James Harris was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for a robbery murder. According to court documents James Harris would break into a residence and would stab an eighty five year old man to death and severely injure his wife. James Harris would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
James Harris 2021 Information
|Harris, Jr., James
|Date of Birth
|Age (when Received)
|Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)
|Date of Offense
|Age (at the time of Offense)
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|Weight (in Pounds)
James Harris More News
Alton and Darla Wilcox finally received justice after a Brazoria County jury condemned the man who stabbed them with a death penalty verdict Wednesday, District Attorney Jeri Yenne said.
The seven-woman, five-man jury needed only a few minutes Wednesday morning before returning their verdict in District Judge W. Edwin Denman’s Angleton courtroom: Death for James Harris Jr.
Harris becomes the first person from Brazoria County since Virgil Martinez to head to the state’s death row. Martinez was executed in January 2009 after he was convicted in 1998 of killing four people, including two children, near an Alvin trailer park.
Harris, 54, of Angleton pleaded guilty Nov. 11 to stabbing the couple in their Angleton home Jan. 14, 2012. Alton, an 85-year-old World War II veteran, was stabbed eight times, including once in the heart. He died while in surgery. His wife, Darla, who was 69 at the time, was stabbed 24 times, but survived after spending a week in a Houston hospital.
The jury spent less than five hours over the course of two days weighing whether to give Harris life in prison without the parole or the death penalty.
“It is a rare occasion, and it should be reserved for the worst crimes and the worst offenders,” Yenne said of the death penalty. “We don’t take it lightly.”
Defense attorneys Jay Wooten and Mary Conn did not return calls for comment.
Harris forced his way inside the Wilcox’s home in the 800 block of North Tinsley, demanding money before pulling out a knife. Alton, who was using a walker, made his way from a back bedroom to help his wife as Harris was stabbing her. When Harris turned the knife on Alton, Darla tried to wrestle it out of his hand.
“One thing that struck me about this case was what Alton and Darla did for each other,” Yenne said. “These two are some of the bravest people in this county.”
The Angleton couple lived to their marriage vows, and how they fought for each other is a testament to what true love is, Yenne said. Harris left the couple bleeding and tied up on their kitchen floor while he snatched $410 from a kitchen drawer, pulled the phone off the wall and stole the Wilcox’s Chevrolet Impala. Emergency crews rushed the couple by LifeFlight helicopter to a Houston hospital for treatment.
“That World War II vet died in his own house,” Yenne said. “What an honorable man. He went into the operating room, asking about his wife.”
Meanwhile, Harris drove to the Economy Inn motel south of Angleton to pay for his motel room and hide evidence. Police found him there along with the knife in his motel room’s toilet.
Yenne commended the Angleton Police Department’s officers and detectives on a “stellar job,” as well as Brazoria County Sheriff’s deputies on their quick response and helping arrest Harris.
While in jail, Harris’ conversations with people who visited him were recorded. In them, he was heard saying he didn’t feel bad about what happened and his conscience was not bothering him, Yenne said.
“It is important that people show remorse,” Yenne said. “Those are some pretty startling and damning recordings.”
Yenne contended Harris planned the attack, targeting elderly residents who did not know him. Brazoria County residents should not be afraid to answer their doors, she said.
The capital murder trial was the first in Brazoria County since 2010 when Nicholas-Michael Jean of Pearland was tried in the kidnapping and murder of Susana DeJesus. A jury elected to give him life in prison without the possibility for parole.
Four inmates from Brazoria County have been executed since 1982, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website.
Harris’ case will be appealed, Yenne said.