Northeast Tarrant

Man who prosecutors say blinded his father and slit his throat convicted, sentenced

Photo: Tarrant County Jail
Photo: Tarrant County Jail

Caution: This report contains graphic descriptions of violence.

FORT WORTH — A Watauga man was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 35 years in prison Friday morning for slitting his father’s throat with a razor and removing his eyes with his thumb, according to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office and court records.

Zachary Lee McClellan, now 26, committed the crime on June 6, 2016, in the 6100 block of Melody Lane in Watauga, according to court records.

Police responded to 911 calls reporting that McClellan was driving through his neighborhood at high speed, then crashed into a house, jumped from the car covered in blood, ran into the house and out the back door, dove into a neighbor’s pool and then broke through a wooden fence with his hands.

Police found him disheveled in the yard, behaving erratically and growling at the officers when they tried to speak to him, the district attorney said.

They learned that McClellan had begun behaving strangely earlier in the day and attacked his father, slitting his throat with a straight razor and removing his eyeballs, which he placed in a display case on the coffee table, according to the DA.

McClellan left his father for dead and took his car, causing the chain of events leading to his arrest. He admitted to using angel dust, heroin and marijuana, the district attorney said.

His father survived and was able to testify in the trial.

“This is one of the most horrific crimes I’ve ever seen,” lead prosecutor Julie Harbin said. “Nobody wins in this situation. Drugs destroyed a family, and the last thing a father will ever have seen is his own son attacking him.”

McClellan’s defense attorney filed a motion for McClellan to be psychologically evaluated in July 2016, stating that McClellan didn’t understand his actions or the legal proceedings against him, according to court records.

But a psychologist deemed McClellan competent to stand trial later the same month, able to understand the basic workings of a courtroom and why he was being tried.

McClellan has prior convictions for marijuana possession, driving while intoxicated and possession of brass knuckles, a prohibited weapon.

A woman filed a lawsuit Monday saying she was verbally and physically assaulted at Potter's House in Fort Worth by church officials.

Stephen English covers breaking news for the Star-Telegram. He attended Texas Wesleyan University and has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than 30 years.