Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: James Knox

James Knox
James Knox
Executed on 18 September 2001

James Roy Knox, 50, was executed by lethal injection on 18 September in Huntsville, Texas for the robbery and murder of a pharmacist.

In November 1982, Knox, then 31, entered a Galveston pharmacy owned by Joseph Sanchez, 39. He walked up to the store counter with a gun in his hand and pointed it at Sanchez and his employee, Ronald Dyda. He demanded drugs and told them to get down on the floor. Dyda complied, but Sanchez remained standing. Sanchez told Knox that he had no drugs and that he would not get away with the crime. Knox instructed Dyda to tape Sanchez' hands together, but Sanchez struggled so that Dyda could not do it. Knox became angry and shot Sanchez through the heart. He then pointed the gun and Dyda and demanded drugs. Dyda gave him four bottles of Demerol worth $80 and $15 from the cash register. Knox then fled the scene. Sanchez died about an hour later with a ruptured heart and severed spine.

Two people who were in the store next to the pharmacy heard the gunshot and went outside. They saw a man run past them holding some brown bottles in his hand. They described the man as six feet tall with a thin build, unshaven and scraggly-looking, with medium brown hair. They went into the pharmacy and found Sanchez on the floor. Another nearby witness saw a man with the same description get into the passenger seat of a car, which drove off. He attempted to follow the car, but could not keep up.

At his trial, Ronald Dyda identified Knox as the killer. The other three witnesses identified him as the man who ran from the store with the brown bottles in his hand. George Holland testified that he drove the getaway car, and that Knox told him, "The man got ignorant with me. I had to shoot him." When Holland asked, "How bad?" Knox replied, "I killed the (expletive)". Other witnesses testified that Knox had either told them earlier of his plans to rob a certain pharmacy in Galveston, and later that he had done it.

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