Jackson County, Oklahoma
Crime  News

Killing In South Part of County - One Shot and Another Almost Decapitated with Ax and Robbed

The fact of the presence of the most lawless, criminal and irresponsible element of negroes that have ever infested Jackson county was brought forcibly to the attention of our citizenship Sunday afternoon, when a dual killing among the negroes in the south end of the county – one occurring on Sunday night and the other Sunday morning – was reported to the county officials here.

In the first instance, R. White a negro man about 35 years of age, who with several others had been picking cotton for Jim Garret three and a half miles east of Humphrey, was found at 9 o’clock Sunday morning in the bed of Stinking Creek, a mile and a half east of Humphrey, where some time Saturday night he was presumably ambushed, killed and then robbed. The assailant used an ax, and the head of the victim was multilated in a  manner that would inspire the belief that it was the act of a fiend and beast. The right side of the forehead was completely caved in by the first blow and then, when he had fallen face downward, the head was all but chopped from the shoulders. The ax used was found not far distant from the scene, and evidence of robbery was disclosed when Constable S. E. Bidwell, of Altus, working with County Attorney Hall unearthed near the negro cabin on the Garrett farm a small pouch containing about $28 and which belonged to the dead negro.

Lawrence McKinney, another of Mr. Garrett’s cotton pickers, was arrested for the crime and placed in jail.

On Sunday morning at 5 o’clock a colored ball on the farm of Mrs. Hunter, four miles south of Humphrey wound up in a free for all in which Charley Brown received a pistol wound near the heart from a .32 calibre automatic in the hands of Sam Williams and died Monday morning. Immediately following the shooting, Williams hied himself to parts unknown and up to this date has not been apprehended.

Later – Since the above has been put in type this morning Lawrence McKinney held for the murder of R. White in the first incident described was brought before District Judge Matthews and upon his plea of guilt was sentenced by the court to a term of 99 years in the state prison at McAlester. Altus Times. (The Oriental Progress, Thursday, November 9, 1916, front page and page 4)

Two Killed In Shooting – Scrape

As the Times goes to press, comes the shocking news that as the result of a shooting scrape, supposedly the culmination of a crap game participated in by a group of white men and negros at the Altus Cotton Oil Mill tank at near six o’clock this evening two are dead, a white man and a negro, while another negro, still unfound is thought to be seriously injured.

Papers on the white man give his name as Louis Leon and his residence as Oklahoma City and his age as 28 while rumor has it the negro was a member of the local colored contingent, age about 40.

The first intimation of the affair came when two white men, said to be witnesses to the fracas stopped Mr. R. A. Rooker, manager of the Interstate compress while on his way to town from the compress shortly after six o’clock and apprised him of the fact of the shooting. The officers were notified who rushed to the scene and found the white man dead on the spot where the shooting took place while the negro was found a short while afterwards in an alfalfa field about 250 yards distance from the tank. Just who did the shooting and under what circumstances it occurred has not been definitely ascertained.

A search of the entire county for the missing member of the gang is now in progress. – Altus Times. (The Oriental Progress, Thursday, November 9, 1916, front page)


32 Year Old Cab Driver Held in Shooting of Cop

Altus, Okla. – A 32 year old cab driver who said he had intended to kill his estranged wife is being held instead for the fatal shooting of an Oklahoma highway patrolman, a former Marine buddy.

Jackson County Atty. Loys Criswell said today Ray Allen Young, 32, had signed a statement admitting the shooting of trooper John Barter, a 31 year old father of three.

Also held in connection with the shooting are Bernice Scott, 25, who gave Shreveport as her most recent address, and Floyd Eugene Gray, a taxicab driver from nearby Frederick.

Criswell said he intended to file a joint murder charge against Young and Miss Scott and a charge against Gray of aiding a felon to escape.

Barter was found in a ditch alongside his empty cruiser late Friday. The shooting occurred on a conty road three miles west of this southwest Oklahoma town.

Criswell said the signed statements of the principals told this story:

Eddie Mayfield, an Altus hotel employee, was called to the scene by Miss Scott, whom he knew in Altus. When he got there he argued with the woman and with Young, who was in the car, Mayfield said the woman fired six shots at him and then Young also fired at him as he fled across an open field.

Barter, who just happened by on a nearby main highway, noticed the two cars and investigated. He asked Young whom he had served with in the Marine Corps, what was going on. Young replied he was target shooting.

The trooper took Miss Scott’s .32 caliber revolver and said he was arresting the couple.

Criswell said Young wrote in the statement, “I just wasn’t going to let him or anyone else stand in my way because I had made up my mind to kill my wife.”

He fired a shot from a .32 caliber automatic. Barter fell into the ditch, a bullet in his right side. (State Times, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Saturday, January 24, 1959, page 9)

Test for Sanity Sought for Pair

Altus, Okla. – Attorneys for Ray Allen Young, confessed killer of a State Highway Patrolman, and his alleged female accomplice took steps Saturday to have the pair sent to a mental hospital.

Three court appointed attorneys filed motions in District Court here for admission to a state hospital for a sanity examination. A ruling is expected some time next week.

Meanwhile Young, 30, who was captured after a short lived flight from the Jackson County Jail Friday night, was transferred to the state penitentiary at McAlester for safekeeping. Bernice Scott, 25, who is charged with murder along with Young in the shooting last month of Trooper John Barter, also was taken to the prison and placed in maximum security. (Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Sunday, February 8, 1959, page 8)

Slayer of Patrolman Gets Death Sentence

Altus, Okla., April 16 – A District Court jury last night convicted Ray Allen Young, 32 year old Altus taxi-cab driver, of murder in the shooting of an Oklahoma highway patrolman. The jury set the penalty at death in the electric chair.

Young was charged with shooting down Patrolman John Barter, 31, this afternoon of January 23 on a lonely country road near Altus. The trooper had driven up to investigate the sound of gunfire.

Mrs. Bernice Scott, 25, Altus, testified she and Young had fired at Eddie Mayfield, a hotel porter whom they planned to kill. Mayfield escaped.

Mrs. Scott previously was sentenced to life imprisonment. (The Seattle Daily Times, Seattle, Washington, Thursday, April 16, 1959, page 22)

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