BOSTON (CBS) – The one man who escaped Gary Sampson’s murder spree ten years ago believes the decision to grant Sampson a new sentencing trial is wrong.
On Thursday, a federal judge threw out the death penalty against Sampson, who pleaded guilty to killing three people in Massachusetts and New Hampshire during a weeklong crime spree in 2001.
Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Sampson was denied his constitutional right to an impartial jury after it was revealed that a juror lied during jury selection.
Sampson carjacked, then killed two Massachusetts men after each picked him up hitchhiking.
WBZ’s Sera Congi talks to William Gregory
In July 2001, William Gregory picked up a hitchhiker, who turned out to be Sampson, in West Bridgewater. He did not know Sampson had already killed three people.
Moments later Sampson pulled a knife on Gregory.
“(He) held it against my throat and chest and told me he didn’t want to hurt me, he was just going to take my car,” Gregory told WBZ-TV in an exclusive interview Friday.
“He told me he killed people and robbed banks and things in the car and I decided he doesn’t have (to use) intimidation to get my car,” Gregory said.
“Then he sat down and calmed down for awhile.”
“Then he came back and said ‘I want you drive down a dirt road.’ He said ‘I’m not going to hurt you, I’m just going to tie you up to a tree.’”
Sampson said the same thing to two of his other victims, then tied them up and stabbed them repeatedly and slit their throats.
“I pulled into a rest area, left the car in drive, he was in the passenger seat, (the car) started to go over the edge of the road and he took control of the car, rather than chase me down and that’s how it all played out,” Gregory said.
Sampson tried to run him down in reverse in the car, but failed.
Gregory went to a store and called police.
WBZ-TV’s Sera Congi reports
Ten years later, he still worries about the victims’ families and believes Judge Wolf’s decision was wrong.
Read: The Ruling (.pdf)
“If that guy came into his family and slit one of his relative’s throats and killed them, I’m sure he would have never have taken the case back. It would have been a closed case and a done deal.”