CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1967-1980
Book 6
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COUNTY 0F NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 8th day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and sixty ­eight before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Gwendolyn Flemon, then and there being dead by the oaths of Carroll Bouknight, Virgil Bouknight, Sarah Powell, Ethel L. Stone, E. M. Cook and H. L. Cockrell, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Gwendolyn Fle­mon came to her death, upon their oaths, do say Gwendolyn Flemon came to her death as the result of a mischanced accident. We recommend that no one be held for Grand Jury investigation. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Gwendolyn Flemon came to her death in the manner afore­said.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ George R. Summer, Coroner (L.S.)
          /s/ Carroll Bouknight, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Virgil Bouknight (L.S.)

/s/ Sarah Powell (L.S.)                                                         /s/ E. M. Cook (L.S.)

 /s/ Ethel L. Stone (L.S.)                                                      /s/ H. L. Cockrell (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: The inquisition will come to order. (Whereupon, the Foreman of the Jury, and members of the Jury, were duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, this is an inquisition into the death of Gwendolyn Flemon. It is your duty now to listen to the testimony we have to offer in this case, and from this testimony, you will arrive at how Gwendolyn Flemon came to her death. If you find someone responsible for her death in a negligent way, you will recommend in this verdict that they be held for Grand Jury in­vestigation.

MRS. LEILA MAE RUFF HALFACRE, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    State your full name, please, Ma'am.

A.    Leila Mae Ruff Halfacre.

Q.    Mrs. Halfacre, on the morning of March 3, this year, were you riding with your husband in a 1964 Chevrolet?

A.    I was.

Q.    Just in your own words, Mrs. Halfacre, tell these gentlemen and ladies what happened that you know that happened that morning, in your own words.

A.    Well, we left our home and we were coming to Newberry. We still come to church up here. We were coming to Sunday school and preaching that morning. Just on this side of Pomaria, three colored children were coming up the side and the little boy ran across and the little girl just behind, and the boy got across and the little five-year-old girl is the child that we hit and killed.

Q.    Which side of the road were they walking on, Mrs. Halfacre?

A.    They were coming up on the left.

Q.    Were you coming from Pomaria?

A.    We were coming from Pomaria towards Newberry.

Q.    And they were coming up the road on your left?

A.    On my left, towards Pomaria.

Q.    And the little boy ran across in front of you to your right hand side?

A.    To my right.

Q.    And then the little girl followed?

A.    Followed.

Q.    Approximately what time was this, Mrs. Halfacre?

A.    I would say around 8:45

Q.    Is there anything else you can tell these gentlemen and ladies about it?

A.    Well, should I tell about what I did? Harvey stood by the child all the time and I ran across the road. There was

        some colored houses on the left and I tried to find out whose children they were. Of course, as soon as I could get to a telephone, the first person I thought of call­ing was Mr. Fellers. I felt like I could get his number and I knew him and ask him just what to do. He was kind enough to offer to call the am­bulance, the Coroner and also the patrolmen. He said he would take care of what had to be done. Meantime, I called my brother to come as quickly as he could, too. I would like to say, we did attend the funeral. The child was buried Tuesday afternoon at one o'clock. My husband and I and our pastor, Rev. Robinson, went with us. We also went to the home that morning.

JUROR: The children were alone, there were no grown people with them?

THE WITNESS: No, they had spent the night with their grandparents. They were going home. Their parents live down across the road just as you go into Pomaria.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions you wish to ask? That will be all, thank you, Ma'am. (Witness Excused.)

EDWIN HARVEY HALFACRE, being advised of his rights to testify or not to testify, being advised that whatever he said could be used for or against him in the event of further proceedings in this matter, volunteered to testify, was duly sworn, examined, and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    State your full name, please, sir.

A.    Edwin Harvey Halfacre.

Q.    Mr. Halfacre, on the morning of March 3 this year, go ahead and tell these gentlemen and ladies of the jury just what happened that morn­ing, in your own words, sir.

A.    Your Honor, we left our home, Route 2, Box 408, Columbia, South Carolina, to come to our home church to

        attend Sunday School and services. We got just this side of Pomaria and we saw these children, as my wife stated, coming along the road. They were going east. We were going west. We were going toward Newberry and they were coming toward Pomaria. Time we saw the children, I applied brakes immediately and we found that the little boy got across the road, followed by a little girl who we were told was five years of age. There was a smaller child who did not attempt to cross the road. As the child was knocked down and off the road on the shoulder of the road, I stood by the child all the time until you got there and others, and my wife did go to the home she described above and told what had hap­pened and tried to get in touch with the officials of the law as soon as possible. She called Mr. Tom Fellers. He said in turn he would get those. After finding the child there, I tried with my first aid that I had had in my school experience some 39 years, that the child was dead.

Q.    Yes, sir. You were driving the car, is that right?

A.    Yes, sir.

Q.    I believe this was a 1964 Chevrolet, is that right?

A.    Yes.

Q.    Approximately what speed were you driving?                                         

A.    Approximately 45 miles an hour, in a 40-60 mile zone.

CORONER SUMMER: Any Questions you ladies and gentlemen want to ask?

THE WITNESS: I would like to say there, too, we did come up to the home with our pastor. We were received into the home by the mother and another party there, and we stayed there a few minutes and of course, expressed our sadness to them, and then we were told that the husband was down at the church at the cemetery, so we drove down there and again gave our respects to the father. The two children were down there likewise, plus several others, dig­ging the grave, then at one o'clock, a little before one, we met at the church with our pastor and were received in the church during the services. Then our pastor read the Scripture by invitation of the Pastor there and he also pronounced the benediction at the grave.

CORONER SUMMER:       All right, sir, is there anything else you would like to add?

THE WITNESS:       That is all I know.

CORONER SUMMER:       The time that your wife stated was about right, 8:45?

THE WITNESS:       Around 8:45, yes sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you sir.     (Witness Excused)

REID WILLIAM DUVALL, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Bt Coroner Summer:

Q.        State your full name.

A.    Reid William Duvall.

Q.    What position do you hold, Mr. Duvall?

A.    Patrolman, State Highway Department.

Q.    Mr. Duvall, on March 3 this year, were you called to investigate an accident down near Pomaria?

A.    Yes, sir.

Q.    In your own words, just go ahead and tell these ladies and gentlemen here just what your investigation was, sir.

A.    It was somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00 o'clock Corporal Reighley called me by radio and stated he had been
        informed there was an accident just outside of Pomaria, and sent me down to investigate it. Arriving at the scene, I found a colored child, Gwendolyn Flemon, had been hit by a car driven by Mr. Halfacre. After talking with the witness both his wife and the 11-year-old boy, which was with the girl, they stated that the child did run out in front of the car. They were walking on the left hand side, well, it would have been Mr. Halfacre's left hand side of the road. They were walking with the traffic instead of against the traffic as they should have been doing. What made them run in the road, I guess we will never know. Appar­ently that was what happened, just at the last minute, she darted out in the road. There was all indication that Mr. Halfacre tried to stop and from the investigation, I don't believe he was running any excessive

        amount of speed. It was a 60-mile an hour zone.

Q.    Did you measure his skid marks?

A.    Yes, sir.

Q.    What was the measurement on skid marks?

A.    150 feet on skid marks.

Q.    From your investigation, this length of marks, was it average speed?

A.    Well, it would have been around 40 or 45, I think. According to the charts we have, 50 miles an hour is 178 feet skid marks. I would say it would have been below that.

Q.    Could you tell the ladies and gentlemen here just where the child struck the car? ­

A.    It was on the right hand side, right around the headlights on the right hand side or passenger's side of the car, and the grill just inside the headlight. Damage to the car was very minor. It didn't break any of the lights or make much of a dent in the grill; very minor. This was just after topping the hill there, just several hundred yards--pro­bably 100 yards or so after he came over the top of the hill ands started down the other side.

Q.    You can't see anything until you get over the top of the hill if you are coming from Pomaria, is that right?

A.    That is correct, yes, sir.

Q.    The condition of the road there, is it good?

A.    It is good, yes.

Q.    What highway is that, sir?

A.    U. S. 176.  It was right below, 150 feet below the intersection of South Carolina 773 which is known as the Prosperity-Little Mountain road, comes in just below Pomaria.

Q.    This happened in Newberry County, did it not?

A.    That is correct.

Q.    Is there anything else you can add to your investigation?

A.    I don't believe so.

Q.    How was the weather that day?

A.    Clear, the sun was shining. Of course, the wind was blowing. I don't know whether that would have had anything to do with the children hearing the car or not, but they should have been able to see it.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you would like to ask? That will be all.                               (Witness Excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Flemon family was notified to be here at the inquisition. Why they haven’t shown up, I do not know. They were notified to be here by 7:30.

JUROR:  When were they notified?

CORONER SUMMER: I notified them again this morning. I went and woke them up this morning because they were still in bed, to be sure they had gotten the word. I had sent word to them on Wednesday, then to be sure, I went there this morning myself and talked to the father.

This is the doctor’s statement:

“To whom it may concern:  I saw Gwendolyn Flemon, a five year old colored female, in the Newberry County Hospital Emergency Room at 9:50 am on 3/3/1968. The patient was dead on arrival to the emergency room. Physical examination revealed evidence of a fractured skull and neck, which was, in my opinion, the cause of death. Blood was oozing from her nose, mouth, ears and rectum.”            Sincerely yours,           /s/    Sydney E. Carter M. D.

Mr. Foreman and ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the evidence we have in the case. You had your charge at the beginning of the inquisition. It is now your duty to retire to the jury room to pass your verdict on how Gwendolyn Flemon came to her death.  (Whereupon the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom and delivered the following verdict, concurred by all jurors):

 “Gwendolyn Flemon came to her death as a result if a mischanced accident. We recommend that no one be held for Grand Jury investigation.”

 (Whereupon, the hearing in the above-styled matter was concluded.)

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 29th day of August, A.D., one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of George Ray Goldsome, then and there being dead by the oaths of Hugh H. Connelly, J. W. Smith, Virgil Bouknight, Carroll L. Bouknight, Sarah Powell and A. H. Counts, being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina, where and by what means the said George Ray Goldsome came to his death, upon their oaths, do say, George Ray Goldsome came to his death as the result of gunshot wound inflicted by Annie Lou Goldsome. We recommend that Annie Lou Goldsome be held for Grand Jury investigation. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid George Ray Goldsome came to his death in the manner aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, GEORGE R. SUMMER, CORONER aforesaid, and the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hand s and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

                                                                                /s/ George R. Summer, Coroner (L.S.)
                                                                                /s/ Hugh H. Connelly, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Sarah Powell (L.S.)

/s/ A. H. Counts (L.S.)                                                         /s/ Virgil Bouknight (L.S.)

/s/ J. W. Smith (L.S.)                                                           /s/ Carroll L. Bouknight (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Will the foreman of the Jury stand and be sworn? 
(Whereupon, the foreman of the Jury, and members of the Jury, were duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman, and Lady and gentlemen of the Jury, this is an inquisition into the death of George Ray Goldsome. It is your duty to listen now to the testimony we have to offer in this case, and from this testimony, you will arrive at how he came to his death. You will insert in your verdict the instrument that caused death and by whose hands he met his death. If someone other than the deceased caused his death, you will recommend that they be held for Grand Jury investi­gation.

James Dudley, come around.

JAMES HENRY DUDLEY, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    Your name is James H. Dudley?

A.    Henry, James Henry Dudley.

Q.    First, where do you work, James?

A.    Well, I work regular at Kemper Chevrolet, part time at the hospital.

Q.    What are your duties at the hospital?

A.    Orderly.

Q.    James, on the night of August 23, 1968, did you get a call to go down below Prosperity on Black's Bridge road on an ambulance call?

A.    Yes, sir, I did.

Q.    Tell these gentlemen what happened from the time you got the call until you got back, what you saw at the
        house?

A.    When I got the call, it was, I guess, about 12:30 or something along in there and this lady called and said "We need an ambulance" and told me that it was a man had been shot and told me to hurry. She told me to come just below Prosperity about three miles and turn at Slice's gro­cery, which I did. When I got there, I went in the house and whenever I did, I seen a .410 shotgun lying on the floor and this man laying slumped to his right on the floor. He had been shot. Before I went in, everybody was out doors except one girl, his wife, Goldsome’s wife. She was standing on the porch.

Q.    He wasn’t lying flat?

A.    He was on his right side, slumped to the right side.

Q.    How far was the gun from him when you saw the gun?

A.    Well, the gun was probably about four or five feet from him.

Q.    Was it back this way?

A.    It was in the room before you got to him.

Q.    There are two rooms there, I believe?

A.    Two rooms.

Q.    Was he close to the door?

A.    Yes, his head was against the facing on the door.

Q.    And the gun was four or five feet back in the other room?

A.    That's right.

Q.    Did someone else go with you to help get the shot victim?

A.    He was one of the new orderlies. I don't recall his name. He just started. I don't know his name.

Q.    You didn't examine to see if he was alive or dead?

A.    No, sir, we just picked him up and brought him to the hospital.

CORONER SUMMER: All right, thank you.                 (Witness Excused.)

ANDREW  SHEALY, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    What is your full name, sir?

A.    Andrew Shealy.

Q.    What position do you hold, Mr. Shealy?

A.    Deputy Sheriff, Newberry County.

Q.    Mr. Shealy, on August 23 of this year, did you get a call to investigate a shooting down below Prosperity?

A.    Yes, sir, it was about, between 12:45 and 1:00 o'clock, we re­ceived a call to come to Newberry County Hospital, a victim had been shot and was out there.

Q.    Just go ahead and tell the lady and gentlemen what your investi­gation was, sir.

A.    When we arrived at the hospital, Dr. Carter was at the emergency room. He said he had a boy brought there who
        had a shotgun wound in the head and the boy's wife was in another room there and she had told him that she had shot him and he asked if I would like to talk to her. First I went in the emergency room and looked at the victim. He had shot and he had a place right over his right eye, a hole in his head, I called the girl in the room right there in the hall and talked her. First I advised her of her rights, and told her she didn't have to talk with us if she didn't want to; if she wanted to talk to a lawyer, she could and if she couldn't afford one, one would be provided by the Court. She said she wanted to go ahead and tell us about it. She said she had been to church and on the way back, the car broke down. Her husband stayed home and kept the two children. She said the reason he didn't go, he said he was tired from working that day. She got somebody to bring her back home to get him to go up and try to get the car. Evidently they didn't get it started because the car was left over there. When they got back home, she said some girl had told her about her husband going with other women or something to that effect and she asked him about it. At the time she was talking with him, she said he was in the other room undressing and getting ready to go to bed. When she asked him about it, she said he got mad and started at her with his fist balled up. I asked if he had any kind of weapon and she said no, he didn't have anything. I also asked if he made any attempt to hit her and she said he didn't. She was across the room from him. When he started toward her, she started backing up. Over the door, the shotgun was hanging. She reached up and got the gun and brought it down. She said he reached for the gun and the gun discharged, hitting him over the eye. I think you can verify there were powder burns on him. Evidently he was close to the gun, the way the gunshot. She called for the ambulance to come get him. We did find the .410 shotgun, but the victim's brother got it and beat it against a post and partially destroyed it. You couldn't hardly tell anything about the gun, whether it was easy on the trigger.

BY JUROR: It has been established that it was a shotgun?

THE WITNESS: Single shot.

BY JURQR: Hammer type?

THE WITNESS: Right

CORONER SUMMER: Is there anything else you can add?

THE WITNESS: No sir.

CORONER SUMMER: This happened in Newberry County?

THE WITNESS: That’s right.

BY JUROR: The hammer would have had to have been pulled back to be fired?

THE WITNESS: In my opinion, it would have.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions? Mr. Shealy, did you get the wife’s name?

THE WITNESS: Yes, Annie Lou Goldsome. She said they had been married about one year.

CORONER SUMMER: All right, thank you.                 (Witness Excused) 

CORONER SUMMER: If there is anyone in the audience who has any light they can give us on this case, we would like for them to come up and be sworn in; if you know anything that would help in this case, we would like for you to come around.                    (There was no response.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's statement:

"To Whom it May Concern: I saw George Ray Goldsome in the Newberry County Hospital emergency room at 12:45 a.m. on 8/23/68, who was dead on arrival to the emergency room. Death was due to a gunshot wound just above the right eye. There was no exit mark."                                                     Signed, Sydney E. Carter, M. D.

Mr. Foreman and Lady and Gentlemen of the Jury, this is all we have to offer in this case, since there were no eye witnesses other than the wife who does not have to testify at the inquest. It is your duty to retire to the jury room to pass your verdict on how George Ray Goldsome came to his death. (Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom and delivered the following verdict, concurred in by all jurors:)

"George Ray Goldsome came to his death as the result of gunshot wound inflicted by Annie Lou Goldsome. We recommend that Annie Lou Goldsome be held for Grand Jury investigation."

 (Whereupon, at approximately 8:00 o'clock p.m. the inquest was concluded.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire in the county and state aforesaid, the 12th day of November A. D., one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of John M. Howell, then and there being dead by the oaths of W. D. Suber, John O. Miller, Charles L. Sims, J. L. Grant, Lawrence Mull and Henry T. Johnson, Jr., being a lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said John M. Howell came to his death, upon their oaths, do say, he came to his death by gunshot wounds fired by C . P. Moss in self-defense. And so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to his death by gunshot wounds fired by C. P. Moss in self defense and recommend that he not be held for Grand Jury.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, GOERGE R. SUMMER, Coroner aforesaid, And the jurors aforesaid, to this inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

                                                                                /s/ George R. Summer, Coroner (L.S.)

                                                                                /s/ W. D. Suber, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ John O. Miller (L.S.)

/s/ Charles L. Sims (L.S.)                                                     /s/ Lawrence Mull (L.S.)

/s/ J. L. Grant (L.S.)                                                            /s/ Henry T. Johnson, Jr. (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: The inquest will come to order. (Whereupon, the Foreman of the Jury, and members of the Jury, were duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman and Gentlemen of the Jury, this is an inquisition into the cause of death of Mr. John M. Howell. It is your duty now as jurymen to listen to the evidence that we have to offer in this case, from this evidence you will arrive at how Mr. Howell came to his death. In this verdict, you will recommend if someone should be held for Grand Jury investigation. Insert what he was killed with and by what means and at whose hands he met his death.

WALLACE ALEXANDER, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    Mr. Alexander, on the morning of November 11, 1968, where were you.

A.    Sitting in Mr. Rose's cafe.

Q.    About what time was this?

A.    Around Quarter until twelve.

Q.    While you were in this cafe, just go ahead and tell these gentlemen of the Jury just what happened that morning around that time.

A.    I was sitting at the table at the very back next to the heater. I had my back to the door. I didn't see Mr. Howell
        walk in. I didn't see Mr. Moss walk in. We were sitting there, and I saw Mr. Moss walk beside me. When he did, Mr. Howell got off the stool and started around towards the heater. He saw Mr. Moss had him cut off and he reversed and went back the other way. He grabbed Gene Bain and Gene Bain jerked away from him. He kind of stooped down behind me and when he came up he pulled a gun out of his pocket. Mr. Moss told him, said, "Put the gun away, John". Mr. Howell went to cock the gun and Mr. Moss shot him.

Q.    You say you were sitting in the booth at the cafe?

A.    No, sir, at the table.

Q.    Where was Mr. Howell sitting?

A.    He was sitting on the second stool from the door.

Q.    You don’t know whether Mr. Howell or Mr. Moss came in first?

A.    Mr. Howell came in first.

Q.    Is there anything else you can tell us?

A.    No sir.

Q.    How many times did he shoot?

A.    Either four or five, I’m not sure.

Q.    Did you see the gun that Mr. Howell had – good enough to tell what make of gun it was?

A.    It was a real small gun. He had it in one hand. Seemed like he couldn’t cock it. I saw him bring both hands up on the gun and when he did, I didn’t see Mr. Moss draw his gun. I heard the firing.      

Q.    Well, before this started, did Mr. Moss say anything to Mr. Howell?

A.    He didn't say anything to Mr. Howell. Mr. Moss, he went in the opposite direction from where Mr. Howell was sitting. Mr. Howell just jumped up and ran. Like I say, he ducked down behind me and when he came up, he come up pulling the gun out. Mr. Moss just said, "Put the gun away, John" and that was all.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions the Jurors would like to ask? That will be all.        (Witness Excused.)

GENE BAIN, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    On the morning of November 11 this year, Mr. Bain, go ahead and tell these Gentlemen of the Jury where you were and just what happened that morning?

A.    It was about the same as Wallace said. I didn't see either one walk in the door, either, and I was sitting eating lunch and I had just got through and was fixing to get up and then Mr. Howell, he grabbed hold to me by the shirt and I didn't know what to think. I kind of looked at him, and broke loose and saw he had a gun in his hand, then Chief Moss pulled his gun out.

Q.    Did you see Mr. Howell cock this gun?

A.    I saw the gun in his hand. He had his gun out first.

Q.    Well, did he say anything to Mr. Moss when Mr. Moss came in the cafe?

A.    I don't remember if he did.

Q.    Is there anything else you can add to this? Did Mr. Moss say anything to Mr. Howell?

A.    Seems like he said "Put your gun away" or "don't do it".

Q.    Do you know how many shots were fired?

A.    Four or five.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you want to ask him? That will be all.         (Witness Excused.)

HOWARD DILLASHAW, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    Mr. Dillashaw, on November 11 this year, where were you?

A.    Rose's Cafe.

Q.    About what time of the morning was this, Mr. Dillashaw?

A.    Approximately quarter until 12, approximately.

Q.    Where were you sitting in the cafe?

A.    I was sitting with my back to the booth, facing the stools over there. I was sort of cock-wise, wasn't straight in the table. I was sitting ­sort of cock-wise.

Q.    You were sitting at some of the tables?

A.    Yes, sir, I was sitting a t the same table with Mr. Wallace and Bain.

Q.    Did you see Mr. Howell come in the cafe?

A.    Yes, sir.

Q.    Did you see Mr. Moss come in the cafe?

A.    Yes, sir.

Q.    Did you hear Mr. Howell say anything to Mr. Moss?

A.    No, sir.

Q.    Did Mr. Moss bother Mr. Howell?

A.    None at all, he was on the other side of the room. He came in the opposite side.

Q.    What happened after they came in the cafe? Just tell the gentlemen what you saw?

A.    Well, Mr. Moss was coming up the right hand side and he turned around and I saw Mr. Howell, he was over there right beside the stool, turned around, then I heard Charles say, “Put that gun away,” and he was standing right behind Mr. Wallace at the time, he was behind him, and about that time, Charles fired.

Q.    Did Mr. Howell say anything to Mr. Moss?

A.    Not that I know of.

Q.    Did you see the gun in Mr. Howell’s hand?

A.    Yes sir.

Q.    Did you see whether or not he cocked the gun?

A.    I couldn’t tell.

Q.    Was this a small gun?

A.    It was small; I couldn’t tell.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions?        (Witness Excused)

MRS. MARY GAFFNEY, being duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.        Mrs. Gaffney, were you in Rose’s Café yesterday morning?

A.    That’s right.

Q.    Where were you in the cafe?

A.    I was making change for Howell. He had just bought a beer. This other girl had sold him the beer and I was making change.

Q.    You work at Rose's Cafe?

A.    I was there yesterday.

Q.    In your own words, just tell the gentlemen what happened yesterday morning?

A.    After I gave him the change, I heard something that sounded like a firecracker. I was going to tell them to cut it out. The next thing I knew, when I realized it was a gun, I got down behind the counter and went to the back.

Q.    You didn't hear Mr. Howell say anything?

A.    I didn't hear anything but the gun.

Q.    Mr. Howell was at the bar stool?

A.    Second stool.

Q.    Did you see Mr. Moss when he came in?

A.    I did, and I was going to get him a cup of coffee and I was waiting until he got in good. I always fix him a cup of coffee when he comes in.

Q.    When Mr. Moss came in, did he come around the back of the tables?

A.    No, he was on the other side when he came in. He didn't bother Mr. Howell at all, and I didn't know what was going on. I just thought somebody had thrown a firecracker.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions?   That will be all.                            (Witness Excused)

CHARLES SENN, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

By Coroner Summer:

Q.    What position do you hold, Mr. Senn?

A.    Deputy Sheriff, Newberry County.

Q.    On the morning of November 11, 1968, did you get a call to come investigate something at Rose's Cafe?

A.    I did.

Q.    All right, Mr. Senn, in your own words, just tell these gentle­men of the Jury just what your investigation was?

A.    Well, approximately, between 11:30 and 12:00 yesterday morning, November 11, I received a call that there had
        been a shooting at Rose's Cafe here in Whitmire. Along with the Sheriff, we came to Whitmire. On arrival, we found Mr. John Howell dead on the floor at Rose's Cafe. I observed the bullet wound about the center of his chest, and also one in the lower neck, along the side of the neck. Later, yesterday morning, shortly after, I had a conversation with Chief Moss of the Whitmire Police Department. He told me he had fired the shot that killed Mr. Howell. The shot that killed him came from a .38 caliber revolver.

Q.    Did you see a gun on Mr. Howell or in his possession when you got there?

A.    No, I didn't.

Q.    This happened in Newberry County?

A.    It did.

Q.    Is there anything else you can tell, us about this, Mr. Senn?

A.    I think that covers it for the present.

CORONER SUMMER: Any Questions you gentlemen would like to ask? That will be all.        (Witness Excused)

­CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's statement from Dr. Kemper D. Lake MD

"11-11-68   John Howell died as result of bullet wounds in center of chest between ribs 2 and 3 and one bullet wound at base of neck."                                                                                    /s/ K. D. Lake, M. D.

Mr. Foreman and Gentlemen of the Jury, this is all the witnesses and evidence we have to offer in this case. It is now your duty to retire to the jury room to pass your verdict on how Mr. Howell came to his death. (Whereupon the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the court room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman, before you read your verdict, I would like to give Mr. Moss a chance to testify if he would like. Mr. Moss, would you like to make a statement?

MR. CHARLES MOSS: No sir, Mr. Coroner, I wouldn’t care to make a statement.

CORONER SUMMEER: If this should have any bearing, I should have given him the opportunity before, you may retire again. At an inquisition, he didn’t have to make a statement.

THE FOREMAN: Do you want me to read the verdict?

CORONER SUMMER: Please read it.

THE FOREMAN: John M. Howell came to his death by gunshot wounds fired by C. P. Moss in self defense and recommend that he not be held for Grand Jury.

CORONER SUMMER: Is that your verdict, so say you all?

JURORS: Yes

CORONER SUMMER: Than concludes the inquest.

 (Whereupon at approximately 10:25 am the hearing in the above matter was concluded.)
 

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