Join SA Current Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Texas to Execute Known White Supremacist for 1998 Dragging Death of Black Man

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 12:42 PM

  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice
A Texas man is set to be executed Wednesday night for his part in the dragging death of a black man more than two decades ago in the East Texas town of Jasper, according to the Texas Tribune.

John William King will become the second man executed for the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr., considered a hate crime. King, Lawrence Brewer and Shawn Berry, all white, chained Byrd, a black man, to the back of a pickup truck and dragged him for three miles on a secluded road before dumping his remains in front of a church.

Medical examiners determined that Byrd, who was 49 at the time of his death, was alive during the first two miles his body was dragged, the AP reports.

Brewer was executed in 2011 for his role in the murder while Berry is currently serving a life sentence, though he will be eligible for parole in 2038.

King has self-identified as an "avowed racist," with Ku Klux Klan symbols, a swastika and a lynched black man all tattooed on his body. He's also been affiliated with a white supremacist prison gang, according to the Tribune.

King has claimed innocence, saying that he was dropped off at his apartment before Byrd's murder.

According to court documents, however, King previously wrote an incriminating note to Brewer while the two were in prison: "Seriously, though, Bro, regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history and shall die proudly remembered if need be.... Much Aryan love, respect, and honor, my brother in arms."

The 44-year-old's execution date comes after he was sentenced to death in February 1999.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 20, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation