Day In Court For Harrelson's Dad

Woody Harrelson gained fame on the TV series Cheers and then in several movies. His father, Charles Harrelson, is serving two life prison terms for the murder of a federal judge in Texas.

Charles Harrelson's last chance for freedom may come on Tuesday as lawyers return to a Denver courtroom in an effort to prove he was wrongly convicted nearly 20 years ago, reports Correspondent Rick Sallinger of CBS Station KCNC-TV in Denver.

On May 29, 1979, federal judge John Wood was gunned down as he left his home in a suburb of San Antonio. He was known as "Maximum John" for his stiff sentences for drug dealers.

Charles Harrelson was convicted of carrying out a contract killing on the judge, ordered by a drug dealer.

Former U.S. customs agent Jack Compton testified he believes Harrelson was the hit man.

"Judge Wood represented our judicial system, and it was an assault on the judicial system," said Compton.

But Harrelson's attorneys claim there was missing evidence, and their client did not get a fair trial.

"I argued to the jury in San Antonio he was not guilty. I argued to 5th Circuit [Court] he was not guilty," said Harrelson's original attorney, Tom Sharp.

That, as well as security issues, is why the hearing is being held in Denver.


Federal Prison Super Max
Harrelson is being held at the most secure federal prison in the country, known as Super Max, in Florence, Colo.

Woody Harrelson acknowledged he is paying the legal bills in this attempt for his father to win a new trial in hopes of getting out of prison.

"Him being in prison, you'd like to be able to hug your father," said the actor.

The actor and his brother sat in the front row of the Denver courtroom, as close to their father as possible.

Reported by Rick Sallinger