Texas to execute man who fatally shot
game warden in gun fight
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[January 27, 2016]
By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas plans to
execute on Wednesday a man who led game wardens on a high-speed chase in
2007 before getting into a gun battle with them, where he fatally shot
one of the officers.
James Freeman is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection
at the state's death chamber in Huntsville at 6 p.m. local time
If the execution goes ahead, it will be the second in Texas this
year and the 533rd in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court
reinstated the death penalty in 1976. In that time, 37 percent of
all U.S. execution have taken place in Texas.
Freeman was convicted of killing Game Warden Justin Hurst, who
turned 34 on the day he was killed in Wharton County, about 130
miles (210 km) southeast of Austin.
On the night of the incident, Freeman drank heavily, got into his
pickup truck and shot at animals from the roadside, where he killed
a possum, prosecutors said.
After hearing shots, game wardens approached the vehicle and Freeman
drove off, leading officers on a 90-minute high-speed chase, they
When the vehicle's tires were flattened by road spikes, Freeman got
out of his pickup truck and fired 11 shots from his pistol at the
wardens. He then retrieved an AK-47, used his pickup truck for cover
and fired about 30 more rounds at the game officers, who were firing
back, they said.
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Freeman was shot four times and survived. Hurst was airlifted to a
hospital in Houston and pronounced dead from the gunshot wounds he
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month declined to review
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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