Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day of Reckoning for Brutal Dragging Death in Jasper, TX

It has been more than 13 years since Lawrence Brewer, John William King and Shawn Allen Berry wrapped a logging chain around James Byrd Jr.'s ankles and dragged him to his death on Huff Creek Road in Jasper, Texas, reported Hearst Newspapers.

Brewer is the first of the three killers to be scheduled for execution.  Brewer is scheduled to die on September 21 in the death house at Huntsville, Texas.  The murder--hate crime--generated international attention and put Jasper in an unflattering spotlight. 

"It put a scar right from here to here on Jasper, Texas," former Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rowles told Hearst Newspapers on a recent afternoon, glancing down at his outstretched arms. "The wound healed up, but there's still a little scar there, still some scar tissue. And everybody in Jasper County -- not just Jasper, but Jasper County -- is ready for this thing to be over with."

Rowles and then-department of safety Trooper Rodney Pearson walked along two miles of drag marks together on that hot June morning in 1998. The pair stopped at Huff Creek Cemetery, where Byrd's dismembered body was left to be discovered by a passer-by. While there, a man who lived on the road drove up in his truck to tell them a man's head and shoulders were in his yard, Pearson recalled.

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