Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 8, 2010
Contact: Tina Tran, 512-463-0113

Senator Ellis Reacts to Death of Stella Byrd

Stella Byrd, the mother of James Byrd, passed away on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at the age of 85. James Byrd was the victim of a dragging death in Jasper County 12 years ago. His death inspired Senator Ellis to author the James Byrd Hate Crimes Act. Senator Ellis releases this statement:

"I am deeply saddened by the news of Ms. Stella Byrd's passing. The strength she showed after enduring the tragic death of her son was an inspiration to millions across this country. Although she did not ask for the national attention she received, she handled it with a quiet dignity that we can all learn from and aspire to. The passage of the James Byrd Hate Crimes bill remains one of my proudest achievements, and I know that she took some solace in knowing that it will have a lasting effect throughout our state. I used to call her from time to time to check in on her, and I will miss those conversations. My condolences and prayers go out to her family."