Thomas hangs herself in jail

An elderly Clinton woman who traveled to California to kill her sister hanged herself in jail, the Associated Press reported.

Linda Thomas, 74, was found Monday morning with a bed sheet around her neck, hanging from the top bunk at the West Contra Costa Detention Facility, the news service reported. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Last month, a jury in Contra Costa County found Thomas guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, two counts of elder abuse and burglary. Thomas was scheduled for sentencing July 24.

Thomas was facing the possibility of life without parole.

In October 2015, Thomas hitched a ride from Whidbey residents to travel to Rodeo, Calif., where she shot her sister Zonna Thomas, 69, in the head with a revolver she brought along and then tried to shoot her brother-in-law, fighting ferociously with him for about 15 minutes before police finally arrived.

Linda Thomas and her sister had married brothers. She had been upset for years over an inheritance.

In court, the prosecution argued that Linda Thomas had intended to kill her sister, her brother-in-law and then herself.

In the year before the murder, Linda Thomas purchased the handgun, took firearms lessons, sold her Possession Shores home and then bought her own obituary in the South Whidbey Record.

She packed what her nephew, Tim Thomas, called “a murder bag.” It contained a knife, zip ties, duct tape and a chain.

She parked her car with a suicide note inside in front of her daughter’s home on South Whidbey before traveling to California, according to court records.

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