Cotton County, Oklahoma Genealogy Trails

CRIME NEWS STORIES

Ex-Husband of Mrs. Reichers Arrested at Walters, Oklahoma
R. G. Wade, first husband of Mrs. Ada Reichers who was murdered in a Kirk street cottage last Monday, has been arrested at Walters, Oklahoma under charges of Police Chief Moore of complicity of the crime. On the day that Mrs. Reichers head was crushed with blows from  a machinists hammer, the 9 year old girl, a daughter of the first husband was kidnapped. They were taken to a park two miles from the scene and abandoned there by a man whom the oldest boy described as "Arge" . Frank Reichers, second husband of the woman, accused Wade of the crime and explained that he was called RG by his initials. (Hot Springs, Arkansas, July 12, 1908)


Attorney to Ask Death Penalty
Lawton, Okla., Dec. 11 – The death penalty will be asked by County Attorney J. A. Fain in the prosecution of Jesse Fletcher, 60 years old, defendant, charged with the murder of Jesse Barklow, husband of his own niece, near Randlett, this county, July 10 last. This is indicated in questions put to the jurors as to conscientious scruples against inflicting the death penalty for crime.
A new jury of thirty men was secured out of a venire of sixty, following the formation of a complete new panel. It will require four days to try the case, it is thought. (The Daily Oklahoman, Tuesday, December 12, 1911, page 3)

May Be Mistrial in Murder Case
Walter, Okla., March 14 – The fate of W. N. Smith charged with the murder of Lon Scroggins, the first homicide in the newly created county of Cotton, is in the hands of the first district jury to sit in a murder case in the new county and, at a late hour Friday night, the indications are that it will result in a mistrial.
There were no indications of a verdict and the case has been in the jury’s hands since noon.
While the jury was still out in the Smith-Scroggins case, the court began considerations of the case of Mrs. Pattie Cornish and Dr. J. P. Jenkins, her father, charged with the murder of Almer Cornish near Ahpeatone last summer. It was expected that a change of venue would be asked, but this request was waited. The court sustained a motion for severance and the trial of Dr. Jenkins was taken up first. (Daily Oklahoman, Saturday, March 15, 1913, page 4)

Randlett Slayer Acquitted
Walter, Okla., Oct. 18 – The jury in the case of the State vs W. N. Smith, charged with murdering Lon Scroggins in Randlett last year, at 7:30 o’clock Saturday evening, after deliberating all night, returned a verdict of not guilty. (The Daily Oklahoman, Sunday, October 19, 1913)

The Third Victim of Triple Shooting Dies at Walters (Special)
Juanita
Malone 12, died yesterday the third victim of the shooting Tuesday morning, at Walters, Okla. when the father, J E Malone, shot his two daughters and then turned the gun on himself. Malone and the second daughter Lavone 5, died shortly after the shooting. [Lawton, Oklahoma, August 10, 1916, Submitted by Janice Rice]

Temple Men in Duel

Lawton – Carl Keeter, 31 years old, Cotton County farmer, died as a result of bullet wounds received in a pistol battle with Guy Seiboles, on the former’s farm ten miles south of Temple. Keeter had been brought to the hospital for treatment. Seiboles is held in the Cotton County jail on a charge of murder. A brother, Leslie Keeter, who was also shot in the same battle, will recover. Disagreement over an automobile deal led to the shooting. (Canadian Valley Record, Thursday, October 2, 1919, page 2)

Bank Boxes Looted
Oklahoma City, June 25 – The vault of the Bank of Randlett, in Cotton County, was broken into Thursday night and depositors’ bond boxes robbed, according to word received by a detective agency here today. No estimate of the loss was available. The bank of Randlett is a state bank capitalized at $10,000. (Miami District Daily News, Friday, June 25, 1920)

Bridegroom, 19, Slain; Mother of His Bride is Held in Oklahoma Jail (News Article)
Feb 4,
George Hicks 19 years old, who several months ago eloped with Cora Forest, 15 years old, was shot and killed Wednesday as he returned to her home with the girl. Five bullets penetrated his body. Mrs. A B Forest, the bride's mother is in jail. Hicks was shot as he stepped upon the porch of the Forrest home. He died instantly. When Hicks eloped with Miss Forrest her parents caused his arrest on a charge of having falsified her age in obtaining a license. The girl testified however that he stated her age as she had represented it to him and he was acquitted. Following the trial he went with his bride to Atoka, Ok and the couple had been at the home of his parents there until they returned to Walters, Wednesday. Mr. Forrest, who was not at home when the shooting occurred went to his wife at the county jail. He declared he believed she had been temporarily unbalanced by the marriage of her daughter. The girl was prostrated. (Walters, Okla., February 5, 1925)

JAMES SPENCE

Spence Executed in Oklahoma

McAlester, Okla (UPI) – James Spence, who calmly snuffed out the life of a young Lawton housewife 31 months ago Wednesday, died Wednesday night in the electric chair at the state penitentiary.

Spence was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m. by Dr. A. R. Stough.

A prison guard led Spence to the chair. He was followed by a Roman Catholic priest, Rev. W. G. Boucher, prison chaplain, who whispered in low tones while Spence was being strapped in the chair. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Thursday, September 1, 1960, page 10)

Spence Dies in Oklahoma Electric Chair

McAlester, Okla., Sept. 1 – Condemned murderer James Spence of Kinston, N. C., asked for a television set to watch a light heavyweight fight before he died in the Oklahoma electric chair here Wednesday night.

Spence, 32, went calmly to his death after watching the bout between Bobo Olsen and Doug Jones. Spence was pronounced dead at 10:03 p.m.

“No,” was Spence’s reply when asked by Warden Robert R. Raines if he had any last words. The condemned man ate only a banana pudding for lunch and passed up the evening meal entirely before going to his death. He also won several games of checkers from prison guards.

Spence died for the March 31, 1958 slaying of Mrs. Ruth Zimmerman, 19 year old Lawton, Okla., housewife during a robbery of a surplus store over which Mrs. Zimmerman and her husband lived. The husband, Reggie was wounded.

I’m guilty of the crime and we have to live by man made laws or pay,” Spence had told newsmen earlier Wednesday. He said he was “bitter at no one.”

Spence’s brother in law, Eddie Oxendine of Pembroke, N. C., also was given a death sentence in the robbery-slaying. However, Oxendine was granted a 30 day stay Aug. 23 after the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended his sentence be commuted to life.

Spence appeared before the board recently and told it he killed Mrs. Zimmerman, Spence said, “Eddie was just along for the ride. He didn’t kill no one and why should Eddie go down for harming nobody.” (The Greensboro Record, Greensboro, North Carolina, Thursday, September 1, 1960, page D6)