Charles Harrelson
American murderer
Charles Harrelson
Charles Voyde Harrelson was an American organized crime figure who was convicted of assassinating federal judge John H. Wood, Jr. , the first federal judge killed in the 20th century. He was the estranged father of actor Woody Harrelson.
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Charles Harrelson's personal information overview.
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Judge Frederic Block: Risk and Reward: Inside the Life of a Federal Judge
Huffington Post - about 4 years
The startling revelation last month of the death threat against my colleague Judge Joseph Bianco, which was nipped in the bud by the F.B.I., reminded me of the death threat made against me a few years ago by Anthony Casso, who went by the charming nickname "Gaspipe." I wrote about this in my recently released book Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge. The purpose of the book was to try to reach out to the general public to create greater transparency about the real world of federal trial judges and what we really do. In the chapter titled "The Risks," I wrote about my colleagues who have been assassinated and the huge number of threats that are investigated each year by the F.B.I. and Marshal's Service. I did this so that the public would be aware that judges (as well as federal prosecutors and all other federal court officials) are truly at risk in the service of our country. In light of the death threat to Judge Bianco, here are excerpts ...
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Huffington Post article
Charles Harrelson McKinley
Ark City - almost 5 years
Charles Harrelson McKinley, 77, of Arkansas City, died Sunday, April 8, 2012, at his residence.
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Ark City article
Charles H. Gurley - TheHerald
Google News - almost 6 years
CLAYTON: Charles Harrelson Gurley, age 67, of Clayton died at Duke University Hospital surrounded by his family on Thursday, April 21, 2011. He was the son of the late Charles Harvey Gurley and Sadye Reid Morris Gurley of Goldsboro, NC
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Google News article
Loves the Beach, The Planet and Movies
NYTimes - about 9 years
WOODY HARRELSON was late. Not Hollywood, Big Star late, just a few tardy minutes because he couldn't talk a meter here into giving him more than 15 minutes, and had wasted all his quarters. He had no ''people'' in tow to park the car. He cadged a few quarters from the folks at the restaurant Juliano's Raw, left to find a more forgiving parking spot
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NYTimes article
Arts, Briefly
NYTimes - almost 10 years
Britney Spears Leaves Rehab Britney Spears is out. What remains to be seen is if she'll be around. Ms. Spears, 25, checked out of the Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility ''after successfully completing their program,'' her manager, Larry Rudolph, said in a statement released by Jive Records late on Tuesday, The Associated
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NYTimes article
Reporter's Notebook; Despite the Praise, These Shows Won't Be Back
NYTimes - over 25 years
The three broadcast networks will carry fewer hours of prime-time programs in the future, with local stations gaining access to the hours that the networks will be abandoning, Robert A. Iger, the president of ABC Entertainmentpredicted today. In a press conference here today, Mr. Iger said the subject of scaling down the network had come up at some
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NYTimes article
Man Freed in Judge's Death
NYTimes - almost 29 years
LEAD: Joe Chagra, a former lawyer who spent nearly six years in prison for plotting the assassination of a Federal judge, has been released on parole. Mr. Chagra, 41 years old, pleaded guilty in 1982 to conspiring to kill Federal District Judge John H. Wood Jr., who had been scheduled to preside over the drug trial of Mr. Joe Chagra, a former
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NYTimes article
Retrial of Conspiracy Charge Ordered in Murder of Judge
NYTimes - about 32 years
A Federal appeals court has overturned the conviction of Elizabeth Chagra on charges that she conspired to kill a Federal judge the day before he was to have presided over her husband's trial on drug smuggling charges. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled Friday that prosecutors in the case had failed to show the necessary
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NYTimes article
AROUND THE NATION; Trial in Judge's Killing Brings Perjury Decision
NYTimes - almost 34 years
Jo Ann Harrelson was found guilty today of lying to a Federal grand jury about the purchase of a hunting rifle that might have been used by her husband, Charles Harrelson, to kill a Federal judge. Mrs. Harrelson, 42 years old, was accused of lying in her testimony about the purchase of the weapon implicated in the assassination of Federal District
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NYTimes article
AROUND THE NATION; Lawyer Gets 10 Years In U.S. Judge's Slaying
NYTimes - about 34 years
Saying he was sorry and had no excuses for his role in the slaying of Federal Judge John H. Wood Jr., an El Paso lawyer was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for conspiracy in the case. ''I know it sounds shallow and inadequate to say I'm sorry, but I am sorry,'' Joe Chagra, the lawyer, quietly told Federal District Judge William Sessions. ''My
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NYTimes article
3 ARE FOUND GUILTY IN ASSASSINATION OF FEDERAL JUDGE
NYTimes - about 34 years
After 18 hours of deliberation, a Federal jury, several members in tears, found three defendants guilty today on six counts of planning, carrying out and trying to cover up the assassination of Federal District Judge John H. Wood Jr. After the collective verdicts were announced, each of the nine women and three men on the jury, which began
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NYTimes article
JURY GETS CASE AGAINST 3 IN MURDER OF U.S. JUDGE
NYTimes - about 34 years
The Government's case against three people charged in the murder of Federal District Judge John H. Wood Jr. went to the jury today. After about four and a half hours of deliberations, the jurors retired for the night. They are to resume deliberations at 1 P.M. Sunday. Earlier the chief prosecutor argued that the alibi of Charles Voyde Harrelson,
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NYTimes article
FINAL ARGUMENTS OPEN AT TRIAL IN JUDGE'S SLAYING
NYTimes - about 34 years
Charles Harrelson killed a Federal judge here ''in cold blood,'' and four people who testified he was in Dallas at the time were wrong, a prosector argued today. The prosecutor, John Emerson, led off the final arguments in the trial by attacking the testimony of the four witnesses Mr. Harrelson called in defense of a charge that he murdered Judge
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Charles Harrelson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2007
    Age 68
    He was found unresponsive in his cell on March 15, 2007, having died of a heart attack; and an autopsy showed he had severe coronary artery disease.
    More Details Hide Details His Federal Bureau of Prisons Register number was 02582-016.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1995
    Age 56
    On July 4, 1995, Harrelson and two other inmates, Gary Settle and Michael Rivers, attempted to escape from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary using a makeshift rope.
    More Details Hide Details A warning shot was fired at them from the prison's tower, and the trio surrendered. Harrelson was subsequently transferred to Supermax prison ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado. In a letter to a friend, Harrelson wrote that he enjoyed his life inside the maximum security facility, writing that "there are not enough hours in a day for my needs as a matter of fact... The silence is wonderful."
  • 1989
    Age 50
    According to Jim Marrs in 1989's Crossfire, Harrelson is believed to be the youngest and tallest of the "three tramps" by many conspiracy theorists.
    More Details Hide Details Marrs stated that Harrelson was involved "with criminals connected to intelligence agencies and the military" and suggested that he was connected to Jack Ruby through Russell Douglas Matthews, a third party with links to organized crime who was known to both Harrelson and Ruby. Lois Gibson, a well-known forensic artist, matched photographs of Harrelson to the photographs of the youngest-looking of the three "tramps".
  • FORTIES
  • 1980
    Age 41
    In September 1980, Harrelson surrendered to police after a six-hour standoff in which he was reportedly "high on cocaine".
    More Details Hide Details During the standoff, he threatened suicide and stated that he had killed Judge Wood and President John F. Kennedy. In a television interview after his arrest, Harrelson said: "At the same time I said I had killed the judge, I said I had killed Kennedy, which might give you an idea to the state of my mind at the time." He said that the statements made during the standoff were "an effort to elongate my life." Joseph Chagra later testified during Harrelson's trial that Harrelson claimed to have shot Kennedy and drew maps to show where he was hiding during the assassination. Chagra said that he did not believe Harrelson's claim, and the AP reported that the FBI "apparently discounted any involvement by Harrelson in the Kennedy assassination."
  • 1979
    Age 40
    On May 29, 1979, U.S. District Judge John H. Wood Jr. was shot dead in the parking lot outside his San Antonio, Texas, townhouse.
    More Details Hide Details Harrelson was convicted of killing Judge Wood after being hired by drug dealer Jamiel Chagra of El Paso. Wood — nicknamed "Maximum John" because of his reputation for handing down long sentences for drug offenses — was originally scheduled to have Chagra appear before him on the day of his murder, but the trial had been delayed. Harrelson was apprehended with the aid of an anonymous tip and a tape recording of a conversation that occurred during a visit from Joe Chagra to his brother Jamiel Chagra in prison. Harrelson claimed at trial that he did not kill Judge Wood, but merely took credit for it so he could claim a large payment from Chagra. Harrelson was sentenced to two life terms based largely on Chagra's conversation with his brother from prison. Both Harrelson and Joe Chagra were implicated in the assassination, and Chagra received a ten-year sentence. Jamiel Chagra was acquitted of the murder when his brother Joe refused to testify against him. Chagra was represented by future mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman, then a public defender. In a plea bargain, Jamiel Chagra admitted to his role in the murder of Judge Wood and to the attempted murder of a U.S. Attorney. Jo Ann Harrelson was also convicted of conspiracy and perjury.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1978
    Age 39
    Shortly after Harrelson was paroled in 1978, he was implicated in another murder.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1978, after serving 5 years, he was released early for good behavior.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1973
    Age 34
    Harrelson was retried in 1973, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1968
    Age 29
    Prior to the Wood murder, Harrelson was tried for the 1968 murder-for-hire killing of Sam Degelia Jr., a resident of Hearne, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details Harrelson was paid $2000 for the murder of Degelia, a grain dealer and father of four who was killed in McAllen, Texas. His first trial ended with a deadlocked jury, although Pete Scamardo was also tried in the case, found guilty of being an accomplice to the murder, and sentenced to seven years probation.
    Defended by Percy Foreman, Harrelson was tried for the 1968 murder of Alan Harry Berg (no relation to the Denver talk radio DJ Alan Berg, later murdered by white supremacists).
    More Details Hide Details On September 22, 1970, he was acquitted by a jury in Angleton, Texas. The murder is chronicled in the acclaimed memoir Run Brother Run by the victim's brother, David Berg.
    According to Woody, his father disappeared from the family's home in Houston in 1968, leaving his wife Diane to raise Woody and his two brothers.
    More Details Hide Details Woody lost track of his father until 1981, when news broke of Harrelson's arrest for the murder of Judge Wood. During an interview in November 1988, Woody revealed that he visited his father regularly in federal prison, though he still harbored mixed feelings for him, saying "my father is one of the most articulate, well-read, charming people I've ever known. Still, I'm just now gauging whether he merits my loyalty or friendship. I look at him as someone who could be a friend more than someone who was a father."
  • 1960
    Age 21
    In 1960, he was convicted of armed robbery.
    More Details Hide Details Harrelson's son, Woody Harrelson (born July 23, 1961), became a well-known television and film actor.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1938
    Born
    Charles Harrelson was born on July 23, 1938, in Huntsville, Texas, the son of Alma Lee (née Sparks) and Voyde Harrelson.
    More Details Hide Details He was married to Nancy Hillman Harrelson, Jo Ann Harrelson, Diane Lou Oswald and Gina Adelle Foster. Harrelson worked as an encyclopedia salesman in California and as a professional gambler.
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