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Death Row Information

Offender Information

Picture of Offender Name Hughes, Billy George
TDCJ Number 000556
Date of Birth 01/28/1952
Date Received 09/17/1976
Age (when Received) 24
Education Level (Highest Grade Completed) 12
Date of Offense 04/04/1976
  Age 24
  County Matagorda
  Race White
  Gender Male
  Hair Color Brown
  Height 5' 10"
  Weight 165
  Eye Color Blue
  Native County Baldwin
  Native State Alabama

Prior Occupation
Farmer, Laborer

Prior Prison Record
None

Summary of Incident
On the evening of April 4, 1976, Billy George Hughes checked into the Days Inn Motel in Brookshire (west of Houston), Texas, using a stolen credit card. When the clerk confronted Hughes in his room about the stolen card, she noticed a gun on his bed. The clerk then left Hughes's room to notify the motel security guard of the problem. After the clerk left his room, Hughes got into his car and sped away on Interstate 10 heading west.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)Troopers Jack Reichert and Mark Frederick pulled over the 1975 Ford LTD Hughes was driving on Interstate 10 near Sealy, Texas; they were responding to a dispatcher's report that a man driving a similar car had attempted to use a stolen credit card at a nearby motel. The troopers followed Hughes's car on Interstate 10 until it exited the highway. At this point, Trooper Frederick, who was driving, turned on the overhead lights, and Hughes pulled over to the shoulder of the exit ramp. Trooper Frederick exited the police car and walked up to the driver's side door of Hughes's car. Trooper Reichert got out of the patrol car almost immediately after Frederick did. Approaching the Ford behind Frederick, Reichert heard a muffled shot and observed Frederick grunt and lurch to the side. Hughes immediately sped away from the scene as Trooper Reichert fired six times at the fleeing vehicle. Trooper Reichert then called for assistance and tended to Trooper Frederick; however, Reichert could find no pulse. Trooper Mark Frederick was later declared dead in the ambulance en route to the Sealy Medical Center.

Upon hearing of the shooting, DPS Troopers Randall Baisch and Rodney Green were proceeding toward the scene when they discovered Hughes's abandoned car approximately three miles from the scene of the shooting. The troopers observed that the car had been struck by several bullets, and inside the car was a holster and a room key from the Days Inn Motel in Brookshire.

Soon thereafter, a massive manhunt began for Hughes, involving as many as five hundred law enforcement officers. Approximately two-and-a-half days after the shooting, Texas Ranger Ray Scholton, who was in charge of the investigation, received a report that a possible suspect had been sighted six miles south of Sealy. Ranger Scholton went to the location by helicopter, where he spotted Hughes hiding under a mesquite tree in a pasture. As the helicopter hovered a few feet above the ground, Hughes pointed a gun at the helicopter. As soon as Ranger Scholton pointed his gun out the helicopter at Hughes, Hughes dropped his weapon and was taken into custody.

A check of Hughes's car revealed that it had been reported stolen. A search of the car revealed the following items: one holster for an automatic handgun on the front seat, one holster for a revolver in the glove compartment, and the following items in the trunk of the car: a fully loaded .30 caliber carbine; a loaded, sawed-off short barrel twelve-gauge shotgun; a .300 Magnum rifle; extra .38 caliber shotgun ammunition; and a Halloween mask. Additionally, Hughes had a 9 millimeter handgun loaded with thirteen or fourteen rounds on him when he was captured.

Co-Defendants
None.

Race and Gender of Victim
White Male