Man who killed a father, his infant son on Christmas Eve 1987 set to be executed

A former Kennedale auto mechanic who vowed to go out in a blaze of glory after killing a father and his infant son in a 1987 Christmas Eve killing spree is scheduled to be executed Tuesday.

James Eugene Bigby, 61, was convicted of capital murder in 1991 for the two slayings. He drowned Jayson Kehler, 4 months old, in a sink and shot the child’s 26-year-old father, Michael Trekell.

Bigby was also accused of killing two other men— Calvin Wesley Crane and Frank “Bubba” Johnson — later the same day.

During his trial for the first two slayings, defense attorneys tried to convince jurors that Bigby was insane. They called witnesses who testified that he was a paranoid schizophrenic.

John Stickels, Bigby’s appellate attorney, said last week that his hands are tied and that Bigby has exhausted his appeals.

“Bigby has instructed me not to do anything else,” Stickels said. “He also wrote a letter to Gov. Abbott asking him to set an execution date. And then he was brought back to Tarrant County to make sure that was what he wanted to do, and that was what he wanted to do.”

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