- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) - A 63-year-old man charged with fatally shooting three neighbors and injuring a child at a South Texas trailer park last weekend killed himself in his jail cell, authorities said Friday.

“He had fastened his pants around the desk in his cell and his neck and was face down, horizontal on the bunk,” Michael McKenzie, assistant chief of jail administration, told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times (https://bit.ly/1AUYLBP ). Toomey was not breathing late Thursday and was given CPR before he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

Toomey already had been on suicide watch, with Nueces County Jail officers checking on him every 30 minutes, but had posed no problems during his incarceration, McKenzie said. The Texas Rangers are investigating, a standard practice in jail deaths.

Toomey’s lawyer, James Lawrence, said Toomey’s wife called him early Friday and said jail officials called her to say her husband was dead.

Toomey had made a brief appearance in court Monday, a day after his arrest on suspicion of capital murder for the slayings of Pamela Kay Rhodes, 63, Ricky Ray Collier, 56, and Laura Elaine Ogden, 32. Toomey also faced one count of aggravated assault for wounding Ogden’s 10-year-old son, who is expected to live, police said.

Authorities said the shootings stemmed from ongoing disputes he had with his neighbors.

Toomey was being held on $3.1 million bond.

Toomey’s son, Jonathan, told the newspaper his father, who ran an air conditioning and refrigeration business and lived in the trailer park for about 10 years, felt “hopeless.” His father had been diagnosed with borderline schizophrenia earlier in life, he said.

Toomey’s sister said her brother suffered from depression and had been institutionalized during his 30s after a suicide attempt.


Information from: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, https://www.caller.com

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