Texas Execution Information Center

Execution Report: Ronald Howard

Ronald Howard
Ronald Howard
Executed on 6 October 2005

Ronald Ray Howard, 32, was executed by lethal injection on 6 October 2005 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a state trooper.

On 11 April 1992, Trooper Bill Davidson, 43, of the Texas Department of Public Safety observed a vehicle with a broken headlight on U.S. Highway 59 in Jackson County. He pulled the vehicle over for a traffic stop. He called in the license plate and learned that the vehicle, a 1986 GMC Jimmy, was stolen. As Davidson approached the driver's window, the driver, Ronald Howard, then 18, shot him in the neck. Howard then drove off.

At least eight people witnessed the shooting and provided a description of the gunman. Trooper Davidson also described the shooter. A pursuit by police ended when Howard lost control of the vehicle and struck a house, then attempted to flee on foot. He was arrested in possession of a loaded 9mm pistol. He confessed to shooting Davidson, who died of his wound three days later.

Howard had previous convictions for burglary and theft. He was on probation at the time of the murder.

Howard and his trial attorney said that his behavior was prompted in part by violent, anti-police rap music. Howard told a grand jury that he was listening to "Soulja's Story" by Tupac Shakur before the shooting. In the song, a black teenager is pulled over by police and opens fire:
    They finally pull me over and I laugh
    "Remember Rodney King?"
    And I blast on his punk ass
    Now I got a murder case.

Continued on Page 2

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