FORT WORTH — A Tarrant County jury took about 45 minutes Monday to unanimously find Thomas Harper guilty of murdering a man who had been trying to help Harper's children following a multi-vehicle accident in December 2011.
Prosecutors said after crashing his SUV into several cars — killing Najee Nazir, another motorist — Harper shot 18-year-old Clarence Robinson in the head after the teen rushed to help the two children in Harper's badly damaged sport utility vehicle.
During testimony Monday, Harper apologized for the incident.
"I'm sorry for taking Mr. Clarence's life. I'm sorry for taking Mr. Nazir's life. I'm sorry for the other people that were affected that day from this incident," Harper said from the stand.
At his murder trial, the 30-year-old defendant said he was exhausted on that 2011 day because he hadn't slept the night before. He said he drank an energy drink before taking his twin toddlers on a drive. While driving, Harper said he was having a heated discussion with someone on his cell phone.
The sentencing phase of Harper's trial will begin Tuesday morning. He faces five years to life in prison.