Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Texas Execution Halted for James Harris, Jr., Ahead of March 13, 2024

Updated: March 6, 2024

James HarrisJames Harris, Jr., was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm local time on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, inside the Walls Unit execution chamber at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. His execution has been stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Sixty-three-year-old James is convicted of murdering 85-year-old Alton Wilcox during a home robbery on January 14, 2012, in Houston, Texas. For the last nine years, James has been on Texas’ death row.

James was born in Texas. He graduated from high school. As a child, James was exposed to crop-dusting pesticides. He also played football and eventually began abusing drugs and alcohol. James previously spent time in prison for forgery and delivering cocaine.

In January 2014, James Harris, Jr., did lawn work for elderly couple Alton and Darla Wilcox. On January 14, 2012, Harris forced his way into the Wilcox home, demanding money. Darla attempted to stop Harris from entering. Once inside, Harris stabbed Darla repeatedly. Alton, a World War II veteran, who used a walker, attempted to come to Darla’s aid when he heard her screaming. Harris then stabbed Alton and again demanded money.

Darla took money out of her purse but only had one dollar. She then retrieved money hidden in the kitchen drawer. Harris then tied the couple up and left using Darla’s car. Darla managed to free herself and call emergency services. Both Alton and Darla were life-flighted to a hospital. Alton, who was stabbed eight times, including once in the heart, ultimately died from his injuries while in surgery. Darla, who was stabbed 24 times, survived.

Harris was located by police at a motel, where he was attempting to hide evidence. He was arrested and eventually pled guilty to the crime. A jury sentenced him to death after five hours of deliberation.

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Alton Wilcox. Pray for strength for the family of James Harris. Pray that if James is innocent, mentally incompetent, or should not be executed for any other reason that evidence will be presented before his execution. Please pray that James may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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