Convicted Murderer John William King To Be Put To Death

Barbara Schwarz
April 24, 2019 - 9:42 am
John William King

Credit: Texas Department of Corrections

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A man involved in one of the most notorious murders in modern Texas history heads to the execution chamber this evening.

John William King is condemned for his part in James Bryd's racially motivated dragging death, behind a truck in Jasper in 1998.  Byrd was dragged for three miles. 

Mike Wilson, the criminal district attorney investigator in Jasper at the time says it put the city in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.  "It took a long time for us to convince the world that we were not the country bumpkin racist southern people that we were portrayed in the media, and I think our juror's verdicts sent that message."

He says the town was thrust in the national spotlight. "We had the KKK marching on us, we had the New Black Panther Party marching on us. It was a very explosive situation and the media was camped out around our courthouse for nearly two years."

He says it's time this saga ended. "It's very important to our community that this be settled. That it's done."

Earlier this week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously against giving King a 120-day reprieve.

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in 2011.

Shawn Allen Berry, the only one of the three who had never been to jail before and who was able to hire his own attorney, is serving a life sentence.