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3 men could face execution in dragging death of black

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Three white men accused of dragging a black man to his death behind a pickup truck could be executed if convicted of capital murder.

A Jasper County grand jury indicted the three Monday in the June 7 kidnapping and killing of James Byrd Jr.John William King, 23, of Jasper; Lawrence Russell Brewer, 31, of Sulphur Springs; and Shawn Allen Berry, 23, of Jasper are being held without bond in what authorities say was a racially motivated crime.

Jasper County Sheriff Billy Rowles said the earliest possible trial date is January 1999.

Federal authorities are considering federal hate crime charges, which also could make the men eligible for the death penalty.