Texas prisoner gets death for corrections officer slaying

NEW BOSTON, Texas (AP) — A Northeast Texas jury has sent a prison inmate to death row for the 2015 beating death of a corrections officer who was escorting him to a cell.

The same Bowie County jury last week convicted 39-year-old Billy Joel Tracy of capital murder for the slaying of Timothy Davison. Evidence showed the attack occurred as Davison was escorting the handcuffed Tracy from a dayroom back to his cell at the Telford Unit outside New Boston.

Investigators said Tracy slipped one hand out of a cuff, grabbed Davison’s tray slot bar and used it to beat the officer. The bars are used to manipulate the opening in cell doors at mealtime.

The Texarkana Gazette reports Tracy had been serving two life prison terms for robbery and aggravated assault from Rockwall County.