Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Women's Killer Sentenced.

Byline: Leslie Linthicum Journal Staff Writer

Man Told Doctors Voices Hounded Him

SANTA ROSA Theodore Justin Burchess grabbed three cans of soup, two cans of tuna, a jacket and a rifle on Halloween 1998 and drove west from his home in Pennsylvania to quiet the voices in his head.

Psychologists said he was convinced that if he got to Mexico, the unrelenting "telepathic slander" that tormented him would stop.

Burchess turned south from Interstate 40 at Santa Rosa three days later and drove as far as Borica, a Guadalupe County ranching hamlet, where he believed he had crossed into Mexico. The voices started to tell him he was in a war and his life was threatened.

On Nov. 2, about 30 miles south of Santa Rosa, he shot and killed two women who had the bad luck to walk out of their rural homes.

A judge in Santa Rosa sent Burchess to prison for 41 years on Wednesday, acknowledging that the 21-year-old's mental illness was also a villain in a tragedy that has torn apart three families. …

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