Donna Sue Jester to death with a hatchet first, then used the tool on her elderly cousin, Dalpha Lorene Jester, and murdered Ms. Owen when she returned to the house from work.

″There was a series of complicated reactions and interactions between me and them,″ Long said after he was arrested in Austin in October. ″I just got tired of hearing all the bickering.″

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