Quadruple murder conviction affirmed

By: KXII Staff Email
By: KXII Staff Email

He has spent more than 23 years awaiting his execution for the deaths of four men near Sherman.

59-year-old Lester Bower has been on death row since 1984 for the slayings of four men in an airplane hanger near Sherman.

This is video of the murder scene from our archives, captured more than 23 years ago.

At least five previous attempts to execute him have been blocked. Friday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction.

A federal district court judge earlier had allowed Bower to pursue claims that his trial lawyer was ineffective.

Bower has maintained his innocence in the October 1983 shooting deaths.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Open Your Eyes Location: Irving on Jul 2, 2008 at 03:06 PM
    There are so many misstatements below I lost count. But it's like someone said, you're just repeating what you've been hearing all these years. As to why it takes so long - that's not the convicted's fault. In Mr. Bower's case - his appeals sat on 2 different judges desk for a total of 16 years!! You think he didn't want things to move along?!? Kewinna, I too was at some of the trials - and I know others that have been at ALL of them. The fact that the jurors all believed his guilt is proof positive of the ineptitude of Mr. Bower's lawyer! There was not ONE shred of evidence that pointed to Bower as a murderer - even beyond a reasonable doubt. No weapon, prints, anything. Bower has maintained all along that he bot the aircraft. Everyone should put aside their emotions just long enough to ask, "What if Mr. Bower actually is innocent?" He gets executed and the real murderers (and by the way, it's in the records who they are) laugh in your face. Is that justice?!
  • by No Justice Location: Ardmore on Jun 30, 2008 at 09:53 PM
    "I remember" says that Bower said all those things.....It was his lousy attorney that said all those things. His lousy attorney didn't give him the opportunity to testify. Yes, Bower lied to his wife..a terrible thing. He lied to the FBI also. Is that what he should be executed for. He didn't commit the murders. There is evidence, yet Grayson County prosecutors are AFRAID of the truth. They might look bad.
  • by Saddened by these comments Location: OK on Jun 30, 2008 at 05:44 PM
    Read the Ft. Worth Star Telegram article that came out on Sunday.
  • by I remember Location: out of state on Jun 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM
    I remember the trial. If Bower was so innocent, why did he lie to the FBI, his wife, and continue to lie about the ultralight, his gun and his whereabouts that fateful day? He said he'd never met the men, he'd never been to Sherman. We know better. He's always claimed innocence, but so do many convicted felons. I've read the stories that someone knows the truth, who really killed the men and why. I heard all the rumors about drugs. But what new evidence is there besides claims of innocence and a story that was told long after the trial was over? Is there new DNA evidence? I pray this matter is put to rest, one way or the other and folks can get on with their lives.
  • by Saddened by these comments Location: OK on Jun 30, 2008 at 07:15 AM
    Relative of victim: It was a terrible thing that happened to your family and I am truly sorry for your loss. But in response to your comment..CLEARLY all signs do NOT point to Lester Bower. You grew up hearing the horrible lies about Bower because that was what helped your family grieve. Please keep in mind that your views on this matter are very biased and the real truth about what happened is out there. To those that state that they know all the facts of the case and that there is no doubt that he is guilty: I am saddened by your complete ignorance of this matter. The fact is Bower is innocent. We all know who committed the murders. Letting them get away with it and letting Bower waste his life in prison because of a wrongful conviction is appalling. The death penalty is wrong any way you look at it. No one has the right to take the life of another man. Executing an innocent man will NOT bring any closure to the any of the victims' families.
  • by Anonymous Location: Texas on Jun 29, 2008 at 11:02 PM
    Nathan...how can you say you "know" he killed people...were you there??? Those who were involved w/the ACTUAL murderers KNOW Lester DIDN'T kill people!!! I agree, the DEATH PENALTY IS WRONG....but...ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS AN INNOCENT MAN!!!!!!!!!
  • by relative of victim Location: grayson county on Jun 29, 2008 at 08:44 PM
    all signs point to this man, and although my mother and grandmother can forgive this man for killing my grandfather--i cannot! i never got to meet my grandfather thanks to this man. bower took a husband from his wife, leaving my mother without a father to walk her down the aisle, and two grandchildren that will never know what a wonderful man their grandfather was. the death penalty may not be the best of resolutions, but his actions should be dealt with someway.
  • by Nathan on Jun 26, 2008 at 10:59 PM
    The death penalty is stupid how can we be a civilization when we kill our own kind? I know he killed people and thats not right but either way does that make it right to kill him? funny most christians I ask say yes.... I thought america was a nation under god I gues thats only when it's suiting for us. And why would they make him live knowing his life will end? Is that right? Making him live in fear in a prison cell awaiting his death? Imaginge how it feels to know your going to die. Any way I am a strong beliver in Amnesty International and if this country is my land and were all americans I say we take this man off death row just like every other man or women and completely destroy the death row. no matter what the crime from rape to murder or even tresspassing the death penalty is wrong. why do we still have it? becuase stupid capitolist and money hungery industrys control our nation instead of the people. TAKE THE POWER BACK and destroy the death penalty FOR GOOD.god save him now.
  • by Anonymous Relative of Lester Location: North Texas on Jun 24, 2008 at 05:23 PM
    There is evidence which hasn't been allowed to be brought forward. There are many who KNOW the men who committed these murders and for whatever reason have opted to let an innocent man be held this long. And be facing execution on July 22nd.I know there are many who want to believe that the jury was accurate, but they weren't presented all the evidence...much new evidence has come forward since 1983. Les was not given a fair trial and he wasn't given fair appeals. For the appeal at the 5th circuit, he was suppose to get a NEW JUDGE to look at this...instead, it was a judge that had already DENIED an appeal hearing.Les is innocent and should be given a new, fair trial!The men who actually committed these murders are free and dangers to society.Les was never involved in drugs,the gambling rings that the victims and actual murderers were involved in.Let the new evidence Executing Les is further murder;he is an innocent man!Let the truth come out! If ONLY you knew Les and the family
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Jun 12, 2008 at 07:03 AM
    His execution is coming up on July 22.
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