Greene County Executions
Wife Murderer Charles Roberts Will Spend His Life There
Charles Roberts, the wife murderer, was brought to the Penitentiary yesterday from Greene County to serve a term of life imprisonment. He was sentenced to be hanged but his sentence was recently commuted by the Governor to life imprisonment. His crime was prompted by jealousy for which there was no grounds. His wife was a young and beautiful woman scarcely 18 years onld. She attended a dance in the neighborhood with her husband and was unconscious of any wrong doing. About 11 0'clock at night while she was on the floor dancing, her husband somewhat under the influence of liquor approached and fired at her with a revolver. The ball took effect and she died soon afterwards. Roberts escaped to Illinois, but was subsquently arrested and brought back. He was tried and convicted and sentenced to be hanged but was finally given a life term. He is a young man probably not over 30 years old.
Source: THE HISTORY OF EXECUTIONS IN AMERICA
BEFORE LETHAL INJECTION, "Before the Needles," by Rob Gallagher. Used with
permission. Transcribed by A. Newell.
2-15-1896 - New Yourk Herald Tribune
During a recent engagement in this city . Smith Russell told the following story. There had been a dozen instances of horse-stealing in Greene County, Arkansas within a month. The populace was at a white heat. Si Whitlock's sorrel colt was the thirteenth animal to enter a sudden disappearance. Before the horse had been three hours out of the stable Si had imparted the news to Hank Mosley the sheriff of the county. Hand didn't wait for superflous details, but raised a posse of fifty men and was beating the brush and swamps in search of the horse thief. Whitlock took another squad and scoured the woods in an opposite direction. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the sheriff's party came upon a stranger cautiously making his way through the brush. To be sure, he had no horse with him but there were one or two sorrel horse hairs on his jeans, and those were taken by the members of the posse as certain sure evidence that he had stolen Whitlock's colt. After having been allowed five minutes for final devotions the poor fellow was hange to a scrub oak.
Just as this juncture Whitlock rode up at the expiring man and exclaimed. That ain't the feller. The man what stole my horse was nigh a foot shorter and didn't have hair on his face for my woman seen him ride away from the shack. Boys were in fer it. This mas just moved down on the barrens from Kentucky. His name is Jed Simmons an he's got a wife an chidren. There was a lull in the proceedings and after a long conference the sheriff was apppointed a committee of one to visit the bereaved Mrs. Simmons and express the regret of the the community for the unavokable mistake which had occurred. Sheriff Hank broke the news ans gently as possible to Mrs. Simmons but his official apologies did not serve to check the outpourins of her grief. He felt the tremendous seriousness of the situation and realized that it devolved upon him as a man of true chivalry to offer her some abiding consolation.