State releases details of correctional officer’s death

Tracy appears in court in Feb. of 2016 (photo by Field Walsh)

A Texas Department of Criminal Justice serious incident report was made public Friday detailing the events involving the murder of Correctional Officer Timothy Davison by offender Billy Joel Tracy.

According to the report after Tracy beat Officer Davison with a tray slot tool he then threw Davison down the stairs to the first floor and then retreated to his cell.

According to the report multiple standard operating procedures were not being followed. Another officer was not in close proximity to respond in the event of an emergency, doors were opened before others were secure, handcuffs were not double locked, and Tracy was not stripped searched.

Regulations also state that administrative segregation cells should be inspected every 72 hours. The last inspection recorded for Tracy’s cell was 17 days prior to the incident.

The report states that Tracy had packed all his belongings in his cell before being removed earlier that morning.

Offender Tracy had 49 major disciplinary convictions on file to include attempted escape, possession of contraband, possession of a weapon (multiple), staff assault with a weapon (multiple), offender assault with a weapon (multiple), tampering with a locking mechanism, refusing to obey orders, and creating a disturbance. His last major disciplinary was on April 22, 2014 for attempted escape.

Interviews conducted with security staff by the Serious Incident Review Team indicated Offender Tracy’s behavior over the last year had been non-disruptive and that he was consistently compliant with orders, as well as respectful to staff.

Tracy appears before Judge Lockhart Jan. 8 (photo by Field Walsh)
Tracy appears before Judge Lockhart Jan. 8 (photo by Field Walsh)

After the incident, Offender Tracy made comments to staff “it was time” and “they didn’t know how dangerous I am.”

The report recommends establishing a working group to review and evaluate alternatives to the current method used to open and close the food tray slot.

Since this incident, security practices in administrative segregation housing areas have been emphasized. In particular, escort procedures and training regarding employee safety have been reinforced at Pre-Service, In­Service, and at unit level staff meetings and shift briefings. Having a heightened level of situational awareness,

Additional findings include:

• During the escort of an offender, the second rover should remain in close proximity to the escorting officer in order to respond in the event of an emergency.
• Security staff should ensure the section doors are secured after entering or exiting a section.
• Security staff should ensure the proper application of hand restraints to include double locking.
• Security staff should ensure offenders are properly strip searched prior to exiting the day room area.

Tracy is currently facing capital murder charges in Bowie County.

View the entire Serious Incident Report (.pdf)

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