This week in 1999
“I want to start out by acknowledging the love that I’ve had in my family. No man in this world has had a better family than me. I had the best parents in the world. I had the best brothers and sisters in the world. I’ve had the most wonderful life any man could have ever had. I’ve never been more proud of anybody than I have of my daughter and my son…I’m dying tonight based on testimony, that all parties, me, the man who gave the testimony, the prosecuter he used knew it was a lie…It’s bad enough that a prosecutor can take truth and spin on it and try to re-doctor it. But when they actually make facts up and present to the public as trial’s evidence. That goes beyond fail, that’s completely unforgivable…”
— James Beathard, convicted of murder, lethal injection,Texas.
Executed December 9, 1999
Beathard assisted Gene Hathorn Jr. in the murder of Gene Hathorn Sr., Linda Sue Hathorn, and the couple’s fourteen-year-old son. Hathorn promised Beathard he’d pay him $12,500 from his father’s estate. The men tore apart the Hathorn home, stealing several items and a van to make it appear that the murders had been committed in the course of a robbery. Hathorn, who later learned his father had cut him from his will just weeks before the crimes, also received the death penalty.