John Manasco 1988
Family, friends hold memorial service for Loyal Garner Jr. FLORIEN, La. (AP) — Family and friends of Loyal Garner Jr. gathered at a local high school auditorium for a memorial tribute to the truck driver who died of head wounds after being jailed in the Sabine County Jail. Police Chief Duane Calhoun fought back tears Saturday as he described his friendship with Garner and he pledged to help Garner's widow and six children. Calhoun said he knesv Garner as he grew up and never saw him do any thing wrong. Garner, 34, died Dec. 27, at Tyler Medical Center after surgery for head wounds he received at the jail in Hemphill. Former Hemphill Police Chief Thomas Ladner, 41, and sheriff's deputies Bill Horton, 58, and James "Bo" Hyden, 35, were acquitted July 15 of violating Garner's civil rights by beating him and denying him medical attention. The 12th District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the trio cannot be tried for murder in Smith County because it would constitute double jeopardy trying someone twice for the same alleged offense. Florien Mayor John Manasco said the people of Florien know "a wrong has been committed, but the question is why did we permit it to happen." "I don't agree with the courts in Texas. But someday it will be righted," Monasco said. "I knew Junior (Garner) to be honest and hardworking. He was loved by his family. APLaserpholo Loyal Garner Jr. "It is incomprehensible that something like this could happen," he said. The Rev. Ernest Charles of Houston said he has talked to many whites who feel Garner's death was racially motivated. The three law men were white and Garner, black. "In spite of the fact that racism exists we who are for righteousness must rise above racism. We must recognize a man for being a man, not the color of his skin, but the truth he has in his heart," Charles said.