James Garrett Freeman, 35, convicted in the 2007 shooting death of a Texas game warden in Wharton County was executed on January 27, 2016, according to the Texas Tribune.
Freeman shot and killed Justin Hurst, a game warden with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, following a 90-minute chase on country roads in the early morning of March 17, 2007, according to court documents. It was Hurst’s 34th birthday.
Freeman was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital and died at 6:30 p.m., according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He declined to give a final statement.
It was the second execution in Texas this year and the fourth in the United States. Eight more executions are scheduled in the state through July. Texas executed 13 people last year.
Freeman was first approached by law enforcement after he shot and killed a possum from the side of the road, according to court documents. Another game warden patrolling the area heard the shot, and when he activated his emergency lights, Freeman sped away.
Law enforcement from multiple agencies took part in the high-speed chase before Freeman ran over a set of spikes that officers had set up near a cemetery. Dashboard camera video shows he exited the car shooting at officers with a handgun, returned to his car while officers shot back, then came back out firing an assault rifle.
Hurst came out from cover to fire at Freeman and was shot and killed. Freeman was also hit by several bullets, including one that penetrated his leg, Wharton County District Attorney Ross Kurtz said.
In Freeman’s last appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case on January 11. On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted not to recommend a commuted sentence, a common occurrence immediately before a scheduled execution.
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