Marine and Hit Man

An ex-soldier spun elaborate fantasies about being a professional killer. One day they came true.

He and Wren talked for hours: Tyner remembered they were supposed to fight once. He told Wren he wanted to pursue fighting as a career but had instead made "an awful choice." Now, he said, he just paces, reads and writes, in isolation for 23 hours a day.

Wren noticed a stack of journals two or three feet high in his cell. "Dreams and prayers," Tyner said. A well-worn Bible was nearby. His hands chained, he wiped tears from his face with his knee.

It was like this, he said. His girlfriend was pregnant, on drugs. He walked in on her with another man and just snapped. It was one last tall tale for Byrd, who finally fell out of the tree.

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