Jury selection complete for inmate facing death in Telford murder

Tracy entering the courtroom in New Boston, Texas - Jan 08, 2016 (photo by Field Walsh)

The process of choosing a jury to decide the fate of a Texas prisoner accused of beating a correctional officer to death at the Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas, is complete.

According to officials, nine men and three women have been selected to serve on Billy Joel Tracy’s jury and two women have been chosen to serve as alternates. Tracy, 39, is accused of capital murder in the slaying of 47-year-old Timothy Davison.

Tracy was allegedly caught on surveillance cameras as he slipped a hand free of his cuffs as Davison escorted him back to his cell from a prison day room the morning of July 15, 2015. Tracy allegedly attacked Davison with his fists before grabbing his metal tray slot bar and beating him with it. Davison was pronounced dead at a Texarkana hospital not long after the assault.

The state is seeking the death penalty. The only other possible punishment for Tracy is life without parole.

Tracy was sentenced to life in prison by a Rockwall County jury in 1998 for assaults on a teen girl and police officer. Since being in Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice custody, Tracy has received 10 and 45-year sentences for attacks on correctional officers.

The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 23 at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart. Assistant District Attorneys Kelley Crisp and Lauren Richards are representing the state. Tracy is represented by Mount Pleasant, Texas, attorney Mac Cobb and Texarkana attorney Jeff Harrelson.

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