Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 9, 2013

‘King’ gets 18 years

Malakoff man pleads out as trial kicks off

From Staff Reports
Athens Daily Review


Henderson County 173rd Judicial District Judge Dan Moore on Monday accepted an 18-year prison sentence for a Malakoff man known on the street as “King James.”

James Earl Ray, 40, pleaded guilty to crack cocaine possession and distribution while a jury awaited the prosecution’s first witness in Moore’s court last month.

Henderson County assistant district attorneys Justin Weiner and Nancy Rumar prosecuted the case on behalf of the state. Athens-based attorney Barry Spencer represented Ray.

A little over a year prior to his sentence on December 8, 2011, the Henderson County Drug Task Force and members of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Command Staff executed a search warrant on Ray’s residence. Immediately after making entry into the home, Ray was seen fleeing from the bathroom with his hands dripping wet.  The toilet was running, which indicated that it had recently been flushed — and leaving officers to speculate that Ray had flushed a quantity of narcotics when he realized that law enforcement was at his home.

During the search of the home, the Task Force located a number of items confirming Ray’s involvement in drug transactions. Crack cocaine was found throughout the house, along with razor blades used to size the rocks, a large amount of cash mostly in small bills and a cell phone with text messages detailing various drug transactions. 

The residence was also home to two children. The search revealed digital scales with cocaine residue found sitting on a baby’s highchair.

Ray was the only person present at the time the search warrant was executed.

An additional warrant was also executed to search Ray’s cellular phone, which indicated that he was trafficking in narcotics. 

“This is a great example of why it is so important that our office works so hard with law enforcement and continues to fight and investigate these cases on the eve of and throughout trial,” Assistant District Attorney Justin Weiner said.