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On June 14, 1998, James Byrd, Jr., a 49-year-old black man was killed in Jasper, Texas. Lawrence Russell Brewer, John William King and Shawn Allen Berry picked up the hitchhiking Byrd, attacked and beat him, cut his throat with a knife, chained Byrd by his ankles to the bumper of the truck with a logging chain,and dragged Byrd three miles. Pieces of Byrd’s body (including his head and and right arm) and effects were found along the entire length of the three miles. On February 23, 1999, John William King was convicted of murder and kidnapping. Brewer and Berry will be tried separately.

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