Jury with no blacks will hear second dragging trial


Friday, September 10th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


BRYAN, Texas (AP) -- A jury with no blacks was seated Friday for
the murder trial of a second white man charged in the dragging
death of a black man.

The jury and two alternates consist of 12 whites and two
Hispanics.

They will hear opening arguments Monday in the case of Lawrence
Russell Brewer, one of three white men arrested in the slaying of
49-year-old James Byrd Jr., who was chained to a pickup truck and
dragged to pieces in Jasper last year in one of the nation's
grisliest racial crimes since the civil rights era.

"I'm satisfied with the jury," Jasper County District Attorney
Guy James Gray said.

Brewer's trial is taking place 150 miles from Jasper. The trial
was moved at the district attorney's request to deny defense
lawyers the chance to appeal based on a jury biased by pretrial
publicity.

A jury in Jasper convicted John William King in February and
sentenced him to death. Brewer, 32, could also get the death
penalty, as could the third defendant, Shawn Allen Berry, who is
awaiting trial.

Prosecutors said they believe the three men killed Byrd to
promote their fledgling white supremacist organization and initiate
Berry into the group.