Douglas Alan Feldman, 55, the remorseless, highly intelligent psychopath who terrorized three North Texas counties for more than a week while he went on a shooting rampage, was executed Wednesday. And he shuffled off his mortal coil with the same venom with which he inhabited it.
According to an Associated Press reporter who attended the execution, Feldman was fidgety, his feet moving nervously beneath the sheets in Huntsville's death chamber.
In mock declamation, he recited the names of his victims, pronouncing them guilty. "I have sentenced them both to death. I personally carried out their executions," he said, AP reports. "As of that time, the state of Texas has been holding me illegally in confinement and by force for 15 years.
"I hereby protest my pending execution and demand immediate relief."
Feldman carried out these "executions" back in 1998, beginning with a night ride on his Harley through Plano. He claimed an 18-wheeler nearly ran him off the road. So, he pulled alongside the cab and emptied his clip, killing the driver. On his way home, he pulled off at an Exxon fueling station in Dallas and shot a tanker driver in the back. A week later, he shot and wounded another man at a Jack in the Box simply because he was standing next to a big rig.
A witness got his license plate number. Police later tracked it to a home in Richardson, where they met a financial analyst who had graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University. Inside, they found two guns and some 300 rounds of ammunition. Ballistics tests proved one of the guns was a match.
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A jury found him guilty and sentenced him to die. On the inside, Feldman didn't find Jailhouse Jesus. He was irretrievably malevolent. "It feels wonderful to cause their death and to watch their pain," he said in one letter, according to AP.
As I reported recently, he was a troublemaker, and prior to a recent media interview attempted to tear a phone from the wall.
I still wrestle with the death penalty after witnessing an execution. It's the lack of certainty often found in criminal cases that bugs me, and the inherently contradictory nature of it all -- sentencing a man to die for killing to demonstrate that we don't condone killing.
But then the state executes a man like Feldman.