James Earhart Executed For Kandy Kirtland Murder

James Earhart was executed by the State of Texas for the murder of Kandy Kirtland

According to court documents James Earhart would kidnap nine year old Kandy Kirtland who would later be murdered

James Earhart would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

James Earhart would be executed by lethal injection on August 11 1999

After his death James Earhart would be tied via DNA to the murder of Virginia Freeman and police continue to look for other cold cases he may have been responsible for

James Earhart Photos

james earhart texas

James Earhart Case

On December 1, 1981, forty-year-old Real Estate Agent Virginia “Ginger” Bradford Freeman was murdered behind a rural vacant residence in Brazos County, which she was showing a potential buyer. Virginia left the real estate office at about 3:00 PM and stopped at her own residence, where she told her children about the potential sale. Sometime after 7:00 PM, Virginia’s husband, Charles, reported Virginia missing to the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office. Charles began searching and found her vehicle parked at a residence for sale on Greens Prairie Road. He found Virginia’s body behind the vacant residence. An autopsy revealed that at approximately 3:30 PM, she had been struck on her head, strangled, and stabbed. The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers worked diligently on this however, it remained unsolved.

In 1981, DNA was virtually unknown to law enforcement, however evidence from the scene was preserved and in June 2018, with the assistance of a private laboratory, investigators were able to use genealogy records to link James Otto Earhart to this offense with extremely high probability. Earhart was a suspect early in the investigation, and was ultimately convicted for the 1987 murder of Kandy Kirtland, a nine-year-old girl. Earhart was executed in 1999. Earhart’s DNA was not preserved at that time. In June 2018, Earhart’s body was exhumed and a DNA sample was collected.

On August 30, 2019, the Texas DPS Crime Lab reported that Earhart’s DNA was a match to DNA from the crime scene. After 38 years, the murder of Virginia and Freeman was conclusively solved.


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