State seeking death penalty in capital murder of correctional officer

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

State prosecutors have announced that they plan to seek the death penalty for a man accused of the capital murder of Telford correctional officer, Timothy Davidson in July of 2015.

Billy Joel Tracy, 38, has been indicted on capital murder. On Friday, his attorney entered a plea of not guilty. Tracy was already serving a life sentence when he allegedly murdered Officer Timothy Davison.


District Attorney Jerry Rochelle & ADA Kelly Crisp
District Attorney Jerry Rochelle & ADA Kelly Crisp

According to the indictment from Bowie County grand jury, Tracy used a tray slot bar to beat Davison to death. The bars are used by officers in the prison to push open a piece of metal covering a rectangular slot in an inmate’s cell door so things such as meals can be pushed through without actually opening the door.

Davison, 47, had been employed with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for less than a year when he was killed July 15. Tracy was being kept in Administrative Segregation, allowed out of his cell for recreation only an hour per day, when the deadly assault took place.

Tracy appearing before Judge Lockhart

TDCJ was well aware of Tracy’s violent nature and willingness to assault his captors. In 1995 Tracy was convicted of retaliation in Tarrant County. Tracy was convicted of assault on a public servant, burglary of a habitation and aggravated assault in Rockwall County in 1998 and received a life sentence, with parole possible.

Since being imprisoned on those offenses, Tracy has guaranteed himself decades of lock-down by attacking correctional officers. In 2005, he received three 45-year terms for beating a TDCJ officer in Potter County and in 2009 he was given another 10 years for assaulting a guard in Jones County.

Tracy will be back in court February 26.

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