Brewer put to death for grisly hate crime murder

Sep 23, 2011

HUNTSVILLE - White supremacist gang member and former Sulphur Springs and Delta County resident Lawrence Russell Brewer has been executed for the infamous dragging death slaying of a black man from East Texas.

49-year-old James Byrd Jr. of Jasper was chained to the back of a pickup truck 13 years ago and pulled whip-like to his death along a bumpy asphalt road. It's one of the most grisly hate crime murders in recent Texas history.

No last-day appeals were filed to try to spare 44-year-old Lawrence Russell Brewer from lethal injection in Huntsville. He's the first of two men convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death to be executed.

Accomplice John William King remains in prison while his case is in the appeals courts. A third man, Shawn Berry, got a life sentence.