Prosecutor: Trucking company shooter admitted killings

| 11/13/2003

A man accused of killing two people at a trucking company in Ohio admitted to the shootings in telephone calls to several people, including his sister, a prosecutor said, as reported by The Associated Press.

Tom West, 50, also known as Joseph Eschenbrenner III, allegedly left recorded messages on answering machines saying he shot the people because he was taking revenge against Watkins Motor Lines Inc. employees he claimed had been harassing him, Craig Hedric, an assistant Butler County prosecutor, told The Cincinnati Enquirer.

West had worked for the company in Atlanta.

Hedric said West had allegedly confessed to the shootings to several people.

"His motive is to seek some sort of retribution against Watkins, and it is clear on the tapes," Hedric said.

Hedric would not say who else received messages.

West has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder and three counts of attempted murder. Police say West drove past a security gate at Watkins Motor Lines in suburban West Chester, OH, Thursday, went into the office and started shooting. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty.