DENVER (AP) - Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson,
died in the Supermax federal prison where he was serving two life
sentences for the murder of a federal judge, officials said
Charles Harrelson, 69, was found unresponsive in his cell on
March 15 and apparently died of natural causes, said Felicia Ponce,
a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington.
Ponce did not know the exact cause of death. Fremont County
Coroner Dorothy Twellman did not immediately return a call.
Charles Harrelson was convicted of murder in the May 29, 1979,
slaying of U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. outside his San
Antonio, Texas, home. Prosecutors said a drug dealer hired him to
kill Wood because he did not want the judge to preside at his
Charles Harrelson denied the killing, saying he was in Dallas,
270 miles away, at the time.
Wood, known as "Maximum John" for the sentences he gave in
drug cases, was the first federal judge to be killed in the 20th
Charles Harrelson was transferred to Supermax, the
highest-security federal prison, after attempting to break out of
an Atlanta federal prison in 1995. Other inmates at Supermax, about
90 miles south of Denver, include Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski,
Oklahoma City bombing coconspirator Terry Nichols and Olympic Park
bomber Eric Rudolph.
His son got his start in acting as Woody the bartender on
"Cheers" beginning in 1985 and went on to star in films including
"Natural Born Killers," "White Men Can't Jump" and "The People
vs. Larry Flynt."
Woody Harrelson was just 7 when his father was first sent to
prison, for murdering a Texas businessman. He was in college when
his father was convicted of the judge's assassination.