Man spared death, gets life in recruit's death

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by Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on August 25, 2012 at 12:23 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Jurors opted for life in prison without parole for a San Antonio man convicted of capital murder in the 2010 death of an Air Force recruit during a purse-snatching turned deadly.

The Bexar County jury deliberated less than a half hour Friday before rejecting a death penalty for 23-year-old Lorenzo Leroy Thompson in the death of Vanessa Marie Pitts. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty.

Thompson and other witnesses testified the 25-year-old recruit was pumping gas when Thompson tried to steal her purse. Pitts ran after him and jumped on the stolen pickup truck he was driving in an effort to recover the purse.

After swerving to try to shake her from the truck, Thompson drove toward another vehicle to knock her off.

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