The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected an appeal to get Douglas Feldman, 54, off death row for the road rage slayings of two truck drivers in 1998 in Texas.
Feldman, a former financial analyst, was convicted in 1999 of murder in the shooting deaths of truckers Nicholas Velasquez, 62, of Irving, TX, and Robert Everett, 36, of Marshfield, MO.
In his 1999 trial, Feldman told jurors he was cruising on his Harley-Davidson on southbound Dallas Central Expressway in August 1998 when a truck “came out of nowhere, just flying.” He said he feared for his life and became angry, according to a report in The Dallas Morning News.
Feldman testified that he fired at Everett’s truck “because I felt like I needed to try to stop that man.” When the truck continued on the highway, “I chased Mr. Everett down, and I shot him to death.”
Feldman said he then spotted Velasquez at a gas station and “exploded again in anger” and shot him, even though Velasquez had done nothing to him. He then shot another man in a restaurant parking lot, who survived.
“I felt emotionally compelled,” Feldman told jurors. “I was consumed by anger.”
In his trial, Feldman testified that he carried a 9mm handgun because he thought his life was in danger. His lawyers presented evidence showing that he had been treated earlier for substance abuse and paranoia.
The jury in the trial took only 24 minutes to convict Feldman of capital murder in the case. He was sentenced to death, but an execution date has yet to be set.
In his appeal, Feldman contended that he had deficient legal help at his trial, that the jury received improper instructions and that a prospective juror was improperly dismissed.
Feldman’s lawyer said he plans to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.