James Garrett Freeman, who was convicted of shooting and killing a Texas game warden in Wharton County was executed.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice reports that Freeman was executed by lethal injection Wednesday, Jan. 27. He was tried and convicted of killing Game Warden Justin Hurst on March 17, 2007.
“Justin was very loved and respected, as is his family who remains in Wharton,” says Wharton County District Attorney Ross Kurtz. “It was a great loss.”
According to court documents, game wardens heard the shot when Freeman killed a possum on the morning of March 17, 2007. When a warden in the area turned on his lights, Freeman fled the scene, resulting in a high-speed chase involving multiple law enforcement agencies.
Freeman’s vehicle was disabled by spikes set up by officers. At that point, according to records and dash cam footage, Freeman left his vehicle and shot at officers with a handgun and then retrieved an assault rifle from the vehicle.
Hurst was killed when he left cover to fire at Freeman. Court documents show that Freeman was on probation for a DWI at the time of the incident. However, no violent charges had ever been filed on him.
Freeman and his lawyer appealed the death sentence on the lack of past violence. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the case on Jan. 11, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles didn’t commute the sentence earlier this week.