HOUSTON (AP) — A prisoner on Texas death row for dragging a black man to death behind a pickup truck more than two decades ago is one step closer to execution after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down his appeal.
The high court on Monday denied without comment 43-year-old John William King’s appeal. He claimed he had ineffective lawyers at trial.
King was sentenced to death for the June 1998 slaying of James Byrd Jr., who prosecutors say was targeted because of his race.
Byrd was chained to the back of the truck and dragged along a road outside Jasper in East Texas.
One of two other white men convicted has been executed. The third is serving life.
Former Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rowles tells KFDM-TV the case is “nearing an end.”