New Boston, Texas: Texas prison inmate Billy Joel Tracy was found guilty of capital murder Friday morning after a jury deliberated for about an hour at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
The jury will return next week to hear testimony in the sentencing phase of Tracy’s trial. The state is asking the jury to sentence Tracy to death by lethal injection for the July 15, 2015, beating of 47-year-old Timothy Davison. Tracy attacked Davison at the end of a routine walk from a prison dayroom back to Tracy’s cell in administrative segregation at the Barry Telford Unit in New Boston.
Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards argued that Tracy is a cold-blooded killer who has planned for years to murder a correctional officer. Since being imprisoned for aggravated assault, burglary of a habitation and assault on a peace officer in 1998 by a Rockwall County jury, Tracy has received 10-year and 45-year sentences for attacks on correctional officers.
Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson, who is representing Tracy along with Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, argued that Tracy didn’t intend to kill Davison and that he is guilty only of felony murder.
“Timothy Davison died a hero for us,” Crisp argued. “He is someone who has given his life for something bigger than himself…Justice has been a long time coming for Billy Joel Tracy.”