FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Mental Health Magistrate Judge Nelda Cacciotti has ruled there’s reasonable cause to believe suspected serial killer Jason Thornburg has a mental illness or intellectual disability.

Jason Thornburg (credit: Tarrant County Jail)

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The 41-year-old electrician’s apprentice is charged with capital murder of multiple persons. Thornburg was arrested on Sept. 27 in connection with the triple homicide. He has also admitted to killing his girlfriend, Tanya Begay, 36, in Arizona in 2017. Thornburg told investigators he killed his roommate Mark Jewell, 61, in May. He said he slit Jewell’s throat, then uncapped a gas line and lit a candle in the room… all as a human sacrifice, according to the affidavit.

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In her ruling issued October 19, Judge Cacciotti ordered a mental health or intellectual and developmental expert to interview Thornburg to determine if he has a disability. The order also asks for information about whether he received treatment recommendations or services in the past. According to the order, the findings will determine whether Thornburg is competent to stand trial or if he will have to undergo a complete competency examination. A written report of the interview is to be provided to the Cacciotti no later than 96 hours after the order was issued.

Also in the affidavit, Thornburg said he has an in-depth knowledge of the Bible and believes he was called to commit human sacrifices. He often  talked about God and wanting help people. Thornburg even left postcards for a local church in the motel office where he stayed when he allegedly killed some of his victims.

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In June, Thornburg attended a leadership conference taught by one of his alleged victims. On a worksheet he wrote that he wanted to be a missionary. His greatest strength, Thornburg wrote, was “a sense of purpose, a sense of destiny that must be achieved.” Staff