Jury Gives James Austin Friend Life Sentence for Killing Man


A Bowie County jury gave a ma a life sentence for killing his estranged wife’s boyfriend on May 11, 2014.

James Austin Friend, 35, entered the guilty plea of murder for killing Larry Gray on February 5, 2015. Friend waived a jury trial in the guilty innocence portion, but a jury determined his punishment.

According to trial testimony Traci Friend and her boyfriend, Larry Gray, arrived in to their home and found Fiend in the house. Traci said that James Friend was in the back bedroom of the house with her children and had a gun which he pointed at her and said, “I’m going to kill you.”

Austin Friend must serve at least 30 years before being eligible for parole.  The jury also imposed a $5,000 fine.

The defense argued that it was a crime a passion which would have carried a maximum sentence of 20 years.

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