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George Douglas LOTT





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: July 1, 1992
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: June 7, 1947
Victims profile: Chris Marshall, 41 (Assistant District Attorney) and John Edwards, 33 (defense attorney)
Method of murder: Shooting (9mm automatic handgun)
Location: Potter County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on September 20, 1994

On July 1, 1992, John Edwards, was one of two men killed in a shooting in a Tarrant County courtroom. George Douglas Lott, a former lawyer who was angry about his divorce and a child-custody suit, killed Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Chris Marshall and Edwards, a 33-year-old defense attorney. Lott was executed for the crime in 1994.


Gunman Kills 2 Men and Injures 3 In Rampage at Texas Courthouse

The New York Times

July 2, 1992

A gunman opened fire inside the Tarrant County Courthouse here this morning, killing two lawyers and wounding three other people. Several hours later, a man turned himself in to the authorities at a Dallas television station and said he was responsible.

The man, identified as George Lott, 45 years old, explained the shooting by saying he was still angry about losing his child custody case here four years ago.

"It is a horrible, horrible thing I did today," The Associated Press quoted Mr. Lott as telling officials at television station WFAA in Dallas. "I sinned. I am certainly wrong."

He was arraigned early this evening.

The two men killed were Assistant District Attorney Chris Marshall, 41, and John Edwards, 33. The wounded were Judge John G. Hill and Judge Clyde Ashworth, both of the state's appellate court for the Second District, and another assistant district attorney, Steven Conder, 28.

With the exception of Mr. Edwards, all were shot in a fourth-floor courtroom where Judge Hill and Judge Ashworth were conducting a hearing. Mr. Edwards was shot in a nearby stairwell. No Metal Detectors

The shooting was the sixth violent incident in courthouses in the nation this year. A spokesman said the Tarrant County Courthouse was not equipped with metal detectors.

"I don't think there were any particular security measures taken in this particular building," said Chief Thomas Windham of the Fort Worth Police Department.

An armed bailiff was on duty in the courtroom, but he did not return fire.

Judge Tom Vandergriff of Tarrant County Commissioners Court said that while the county had metal detectors available on request the appeals court was "an unlikely setting for what happened today."

"You'd expect it in a criminal court or a family court but not an appellate court," he said. Sudden Bursts of Fire

Witnesses said the gunman had been sitting quietly in the spectator area of the courtroom when he suddenly stood and began firing at the three judges on the bench.

"The shots were echoing all over the building like it was ricocheting," said Mark Burton, who was waiting for a friend on the floor below when the shooting began. "It sounded like fireworks."

Courthouse employees quickly dropped to the floor, and some locked themselves in their offices.

"I heard big blasts," said Lois Pempsell, a bookkeeper. "I yelled, 'Get down on the floor behind the cabinets.' "

After firing, the gunman rushed out of the courtroom, turned down a stairwell and left the building before the police arrived.

The two wounded judges remained hospitalized tonight. Judge Hill, 48, was listed in fair condition with a shoulder wound; Judge Ashworth, 69, was in serious condition with a hip wound. Mr. Conder was treated for a superficial chest wound and released.

In a statement televised on the evening news, Mr. Lott said he had opened fire to call attention to the lengthy child custody case here in which his lost custody of his son, Neil. He said that while he was firing at the bench today he was not aiming at any particular judge.

Mr. Lott, who lives in the suburb of Arlington, said that he had a 16-round clip and an extra round in the 9-millimeter semi-automatic Glock handgun he bought two months ago. He said he fired those 17 shots before reloading and firing three or four more times.

He said he then walked down a stairwell, where he shot Mr. Edwards because the young lawyer was in the way.

Mr. Lott said he then got into a van he had parked outside the downtown courthouse and drove around for several hours before driving to Dallas and turning himself in.

Mr. Lott told the television station he was a lawyer and had also worked in construction.

Speaking of Mr. Lott and his confession, Lieut. Ralph Swearingin of the Fort Worth Police Department said, "It's hard to say 100 percent, but at this point, over the last couple of hours, our investigation has focused on him. His description obviously fits and his account strongly parallels the factual situation that occurred today."

Mr. Edwards was a civil trial lawyer for Haynes & Boone, a law firm specializing in corporate and business law.

Mr. Marshall, who lived in Fort Worth, joined the district attorney's office in 1979 and was named chief of the appellate section in 1980. He was married and had an adult daughter.


Texas Executes Former Lawyer Who Killed Two in Courtroom

The New York Times

September 21, 1994

A former lawyer who refused to appeal his death sentence was executed by injection early today, 18 months after he was convicted of killing two prosecutors in a courthouse shooting rampage.

The lawyer, George Lott, who represented himself to the end, spurned offers of assistance and did nothing to halt his execution, the second in Texas in a week.

Mr. Lott, 47, made no final statement and was pronounced dead at 12:19 A.M.

It was the speediest execution in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982. The average time from conviction to execution in Texas is eight and a half years.

The quickest execution in the nation since the Supreme Court ruled in 1976 that executions could resume was that of Gary Gilmore, who was executed by Utah in 1977, three months after his conviction. Mr. Gilmore waived all his appeals.

Mr. Lott stood up in a Tarrant County Courthouse courtroom in Fort Worth on July 1, 1992, and fired a 9-millimeter handgun at least 17 times. Two prosecutors were killed and three people, including two judges, were wounded.

Mr. Lott fled and surrendered later at a Dallas television station. He told the station he wanted to draw attention to wrongs the legal system had inflicted on him in his divorce and in a child-molesting charge that his ex-wife had brought against him.

Clyde Ashworth, 71, a judge wounded in the attack, said: "I have no sense of satisfaction. It's a shame his life has been wasted as well as the lives of those he killed and those who have been affected by those deaths."

State bar records show that Mr. Lott became licensed to practice law in Texas in 1981 but became inactive in 1988. At the time of the shooting he was not eligible to practice. Prison records listed his last occupation as computer programmer.



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