1998: James Byrd Jr., 49, of Texas is killed when three men, at least two of whom were white supremacists, drag him behind a pickup truck along an asphalt road in Jasper, Texas. The men, Shawn Berry, Lawrence Russell Brewer and John King, had offered him a ride and then took him to a remote country road and beat him severely. They then chained him by his ankles to the truck and drug him for three miles before leaving his body in front of a church. Although the three would later claim Byrd's throat was slashed before he was drug behind the pickup, an autopsy suggested he was alive during most of the ordeal and only died when his body hit the edge of a culvert, severing his right arm and head. All three men were convicted in Byrd's death, with Brewer executed in September 2011 and Berry sentenced to life imprisonment. King remains on death row in Texas while appeals are pending. Byrd's death led to the passage of a Texas hate crimes bill and later the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, passed and signed into law in October 2009.