Killing of Ernest Williams in Texas in 1948


Case summary

Ernest Williams, 22, was killed in 1948 by Ivy Smith, a prison guard at Central prison in Fort Bend County, Texas. Another guard, E. W. Pryor, was also involved in the shooting. The guards shot at Williams during a food strike when he tried to escape gas sprayed into the dining room in which prisoners were locked. Both guards were dismissed. Smith was charged with murder.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: police

Date of incident: 1948-03-24
Location: Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas
Location type: carceral location
Allegation against victim: opening a window to escape tear gas

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: yes
Finding of no legal responsibility: [ ]

Criminal process
Arrest: yes
Charge/indictment/information: no
Grand jury: yes
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

DOJ case ID:


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