Lorenzo Thompson on trial in airman's fatal purse snatching

Pros­ecutors: Thompson was swerving to try and knock airman off truck

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio man is on trial in the death of an airman who died after falling from a truck driven by the man who just snatched her purse.

Airman Vanessa Pitts, whose purse was stolen as she refueled her car at a West side gas station, died after falling from a truck driven by Lorenzo Thompson.

Thompson, 32, had just taken Pitts' purse and was speeding off, according to prosecutors.

Pitts jumped onto the fleeing truck but fell onto the roadway a few blocks away.

“She was on the ground – she had multiple injuries,” San Antonio police Officer Frank Marquez testified. “Some people were attending to her and traffic was still headed in our direction.”

The stolen truck Thompson allegedly was driving was later found abandoned.

Several dents on the driver’s side, prosecutors said, support the state’s claim that Thompson swerved erratically trying to force Pitts to fall from the truck.

The driver’s side window of the truck was also broken out.

According to Thompson’s attorney, that supports his client’s claim that he was swerving because Pitts was reaching inside the truck tugging at the steering wheel. Mitigating evidence, the defense says, that tracks Thompson’s statement to police that he never intended that anyone should die.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Thompson.

Testimony will continue on Wednesday in judge Melissa Skinner’s 290th District Court.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.


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