I was reading an article about the Supermax prison in Colorado, and found out Woody Harrelson's dad is an inmate
Charles Voyde Harrelson
(July 23, 1938[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Harrelson#cite_note-0][/url]
– March 15, 2007)[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Harrelson#cite_note-CBC2007-1][/url][url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Harrelson#cite_note-2][/url]
was an American
freelance[dubious – discuss] hitman
connected with organized crime
and was convicted of assassinating a federal judge. He was the father of actor Woody Harrelson
 Murder of Judge Wood
Harrelson was sentenced to two life terms
for the May 29, 1979, assassination of U.S. District
Judge John H. Wood, Jr.
Harrelson was convicted of shooting and killing Wood in the parking lot outside of Wood's San Antonio, Texas
, townhouse 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
taped conversation between Jimmy (Jamiel) and his brother, Joe Chagra.
He claimed at trial that he did not kill Wood, but merely took credit
for it so he could score a huge payout from Chagra.
Harrelson was eventually convicted based largely on Chagra's
conversation with his brother who was visiting him in prison. Both
Harrelson and Chagra's brother Joe were implicated in the
assassination. Harrelson was sentenced to life imprisonment
while Joe 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 current mayor of Las Vegas
, Oscar Goodman
. In a plea bargain, Chagra admitted to his role in the murder of Judge Wood and the attempted murder of a U.S. Attorney
After his release in 2003, Jimmy Chagra claimed that Harrelson did
not murder Judge Wood. While he did not identify the real killer,
Chagra indicated that he or she was long deceased. Jamiel and Joe
Chagra allegedly misled federal officials by talking about hiring
Harrelson to kill Judge Wood when they knew they were being illegally
taped during a legal visit in the prison because Harrelson had been
blackmailing Joe Chagra with information he did have about the murder
of the judge.
Harrelson's attorney was Percy Foreman
, who had been counsel for convicted Martin Luther King
assassin James Earl Ray
and lost only 53 of 1500 death-penalty cases with only one finally
resulting in execution. At Harrelson's first trial Foreman produced a
surprise witness: a nightclub singer who claimed that she had been with
Harrelson at the time of the murder. The trial ended in a hung jury: 11
for conviction, one for acquittal.
Harrelson was re-tried in 1974 in Brownsville, Texas
. Texas Ranger
Tol Dawson, the lead investigator on the Degelia case, was in the
courtroom with a perjury arrest warrant for the nightclub singer, but
she had learned of it and fled to Aruba
Without the help of her testimony, Harrelson was found guilty and
sentenced to 15 years in prison. With time off for good behavior, he
was free in five years.