White supremacist convict executed in Texas in 1998 hate crime

A Texas town and family is still haunted by a gruesome hate crime that was committed 21 years ago in which a black man was dragged behind a pickup truck and murdered by three white men. The ringleader behind that murder is scheduled for execution this week.

One of the killers was executed Wednesday by lethal injection in Texas.

John William King, 44, was pronounced dead shortly after 7 p.m. local time in a Hunstville prison after murdering James Byrd, Jr., two decades ago in Jasper, Texas.

King and two other white men were convicted of murdering Byrd. They beat Byrd mercilessly, chained him to the back of a pickup truck and pulled him for three miles down a logging road in Japser County, thus, tearing his body apart.

Prosecutors said the sole reason why Byrd was targeted was because he was black. King, a white supremacist who orchestrated the attack, is the second man to be executed in the case. Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in 2011 while Shawn Allen Berry was sentenced to life in prison.

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