A Texas prison inmate who was sentenced to death for the 2015 killing of a Barry Telford Unit correctional officer was denied a new trial Wednesday by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in a unanimous decision.
Billy Joel Tracy, 42, was found guilty by a Bowie County jury of capital murder in November 2017 and sentenced to death by 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart. Tracy beat Timothy Davison, 47, to death with a metal bar used to open slots in the prisoner’s doors at mealtime.
Davison was escorting Tracy back to his one-man cell after an hour of recreation July 15, 2015. Tracy managed to escape his handcuffs and attacked Davison with his fists. Once Davison was on the ground, Tracy grabbed his slot bar, straddled Davison’s body and struck him repeatedly.
The jury at Tracy’s trial watched a video of the beating and heard testimony from dozens of witnesses, including other Texas correctional officers, who had been targets of Tracy’s assaults.
At the time of Davison’s murder, Tracy was serving a life sentence he received in 1998 in Rockwall County for the beating and abduction of a 16-year-old girl. Tracy was sentenced to 45 years for assaulting an officer in Potter County in 2007 and he received a 10-year sentence in 2011 for assaulting an officer in Jones County.
A date for Tracy’s execution has not been set.