Texas inmate faces April execution for 1998 dragging death

December 24, 2018
CORRECTS DATE OF EXECUTION TO 2019 FROM 2018- FILE - This file photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows John William King, a prisoner on Texas death row for dragging a black man to death behind a pickup truck more than two decades ago. King has been scheduled for execution by lethal injection on April 24, 2019. District Judge Craig Mixson signed the execution order Friday, Dec. 21. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP, File)

JASPER, Texas (AP) — A white man condemned for the 1998 dragging death of a black man in East Texas has been scheduled for execution next year.

John William King faces lethal injection April 24. District Judge Craig Mixson signed the execution order Friday.

The U.S. Supreme Court in October denied an appeal for King, who claimed he had ineffective lawyers during his capital murder trial.

King was one of three white men convicted in the June 1998 death of James Byrd Jr. Byrd was chained to a pickup truck and dragged along a road near Jasper, about 125 miles (201.16 kilometers) northeast of Houston.

A second man convicted in Byrd’s death has been executed. The third man is serving life in prison.


This story has been corrected to show that Byrd’s death was in June 1998, not June 1988.

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