Court rejects death sentence appeal in 1998 road rage killings of two truckers

Sept. 20, 2012

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.

About the Author

Deborah Whistler

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...