James H. Byrd Jr. Unit
The James "Jay" H. Byrd Jr. Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for men located in Texas; the 93 acres diagnostic unit, established in May 1964, is 1 mile north of Downtown Huntsville on Farm to Market Road 247. The prison was named after a former prison warden; the facility is the TDCJ's primary prisoner intake facility in Huntsville. All male death row offenders and male offenders with life imprisonment without parole enter the TDCJ system through Byrd. From there, the inmates with life without parole sentences go on to their assigned facilities. Male death row offenders go on to the Allan B. Polunsky Unit, female death row offenders go on to the Mountain View Unit. John William King, perpetrator of the murder of James Byrd Jr. a man who has the same name as the warden that Byrd Unit was named after. King arrived on February 1999 for diagnostic purposes. Unit information by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Murder of John Goosey and Stacy Barnett
The murder of John Forest "Johnny" Goosey and Stacy Marie Barnett occurred on July 21, 2009 in the West Campus area of Austin, when a man, who had two accomplices, shot to death two recent graduates from the University of Texas at Austin who originated from the Greater Houston area. This event is sometimes called the West Campus murders. Police stated; the murder resulted in media attention on the marijuana trade among college-educated people. Both Barnett and Goosey grew up in a city within Greater Houston; the parents of the couple lived within blocks of each other. Goosey's father, Dr. John D. Goosey, is a Houston ophthalmologist. Goosey's mother, Claire Goosey, is well known for her volunteer work in the area. John Goosey attended public elementary schools, Annunciation Orthodox School, Lamar High School in Houston. Barnett attended Lamar. Though the victims attended the same high school, they did not become friends until they attended University of Texas at Austin together. Before the murders, both Barnett and Goosey had graduated from UT Austin.
In December 2008 Goosey graduated with bachelor's degrees in English. In May 2009 Barnett graduated with a bachelor's degree in architecture, from the UT School of Architecture. Goosey had plans to attend law school; the couple had planned to marry one another. Goosey died at age 21 and Barnett died at age 22. According to the Austin Police Department, Goosey worked as a midlevel marijuana distributor. Lieutenant Mark Spangler of the APD said that Goosey had a business relationship with Thompson for at least three years; as of July 2009 police stated that they did not believe that Barnett was aware of her boyfriend's drug dealing, that they believed that she did not use marijuana. The landlord who owned the condominium where Goosey and Barnett lived said that, after smelling marijuana in her apartment and hearing Barnett telling him that her boyfriend had problems with drugs, he warned Barnett about the dangers of her boyfriend's lifestyle. James Richard "Ricky" Thompson Jr. is the son of parents.
His mother was an anthropology lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin who lived in the West Campus area, he lived with her after his parents divorced. After his mother remarried, Thompson moved to Lakeway with his father. Thompson attended Austin High School in Austin and Lake Travis High School, he worked several menial jobs. Thompson began distributing marijuana. At the time of the murder, Thompson lived in a house on Alexandria Drive in South Austin; the other two people involved were Samuel Hadden Gifford. According to police, Thompson owed $8,500 to Goosey as part of a drug deal. Thompson wished to erase the debt. On July 21, 2009, the murder occurred at Stacy Barnett's second floor apartment within the Preservation Square condominiums, located at 904 W. 21st Street, in the West Campus area in Austin, Texas. Thompson arrived at 9:50 AM that day. Police said that Thompson shot Goosey multiple times in the head, went upstairs, shot Barnett twice in the head, including the face. A police affidavit said that all three perpetrators agreed that Barnett, if present, "would be killed because she knew who Thompson was."
After the couple was dead, Thompson retrieved his shell casings and smashed the victims' cell phones in an attempt to prevent police from tracing a phone call that he placed to Goosey before the killing. Thompson was picked up by the getaway driver at 10:12 AM. Police said that Renick, who had helped cover up the crime, served as the getaway driver. To prepare for the killing, according to Thompson, his accomplices helped him plot the crime; the group rearranged the furniture in Thompson's apartment to resemble the furniture in Barnett's apartment. Renick designed a homemade silencer used by Thompson; the police found no signs of forced entry into the Barnett residence. Police received anonymous tips. Using the tips, on the Friday after the killings, police searched Thompson's house, found marijuana, arrested Thompson. Thompson admitted to being involved in the murders after being interviewed by police detectives. On Saturday July 25, 2009, Thompson was charged with two counts of capital murder.
After his arrest, Thompson cooperated with police. In August 2010 Thompson pleaded guilty to killing Stacy Barnett. Thompson received a life sentence and will be eligible for parole in 2039. Thompson, if he had not taken the pleas, would have faced the death penalty and/or life without parole for killing Barnett; as part of the plea deal, Thompson promised to testify against his two accomplices, in exchange for changing his plea for the Goosey murder to "guilty" and receiving a concurrent life sentence. If Thompson was not forthcoming, the prosecutor had the option of charging him for Goosey's murder and asking for the death penalty; as part of the deal, Thompson changed his plea in regards to the murder of Goosey to "guilty" and was eligible for a second life sentence running concurrently with the first life sentence. Perry Minton, Thompson's attorney, said "The evidence is overwhelming; because of the evidence in this case, we believe that these two life sentences are the best that he could get."
By pleading guilty to murder instead of capital murder, Thompson had avoided the more serious life without parole and/or death penalty sentences that would result from being convicted of capital murder of John Goosey. Renick and Gifford were charged with capital murder. On Friday, 28 April 2011, both had pleaded guilty to murder. Renick received a 35 year s
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Thomas Goree Unit
The Thomas Goree Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice men's prison, located in Huntsville, Texas, 4 miles south of downtown Huntsville on Texas State Highway 75 South. The Goree Unit is located within Region I. First opened in 1911, it served as the only women's correctional facility in Texas until 1982, after the women were moved to state prisons in Gatesville. For a period Goree held the state's sole female death row inmate, until her conviction was changed to a non-death row offense; the unit was named after Major Thomas J. Goree, who, in the late 19th century, served as a prison superintendent; the unit was first established in 1907, it opened in 1911 as the Goree State Farm for Women, a women's prison. The facility had separate portions for African-American women. White and Hispanic women worked in the garment factory. In the 1930s Goree included the main building, separate sets of dormitories for black and white prisoners, an orchard, a cannery, a barn, crop fields, a hen house, a cemetery for prisoners who had not been taken by surviving relatives.
The dormitories had bars bolted onto the windows. During that decade, 150 prisoners resided at Goree; the Goree All Girl String Band, a group of prisoners from the unit, performed in the 1940s. Goree, within a short driving distance from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice headquarters, had been rebuilt and expanded during the administrations of O. B. Ellis and George Beto. Robert Perkinson, author of Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire, said that Goree's main building "showcases a bygone nod to rehabilitation." The main building has dormitories. Instead of bars, the residential rooms use decorative latticework. A visitor stated that Goree appeared "more or less like a college dormitory."On one occasion Goree held a female death row prisoner, Mary Anderson, Texas Department of Corrections # 607. Anderson was sentenced to death on October 31, 1978, but her death sentence was reversed in 1982; the sentence was changed to murder and Anderson, who received a 50-year sentence, became TDC#285253.
She was paroled on January 14, 1991. In the 1980s the state moved women prisoners to facilities in Gatesville. In 1982 Goree was converted into a men's prison; the prison authorities placed wire mesh on the dormitory windows. Prisoners are not permitted to be in the gardens; the prison gained a single perimeter fence with concertina wire. Male: David Ruíz Female: Candy Barr Goree All Girl String Band Goree Unit "Goree Women's Prison." Pictures of the Year Archive - Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism
Eastham Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for men, located in unincorporated Houston County, Texas GPS Coordinates 30.978106, -95.632274. The 12,789 acres prison is located at the dead end of Farm to Market Road 230, near Lovelady and 13 miles west of Trinity. Eastham, nicknamed "the Ham," is 40 miles up the Trinity River from the Polunsky Unit in West Livingston, it is about one-third of the distance between Polunsky and the Christina Crain Unit in Gatesville. Robert Perkinson, author of Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire, said that while the TDCJ and other agencies operate many types of prisons and jails in Texas, "if any unit stands for the rest," it would be Eastham. In 1972 prisoners at Eastham filed a class action law suit against the Texas Department of Corrections and won. In 1979 the court found conditions of imprisonment within the TDC prison system constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the United States Constitution. While there were many names included in the lawsuit, David Ruiz was the first name listed and, how the case was titled.
Before the American Civil War, the land now making up Eastham was cleared by slaves. After the civil war, sharecroppers worked the land; the sharecroppers were replaced by prisoners under a convict leasing program. In 1896, Mrs. D. Eastham agreed to pay $14.50 per month per person for 119 convicted men, including many African-Americans. The Eastham Unit opened in April 1917, it was named after the Eastham Family, the original owners of the land occupied by the prison. Throughout Eastham's history, many prisoners dreaded being sent to Eastham because of the arduous work assignments, the dangerous conditions, the difficulty of escaping the unit. Many crackdowns and work strikes occurred during the unit's history. Throughout its history Eastham housed maximum security male prisoners and made them work in the fields. In the early twentieth century Eastham housed female prisoners. After a sexual abuse scandal occurred, the Texas Prison System administrators moved the women to be closer to Huntsville, Eastham began housing men.
It was during this period, from April 1930 to May 1932, that Clyde Barrow ringleader of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde criminal gang, spent his first period of incarceration for burglary and auto theft. Eastham was the starting point of the Texas Prison Rodeo, which began in 1931. On January 16, 1934, Clyde Barrow freed five prisoners from the unit. At a point Eastham specialized in housing young offenders. In 1935 Eastham housed White prisoners. In 1963, before racial desegregation occurred, the facility housed White prisoners who were classified as maximum security inmates; the prison acted as an incubator for the Estelle court case. On March 29, 1966 two inmates, Ronnie Lee Barlow, 20, serving a life sentence for murder from San Saba County, Gerald Doudlag Lackey, 20, serving six years for burglary from Lubbock County escaped during the night after hiding under brush, cut that day, they beat a Houston County dairy farmer and his son stealing guns and an automobile to further their escape. The injured farmer recovered from head wounds in Surgical Clinic.
His elder son was sent to Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas where he was treated for severe head injuries caused by blows to the head with a hatchet and a length of pipe. Highway Patrolman Paul Bruno, stationed in Huntsville captured two escaped inmates of the Eastham Unit TDC as they were entering I-45 heading to Dallas; as an outbreak of stabbings occurred, an October 1986 Newsweek magazine had a cover story on Eastham with title "America's Toughest Prison. In 1984 several prisoners held a guard hostage; the crisis ended. In October 2000 David Stacks became the warden of Eastham. Robert Perkinson, author of Texas Tough: The Rise of America's Prison Empire, said by 2010 Eastham's reputation had mellowed because of the opening of newer units with more stringent rules, such as the Polunsky Unit; the TDCJ stated in 2006 that Stacks's programs "helped rid Eastham of its once rugged reputation." As of 2010, the prison's agricultural operation, described by Perkinson as "massive," has 4,000 head of free-range cattle, 52,000 laying hens, 5,000 hogs, 1,400 acres of field crops.
The operation is maintained with prisoner labor. In 2011 the Jester III Unit garment plant closed, its operations were consolidated with the plant at Eastham. Perkinson wrote that while the TDCJ and other agencies operate many types of prisons and jails in Texas, "if any unit stands for the rest," it would be Eastham. Perkinson added that Eastham "typifies the rural isolation of most Texas lockups" and "binds present-day prisons to their unburied past." Eastham, a cotton plantation, houses all prisoner classification types but has an emphasis on maximum security incarceration. The prison had many forms and purposes during its lifetime, ruins, such as a cell block and a former textile mill, are on the prison grounds. Throughout its history, the institution's goals were to profit from annual cotton harvests and to discipline prisoners who did not work sufficiently to produce the harvests. Walter Siros, a man, sent to Eastham in 1960, described the institutional rule as "murderous." Perkinson said that Eastham's "continuities were striking" and that the prison's daily rhythms, w
Jones County, Texas
Jones County is a county located in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 20,202, its county seat is Anson. The county was created in 1858 and organized in 1881. Both the county and its county seat are named for Anson Jones, the fifth president of the Republic of Texas. Jones County is included in TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 937 square miles, of which 929 square miles are land and 8.6 square miles are covered by water. U. S. Highway 83 U. S. Highway 180 U. S. Highway 277 State Highway 6 State Highway 92 Haskell County Shackelford County Callahan County Taylor County Fisher County Stonewall County As of the census of 2000, 20,785 people, 6,140 households, 4,525 families resided in the county; the population density was 22 people per square mile. The 7,236 housing units averaged 8 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 78.80% White, 11.51% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 7.46% from other races, 1.27% from two or more races.
About 20.9% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 6,140 households, 33.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.60% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.30% were not families. About 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals, 13.40% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.06. In the county, the population was distributed as 22.50% under the age of 18, 11.10% from 18 to 24, 31.50% from 25 to 44, 21.00% from 45 to 64, 14.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 150.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 159.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $29,572, for a family was $35,391. Males had a median income of $26,892 versus $17,829 for females; the per capita income for the county was $13,656. About 13.10% of families and 16.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.70% of those under age 18 and 16.60% of those age 65 or over.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Robertson Unit prison, the Middleton Unit transfer unit is in Abilene and in Jones County. Susan King has been since 2007 the Republican state representative from Jones County, as well as Nolan and Taylor Counties. Up until 2000, Jones County was Democratic similar to numerous counties in the Solid South, only voting for Republican presidential candidates five times from 1912 to 1996. Starting in 2000, the county has become Republican, with the margin of victory for the party's candidates increasing with each passing election. Charles Stenholm, former member of the United States House of Representatives Dry counties List of museums in West Texas National Register of Historic Places listings in Jones County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Jones County Jones County government's website Jones County from the Handbook of Texas Online Jones County Profile from the Texas Association of Counties
Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in Texas, United States. The population was 117,463 at the 2010 census, making it the 27th-most populous city in the state of Texas, it is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2017 estimated population of 170,219. It is the county seat of Taylor County. Dyess Air Force Base is located on the west side of the city. Abilene is located between exits 279 on its western edge and 292 on the east. Abilene is 150 miles west of Fort Worth; the city is looped by I-20 to the north, US 83/84 on the west, Loop 322 to the east. A railroad divides the city down the center into south; the historic downtown area is on the north side of the railroad. Established by cattlemen as a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881, the city was named after Abilene, the original endpoint for the Chisholm Trail; the T&P had bypassed the town of the county seat at the time. A landowner north of Buffalo Gap, Clabe Merchant, known as the father of Abilene, chose the name for the new town.
According to a Dallas newspaper, about 800 people had begun camping at the townsite before the lots were sold. The town was laid out by Colonel J. Stoddard Johnson, the auction of lots began early on March 15, 1881. By the end of the first day, 139 lots were sold for a total of $23,810, another 178 lots were sold the next day for $27,550. Abilene was incorporated soon after being founded in 1881, Abilenians began to set their sights on bringing the county seat to Abilene, in a three-to-one vote, won the election. In 1888, the Progressive Committee was formed to attract businesses to the area, which became the Board of Trade in 1890. By 1900, 3,411 people lived in Abilene, in that decade, the Board of Trade changed its name to the 25,000 Club in the hope of reaching 25,000 people by the next census. However, this committee failed when the population only hit 9,204 in 1910. Replacing it was the Young Men's Booster Club, which became the Abilene Chamber of Commerce in 1914; the cornerstone was laid for the first of three future universities in Abilene, called Simmons College, in 1891, which became Hardin–Simmons University.
Childers Classical Institute followed in 1906 Abilene Christian University, the largest of the three. In 1923, McMurry College was founded and became McMurry University. Much more Abilene succeeded in bringing Cisco Junior College and Texas State Technical College branches to Abilene, with the Cisco Junior College headquarters being located in Abilene. In 1940, Abilene raised the money to purchase land for a U. S. Army base, southwest of town, named Camp Barkeley, at the time twice the size of Abilene with 60,000 men; when the base closed, many worried that Abilene could become a ghost town, but in the post-World War II boom, many servicemen returned to start businesses in Abilene. In the early-1950s, residents raised $893,261 to purchase 3,400 acres of land for an Air Force base. Today, Dyess Air Force Base is the city's largest employer, with 6,076 employees. Abilene's population nearly doubled in 10 years from 45,570 in 1950 to 90,638. In the same year, a second high school was added, Cooper High School.
In 1966, the Abilene Zoo was created near Abilene Regional Airport. The following year, one of the most important bond elections in the city's history passed for the funding of the construction of the Abilene Civic Center and the Taylor County Coliseum, as well as major improvements to Abilene Regional Airport. In 1969, the Woodson elementary and high school for black students closed as the school system was integrated. In 1982, Abilene became the first city in Texas to create a downtown reinvestment zone. Texas State Technical College opened an Abilene branch three years later; the 2,250-bed French Robertson Prison Unit was built in 1989. A half-cent sales tax earmarked for economic development was created after the decline in the petroleum business in the 1980s. A branch of Cisco Junior College was located in the city in 1990; the Grace Museum and Paramount Theatre revitalizations, along with Artwalk in 1992, sparked a decade of downtown restoration. In 2004, Frontier Texas!, a multimedia museum highlighting the history of the area from 1780 to 1880, was constructed, a new $8 million, 38-acre Cisco Junior College campus was built at Loop 322 and Industrial Boulevard.
Subdivisions and businesses started locating along the freeway, on the same side as the CJC campus, showing a slow but progressive trend for Abilene growth on the Loop. Abilene has become the commercial, retail and transportation hub of a 19-county area more known as "The Big Country", but known as the "Texas Midwest", is part of the Central Great Plains ecoregion. By the end of 2005, commercial and residential development had reached record levels in and around the city. Abilene is located in northeastern Taylor County; the city limits extend north into Jones County. Interstate 20 leads west 148 miles to Midland. Three U. S. highways pass through the city. US 83 runs west of the city center, leading south 55 miles to Ballinger. US 84 runs with US 83 through the southwest part of the city but leads southeast 52 miles to Coleman and west with I-20 40 miles to Sweetwater. US 277 follows US 83 around the northwest side of the city and north to Anson but heads southwest from Abilene 89 miles so San Angelo.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Abilene has a total area of 112.2 square miles, of which 106.8 square miles are land and 5.4 square miles are covered by