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Brewer Takes Stand in Dragging Case

September 18, 1999|From Times Wire Reports

Lawrence Russell Brewer took the stand in his own defense in Bryan, Texas, and blamed the brutal dragging death of a black man on a co-defendant. Sobbing, the former leader of a racist prison gang told the jury: "I didn't mean to cause his death." It was the first testimony by one of the three men charged with killing James Byrd Jr. Brewer admitted he was in the pickup truck with co-defendants Shawn Berry and John William King when Byrd was dragged to his death in June 1998. But he said it was Berry who slashed Byrd's throat, then chained him to the back of the truck and dragged him for three miles along a bumpy country road, shredding and dismembering his body.

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