Texas man executed for killing infant son, friend

Fourth Estate Staff

Fort Worth, TX, United States (4E) – A Texas man was executed after he killed his father and the infant son of the latter, authorities confirmed.

James Bigby, 61, was convicted in the deaths of Michael Trekell and Trekell’s four-month-old son, Jayson. This is the fourth execution carried out in Texas this year. Bigby killed the Trekells in 1987 in Fort Worth, Texas and was friends with Michael. Bigby was jailed for 26 years.

Aside from the death of the Trekells, Bigby was also accused of killing two men named Calvin Crane and Frank Johnson. He was never tried in those murders. Bigby told investigators he killed Crane and Johnson as he believed they were conspiring with his employer to undermine the worker’s compensation case he filed. However, he said he did not know why he killed the baby.

Bigby and Michael were watching television and making dinner on December 23, 1987. Later, Bigby shot Trekell then suffocated the baby with a cellophane. When the baby was still alive, he drowned the infant in the sink. He proceeded to visit Crane and his friend and Bigby convinced Crane to drive around and when they were inside the car, Bigby told Crane to pull over. He shot him and left him dead. Hours after, he drove to Johnson’s house then shot him several times.

Bigby had a history of paranoid schizophrenia. During his trial, an insanity defense was dismissed.

Bigby was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital and was pronounced dead 14 minutes after the drug was administered. No witnesses came to watch the process.

In his final statement, Bigby apologized to the mother of the baby, Grace Kehler, and the families of the two men he revealed he killed. He said, “I’m sorry it went on for a terribly long time … I hope that my death will bring you peace and closure. I hope that you could forgive me, but if you don’t I understand. I don’t think I could forgive anyone who would of killed my children.” He also wrote a letter to Kehler apologizing again.

The lawyer for Bigby, John Stickels, said his client never filed late appeals before his execution because he believed his client was resigned to the fact that he is going to be executed.

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