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Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Execution of Lester Bower Jr.

     In 1983, 35-year-old Lester Leroy Bower Jr., a graduate of Texas A & M with a good job as a chemical salesman, lived in Arlington, Texas with his wife and two daughters. On October 8, 1983 Bower responded to a newspaper ad regarding a ultralight airplane on sale for $4,000.

     That Saturday afternoon, at a hanger on the B & B Ranch in Sherman, Texas, Bower met with the seller of the plane, 51-year-old Bob G. Tate. Bower had driven to the ranch, 60 miles north of Dallas with the intent of killing Mr. Tate and stealing the building contractor's plane.

     As Bower loaded the small aircraft into his truck after murdering Mr. Tate with a .22-caliver handgun, three of the dead man's friends showed up at the murdered man's ranch to watch the Texas-Oklahoma football game. Caught at the murder scene, Bower shot to death 39-year-old Ronald Mayes, a former Sherman police officer; Philip Good, a 29-year-old sheriff's deputy; and Jerry Mac Brown, a 52-year-old interior designer.

     At Bower's May 1984 trial the prosecutor put on a circumstantial case that led to a guilty verdict. The judge, in accordance with the recommendation of the jurors, sentenced Lester Bower to death.

     On May 20, 2015, 31 years following the guilty verdict and death sentence, the 67-year-old Bower, with his execution date approaching, gave an interview to a local reporter. In referring to his impending death, Bower said, "If this is going to bring some closure to the victims' families, then good. But if they think by this they're executing the person who killed their loved ones then that's going to come up a little short."

     On Wednesday June 3, 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Bower's last ditch appeal, the condemned man, from his death-house gurney, thanked his lawyers, his wife and his daughters for their "unwavering support."

     By way of a final statement, Bower said, "Much has been written about this case, not all of it has been the truth." Shortly after these last words, the executioner administered the lethal dose of pentobarbital.

     Lester Bower was one of the longest serving and oldest inmates on Texas' death row. 
     In 2020 a woman came forward claiming that Lester Brown Jr. had not killed the four men that day in 1983. According to this person her ex-boyfriend and three of his friends committed the murders pursuant to a drug deal gone bad. Not long after this witness came forward, three others provided information that confirmed key parts of the woman's account of the killings.

3 comments:

  1. If you actually studied the case you would know one man cant commit an execution type killing without a struggle. The prosecution lied about the ammunition. What court allows a quadruple capital murder case to be tried in three months after arresting Bowers. Bowers attorney didnt allow him to testify. Nothing was ever said about Tates background of dealing drugs. Funny how the drug trade fell on its face after Tate and the other three were murdered in Sherman, Texas. Nobody wants to admit there were higher ups involved in the drug trade in Sherman. Bowers attorney did more damage than he did good. He eventually became a judge. Many will be held accountable on judgement day for sending this innocent man to death. You have to ask yourself why did it take 31 years if this man was absolutely guilty. Even other judges admitted they werent sure of absolute guilt.

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  2. You have to ask yourself why did it take 31 years to do what they did. Because he wasnt guilty. Go read his wife Sheris memoir and you will find that he wa tried for capital murder within 3 months of being arrested. No change of venue. Prosecution lied about tge ammunition. Bowers attorney brought up nothing of Tates background of dealing drugs. As soon as him and other were killed the drug trade in Sherman, Texas virtually died. Lester Bowers was nothing more than a scapegoat because there were others in higher positions behind drug dealing in Grayson County. One man can commit an execution type killing of four men without a struggle.

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  3. Does anyone know the best source to learn more about this case?

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