Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

Famous trial lawyer born in log cabin

June 21st, 1902

https://www.tshaonline.org/images/handbook/entries/Percy Foreman
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Foreman, Percy Eugene

On this day in 1902, Percy Eugene Foreman, one of the most famous trial lawyers in Texas history, was born in a log cabin near Bold Springs, Texas. Foreman, who was known for his unconventional trial strategies, handled society divorces, and in sixty years of practice defended more than 1,000 accused murderers, only one of whom was executed. Among his most famous clients were James Earl Ray, whom he persuaded to plead guilty to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in exchange for a life sentence; socialite Candace Mossler's nephew Melvin Lane Powers, acquitted of a murder charge; Alvin Lee King, who killed five people in a Baptist church and committed suicide before his trial; and Charles Harrelson, sentenced to fifteen years for a contract killing and involved in the assassination of a federal judge in San Antonio. Foreman preferred cash as payment for his services, but if a client didn't have money, he would take property instead, including jewelry, real estate, boats, automobiles, furniture, and artwork. He became a multimillionaire before his death in 1988.

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