CORONER'S INQUISITION, 1948-1953
NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Transcribed and contributed by Edith Greisser

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA

COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 5th day of January A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Robert Lee Kennerly of Newberry then and there being dead by the oaths of B. R. Roton, J. O. Hipp, John E. Kinard, Frank M. Shealy, L. Pope Wicker, Jr. and C. W. Jones, 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 Robert Lee Kennerly came to his death, upon their oaths, do say he came to his death as a result of stab wounds inflicted by Malcolm Jeter.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Robert Lee Kennerly 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ George R. Summer, Coroner, (L.S.)
/s/ C. W. Jones, Jr., Foreman, (L.S.)

/s/ B. R. Roton (L.S.)

/s/ J. O. Hipp (L.S.)

/s/ John E. Kinard (L.S.)

/s/ Frank M. Shealy (L.S.)

/s/ L. Pope Wicker, Jr. (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: We will come to order. This is an inquisition into the cause of death of Robert Lee Kennerly. Will the foreman stand and be sworn.

(Whereupon, the foreman of the Jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand? (Whereupon, the Jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Fellers, will you take the stand.

Thereupon TOM FELLERS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By CORONER SUMMER) You are Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. You investigated this killing of Robert Lee Kennerly?

A. Yes.

Q. Will you go ahead and tell in your own words what happened?

A

On December 22nd, we received information there had been a Negro stabbed on the extension of Johnston Street.

Upon that investigation, we learned the names of the Negroes who did the stabbing and the one who was stabbed.

Later in the night, Mr. Neel, Mr. Henderson arrested Malcolm Jeter. Of course the dead body was at Williams Undertaking Establishment. The next morning, I took out a warrant for Malcolm Jeter and went to the Newberry County Jail and read the warrant to him and told him his constitutional rights, that anything he said may be used for or against him, that the only thing I wanted him to tell me was whether or not he did stab Robert Lee Kennerly. He said he did stab him.

Q. That happened in Newberry County?

A. That happened in Newberry County, yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions you gentlemen of the Jury would like to ask about this?

Q. (By Juror) Before the stabbing, where did the stabbing take place?

A. The extension of Johnstone Street.

Q. Was there any indication of a fight or drinking or that they just got in a brawl or what?

A. That would be hard for me to say.

Q. You didn't investigate that far?

A. Not that far.

Q. Did he make any statement to you as to how it took place?

A. No, I didn't ask him. I told him any statement he made could be used for or against him.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any other statements you would like to make?

Are there any other questions you gentlemen would like to ask?

That will be all, Mr. Fellers. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate.

"December 22, 1950.

To whom it May concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Robert Lee Kennerly and found that his death came as a result of hemorrhage and shock resulting from a stab wound of the neck. J. E. Grant, M.D."

You gentlemen may now retire.

(Whereupon, the Jury retired and after deliberation, returned to the Court Room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes, we have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: We find that Robert Lee Kennerly came to his death as a result of stab wounds inflicted

by Malcolm Jeter.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, and you may be excused.

(Whereupon, at 8:50 o'clock p.m. the inquest was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTIES OF LAURENS AND NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Joanna in the County and State aforesaid, the 16th day of February A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before R.I. Burgess and George R. Summer, Coroners, upon view of the body of George H. Boozer of Newberry County then and there being dead, by the oaths of John C. Billingsley, B. M. Mills, J. E. McCullough, George D. Way, L. Pope Wicker, Jr. and L. M. Lipscomb 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 Boozer came to his death, upon their oaths, do say that George H. Boozer came to his death as a result of his own negligence.

AND so the Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say that the aforesaid George H. Boozer came to his death in the manner aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, R. I. Burgess and George R. Summer, Coroners aforesaid, and the Jurors aforesaid to this Inquisition, have set our hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

/s/ John C. Billingsley (L.S.) /s/ R. G. Carr, Foreman, (L.S.)

/s/ Brooks M. Mills (L.S.) /s/ J. E. McCullough (L.S.)

/s/ George D. Way (L.S.) /s/ L. Pope Wicker, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ L. M. Lipscomb (L.S.) /s/ W. R. Lanford (L.S.)

/s/ W. W. Niver, Jr. (L.S.) /s/ J. L. Abrams (L.S.)

/s/ J. B. Whelcher (L.S.) /s/ W. J Rice (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER BURGESS: This inquest will come to order. The members of the Jury have already been sworn.

Gentlemen, this dead Negro, I understand, his name is George Boozer. You haven't
viewed the body. I believe you are going to have to go over with the Newberry Jury.

There is a little doubt in here as to which county this was in and we never had a chance to view the body.

We don't even know there is a dead man. We don't know which county it was in, if there is a dead man.

You are going to have to go with the Newberry Jury, so all we want to know, laying all jokes aside, we want to know how George Boozer met his death. We don't care anything about the rest, just how he met his death and stop right there. That is why I say you will have to go with the Newberry gentlemen because they viewed the body, so if you are ready we will proceed.

SHERIFF WIER: Gentlemen, Mr. Beasley, the Solicitor, said that this was the way to do it, with two Juries, one from Newberry and one from Laurens County since the accident happened about the county line and Laurens County didn't investigate the case.

Some question arose as to who would take jurisdiction. He was to be here tonight, but he is holding Court in Greenwood and had a case that he didn't get through with until just a little while ago.

The first witness will be Mr. Gus Cannon.

Thereupon, GUS CANNON was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. Mr. Gus, I will ask you a few questions please. Are you married?

A. Yes.

Q. You don't mind telling your age, do you?

A. Not a bit.

Q. What is your age please?

A. I will be 73 years old the 16th of this month.

Q. Where do you live, Mr. Cannon?

A. I live on the lower edge of Laurens County, in the Belfast section, 56 highway.

Q. How long have you lived there?

A. Forty-eight years I think.

Q Were you shown some blood on the highway by one of my deputies a few days ago?

A. Yes.

Q. What is your opinion about the county line at that spot?

A. Well, there has been quite a dispute about that county line ever since I have been down there some forty odd years. Itís been about 25 years ago, I reckon, there was a Negro killed over in the woods there. We thought it was on the Newberry side and Mr. Wallace, Bob Wallace, Hub Wallace and Mr. John Wallace, Hubts father, lived there all their lives and they said it was in Laurens County. The Davenport Bridge, you all are familiar with that I guess, that was built about fifty years ago I reckon. Well, Newberry helped Laurens County build the road, knowing it was on the Laurens side and they cut a road to it. The old road has been abandoned and this is only hearsay from the old citizens. They say when they got the bridge built that Newberry pulled back to the old original line and left Laurens to maintain the bridge. That is why I said there has been a dispute about that.

From what they told me, this Negro was killed about, I would say, 200 feet over on the Laurens side.

Q. That is your best judgment?

A. Yes, judging from the blood that was in t he road.

CORONER BURGESS: Any questions?

CORONER SUMMER: No questions.

CORONER BURGESS: You're excused, Mr. Cannon. (Witness excused.)

SHERIFF WIER: Mr. T. C. Neel, please.

Thereupon, T. C. NEEL was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Sheriff WIER;

Q. You live in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. On the morning of February 8th, I believe that would be yesterday a week ago, were you traveling highway 56? A. Yes.

Q. You were traveling north?

A. I was coming towards Clinton.

Q. What were you driving, Mr. Neel?

A. A pickup.

Q. Did you have some hands on the truck with you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was George Boozer riding on your truck?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you have another truck following you?

A. Yes, there was one behind.

Q. What was the first thing you knew about the accident where George was killed?

A. Well, they got to knocking on the side of the cab, I mean the little house on the back end. They got to knocking
on it and I said, "Well, there goes another hat off their head." All their hats blow off and you have to stop and pick them up you know and that was what my impression was. They knocked again and I looked out on the side glass, on the side and one was waving his hands like this and I come to a stop and he got out and come up there and said George got killed. I said, "Oh, no, he couldn't do that" and he said, "He is back up there in the road." I couldn't see behind, it was over a grade and I turned around and went back. That is all I know about it.

Q. How far from the county line sign that the highway department has was he lying?

A. Donít know exactly how far it would be.

Q. Approximately how far is it?

A. I have an idea around 125 or 150 feet, something like that. That is from the spot of blood I saw.

Q. Was he dead when you got back to him?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was driving that truck, Mr. Neel?

A. Robert Goodman.

Q. One of your hands?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know how it happened?

A. No.

SHERIFF WIER: That is all, Mr. Coroner.

CORONER BURGESS: Any questions?

By Juror:

Q. Was that 125 feet inside of Laurens County or Newberry?

A. I didn't measure it you understand.

Q. I mean which county.

A. On the Laurens side, just from where the first blood started, there were blood spots way down below.

Q. But it was in Laurens County?

A. That is according to the sign.

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. Do you know about how fast you were traveling when this accident happened?

A. Between forty and fifty, I don't know exactly but somewhere between forty and fifty.

SHERIFF WIER: That's all. (Witness excused.)

SHERIFF WIER: Call Raymond Gary.

Thereupon, RAYMOND GARY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. Raymond, on this morning that George Boozer was killed, what time of morning was that?

A. I don't know, between 7:00 o'clock and 8:00 o'clock.

Q. Was it daylight?

A. Yes.

Q. You were riding on the truck with George?

A. Yes.

Q. Was that sort of a pickup. truck with a cover over it on the back?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see George when he got killed?

A. I didn't see him get killed. I seen him when he stood up and said he was going to transfer trucks.

Q. He said he was going to transfer from one to the other?

A. Yes.

Q. How close was this truck running to you all?

A. I don't know, he went up close to the back end of it.

Q. Close enough for a man to step over on the bumper?

A. Yes, I reckon it was about that close. The fact is, when he stood up, I quit looking.

Q. Have you ever seen him transfer before?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know why he wanted to transfer from that truck to another?

A. No sir, I didn't hear him say. He just stood up and said he was going to transfer.

Q. What was the next thing you saw?

A. I seen him turn around and I went back up there.

Q. You didn't see him when he fell?

A. No, sir.

Q. Nobody didn't push him?

A. No sir, no one ain't pushed him.

Q. When you all got back to where he was lying on the highway, he was dead?

A. Yes.

Q. Who was driving the back truck?

A. Robert Goodman.

Q. Did he stop pretty quick?

A. When I seen him he was stopped. When he stood up and said he was going to transfer over there, I quit looking
at him. It seemed like he was for a minute and when I saw the truck it was stopped.

Q. Did you notice George motion for Robert to drive up closer so he could get on?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Robert did that, did he?

A. Yes, he come on up close, he drove on up behind.

Q. Had he been driving that close before or did he just do that after George motioned to him?

A. I didn't see him do that until he motioned for him.

Q. Was anybody else riding on the truck with Robert?

A. No, sir.

Q. He was by himself?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. After the truck you were on turned around and started back, how close was Robert's truck to where the man was
lying in the road?

A. I don't know, sir, he wasn't up to him.

Q. He passed on down the way you all were going?

A. He was lying in front of it when I seen him.

Q. The man was lying in front of the truck?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you sitting in the pickup truck?

A. I was sitting in--we call it the doghouse.

Q. Just a body over the back to keep you out of the weather?

A. Yes.

Q. You were sitting under that?

Q. Does that have a curtain over the back?

A. No sir, it didn't have a curtain.

Q. It was open back there?

A. Yes.

Q. How close were you to the back of the truck when it happened?

A. I was back there---

Q. Was someone between you and the back of the truck?

A. I was the second.

Q. Who was the other one?

A. I don't just remember, there were several of us in there.

Q. Where was George riding in the truck you were in?

A. He was back in the doghouse.

Q. I mean where was he riding with relation to seats, between you and the back or the cab?

A. Near the back end.

Q You didn't see him when he fell or what happened to him then?

A. I seen him when he stood up, and I quit looking.

Q. Why did you quit looking?

A. It seemed like he meant it, he said he was going to transfer and I told him not to.

Q. You were afraid he was going to get hurt?

A. It seemed like he was going to do it and I tucked my head like this. I didn't want to see and I don't know what
happened afterwards. The next time I seen him he was dead.

SHERIFF WIER: All right, that's all. (Witness excused.)

SHERIFF WIER: Call Jack Wilson.
Thereupon, JACK WILSON was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. I believe you were riding on the truck when George was killed?

A. Yes.

Q. Where were you riding, what place were you riding?

A. Well, I was the second man from the front.

Q. Who was the next man to you?

A. As near as I can remember, James Watts was next to me.

Q. Just go ahead and tell what happened there, Jack.

A. Well, the best I could see it, from being at the front end of the body, I saw him beg for the truck to come close.  The truck did come closer but not, me being at the front end, I couldn't exactly tell. Quite naturally, George did get out of the body of the pickup and the last I saw him it looked like he was on the bumper, the back bumper of the pickup. The men were between me and the back and I couldn't tell what happened after he went down, after it looked like he was getting down on the bumper I couldn't tell no more because I couldn't see.

Q. The pickup had a bumper?

A. Yes.

Q. And it looked like to you he was standing on it?

A. You see, his back was to me and that is the last thing I saw, his back was to me.

Q. You say he beckoned for Robert Goodman to drive up closer?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he say anything about transferring?

A. Yes, he said he was going to change trucks.

Q. Why did he want to transfer, do you know?

A. I don't know.

Q. Had you ever seen any of them do that before?

A. Well, I hadn't noticed.

Q. How many was in the pickup truck on the back with you all, Jack?

A. It was several of us, I just couldn't exactly tell you but several of us.

Q. What was that other boy you named just now?

A. James Watts.

Q. You all work for Mr. R. E. Neel?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that about the same crew that works and rides every day that was in there?

A. Yes.

Q. I believe you all were working, sawing up in Laurens County somewhere?

A. Yes.

Q. Did he make any outcry when he slipped or fell or whatever happened to him?

A. If he did I didn't hear it.

Q. You didn't hear?

A. No, sir.

Q. You all turned around and went back and he was apparently dead?

A. Yes.

Q. Jack, I noticed a big pool of blood mark on the pavement down there. Is that about where the body stopped,
about 150 yards from the highway sign?

A. Yes.

Q. Was that the pool of blood?

A. Yes.

Q. There was some ashes, apparently a fire had been built there. Did you all build a fire?

A. Yes.

Q. When you got there, where he was, where was the truck Robert was driving?

A. He was in front of the truck.

Q. The man was in front of the truck?

A. Yes.

Q. Did Robert say anything about what happened to you?

A. No, sir.

SHERIFF WIER: That is all. (Witness excused.)

SHERIFF WIER: Call Richard Gary.

Thereupon, RICHARD GARY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. Richard, you were riding on the truck with George Boozer who

A. Yes.

Q. About what part of the truck, this pickup truck were you riding?

A. About the third man from the back.

Q. How many was there in that truck that morning?

A. I don't know exactly how many was in there. .

Q. Where was George riding when you saw him?

A. He was riding down on the back end.

Q. On the back end?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him when he fell off or jumped off or whatever happened to him, knocked off?

A. I saw him when he got up to get on the truck.

Q. What did he say?

A. He just said he was going to get on the lumber truck.

Q. Was this other truck loaded with anything?

A. No, sir.

Q. The big truck?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did he motion for the fellow to drive up closer?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him do that?

A. Yes.

Q. How close did Robert's truck get to your pickup truck?

A. Pretty close.

Q. What do you call pretty close?

A. Close enough for him to r each out and try to get him.

Q. Close enough for a man to step from one bumper to another?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see him when he fell or got knocked off or whatever happened to him?

A. Yes, I saw him when he fell.

Q. What do you think happened?

A. He went to reach out and get the other truck and he just got overbalanced and fell.

Q. About how far did you all go in the truck with Mr. Neel before you got Mr. Neel's attention and turned around,
about how far did you drive?

A. I don't exactly know.

Q. When you got back up there, where was Boozer's body lying?

A. It was lying in front of the big truck.

Q. Well now, before you all turned around, you could look back up that way, couldn't you?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you see the truck back up or turn around or anything?

A. No sir, it didn't turn around.

Q. You think Robert's truck stopped before it ran over the man?

A. I don't exactly know, sir, but he was lying in front of the truck when I looked back and saw him.

Q. Did you see him backing up any?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was he hung to the truck anywhere, his clothing or anything?

A. No, sir.

Q. After he attempted to get on the other truck, how far did the truck travel with him before he fell, do you know?

A. Which, the big truck?

Q. The big truck.

A. I don't exactly know how far he traveled.

Q. When he lost his balance and fell, did he hang to one of the trucks or anything happen to him there you know
of?

A. No, sir.

Q. You think he went right down on the road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Well now, of course I am just asking, if he ran over him, how did that truck get back past him?

A. I don't know, when I seen him he was laying up there in front of the big truck.

Q. In front of the big truck?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you get out of sight of the big truck before you got Mr. Neel to stop and turn around?

A. No, sir.

Q. It's just a straight road there?

A. Yes, just one little hill.

SHERIFF WIER: That is all.

CORONER SUMMER: Do you gentlemen have any questions?

By Juror:

Q. Was he hung to the front of the truck, was there a bumper?

A. There was a bumper, he wasn't hung.

Q. You saw him when he got off the pickup and was hit by the other truck?

A. I saw him when he got up to get on the lumber truck and he got overbalanced.

Q. Then what happened?

A. He fell down there.

Q. He fell in the road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And the truck just stopped right there?

A. I don't know. We was going on before we got him to stop.

Q. You wasn't watching when he fell off the truck, you didn't look to see what happened?

A. I just seen him fall.

Q. Then you turned around and looked the other way?

A. We hit on the side to get Mr. Tom to stop.

Q. You were the one hitting on the side of the truck?

A. Yes, and some more.

Q. Everybody was looking the other way after the man fell off of the truck?

A. Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

SHERIFF WIER: I would like to ask one.

By SHERIFF WIER:

Q. When you got back there, you said the big truck, was the big truck directly on his side of the road or the other side?

A. The big truck was on the same side George was on.

Q. The same side he was traveling on?

A. Yes.

Q. The man was in front of him?

A. Yes.

Q. About how close in front of him?

A. Somewhere about 12 or 13 feet.

SHERIFF WIER: That is all. (Witness excused.)

SHERIFF WIER: Swear Robert Goodman.

Thereupon, ROBERT GOODMAN was duly sworn;

SHERIFF WIER: Robert, you were the driver of this truck and under the law you don't have to testify unless you want to. Do you want to make a voluntary statement to the Jury?

You can make a voluntary statement but if you don't have to unless you want to.

Whatever you say here, if you are held in this case, it will be used against you.

Do you want to make a statement?

THE WITNESS: No, sir.

SHERIFF WIER: You don't want to make a statement?

THE WITNESS: No, sir.

SHERIFF WIER: That is all. (Witness excused)

SHERIFF WIER: That is all, Mr. Coroner.

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate.

"February 8,1951, To Whom It May Concern.

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of George H. Boozer and found that the cause or death was fracture of skull, concussion, hemorrhage and shook. J. E. Grant, M. D."

You gentlemen may retire into the Jury room and reach a verdict as to how George Boozer came to his death.

(Whereupon, the Jury retired and after deliberation returned to the Court Room.)

CORONER BURGESS: Have you gentlemen reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER BURGESS: Will you read it?

THE FOREMAN: We, the Jury, find that George H. Boozer came to his death as a result or his own
negligence.

CORONER BURGESS: Thank you.

(Whereupon, at 9:30 o'clock p.m. the inquest was closed.)


AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the Eleventh day of May A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of
John A. Livingston of Prosperity then and there being dead by the oaths of Roland L. Hawkins, C. O. Inabinet, J. C. Jarrett, H. W. Dawkins, N.B. Warren, F. H. Bishop 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 A. Livingston came to his death, upon their oaths, do say John A. Livingston came to his death by the hands of Jewel Donald Wicker, Joseph Seby Richardson, and John Herbert Lollis and we recommend that they be held for further investigation by the Grand Jury.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid John A. Livingston 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

George R. Summer, Coroner, (L. S.)
Roland L. Hawkins, Foreman, (L. S.)

J. C. Jarrett (L. S.)

F. H. Bishop (L. S.)

C. O. Inabinet (L. S.)

N. B. Warren (L. S.)

H. W. Dawkins (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here to find out the cause of death of John A.
Livingston.

(Jury previously sworn.)

DEPUTY SHERIFF J. C. NEEL, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION by MR. BEASLEY:

Q. Have a seat. Just tell what you learned as a result of your investigation as to the cause of death of John Livingston.

A. Last Sunday morning at approximately nine-thirty I had a telephone conversation with the Sheriff. I went to the
trestle below Prosperity. Sheriff Fellers was there, Mr. Shannon and myself. We found on the railroad track the body of a man that had been hit by a train. The body was torn up and scattered for about fifteen rail lengths. Someone identified the body as John A. Livingston. Mr. Herbert Lollis said he found the body on the track in the morning. After we picked up the body, I called an undertaker. I had some conversation with Mr. Lollis later in the day. I had conversation with Mr. Seby Richardson. Mr. Richardson told me he had been down on the road below Mr. Nichols's store on Saturday night about the time the train ran. He said Mr. Lollis ran up to where he and "Buddy" Wicker was and told them John Livingston had fell off the trestle, and all three went down and taken a flashlight and looked for the body under the trestle. They did not find the body.

They climbed up on the trestle and Mr. Wicker went around on the old Columbia road. They went to Lollis' house, where they stayed an hour and a half or two hours. Mr. Lollis got sleepy and asked Richardson and Wicker to leave.

Richardson and Wicker left and went to Richardson's pasture and spent the night, waking up in the morning and one going to his house and the other to his house.

Later I had a conversation with Mr. Wicker, "Buddy" Wicker or J. D. Wicker, and he said that he and Mr. Richardson left Mathis' store about nine-thirty and near where a road, a dirt road, comes out there at the planer they were walking and Lollis and Richardson joined them. The four went to the trestle and climbed up the east end and proceeded one rail length, walking on the right-hand side of the track going east and they got into a fight.

Wicker said he hit Livingston with his fist. He said Lollis hit Livingston with a stick or a piece of iron and Seby Richardson hit him with his fist.

Q. Go back before they went up on the trestle. How did they meet? Who met whom?

A. Seby Richardson and Wicker met Lollis and Livingston.

Q. Go ahead.

A. After they found out he was dead, all three of them, Seby Richardson and Wicker and Herbert Lollis picked the
body up and placed it between the rails. Lollis taken a flashlight and went toward his house when the train came along. After the train came along, he went back and joined Richardson and Wicker under the trestle. After they had stayed down there a short time, they walked back up to Lollis' house, which I have already told. When they left his house Wicker showed me a place out in the bushes where he and Richardson spent the night, a place where somebody had laid down, a lot scuffling in the grass. Wicker said they got up about six o'clock Sunday morning, saw the body on the other side of the trestle. They turned and went out a dirt road where it turns right and went to a pasture, where they parted. Lollis, in his confession, said they all met at the same place where Wicker said. They met and all went up on the railroad where he said he slapped him but did not hit him with a piece of iron or wood. He said all three of them picked the body up and put it in the middle of the track.

Q. Did any say how many against him--two against one or three to one?

A. All three fighting Livingston.

Q. Did you talk to J. B. Richardson?

A. I did.

Q. What did he tell you at the beginning and later on?

A. Lollis came and told them that Livingston had fell off the trestle and to come and see if he was hurt. They all
went down to the trestle and looked for the body. They could not find it. Lollis had a flash light. He and Lollis went up on the railroad track and walked to Lollis' house. Wicker was walking out on the old Columbia road, where he joined them and all went to Lollis' house, where they ate some canned goods. Stayed there about an hour and a half or two hours. They left there and went to a pasture. He and Wicker spent the night. Today he made another statement to me about where he stayed. It was different from that.

Q. Did J. D. Wicker and Herbert Lollis make any statement as to whether Mr. Livingston was dead or not when they placed him on the track?

A. Both said he was dead.

Q. Did they say why they put him on the tracks?

A. To make the train look like it hit him.

Q. Did they say Richardson helped them?

A. They said he did.

Q. About what time did the train run?

A. It was in Prosperity at 10:05 that night.

Q. Have you had a conversation with the engineer and fireman on that train

A. I have, sir.

Q. What did they tell you'?

A. They saw a man with a light and the engineer turned and looked back to see what the man was doing. The fireman saw something in the middle of the track. He thought it was brown paper.

Q. How was Livingston dressed that night?

A. Yellow shirt and brown pants.

Q. That is in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What kind of engine was pulling that train?

A. Diesel.

MR. BEASLEY: Any other questions the jury would like to ask?

CORONER SUMMER: I'll ask Mr. Harmon to read the doctor's certificate.

MR. HARMON:

"This certifies that I have viewed the body of deceased John Andrew Livingston and find that he came to his death as result of general bodily mutilation consisting of several injuries anyone of which might have caused death.

5-7-51 Respt. E. H. Moore, M. D."

A JUROR:

How about doctor's report on man's body, how about blood on it at the embalming home?

MR. BEASLEY: That is a matter to be gone into at a later time. That is as far as we go at this time.

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen of the Jury, you may retire to reach a verdict.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it. please?

THE FOREMAN: We rind that John A. Livingston came to his death by the hands of Jewel Donald Wicker, Joseph Seby Richardson, and John Herbert Lollis and we recommend that they be held for further investigation by the Grand Jury.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. That is all.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire, S. C., in the County and State aforesaid, the 13th day of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-One before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Thomas Doyle Jones of Whitmire then and there being dead by the oaths of J. S. Ritchie, W. C. Ramsey, A. D. Alexander, George B. Farah, Jr., L. B. Shealy and S. C. Young 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 Thomas Doyle Jones came to his death, upon their oaths, do say Thomas Doyle Jones came to his death as a result an unavoidable accident.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Thomas Doyle Jones came to his death by unavoidable auto accident.

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.

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

J. S. Ritchie, Foreman, (L. S.)

A. D. Alexander (L. S.)

L. B. Shealy (L. S.)

S. C. Young (L. S.)

W. C. Ramsey (L. S.)

Geo. R. Farah, Jr. (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here tonight to find out how Thomas Doyle Jones came to
his death.

(Jury previously sworn.)

MRS. OSTEEL CRENSHAW, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY MR. LAKE:

Q. Mrs. Crenshaw, would you tell us exactly what you saw on the morning of June 16?

A. I was setting rocking the baby. I saw Mr. McCullough come up the high way. He was driving real slow. I knew it was him. I don't know whether he was going to turn into Mr. Worthy's or not. Seem like he got like that and "Red" was just flying. I throwed my hands over my face. I didn't see "Red" go out of the car or nothing,

Q. Which way was Mr. McCullough going and which way was Mr. Jones going?

A. Mr. Jones toward Whitmire and Mr. McCullough toward Newberry, but I believe he was fixing to go up to Mr. Worthy's.

Q. In order for Mr. McCullough to go into Mr. Worthy's house would he make a right or left turn?

A. Left turn.

Q. Where did the accident occur? Was it level or a hill or curve or just what?

A. It was a hill and curve. Though it was level place, the hill and curve was below there.

Q. You would say from all outward appearances Mr. McCullough was making a left-hand turn?

A. Looked to me like it.

Q. Did he cross the center line?

A. I wouldn't say. It was so quick I'd be afraid to say he was. I wouldn't say he was.

Q. About what time did this accident happen?

A. Something after eight o'clock in the morning.

Q. As to the weather conditions, would you say it was hazy or cloudy?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. LAKE: That is all the questions I have.

CORONER SUMMER: This happened in Newberry County?

A. I reckon so, yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions the jury would like to ask the witness?

(No questions.) That will be all.

D. F. SMITH, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Did you investigate this wreck?

A. That's right.

Q. Go ahead and tell in your own words what you saw.

A. I have a diagram. I will explain it. This is the driveway to Mr. Crenshaw's house. This is the one to Mr. Worthy's right here. This is the center line right along here. This is the car that Mr. McCullough was driving sitting right here. Right here is where the dirt showed the impact took place. It was 22 feet where Mr. McCullough's car was knocked back at the time that impact taken place. That is what the dirt shows. Mr. Jones, he went out through the field right here. It was 50 feet out to where Mr. Jones' car was sitting. Mr. Jones was threw away from the car, I'd say about 50 feet from his car and then he landed on the ground. He must have turned over about six feet because two holes like a print showed on the ground. The width of the highway is 18 feet, shoulder three feet.

If there is any question you don't understand, you can ask it.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions?

EXAMINATION BY MR. HERTZ BROWN:

Q. May I see the sketch, please sir? Mr. Smith, the position of the cars that you show here, this Chevrolet in the highway, whose car is that?

A. Mr. McCullough's right there. (Indicating on diagram.)

Q. Is that where it was after the collision?

A. That is where the dirt shows it was knocked back 22 feet.

Q. It was knocked back from the east side of the highway?

A. That's right. This is south and this is north.

Q. Did you make any measurements down to where this curve is?

A. No, sir, I didn't. I can come within ten feet of it. About 500 feet.

Q. This is practically a straight a-way stretch? (Indicating)

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you say the crest of the hill?

A. Right here where I got it marked. After the impact taken place it started down-grade 75 or 100 feet that way.

Q. Is that hill high enough to stop vision?

A. I think so.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions? (No question.)

J. H. WILSON, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINTION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. You are Chief of Police of Whitmire?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell in your own words what you saw?

A. On June 16 at approximately 8:20 we received information there had been a wreck down the highway. I left town hall and drove out Church street. The ambulance was coming and I followed the ambulance down the road to the wreck. As I approached the wreck I seen one car sitting approximately in the middle of the road. I seen another car approximately 50 or 60 feet from the road on the left going down, someone laying, I guess, about 35 or 40 feet from the car. As I got out of the car they was picking the body up. I recognized it to be Jones.

I run up to the top of the hill and began to slow traffic down. I did not go into the field where the car was before it was moved. It apparently, where the car struck going by the mud in the road, the Chevrolet was knocked back approximately 20 feet. I didn't measure it. The other car was off in the field. I stayed in the road trying to slow the traffic down.

BY MR. BROWN:

Q. The impact took place on the east lane?

A. Yes, sir, on the left going down.

Q. About at the entrance of the Worthy driveway?

A. Approximately right where the driveway was. It could have been a few feet before he got to it. The only thing we could go by was the dirt and mud.

Q. You say that one of the cars was knocked back about 20 feet? Which car was that?

A. The Chevrolet car belonging to Mr. McCullough.

Q. You say knocked back what direction? Diagonally?

A. Yes, sir, diagonally and approximately back this way 20 feet. It was headed across the east side.

MR. BROWN: That is all.

EXAMINATION BY MR. HUNTER:

Q. Did you examine the Chevrolet car?

A. No.

Q. You don't know which side hit?

A. I did see the car. The left-hand fender was knocked in as far as from the front.
Q. That is the opposite side?

A. On the driver's side of the car.

Q. On the side toward Whitmire?

A. That's right.

Q. The Chrysler was coming from Newberry?

A. From Newberry, cars both struck on the left-hand side.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

MR. BROWN:

Q. Isn't it true that the left front corner of the two cars showed that the impact was there?

A. The left front corner of one hit the left front corner of the other, apparently, yes, sir. One looked like it was closer to the side but the left side was where they went together.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions? (None) That will be all.

Mr. McCullough, you can make a statement. What you say can be used for you or against you.

MR. LORAINE MCCULLOUGH: I don't think it's no use for me to make one.

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's report:

"July 11,1951.

To whom it may concern,

Thomas Doyle Jones died on June 23, 1951 at Columbia SC Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in automobile wreck on 6/16/51.

Diagnosis: (1) Laceration of spinal cord due to (2) Fracture of cervical vertebrae (5, 6, 7)

James C. Montgomery, M. D."

That is all the evidence we have in this case.

The jury will go to the jury room.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the Courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you members of the jury reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it, please?

THE FOREMAN: We find that Thomas Doyle Jones came to his death as a result of an unavoidable accident.

CORONER SUMMER: That is all.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire S. C. in the County and State aforesaid, the 13 day of July A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Howard Abee of Valdese, North Carolina then and there being dead by the oaths of L. D. Abrams, O. S. Suber, L. R. Cooper, B. E. Duncan, L. E. Duncan and Edwin B. Dublin 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 Howard Abee came to his death, upon their oaths, do say he came to his death by unavoidable accident caused by a tree falling.

AND so the said jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

George R. Summer, Coroner, (L.S.)
L. D. Abrams, Foreman, (L. S.)

O. S. Suber (L. S.)

L. E. Duncan (L. S.)

L. R. Cooper (L. S.)

Edwin B. Dublin {L. S.)

B. E. Duncan (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: The next inquest will be to find the cause of death of Howard Herman Abee.

(The jury previously sworn.)
HERBERT RITCHIE, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION by CORONER SUMMER:

Q. You were with Mr. Abee on June 21?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead. in your own words and tell what happened.

A. That morning Mr. Howard come in. He had a new motor saw. It started to cutting up. He told us to go and take the other saw and cut up. He told me to start cutting up. I said getting to cross. He said, "All right, the tree going the other way." The other fellow said the tree was falling. The tree brushed me across the head. That is all I know.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions the jury want to ask?

A JUROR:

Q. Did the tree hit you?

A Yes, sir.

Q. You didn't know anything after it hit you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you know when they carried Mr. Abee away?

A. I didn't know much of anything.

CORONER SUMMER: This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: If there is no further question, that will be all.

MURPHY TUCKER, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Go ahead and tell in your own words what happened on June 21.

A. When Mr. Howard took and brought the new motor saw and put it together we went down in the bushes down there and started cutting and the tree took a turn and hit him down there.

Q. Was he sawing across from where you all were cutting trees?

A. No, sir, as far as from here to the other door over there.

Q. When the tree started to fall what did you all do then?

A. Another fellow told me the tree took and turned and fell over that way.

Q. Fell the opposite way it was suppose to fall?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions the jury would like to ask? No questions.)

CORONER SUMMER: Were you sawing the tree that fell on Mr. Abee?

A. That boy was helping him.

Q. You were sawing the tree that fell on Mr. Abee?

A. No, sir, other boy took and sawed up too close.

Q. Sawed completely off the stump?

A. No, sir, didn't saw it all the way off.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions? (No questions.)

SAVOY NELSON, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Go ahead and tell this jury what happened on the morning of June 21.

A. We got the call, it wasn't exactly a call, one of the fellows working down at the mill said Mr. Abee was hurt, a tree had caught him. In fact, he was so scared he couldn't tell us what happened.

I met two more in a car coming out of there and they said they thought Mr. Abee was dead. I told them to notify the police and get the ambulance sent down there. I went down there right in the edge of the woods. I couldn't get the car all the way. I walked up to the--I'd say about 25 or 30 foot inside the woods out of the field. There was one tree here was lying down. In other words, the saw Mr. Abee was using, the new saw, was in the log in the position of sawing and this other tree looked like it fell kind of' across him.

It was run off the stump and Mr. Abee was lying with his feet toward the saw.

In other words, if he had been standing up and pushed over the other way, evidently he could have touched the saw in the position he fell. His head was back in a way kind of in between two trees and on the side of that. I didn't tarry too long to look the situation over. I was more interested in getting Mr. Abee out to a doctor. Everybody seemed to be wanting to do something but didn't know what to do.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions anyone else like to ask? (No question.)

CORONER SUMMER: I'LL ask Mr. Meredith Harmon to read the doctorís certificate.

MR. HARMON:

"July 9, 1951

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Re: Howard Herman Abee, Valdese, North Carolina

There is a stellate laceration measuring approximately 1" in its lowest extent just lateral to the right orbit from which oozes dark blood along with occasional bits of brain tissue. Palpation of the skull revealed an extensive fracture of the fronto-temporal bone manifested by motion of a large fragment of the fronto-temporal bone as well as crepitation. The entire maxilla is mobile as well as the nasal bone. The face was swollen. This movement is accompanied by crepitus,

There is bleeding from the nasopharynx.

He expired about 12:45 P.M. in the Columbia Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina, on 21 June 1951.

Yours truly, Ralph P. Baker, M. D."

CORONER SUMMER: I'll ask the jury to go to their room and pass on a verdict.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you gentlemen reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes, sir. (Passed verdict up to coroner.)

CORONER SUMMER: We find that Howard Abee came to his death by unavoidable accident caused by a tree falling. That will be all.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 20th day of July A.D., one thousand nine hundred, and fifty-one before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of James Howing Douglas of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of George D. Way, W. O. Mills, C. W. Jones, Jr., John L. Edwards, H. M. Halfacre, and Roland Hawkins 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 James Howing Douglas carne to his death, upon their oaths, do say as results of accidental drowning.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid James Howing Douglas 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

/s/ Geo. D. Way, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ W. O. Mills (L.S.)

/s/ C. W. Jones, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ John L. Edwards (L.S.)

/s/ H. M. Halfacre (L.S.)

/s/ Roland Hawkins (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: We are gathered together here tonight to find out the cause of James Howing

Douglas' death. The Jury has already been sworn.

Raymond Goodman, come around.

RAYMOND GOODMAN was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By Coroner Summer) Raymond, you were with James Douglas the day--that was July 10 I believe-- when you all went in swimming below Strothers Bridge?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell those gentlemen over there what happened that day.

A. We was just walking along, we decided to go on down and all at once he stepped off in a low place and went on down in a hole. I tried to reach him a pole but he was out of reach. And that's all.

Q. (By SHERIFF FELLERS) All three of you were in swimming together, or was it four?

A. It wasn't but three in swimming.

Q. What was the other boy doing?

A. He was sitting on the bank.

Q. (By Coroner Summer) How far did he go--after he went under how far did he go before you last saw him?

A. Not so far, but a good little piece.

CORONER SUMMER: Any of you gentlemen of the Jury like to ask him any questions?

Q. (By Juror) What were you all doing, playing or just swimming?

A. Just playing.

Q. You were playing in the water?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Nobody didn't shove this boy or anything?

A. No, sir.

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

OTIS CALDWELL was sworn and testified as follows:

Q. (By CORONER SUMMER:) Just go ahead and tell these men what happened that day.

A. We was out there playing in the water and he decided he could go all the way across and I guess he stepped in a hole, he went down.

Q. Is that all you know about it?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: You all want to ask him any questions? That's all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Werts, come around.

HUBERT WERTS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By CORONER SUMMER:) Just go ahead and tell how you found the boy, Mr. Werts.

A. Well, me and two boys from Fort Jackson came up to go fishing and we were fixing to put out some trot lines and when we got right close to the bank there, I said, "You know I believe that's that boy laying over there against a log", and they said, "Well, let's don't fool with putting out any lines, let's go tell his people."

It must have been 2Ĺ miles down the lake from where they said he went under. And we went on up there and told them and they went and got him in a boat. We never went back to the landing at all, we went on back home. And that's all I know.

Q. Mr. Werts, that's in Newberry County, isn't it?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you all would like to ask? That's all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER:

This is the doctor's certificate by Dr. J. E. Grant:

"To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of James Howing Douglas and found that the cause of death was drowning."

You gentlemen of the Jury may now retire.

Whereupon, the Jury retired and after deliberation, returned to the Court Room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you gentlemen reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: We find that James Howing Douglas came to his death as a result of accidental drowning.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. That will be all.

(Whereupon, the inquisition ended at 8:20 p.m.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire in the County and State aforesaid, the 10th day of August A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the bodies of

Eugene Johnson and Albert Whitney of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Newberry County respectively then and there being dead by the oaths of Leo Jackson, George Frost, Lewis Peay, Everette Thomas, Frank Vicars and Joe Rose, 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 Eugene Johnson and Albert Whitney came to their deaths upon their oaths, do say Eugene Johnson and Albert Whitney came to their death as the result of an unavoidable accident.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to their 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/ Joe B. Rose, Foreman (L.S.)
His mark

/s/ George (x) Frost (L.S.)

/s/ Lewis Peay (L.S.)

/s/ W. Everette Thomas (L.S.)

/s/ Frank Vicars (L.S.)

/s/ Leo Jackson (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, we are gathered here tonight to find out the cause of death of

Eugene Johnson and Albert Whitney. The Jury has already been sworn.

We'll have Mr. Alva Moss to testify.

DEPUTY SHERIFF HENDERSON: Due to the fact that there are no eye witnesses, we are going to present
just one witness who visited the scene after the accident had happened.

ALVA MOSS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By Coroner Summer) Mr. Moss, go ahead and tell these gentlemen of the Jury what you saw the night of July
27, 1951.

A. I got a telephone call at 12:40 and said that a car had run off the bridge and was in the creek so I called Mr. Medlock and we went down to the creek and this Buick car was upside down in the creek and we could see some clothes but I didn't know whether anybody was in there or not. There wasn't anybody else around, we didn't see anybody else there except Vernon Hunnicutt was running on the bridge as we got there. I left Medlock and Hunnicutt there and came back to the Police station and called Tom Abrams and Dr. Montgomery. Then I called Newberry and told them to send the Sheriff and Coroner up here and when I went back, Medlock and Hunnicutt had one of them out on the bank and it wasn't but just a few minutes until you came and then the wrecker came and pulled the car out.

Q. (By Deputy SHERIFF HENDERSON) How about the other one, Mr. Moss, you said they had one out on the bank when you got back?

A. The clothes I was telling you about, they were practically torn off of him. They pulled him out from under the car. We had to wait until Willingham brought the wrecker before we could get the other man out.

Q. Do you know which one you pulled out of the creek first, whether it was Johnson or Whitney?

A. It was the dark skinned one, I don't know which.

CORONER SUMMER: That was Whitney.

DEPUTY SHERIFF HENDERSON: Were they both dead?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

DEPUTY SHERIFF HENDERSON: Was this in Newberry County?

THE WITNESS: In Newberry County.

DEPUTY SHERIFF HENDERSON: That's all.

CORONER SUMMER: Any of you gentlemen of the Jury like to ask him any questions?

If there's no questions, that will be all, Mr. Moss.

(Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate.

"To Whom It May Concern:

I examined the body of Albert Whitney on 7-27-51. Cause of death was drowning.

James C. Montgomery, M.D.

"To Whom It May Concern:

I examined the body of Eugene Johnson and found cause of death to be drowning. 7-27-51.

James C. Montgomery, M.D."

That is all the evidence we have in the case so you gentlemen may go to the Jury room and decide how these two came to their death.

(Whereupon, the Jury retired and after deliberation returned to the hearing room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you gentlemen of the Jury reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please.

THE FOREMAN: We find that Eugene Johnson and Albert Whitney came to their death as the result of an unavoidable accident.

CORONER SUMMER: That will be all, gentlemen. Thank you.

(Whereupon, the inquisition was ended at 8:20 p.m.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire in the County and State aforesaid, the 2nd day of May A. D., one thousand nine hundred and Fifty-Two, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Eugene Rutherford of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of L. L. Culbreath, Walker Russ, Lambert Riser, H. B. Riser, Joe N. Roof and T. W. Abrams, 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 Eugene Rutherford came to his death, upon their oaths do say that he came to his death as the result of an unavoidable automobile accident in which automobile. driven by William Vanlue, Jr. hit a tree.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Eugene Rutherford 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

/s/T. W. Abrams, Foreman (L.S.)
/s/L. L. Culbreath (L.S.)

/s/Walker Russ (L.S.)

/s/Lambert Riser (L.S.)

/s/H. B. Riser (L.S.)

/s/Joe N. Roof (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Will the Foreman stand and be sworn?

(Whereupon the Foreman of the Jury was duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand?

(Whereupon the Jury was duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest to determine the cause of death of Eugene Rutherford.

Mr. Smith, will you take the stand?

Thereupon, D. F. SMITH being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

DlRECT EXAMINATION

By CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Mr. Smith, you investigated this wreck the night of March 31, 1952?

A. I did.

Q. Mr. Smith, go ahead in your own words and tell the gentlemen of the Jury what happened that night.

A. Well, it was approximately between quarter of twelve and twelve-thirty. 1 was going home, and just as I started
to turn in my driveway, I looked up the road and I saw the red light f lashing from the Town Car. I drove on up to the Town Car and I found that a Ford had hit a tree. I stopped and got out and asked one of the policemen what happened. This car had hit the tree and one in the car was dead, so I looked in the car and I didn't know the fellow.

Later I found out his name was Eugene Rutherford, the dead man. At the time, I did not know who was driving.

Later I found out it was William Vanlue, Jr., he was the driver of the vehicle.

I have a diagram of it drawn off here if any of you would like to look at it, with the number of the highway and the street where it happened. That is about all I know about it.

Q. That happened in Newberry County, didn't it?

A. It did, in the city limits of Whitmire.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions you would like to ask?

By Juror:

Q. This happened on North Main Street?

A. Yes. Something else I would like to tell you. When I got to the car, Eugene Rutherford was on the right hand side sitting there just like this (indicating). He was just sitting there. William Vanlue had gotten out from under the steering wheel. Rutherford was sitting on the opposite side from the steering wheel dead. That would be the right hand side of the car.

Q. He s aid he was driving the car?

A. William Vanlue said he was driving the car.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, Mr. Smith (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Medlock. Please stand and be sworn.

Thereupon, WILLIAM C. MEDLOCK being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Coroner Summer:

Q. Go ahead and tell in your own words what happened.

A. About all I can say is I saw this car a few minutes earlier. I was coming from up the street there, and I came back and saw it sitting there. I went back and shined the light in and saw two fellows in there. 1 didn't know who they were. About that time, one of these gentlemen (indicating the Jury members) came out. He was there about the time I was. I don't believe there is anything more I can add to what Mr. Smith has told you.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions you gentlemen would like to ask? That is all.

(Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER:

This is the doctor's certificate:

"To whom it may concern.

Eugene Rutherford met his death from a cerebral concussion received in an automobile accident 3-30-52, Whitmire, S.C., R.D. Lake, M.D., 3-30-52. "

William Vanlue wishes to make a statement.

Thereupon, WILLIAM VANLUE, JR. having first been advised of his rights to testify or not testify, was duly sworn, examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Sit down and speak loud enough for these men to hear you. You were the driver of this car on March 31st?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell the gentlemen of the Jury what happened.

A. What happened to it, the tire blew out on the front. That is what whirled it into the tree and I lost control of the
car.

Q. Approximately what speed were you driving?

A. I estimate around about 30, 35 or 40, in that neighborhood.

Q. Is that all you wish to say?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: All right, you're excused. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: You gentlemen may now retire.

(Whereupon the Jury retired and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: The verdict of the Jury is as follows:

CORONER SUMMER: The verdict of the Jury is as follows:

"Eugene Rutherford came to his death as the result of an unavoidable automobile accident in which automobile driven by William Vanlue Jr. hit a tree."

Thank you, gentlemen.

(Whereupon the inquest was closed at 8:30 p.m., Friday, May 2, 1 952.)


Newberry, S. C.
September 16,1951

Mr. George Summer Coroner, Newberry County. Newberry, S. C.

Dear Mr. Summer:

I examined the body of Freddie Gallman, age 3, and it is my opinion that his death was the result of natural causes.

Yours very truly, /s/ Reyburn W. Lominack, M.D.

/s/ Reyburn W. Lominack M.D.

RWL/ jwh


Newberry, S. C. August 25,1951
To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of George Ruff and found that he died of natural causes (Heart disease.) /s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


Newberry, S.C.
12 October 1951

To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined Thomas J. Wicker when he was admitted to the Newberry County Memorial Hospital on 29 September 1951. He was in an unconscious state. There was a laceration of his head and medical signs and symptoms of brain injury. In my opinion the cause of death was cerebral �contusions with cerebral hemorrhage due to external violent means. /s/ Arthur W. Welling, M. D.


Newberry, S. C.
11/10/51 I

K.C. Pitts, Chappells, S. C.

The above 26-year-old colored man died suddenly. On examination of body no evidence of foul play was noted.

The man probably. Died of a heart attack.

/s/ R. E. Livingston, M.D.


Newberry, S. C.
October 5th, 1951

To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body or Walter Ruff and find that he died of natural causes.

(Decubitus Ulcers) /s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


Newberry, S. C.
August 1, 1950

To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Sam Farrow and found that he died of natural causes.

/s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


Peak, South Carolina
17 Dec 51

Medical. Statement

This is to certify that I examined Rubie Leane Sims after death and am of the opinion that she died of natural causes.

/s/ C. A. Pinner, Jr. M.D.


Whitmire, S. C.
3-1-52

To Whom It May Concern:

Mr. Allen Arrowood died of a heart attack 2-29-52 about 11 p.m.

3-1-52 /s/ R. D. Lake, M.D.


March 6, 1952

To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Emmanuel Chaplin and found that his death was caused by a depressed fracture of skull, laceration of scalp and brain, concussion and hemorrhage.

/s/ J. E. Grant, M.D.


Newberry, S. C.
3/17/52

Claude Wicker

1240 Player

The above 8 weeks old baby came to his death probably from Pneumonia.

/s/ R. E. Livingston, M.D.


To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that I have examined the body of Mr. Ernest Wicker and found him to be dead as the result of a shotgun wound into the proximity of his heart in the left side of his chest.

/s/ W. L. Mills, M.D.

Prosperity, S. C.


THE S TATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 16th day of May A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Bessie Jones Carroll of Winnsboro then and there being dead by the oaths of James Smith, John Wesson, James Wesson, P. T. Livingston, Jesse Smith and W. R. Hoover, 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 Bessie Jones Carroll came to her death, upon their oaths, do say she came to her death as the result of an unavoidable automobile accident while riding in a truck driven by her husband, W. J. Carroll.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Bessie Jones Carroll 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/ James Smith, Foreman, (L.S.)

/s/ John Wesson, (L.S.)

/s/ James Wesson, (L.S.)

/s/ F.T. Livingston (L.S.)

/s/ Jesse Smith (L.S.)

/s/ W. R. Hoover, Jr. (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: This is. an inquest to determine the cause of death of Mrs. Bessie Jones Carroll.

Will the foreman of the jury stand and be sworn?

(Thereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand?

(Whereupon the remaining jurors were sworn.)

Thereupon, PAUL JUNIOR EDGINS being first duly sworn was examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Deputy Sheriff J. C. NEAL:

Q. On the day this wreck happened on Highway 34,1 believe you were coming down the road?

A. That was Highway 19.

Q. It is Highway 34 now and 19. Go ahead and tell the jury exactly what you saw.

A. Well, this fellow was coming down the road, me and him both were coming the same way. I was coming down the road and he was right behind me.

Q. You were headed toward Newberry?

A. Yes, toward Newberry. When he come down the road, he started around me and hit the shoulder of the road.
His hind wheels looked like they slid maybe a foot and she turned over and threw him out.

Q. In other words, just as he passed you on the left hand side of the road when you were heading toward Newberry,
his wheel ran off the road and the car swung back towards you?

A. I had to put on my brakes.

Q. What did you do then?

A. Pulled to the side of the road and stopped.

Q. What did you see?

A. I didn't see nothing only a truck turned over there.

Q. Did you see a man and woman lying on the bank hurt?

A. That's right. The man was lying next to the fence and the woman on the right hand side of the truck.

Q. Both of them were hurt so badly they couldn't get up?

A. That's right, the ambulance came and got them.

Q. I believe you called the sheriff's office?

A. Someone s topped and asked what happened and I told them and they called.

Q. He was one of the people, you didn't know them?

A. No.

Q. There wasn't another automobile along there, just you and the truck?

A. Just me and the truck, that's all.

Q. Do you know who was driving, the man or the woman?

A. The man was driving.

Q. The man was driving?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know this man's name?

A. No, sir, I don't know his or her name, either.

Q. His name was Carroll. Did you hear anybody call his name?

A. No.

Q. You did not?

A. No.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions by members of the jury?

By Juror:

Q. How fast were you driving when he passed you?

A. About thirty or thirty-five miles an hour.

Q. How fast do you think he was driving?

A. I just wouldn't hardly know, he was getting on it pretty good. I imagine he was driving around sixty or sixty-five or somewhere along there.

By MR. NEEL:

Q. This place where he turned over, can you explain to the jury where it was?

A. Yes, I think so. Straw Paysinger's chicken farm, I believe it is.

Q. Right over the hill where the chicken farm sits, coming right over the hill?

A. Yes, right below the chicken houses.

By Juror:

Q. Is that a straight road?

A. Yes, there's just a little knoll like that there.

MR. NEEL: That happened in Newberry County, I believe?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Would anyone else like to ask any questions?

By Juror:

Q. What type of truck was he driving?

A. He was driving a Chevrolet pickup, about a '49 or '50 model.

CORONER SUMMER: William Jesse Carroll was driver of the car. If there are no further questions, you're excused. (Witness excused.)

Thereupon, J. C. NEEL being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Nee1, go ahead and tell the jury in your own words what you know about this case.

THE WITNESS: On the night of the wreck, March 12th, 1952, I received some information that there had been a wreck out on Highway 34 near Mr. Straw Paysinger's chicken farm. When I arrived out there, there was a man and a woman lying on the ground. They seemed to be in great pain, and there was a turned over pickup truck, headed back toward Dead Fall, kind of at an angle on the bank and this old man, he was hurt very bad. His ankle was broken. His wife was all broke up. We called the ambulance and carried them to the hospital. Later I had a conversation with this man, William Jesse Carroll. He said he and his wife were coming through Newberry going to Winnsboro from Augusta.

They went to pass this car Mr. Edgins was driving coming to Newberry. He lost control of the car and it turned over.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen want to ask?

By Juror:

Q. Could you tell whether he was drinking or not?

A. Well, bad as the man was hurt, I couldn't see because they were all broke up and mangled up. He still can't walk. He is in bad shape. People in that kind of shape, I just didn't ask.

Q. Sometimes you can tell it time you walk up there. It wasn't noticeable?

A. No, I wouldn't say it was. There was a bottle that had some liquor in it, stamped liquor. I don't know how it got there, but it was in the truck. I believe it came out of the pocket, but the old man was very old, in fact, he used to run a mattress place out here at the edge of town eight or ten years ago. When I got out there that night, I didn't know he was the same man. After I talked to him, I knew him at that time.

Q. He told you he just lost control of the car?

A. Yes, passing this boy's car.

Q. He got too far on the shoulder?

A. Over and over; and ran over in this bank and apparently the car cut a somersault, the way it looked, turned over and over.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions? You're excused. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate:

"This is to certify that Mrs. Bessie Carroll died of cerebral contusion and multiple fractures of right face with high blood pressure and Bright's disease." Signed, R. E. Livingston, M.D.

(Whereupon the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: "Bessie Jones Carroll came to her death as the resu1t of an unavoidable automobile accident while riding in a truck driven by her husband, W. J. Carroll."

Is that your verdict, so say you all?

JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, gentlemen.

(Whereupon, the inquest was closed at 8:30 p.m.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 26th day of September, A. D., one thousand nine hundred and Fifty-Two before GEORGE R. SUMMER Coroner, upon view of the bodies of Eloise Chapman, Jeannette Chapman and Helen Jones of Columbia, then and there being dead by the oaths of George D. Way, Hamilton H. Folk, Jesse Smith, James Smith, Roland Hawkins and B. R. Roton, 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 Eloise Chapman, Helen Jones and Jeanette Chapman came to their death, upon their oaths do say they came to t heir death as the result of an unavoidable car accident, the car driven by the said T. C. Chapman.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to their death in the manner aforesaid.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner aforesaid, 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/ B. R. Roton, Foreman (L.S.)
/s/ Geo. D. Way (L.S.)

/s/ Hamilton H. Folk (L.S.)

/s/ Jesse Smith (L.S.)

/s/ James Smith (L.S.)

/s/ Roland L. Hawkins (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Will the foreman stand and be sworn?

(Whereupon the foreman of the Jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will you other gentlemen stand?

(Whereupon the members of the Jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMNER: This is an inquest to determine the cause of death of Eloise Chapman, Jeannette Chapman
and Helen Jones. Mr. Reighley, will you take the stand?

Thereupon, D. A. REIGHLEY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Deputy SHERIFF NEEL:

Q. I believe you are a highway patrolman with the South Carolina Highway Department?

A. Yes.

Q. You investigated the wreck near Little Mountain, in Newberry County?

A. Yes.

Q. Go ahead and tell the jury all you know about it, Mr. Reighley.

A. On July 13, 1952, which was on a Sunday morning, about quarter of ten, I got a telephone call from Little Mountain. Patrolman Abram's wife called my house and said there was a wreck below Little Mountain, and that Mr. Abrams was on his way down and wished me to come on down. At that time, Mr. Abrams was on school bus training and he couldn't take up time with the accident, and when I arrived at the scene, I found this car off the right side of highway 76 in Newberry county, just about a quarter of a mile south of the center of town. The approximate time of the accident was about 9:30 a.m. that morning, so when I arrived at the scene and they had got the injured up and got them to the hospital. I contacted the driver there, T. C. Chapman of Columbia. He stated to me he was the driver of the vehicle. There was one fatality at the accident and that was Eloise Chapman. I learned at the time it was T. C. Chapman, the driver's, wife. I cleared up the accident there and came on to the hospital and obtained all the information I could get at the hospital. Later on, after I arrived at the hospital, there were two more who died from the accident. One of the others was Helen Jones, colored female, who was riding in the car at the tine of the accident, and Jeannette Chapman, who was riding in the car at the time of the accident.

They died at the hospital.

Later on, I went back to the scene of the accident to obtain the skid marks if any and measurements, and so forth, and the accident happened on a curve. This car was traveling north on Highway 76, just as he started into the curve.

The curve was going to his left. He apparently ran off the edge of the pavement and when he started back up on the edge of the pavement, the right rear tire blew out. The car traveled 145 feet on the pavement, across to the opposite side that he had run off the first time. It traveled 145 feet and from the time that the car left the left side of the hard surfaced pavement, he traveled 184 feet to where the car rested.

This Highway 76 at that point is 22 feet wide. There were two others in the automobile besides the driver who were injured. The road surface was dry that morning. It was daylight and the weather was clear. Of course it was open country. This car was a total loss in my estimation and the car was on its top at the scene until it was moved by a wrecker.

Q. Did the driver tell you how fast he was driving?

A. The driver didn't state how fast.

Q. Was there any indication that he was drinking?

A. No indication that he was drinking to my knowledge. I couldn't tell if he had any at all as far as I could tell, and I am sure if he had been, there would have been some odor of alcohol of some kind. I talked to him at the scene
and I talked to him again at the hospital.

Q. I believe the tire blew off the car and off in the bushes?

A. When it blew out, it came off the wheel and sometime later on that day or the next day, we found the tire. We didn't get the tire at the time we were at the scene of the accident, but I did find the tire later on the next day, I think it was the next day.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, I stated that at first, I think.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions you gentlemen would like to ask?

That will be all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: These are the doctor's certificates:

"This certifies that I examined the body of Eloise Chapman deceased and found that she came to her death as result of skull being crushed in automobile accident the same being the cause of death.

Respectfully, E. H. Moore, M. D., July 16, '52."

"This certifies that I treated Baby Jeannette Chapman prior to death and examined the body p.m. and found that she came to her death as result of head injuries received in automobile accident on Sunday July 13, 1952.

Died same day injury was received. ` Respectfully, E. H. Moore, M. D., July 16, '52."

"This certifies that I treated on July 13, 1952, Helen Jones for internal injuries received in an automobile accident from which cause she died on same date. July 16, 1952. E. H. Moore, M. D."

You gentlemen may now retire to the jury room.

(Whereupon, the Jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: We find that Eloise Chapman, Helen Jones and Jeannette Chapman came to their deaths as the result of an unavoidable car accident, the car driven by the said T. C. Chapman.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, gentlemen.

(Whereupon, the inquest was closed at 8:30 p.m., Friday, September 26, 1952.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 26th day of September A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Gustave Holm of Newberry, then and there being dead by the oaths of L. Pope Wicker, Jr., W. R. Hoover, Jr., H. M. Halfacre, J.T. Hayes, Alan J. Caldwell, and James R. Kelly, 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 Gust Holm came to his death, upon their oaths do say that Gust Holm came to his death as the result of a collision between two cars on Main street in City of Newberry, State of South Carolina.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

/s/ W. R. Hoover, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ H. M. Halfacre (L.S.)

/s/ J. T. Hayes (L.S.)

/s/ Alan J. Caldwell (L.S.)

/s/ Jas. R. Kelly (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Will the foreman stand and be sworn'?

(Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of the jurors stand?

(Whereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest to determine the cause of death of Gustave Holm.

Mr. Shealy, will you come around?

Thereupon, B. E. SHEALY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By CORONER SUMMER:

Q. You investigated this wreck on June 6, 1952, did you no t?

A. I did.

Q. You are a policeman in the City of Newberry?

A. I am.

Q. Go ahead and tell the gentlemen of the jury what you know about this?

A. The night of June 6th, about I would say approximately twelve o'clock, we had a call on the radio that there was
a fire on the upper end of Main Street and a wreck was involved, or something about a wreck. We were coming up Friend Street, and we came out on Coates to Main to see which way the truck was going. It was going up Main Street. We waited and fell in behind the fire trucks. When w e got up there, we saw there had been a wreck.

The people that were involved in the wreck had already been moved and carried to the hospital.

Q. Which way was the Holm car headed?

A. The Holm car was headed, traveling east, I would say, headed east up Main Street.

Q. And Mr. Wherry's car?

A. It was headed west.

By Deputy SHERIFF NEEL:

Q. Did you see anything, Mr. Shealy, to indicate where in the highway the accident took place?

A. The only thing I could tell, it looked like grease knocked out from one of the cars, which one I don't know.

Q. Where was the grease with reference to the center line of the street?

A. I would say the center portion of it w as on the right side, I mean the left side going up, right side going down.

Q. In other words, that would be on the side of the white line in the direction Mr. Holm was going, is that right?

A. Which side, now?

Q. The direction of Mr. Holm's car. He was going east, and the dirt would be on his side of the white line?

A. No, mostly on the left side of the white line if he was

Q. How were the cars situated when you got there?

A. Both of them were sitting at a 45-degree angle. What I mean by that, when they hit, both hit on the left front.
The Studebaker was hit on the left front, center of the left, you know, and the Chevrolet, the same thing.

Of course it was in the center over to the left side.

Q. For the information of the jury, which car was which?

A. Mr. Holm was driving the Studebaker and Mr. Wherry was driving the Chevrolet.

By CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Were there any skid marks to show if one tried to stop?

A. I didn't see any. It was raining at the time, misting rain.

By Deputy SHERIFF NEEL:

Q. Do you have a diagram you drew from w hat you saw there at the wreck?

A. Yes

CORONER SUMMER: Would the jury like to look at that diagram? Show it to them and explain it, please.

THE WITNESS: Now, I drew this off at Main Street. Over here, I've got" town" pointing here, west pointing toward town, east toward the hospital up Main Street. That night when we got there, the cars were sitting at this angle, the Studebaker was here and the Chevrolet here. I put there the white line in the middle of the street. Mr. Youman's drive-way is here, and the walk to his house right over here. That is Crenshaw Street down there. After the cars were pulled away, I got a broom and swept the glass from this car right into this curb. I would say it was approximately in the center of this driveway into Mr. Youman's house. This car was sitting above the walkway at a 45-degree angle. In moving the Studebaker, the gear or something was locked up and the hind wheels skidded back. The next morning at daylight, we went back and checked. That was the only thing we could tell from where the rear end of the Studebaker was situated on the black skids. We measured the right hind wheel of the Studebaker was three feet from the white line.

DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL: Did you see Mr. Wherry and have a conversation with him that night?

THE WITNESS: No, sir.

DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL: Did you see Mr. Holm that night?

THE WITNESS: I saw him in t he operating room, both of them.

CORONER SUMMER: Would you say he had been drinking?

THE WITNESS: I couldn't say.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any questions you gentlemen would like to ask?

You are excused. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Wherry, you have the right to take the stand if you like. I wish to warn you that whatever you say under oath may be used either for or against you.

MR. WHERRY: I believe the investigating officer covered it.

CORONER SUMMER: Here is the doctor's certificate:

"This is to certify that Mr. Gus Holm died from a head injury and a dislocated left hip.

Cause of death being e bursted skull and brain damage. R. E. Livingston, M.D." 6-6-52.

You gentlemen may now retire.

(Whereupon the jury left the room, and after deliberation returned to t he court room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have. We find that Gust Holm came to his death as the result of a collision between two cars on Main St. in City of Newberry, state of South Carolina.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. That is all.

(Whereupon, at 8:45 p.m., Friday, September 26, 1952, the inquest was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and state aforesaid, the 24th day of November A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Lathan P. Kersey of Newberry County, then and there being dead by the oaths of C. W. Jones, Jr., B. R. Roton, Charles E. Leopard, George D. Way, Roland S. Hawkins, G. E. Haltiwanger, being a lawful jury of inquisition who being changed and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Lathan P. Kersey came to his death, upon their oaths do say he came to his death as a result of being struck by an automobile driven by Plato Stuart Shuford.

AND so the Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Lathan P. Kersey 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

` /s/ C. W. Jones, Jr., Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Roland Hawkins (L.S.)

/s/ G. E. Haltiwanger (L.S.)

/s/B. R. Roton (L.S.)

/s/Charles E. Leopard (L.S.)

/s/Geo. D. Way (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: The inquest will come to order. Mr. Foreman, will you stand and be sworn?

(Thereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will you other gentlemen stand?

(Thereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER This is an inquisition into the cause of death of Lathan P. Kersey.

Mr. Reighley, will you come around?

Thereupon, D. A. REIGHLEY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By CORONER SUMMER

Q. Mr. Reighley, you investigated this accident on Saturday, November 22nd, did you not?

A. I did.

Q. Go ahead, Mr. Reighley and tell these gentlemen what you saw at the accident.

A. On November 22,1952, approximately ten minutes of three, I received a call by radio from Columbia that there was an accident on Highway 176, two miles south of Pomaria, in Newberry County.

I proceeded on to the scene of the accident and it was in Newberry County. When I arrived there, there were two vehicles at the scene. One was headed north and one was headed south. The vehicle that was headed north was not involved in the accident.

The one headed south was and this boy there was laying on the right side of the highway traveling south.

I found this 1950 Ford coach parked headed south on the shoulder of the road right near the body and I talked to several there and asked them did any of them see the accident. Nobody had seen it.

I got hold of Mr. Shuford and he told me he was driving the car and I asked him for a statement and he told me that he was traveling north on Highway 176 and saw this boy stopping over in the highway as if looking at some object and he had his back to him. This boy was standing in the right lane headed north, which would be in the lane he was traveling in. This is the statement from Mr. Shuford.

He stated to me that he blew his horn and pulled over to the left as if to go around the boy, and the boy looked back at the car, looked back at the car he was driving.

He started as if to go to the right, but instead he went to the left right in front of the car that he was driving, Mr. Shuford, and of course he hit the boy. The boy's name, Lathan Paul Kersey was the colored boy's name that I got down there that afternoon and I asked Mr. Shuford how fast he was driving at the time of the accident.

He told me 55 or 60 miles an hour. His car was not headed in the direction he was traveling when I arrived at the scene, and he told me that when the body fell off the car on the shoulder, he went a piece up the road and turned around and came back down on the right side of the road. That is the reason his car was headed south when I arrived at the scene from what I could gather.

I went back to the scene of the accident later, me and Patrolman Abrams and took what measurements there we could find, every means of measurement we could gather. That road is 24 feet width and there was a faint mark in the road near the center line, left of the center headed north; from there to where the car went off the pavement on the shoulder, this is the right wheels of the car, right side of the car, from the center, near the center to the edge of the shoulder was 111 feet.

From the edge of the shoulder next to the pavement to where the body lay on the side of the road on the shoulder was 183 feet. From where this mark was in the road near the center line to where the body was, was 294 feet.

This shoulder was 13 and a half feet in width from the edge of the pavement to the ditch.

From the body to the edge of the pavement, this is from where the boy's head was laying to the edge of the pavement was 8 feet four inches.

There were not any skid marks or brake marks as far as skid wheels were concerned. There were no skid marks from the time we detected marks in the road to where the body lay on the shoulder. It was a clear day. The road was dry.

It was kind of on a grade, not exactly level, straight road, open country. There were no witnesses that I could gather at all, only the driver.

Q. That happened in Newberry County, did it, Mr. Reighley?

A. It happened in Newberry County.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen would like to ask?

MR. PASCHAL: I would like to ask a question.

CROSS EXAMINATION

By MR. PASCHAL:

Q. You say from the mark in. the center of the highway to where the body was thrown off apparently was 294 feet?

A. Yes sir.

Q. Indicating what? Did he carry it that far after it was struck?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And the body was on the left hand side of the highway?

A. The body was on the left hand side of the highway traveling north on 176.

Q. How far did that car travel on the shoulder, if at all? Did you measure that?

A. Yes, 183 feet, the right wheels. The left wheals, of course, left the road before the right wheels did.

Q. Where did he say he was going, the d river of the death car, did he say?

A. Where he was going?

Q. Where he was going, yes.

A. He stated to me he was going home.

Q. Going home?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where does he live?

A. Walhalla, I believe I have the address, Number 1, Hunter Avenue, Walhalla, South Carolina.

Q. What was his condition?

A. The driver's?

Q. Was he normal?

A. He was normal.

Q. As far as you knew?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you say he had liability insurance on the car?

A. I didn't ask him that question.

MR. GREENE: Now, wait a minute. We don't mind your asking him questions, but we object to this line of questioning.

MR. PASCHAL: I don't see how you could object when you have the right under statute to ask questions.

MR. GREENE: I am objecting to the whole line of questioning. It has never been permitted before, as far as I know, in these hearings. This is not a trial.

MR. PASCHAL: No, this is not a trial, I am asking a few pertinent questions on things he brought out himself. Certainly I am not in controversy with him. Did you rule, Mr. Coroner, that I may ask him some questions?

CORONER SUMMER: It is not customary; we haven't been letting anyone ask questions unless they go through me first.

MR. PASCHAL: The statute gives you the privilege of asking questions. Of course, if you rule against me, I will hush. Have I asked any questions so far that were irrelevant?

CORONER SUMMER No, sir, I wouldn't think so.

By MR. PASCHAL:

Q. You say, Mr. Patrolman, from the center of the highway to where the body was found until it was dumped, it was 294 feet?

A. According to measurements, yes.

Q. And the man told you he was going between 55 and 60 miles an hour?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And there was nothing to obstruct his vision, was there?

A. After I arrived there, there was nothing.

Q. He made no statement as to anything obstructing his vision?

A. No, sir.

Q He told you he saw the man?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. PASCHAL: That is all.

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Reighley, did Mr. Shuford tell you whether he applied brakes before he hit the man or after he hit him?

THE WITNESS: Mr. Shuford didn't make any statement with reference to the brakes at all to me.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

MR. PASCHAL: None by me.

CORONER SUMMER: That will be all, Mr. Reighley. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Shuford, if you would like to make a statement, you may. If you don't, you don't have
to. I want to warn you that anything you say may be used for or against you.

MR. SHUFORD: I don't want to make a statement.

CORONER SUMMER: Here is the doctor's statement:

"To Whom it May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Lathan P. Kersey and found that he died as a result of a broken neck and crushed chest and hemorrhage. J. E. Grant, M.D., Nov. 22, 1952."

You gentlemen may now retire to the jury room.

(Whereupon the jury left the court room and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: Lathan P. Kersey came to his death as a result of being struck by an automobile driven by Plato Stuart Shuford.

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

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you gentlemen. You are excused.

(Whereupon, the hearing in the above entitled matter was closed at 8:25 p.m.)


July 1, 1952
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of James Eddy Wilson and find that the 1 month old infant died of Hemorrhage or bleeding from the nose. Natural death. /s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


Sept. 22, 1952
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that lsiah Stevens age 65, Negro was examined by me and found that he died a natural death.

Heart trouble. /s/ J. E. Grant, M.D.


March 9,1952

LESTER HUNTER

The above came to his death because of shock and crushed chest. /s/ R. E. Livingston, M.D.


May 19, 1952

This is to certify that Hattie Caldwell died from coronary occlusion or a heart attack.

She has had high blood pressure for the past five years. /s/ R. E. Livingston, M. D.


July 31, 1952

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the body of Arthur Guy on July 27, 1952, and it is my opinion, the cause of death was due to drowning. /s/ W. J. Holloway, M. D.


September 8, 1952

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I have this date examined George Johnson, age 50, Negro, deceased, and find no evidence of any violence connected with his death. It is my opinion that said man expired from natural causes, probably acute coronary thrombosis. /s/ Roy B. Suber, M. D.


15 March 1952

RE: MARY LYDIA MAW

This is to certify that I did a post mortem examination on the body of the above named person. The skull cage was grossly shattered and the brain very severely damaged. The cause of death was fractures of skull with destruction of brain. /s/ Arthur W. Welling, M. D.


July 9, 1952
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the body of Mr. James E. Dominick shortly after his death on July 3,1952.

It is my opinion that Mr. Dominick's death was the result of natural causes and that the immediate cause of his death

was coronary occlusion. /s/ E. J. Dickert, M. D


August 10, 1952
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Dave Pearson and the body of his wife Geneva and that of his daughter age 2 years old and found that this family died as a result of-drowning.

/s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


19 Feb. 1952

RE: MELL OSCAR HOLBERT

This is to certify that I did a post-mortem examination on the above named person. There were no signs of external violence. All conclusions pointed to death by natural causes. It is my opinion that the cause of death was coronary thrombosis. /s/ Arthur W. Welling, M. D.


July 27,1951
TO WHOH IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that on July 27,1951 I examined Mary Hill after death. There was no evidence of foul play and from history obtained from her husband, who stated that she complained of pain over her left chest before going to bed, it seems evident to me that she died of coronary occlusion.

/s/ E. J. Dickert, M. D.


June 28, 1951
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify on June 28, 1951, I examined Mary Rice shortly after death. There was no evidence of foul play and from the history obtained from her family it is evident to me that she died for coronary occlusion.

/s/ E. J. Dickert, M. D.


25 July 1951

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Re: Mr. Woodrow Priester

This white man, age 21, was seen at the Whitaker Funeral Home at 9:30 p.m., 24 July 1951. He expired at 8:20 p.m. 24 July 1951. Careful examination revealed the cause of death to be coronary occlusion.

/s/ Ralph P. Baker, M. D.


AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 28th day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Mrs. Betty Hucks Smith and Rollen Franklin Smith of Waterloo then and there being dead by the oaths of T. L. Cromer, Heyward S. Davis, Quincie Williams, B. R. Rotan, W. A. Attaway and Frank M. Shealy 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 Mrs. Betty Hucks Smith and Rollen Franklin Smith came to their deaths, upon their oaths, do say as the result of automobile accident in, which Peter Kinard was involved.

We recommend that Peter Kinard be held for further investigation by the Grand Jury.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Peter Kinard shall be held for Grand Jury investigation.

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/ Frank M. Shealy, Foreman, (L. S.)

/s/ T. L. Cromer (L. S.)

/s/ Heyward S. Davis (L.S.)

/s/ Quincie Williams (L. S.)

/s/ B. R. Roton (L. S.)

/s/ W. A. Attaway (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: The hearing will come to order. (Jury previously sworn)

SHERIFF TOM FELLERS, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. BEASLEY:

Q. Go ahead, Sheriff, and tell what you learned on. your investigation as to cause of death of Mrs. Betty Hucks Smith and Rollen Franklin Smith.

A. On March 17 I was called to the wreck at the intersection of Highway 560 and Highway S 31-17 along with several other officers and when we arrived at this accident, we found a 1950 Ford automobile headed into the store of Mr. L.L. King, and also a 1941 Buick sedan to the left of his store. We found that Reverend C. M. Smith was the driver of the Ford and a Negro was the driver of the Buick. Mrs. Smith and her small child was killed.

Both Negroes that was in the automobile, Peter Kinard, the driver, and Nelson Lockman, both ran. We ran across Lockman that night about Bush River and we searched for Peter Kinard and Sunday morning his people brought him in to me at the jail. Upon further investigation, I found that Andrew Gary, Tuck Higgins and Nelson Lockman and Peter Kinard all left Trucker's Inn or Gary's Lane. They were all drinking except Tuck Higgins. They left Trucker's Inn and went to Lomas Alfred's home.

Andrew Gary and Tuck Higgins got out at this house. Peter Kinard and Nelson Lockman went up to Laurens County to Spearman Leek's house and they only stayed there just a few minutes until they carne back to the Lomas Alfred house and that was when the accident happened. That is about all.

Q. Who had the right of way at that intersection, Sheriff?

A These Negroes ran over a stop sign at S 31-17.

Q Could you tell anything from the tracks or tire marks as to whether the Negroes' car was speeding, was excessive or moderate?

A Yes, he hit the car and knocked over a gas tank and the front end of Mr. King's door facing, the whole door.

Q And your investigation showed that the Negroes were drinking?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Whose name of driver?

A. Peter Kinard.

Q. Did your investigation disclose that they went over to this house on a joint enterprise or not?

A. I don't know. My opinion is they went there for more liquor. I understand this place was noted for that. This
Lockman had enough in him.

Q. When you saw Lockman could he tell you what happened?

A. I examined him, he didn't know anything. He was drunk.

Q. How about later on?

A. I didn't talk to him until Sunday. Kinard said he was on the front seat and Lockman was on the back seat. I think that is right because the glass in the rear door on the Buick automobile was knocked out about the size of a man's head. I believe he was laying on the back seat.

Q. That is Lockman?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Any questions you gentlemen of the jury like to ask?

MR. BEASEEY: You might show those photographs to them.

(Photographs shown to the jury by Sheriff Fellers.) (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

MR. BEASLEY: That is all the testimony we will offer at this time.

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate:

"I certify that I examined the body of Mrs. Betty Jane Hucks Smith, age 20, on March 17,1951 and found that death resulted from a fracture of the cervical spine. E. J. Dickert, M. D."

"I certify that I examined the body of Rollin Franklin Smith, age 1 yr., on March 17,1951 and found that death resulted from fracture of cervical spine. E. J. Dickert, M. D."

CORONER SUMMER: You gentlemen go to the jury room to pass your verdict as to how Mrs. Betty Hucks Smith and Rollen Franklin Smith came to their deaths.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SIJMMER: Have you gentlemen reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it, please?

THE FOREMAN: We find that Mrs. Betty Hucks Smith and Rollen Franklin Smith came to their deaths as the result of automobile accident in which Peter Kinard was involved. We recommend that Peter Kinard be held for further investigation by the Grand Jury.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. You are now excused.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire, South Carolina, in the County and State aforesaid, the 17th day of May, A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one before George R. Summer, Coroner, upon view of the body of Mrs. Lillian Lawson Broome of Whitmire, S.C. then and there being dead by the oaths of Horace C. O'Shields, Arthur G. Brank, J. E. Hopper, Marshall Jones, Lynn Culbreath and R. A. Nelson 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 Lillian Lawson Broome came to her death, upon their oaths, do say Lillian Lawson Broome came to her death as a result of an unavoidable accident, with the Seaboard Railroad at no fault.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Lillian L. Broome came to her death as a result of an unavoidable accident, with the Seaboard Railroad at no fault.

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/ Horace C. O'Shields, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Arthur G. Brank (L.S.)

/s/ J. E. Hopper (L.S.)

/s/ Marshall Jones (L.S.)

/s/ Lynn Culbreath (L.S.)

/s/ R. A. Nelson (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Ladies and gentlemen, we are here today to find out the cause of Mrs. Lillian Lawson Broome's death. Will the foreman of the Jury please raise his right hand and be sworn?

(Whereupon, the Foreman of the Jury was duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Now, will the rest of you gentlemen raise your hands and be sworn?

(Whereupon, the Jury was duly sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. James Childers, will you come around, please.

JAMES CHILDERS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL)

Mr. Childers, just go ahead in your own way and tell what you know about this thing.

A. Between 10:30 and 11:30 Sunday I went down to Ira Broome's and he asked me if I had a drink. I had a half pint in the car, and we got it and me and him and Lillian drank it. And a little Tankersley boy, I asked him about getting two more half pints, and we decided we wanted that so we drank it too. Then Lillian changed clothes and we went and got in the car and went on and got two more half pints. Then we went to Melvin Inman's home. We drank most if not all of that and then we left there. Lillian fell down there out in the yard and I believe Ira picked her up and then we went back and got two more half pints. Then we went down to the creek and trestle at the underpass, where you ford the creek. We parked there on the sand bar. We stayed there a good while and then Lillian fell down again, she fell down in the mud and got mud on one of her knees and one of her shoes came off. Ira was trying to put it back on and both of them fell, and he told me to help him pick her up.

We got her in the car and started to leave and I got to spinning in the creek. We got out on the other side, me and Ira got out, and when we went back to the car she was gone.

We looked in the bushes on the side of the road for her and couldn't find her so we went on up the road and turned around and came back looking for her. When we got back, there was a man and three ladies wading in the creek and we asked them had they seen her and they said, "No."

So we went back to Whitmire and saw Mrs. Lawson and Lillian's daughter and asked them had she come home and they said, "No." Mrs. Lawson said, "Come on, Lorene, they are drunk, don't pay them no attention", but Lorene talked to us anyway. I told Ira I had to go home and he said, "I'm going back and look for her if I have to walk", and I let him out of the car and went on home.

Then my wife took me back to see if they had come in and they said, "No."

Q. I believe all three of you were under the influence of liquor?

A. We were all drunk.

Q. Had anybody had any argument or fuss during that time?

A. If they had, I hadn't heard it. Lillian was falling around and Ira was trying to get her up.

Q. This place where she left the car was where the little North Carolina road passes under the railroad?

A. Between the creek and the trestle. We were parked between them when she left the car.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you members of the Jury would like to ask?

If not, that will be all, sir. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. W. R. Broome, please.

W. R. BROOME was sworn and testified as follows:

Q. (By DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL)

Mr. Broome, on Sunday, the 13th, I believe you were running the engine pulling No. 61

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell us what you know about this accident.

A. I was rounding the curve at about the 382.8 mile post when I spied this person laying on the track cross ways with her feet hanging over the right rail, outside. I was about three or four car lengths from her. I immediately applied the brakes and emergency and began to blow the whistle. I thought probably if they were asleep that would wake them and they could get off the track. I was too close to get stopped. I went twelve car lengths before the train came to a stop. Then I went back to see what had happened and I saw we had hit a woman. It cut both of her legs off near the knees and rolled the body up about three car lengths I'd say and mangled it all up. We got the stretcher out of the baggage car and the boys put the remains up on it. Some of them picked the legs up and put them with it. It cut them off where it hit her. That's about all I can tell you.

I didn't see no other person around there anywhere. When I left there to come on to Whitmire and report the accident, I saw a man sitting on the road about 3/4 mile of a mile this side of where it happened but I didn't stop to talk with him at all. That's about all I can tell you about it, except when I was pulling the whistle she didn't make any move at all. Evidently she wasn't alive or something for she didn't make a move.

Q. Do you know whether that was in Newberry County or not?

A. No, sir, I don't know.

CORONER SUMMER: Any members of the Jury like to ask any questions?

Q. (By JUROR) Did you handle any of the body?'

A. No, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions? That will be all, sir. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. T. R. Byrd.

T. R. BYRD was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL)

Mr. Byrd, I believe you were flagman at the time this accident occurred?

A. That's right.

Q. Just go ahead and tell what you saw.

A. Immediately after the train stopped, I went back to flag and when I got about even with her I saw it was a woman. When I got back in from flagging, --there was another train behind us and after stopping this train, we came on down to where the accident occurred and they were ready to leave about that time. That was approximately 7:10 p.m. They left me with the remains till some of the authorities arrived.

About fifteen minutes after the train had left there I heard somebody hollering and of course that got closer and closer, coming up the track from toward Whitmire, and after a few minutes he came running around the curve.

I saw it was a man and I thought I'd better go meet him instead of letting him come on to where the accident had occurred, and when I met him I asked him what he was doing out on the railroad and he said he was looking for his wife. I asked him what she was doing out there and he said they'd been up at the underpass there, which was about a mile above where the accident occurred. I asked him his name and he told me he was I. M. Broome, and he said that he lived in Whitmire. I told him he shouldn't go on the track any further because we'd had an accident and a woman was killed.

He seemed to go out of his mind. He started hitting me on the shoulders and I just pushed him back.

Then he seemed to realize he'd done something wrong and he said, "I didn't mean that, Mister."

Then he fell down on the ground and picked up both hands full of gravel and started beating himself in the head with that. Well, I tried to calm him down.

I could see he wanted to go to the body. I told him there was another train due and he said he'd go down besides the trestle and I saw he was going to do that. Then he jumped up and ran across the trestle and he was completely given out. He was winded when he got there.

Well, he went on to the remains and he didn't say anything to me, He was just looking at the stretcher. He didn't uncover the remains though. He said, "That can't be Lillian", and that was the first time he had mentioned that name.

I told him he might be mistaken, that it might not be his wife. Then he started threatening to kill all the engineers.

He said if he had his rifle he'd kill everyone as they came by.

I told him not to feel that way about it, it was an accident, but he kept on like that until the Sheriff arrived there. There were some gentlemen from Whitmire who got there before the Sheriff arrived. After the Sheriff arrived, you know what happened.

Q. In your opinion, had he been drinking?

A. I smelled it on him.

Q. He looked to you like a man that had been drinking?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any members of the Jury like to ask any questions?

Thank you, sir. That will be all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mrs. Forrest Finney, come around please.

MRS. FORREST FINNEY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL) Mrs. Finney, where do you live?

A. I live up on the railroad about a mile from town.

Q. Up the railroad between Whitmire and Clinton?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. The day that this accident happened, tell just exactly what you saw and know.

A. I didn't see nothing except saw the boy going up the railroad.

Q. What boy, state his name.

A. That Broome boy over there.

Q. You saw him going up the railroad track?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. A short time before the train ran?

A. About 7:00 o'clock.

Q. Did you have any conversation with him?

A. No, sir.

Q. Was he by himself?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You don't know anything else about it?

A. No, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions from members of the Jury? That is all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: L. L. Henderson.

L. L. HENDERSON was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Q. (By DEPUTY SHERIFF NEEL) You are a Deputy Sheriff of Newberry County?

A. I am.

Q. On the day of this accident you received some information that an accident had happened?

A. I did.

Q. Go ahead and tell us what you know about this.

A. Sunday evening about 7:25 I received a call from the Police Department of Whitmire. As a result of this call, I came to Whitmire with the Sheriff. We went about two or two and a half miles west on the railroad track and found the mangled body of a woman on the track. From the first signs of where this body was hit to where the last remains of the body was left was eight and one-half rail lengths. This body was scattered all along the railroad from the point it was hit for eight and a half rails. That was about, I would say close to 9:00 o'clock when we got up to where the body was.

CORONER SUMMER: Did this happen in Newberry County?

THE WITNESS: It did.

CORONER SUMMER: Any members of the Jury like to ask any questions?

That's all, come down. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Ira Broome. Mr. Broome, before you come around to be sworn I would like to tell you that anything you say may be used for or against you. If you don't want to make a statement, you don't have to make one, but if you do, you have the right to do so.

MR. BROOME: I've already made a true statement and I have nothing to add to it.

CORONER SUMMER: Very well. This is the doctor's certificate:

"I certify that I examined the body of Lillian Lawson Broome which was in a mutilated condition. Any of such wounds are sufficient to cause death." Signed J. C. Montgomery" M.D.

The Jury may now retire.

(Whereupon the Jury retired and after deliberation returned to the Hearing Room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Foreman, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you please read it?

THE FOREMAN: Lillian L. Broome came to her death as a result of an unavoidable accident with the Seaboard Railroad at no fault.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. That will be all.

(Whereupon the inquisition ended at 12:50 p.m.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 4th day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the bodies of Mr. S. V. Shevlin, Mrs. S. V. Shevlin and Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer of Newberry, S. C. then and there being dead by the oaths of George W. Martin, Wilmer M. Hite, Howard Clark, Ralph Coats, J. Fred Thomas and T. L. Cromer 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 Mr. S. V. Shevlin, Mrs. S. V. Shevlin and Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer came to their deaths, upon their oaths, do say they came to their deaths by being hit by Southern Railway Company train No. 18.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Mr. S. V. Shevlin, Mrs. S. V. Shevlin and Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer came to their deaths by being hit by Southern Railway Company train No. 18.

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/ Geo. W. Martin, Foreman, (L. S.)
/s/ J. Fred Thomas (L. S.)
/s/ T. L. Cromer (L. S.)

/s/ Wilmer M Hite (L. S.)
/s/ Howard Clark (L. S.)

/s/ Ralph Coats (L. S.)

PROCEEDINGS

(Jury previously sworn.)

SHERIFF TOM FELLERS, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Sheriff, just go ahead and tell what you know.

A. On Sunday morning, December 16th, around twenty to ten I received a telephone call that a train had hit an
automobile there at Colony Church. I immediately went down there and found that Southern Railway train No. 18 had struck an automobile. Mr. S. V. Shevlin, Mrs. Dora Shevlin, his wife, and Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer, his sister-in-law, were in the automobile. Mrs. Boozer and Mrs. Shevlin were dead.

McSwain's Funeral Home ambulance was called and was putting Mr. Shevlin in the ambulance preparatory to bringing him to the Newberry County Hospital.

My investigation showed from the imprint of the tires of the automobile that the front wheels of the automobile were just about middle ways of the track. In other words, it was hit about the door. That is just about it.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen of the jury would like to ask Mr. Fellers?

(No questions.)

CORONER SUMMER: (To the spectators.) Any question out there? (No questions.)

JOHN J. (BILLY) McSWAIN, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Just go ahead, Billy, and tell what you did after you got the call about the accident.

A. Whenever we got to the accident Mr. John Dominick told me that both of the ladies had already passed away and Mr. Shevlin was the only one living. We immediately picked him up and put him in the ambulance and brought him to the hospital. But he was unconscious the whole time.

I don't imagine he lived more than five or ten minutes after he got to the hospital.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen like to ask him? (No questions.)

CORONER SUMMER: These are the Doctor's certificates: (Read to jury.)

"Mr. S. V. Shevlin

Newberry, S. C.

12-16-51

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that above man died at 10:25 A. M. due to concussion and shock.

(Signed) V. W. Rinehart, M. D."

"Mrs. S. V. Shevlin

Newberry, S. C.

12-16-51

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that above person died suddenly due to multiple skull, leg fractures and chest collapse.

(Signed) V. W. Rinehart, M. D."

"Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer

Newberry, S. C.

12-16-51

To whom it may concern:

This is to certify that above person died suddenly due to multiple skull, legs fractures and collapse of lungs.

(Signed) V. W. Rinehart, M. D."

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen of the jury, you have heard the evidence we have in this case.

You will retire to the jury room to pass your verdict.

(Jury retired to the jury room, and after deliberation, returned to the Courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Have you gentlemen reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes, sir. (Verdict passed to the Coroner.)

CORONER SUMMER: (Reading verdict.)

"That Mr. S. V. Shevlin, Mrs. S. V. Shevlin and Mrs. Belle Dominick Boozer came to their deaths by being hit by Southern Railway Company train No. 18."

(Whereupon, the inquisition was ended.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 2nd day of June A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-two before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of George Abrams of Newberry, S. C. then and there being dead by the oaths of George D. Way, W. R. Hoover, Jr., C. W. Jones, Jr., Jessie Smith, S. B. Hazel and Claude W. Partain 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 Abrams came to his death, upon their oaths, do say by pistol wounds, inflicted by the said Tommie Hair.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid George Abrams came to his death by pistol wounds, inflicted by the said Tommie Hair.

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.

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

George D. Way, Foreman, (L.S.)

W. R. Hoover, Jr. (L. S.)

C. W. J ones, Jr. (L. S.)

Jessie Smith (L.S.)

S. B. Hazel (L.S.)

Claude W. Partain. (L. S.)

PROCEEDIDNGS

(The jury sworn by Coroner Summer.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest into the death of George Abrams.

J. C. NEEL, being duly sworn, testified as follows;

DIREC'I' EXAMINATION BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Mr. Nee1, you investigated the death of George Abrams the night of May 30th, did you not?

A. That's right, sir.

Q. You just go ahead and tell the jury in your own words, what you know about the case?

A. At about 20 minutes to eleven Friday night I received a telephone message from Tommie Hair. He told me he had shot George Abrams, he was at his home and for me to come on. Mr. Henderson and myself, we picked him up and he told me he had shot George Abrams at Henry Davis's place, which is out in the country seven or eight miles. He told me he shot him five times. After I put Tommie in jail I went to the scene of the accident and found five empty shells where the pistol had been unloaded and I found five places where he had been punctured in his body. He had more holes in him but he had four powder burns on him that showed that he was shot at close range.

One place in his arm did not have powder burns on him. This happened in Newberry County.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen want to ask Mr. Neel about this case?

JUROR: Where is this place located?

A. Well, out near Mr. Jim Cromer's house. It's a juke joint Henry Davis runs out toward Fred Weirís place, turn before you get there and it's about a mile off the paved road.

JUROR: Tommie told you he did the killing?

A. That's right.

JUROR: Fired the five shots?

A. That's right.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

A. He made a more lengthy statement, brought in a whole lot of other stuff. It wouldn't serve any purpose at the Coroner's inquest.

CORONER SUMMER: We are here to find out how he came to his death. We are not trying him for murder.

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate.

"6-2-52

"To Whom it may concern:

This is to certify that I examined the body of George Abrams Friday night at 11:30 P. M. May 30th, 1952 and found that he had a pistol wound in left wrist-- one pistol wound in left arm between elbow and shoulder -- one pistol wound in left side of chest which apparently penetrated heart and left lung -- two pistol wounds in left temple and one of the bullets coming out of right temple. My impression is that the bullets penetrating left side of chest and the two bullets penetrating the left temple is what caused death. From powder burns on left wrist and left temple these shots were fired at close range. V. W. Rinehart, M. D."

JUROR: What kind of gun did he use?

MR. NEEL: A .38 short Smith and Wesson, a five shot pistol.

JUROR: Most all the bullets were fired at close range?

MR. NEEL: Four fired at close range, one fired off at a distance that wouldn't leave a powder burn.

CORONER SUMMER: Any other questions?

Gentlemen of' the jury, you will go to the jury room to pass your verdict?

(Jury went to the jury room.)

(After deliberation, the jury returned to the Courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict, so say you all?

THE FOREMAN: We find that George Abrams came to his death by pistol wounds, inflicted by the said Tommie Hair.

CORONER SUMMER: That ends the inquest for tonight.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the Second day of January A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of B. C. Caldwell of Newberry then and there being dead by the oaths of Claude W. Partain, Charles E. Leopard, James Swygert, William H. McArthur Jr., C. W. Jones, Jr., and Charles G. Whitmire, 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 B. C. Caldwell came to his death, upon their oaths, do say he came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds inflicted by William Kinard.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/George R. Summer, Coroner (L.S.)
/s/Claude W. Partain, Foreman (L.S.)
/s/Charles E. Leopard (L.S.)

/s/James Swygert (L.S.)

/s/ Wm. H. McArthur, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ C. W. Jones, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ Charles G. Whitmire (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Come to order. This is an inquest into the cause of death of B. C. Caldwell.

Will the foreman stand and be sworn? (Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

Will the rest of you gentlemen stand? (Whereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

Mr. Neel, will you come around?

Thereupon, J. C. NEEL was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By Solicitor-Elect Jones:

Q. What is your name?

A. J. C. Neel.

Q. What is your occupation, sir?

A. Deputy Sheriff, Newberry County.

Q. How long have you been deputy sheriff, Mr. Neel?

A. Sixteen years.

Q. On the 21st day of December, did you have an occasion to investigate an incident surrounding one B. C. Caldwell?

A. I did, sir. I received some information by telephone about 11:45 at night that someone had been shot and was at the Newberry County Hospital. Mr. Tom Henderson and myself proceeded to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, we found B. C. Caldwell, colored male in the emergency room at the hospital. He had a gunshot wound apparently from a shotgun in his stomach. I received some information there and went to Newberry City Police Department where I picked up William Kinard, who admitted to me he had shot Caldwell. Caldwell later died that night from the wound he received.

Q. At the hospital?

A. At the hospital, yes, sir.

MR. JONES: Gentlemen of the Jury, we are here to ascertain the cause of this death and that is all we are here to do. If you have any further questions to ask this officer, you may at this time. Would any one like to ask him any questions about how this man came to his death? Did you have any questions, Mr. Coroner?

CORONER SUMMER: That happened in Newberry County?

THE WITNESS: That happened in Newberry County.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you Mr. Neel. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate:

"January 2, 1953, To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that B. C. Caldwell died on 12/22/52 at 1:50 a.m. from a gunshot wound of the abdomen.

Sincerely, E. J. Dickert, M.D."

MR. JONES: Before you retire, gentlemen, apparently you have one of two possible verdicts; that this deceased man, B. C. Caldwell came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds or the deceased man, B. C. Caldwell came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds inflicted by a certain person.

I think that is as far as you can go in your duty as a Coroner's Jury. I presume you have the names of these people.

Did you give them clearly, Mr. Nee1?

The one he told you did the shooting, he said that under oath, you have his word, his name was William Kinard.

CORONER SUMMER: The deceased was B. C. Caldwell.

Do you have anything further to ask? All right, you may retire.

(Whereupon, the jury retired from the courtroom and after deliberation returned to the courtroom.)

THE FOREMAN: We were wondering if there was any evidence of self-defense.

MR. JONES: Strictly legally speaking, it is of no concern of a coroner's jury whether it was self defense or not self defense. That is an erroneous impression brought up through the years.

It is not the duty of the coroner's jury to determine whether it was self-defense or an accident or what not.

We have the coroner's jury, the petit jury and the grand jury and it is the petit jury that ultimately decides. Your duty is to determine how the man came to his death. That goes this far.

He came to his death as a result of what, gunshot wound inflicted by whom and that is far enough.

You have testimony here in this particular case that this man mentioned in there, I believe his name is William Kinard, admitted to one of your deputy sheriffs while he was carrying him from the city jail to the county jail that he did shoot B. C. Caldwell.

You have a statement from the doctor read by the coroner that B. C. Caldwell died at 1:50 a.m., December 22 as a result of gunshot wounds.

Now it is true we have not gone into a lot of testimony from witnesses here in this, but it is our idea that we have given you a sufficient amount of information for you to be able to come to the conclusion you should come to as a coroner's jury. In other words, it is not left to you to say it was self-defense or not self-defense.

Did he come to his death, when, how, by whom; not why he did or under what circumstances, but did he do it.

If you feel you can, under the testimony of your deputy sheriff, come to the conclusion that he came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds at the hands of so and so. He testified here he told him he did. It is a question of whether you can take his word or not.

CORONER SUMMER: Is that what you wanted to know? You may retire.

(Whereupon the jury retired and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: B. C. Caldwell came to his death as the result of gunshot wounds inflicted by William Kinard.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. You are excused.

(Whereupon the inquisition ended at 7:30 o'clock p.m., Friday, January 2,1953.)


THIS is to certify today I viewed the charred remains of a human body presumed to be that of
Eugene Murphy.

/s/ R. E. Livingston, M. D.


May 18,1952
"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

This is to certify that I examined the dead body of Willie Mayer of Pomaria, S. C. and found that he died as a result of a broken neck resulting from an overturn of his automobile in a ditch on a highway near Pomaria."

/s/ J. E. Grant, M. D.


"TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Re: Miss Betty Kathleen Cranford

Burned 90% of body surface about 3 P.M., 27 November, 1952. In spite of intensive therapy died at 11 p.m., 27 November, 1952"
/s/ Ralph P. Baker M. D.


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
CO UNTY 0F NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire in the County and State foresaid, the Ninth day of January A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Rufus Williams of Clinton then and there being dead by the oaths of J. F. McCarley, B. F. Shields, J. D. Wilson, W. T. Dickert, F. T. Lee and Jim Hiller 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 Rufus Williams came to his death, upon their oaths, do say Rufus Williams came to his death as a result of bullet wound inflicted by Willie Lindsay Booker.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Rufus Williams 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

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

/s/ Jim Hiller, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ J. F. McCarley, Jr. (L.S.)

/s/ B. F. Shields (L.S.)

/s/ J. W. Wilson (L.W.)

/s/ W. T. Dickert (L.S.)

/s/ Frank I. Lee (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: Come to order. This is an inquest into the cause of death of Rufus Williams.

Mr. Foreman, will you stand? (Whereupon, the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will you other gentlemen stand? (Whereupon, the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mary Jones Attaway, come around.

MARY JONES ATTAWAY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

CORONER SUMMER: Your last name is Attaway?

THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

By SHERIFF FELLERS:

Q. You go ahead now and tell just what time you all left Clinton and go all the way through the whole trip until this took place?

A. We left Clinton about 7:30 and after we got down here, we went out to Mr. Tom Dillard's house in the country about two miles and we was out there in the car and Willie Lindsay said he was going to play a little game of russian roulette and he put the gun up to his head and snapped it and nothing happened, and he put it across to Rufus' head and that is when it went off.

By MR. JONES:

Q. Where did this happen?

A. Out at Mr. Tom Dillard's house.

Q. Tom whom?

A Dillard.

Q. On What day was this?

A. It was Friday.

Q. January 2?

A Yes, sir.

Q. Tom Dillard's house is in Newberry

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I believe you said Lindsay Booker said he was going to play a game of russian roulette?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And he first put the gun to his heap and snapped the gun?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And then he put it to Rufus Williams' head?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had there been any plan to do that between those two?

A. No sir.

Q. Was this in the front or backseat of the car?

A. In the back seat.

Q. Where were you?

A. In the back seat.

Q. Between them?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who was on your left?

A. Rufus.

Q. Who was on your right?

A. Willie Lindsay.

Q. Were they good friends, as far as you knew?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had they argued any at all that day?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever hear Rufus tell him to put the gun to Rufus?

A. No, sir.

Q. About what time of day w as that?

A. That was about eight 0' clock.

Q. In the afternoon or night?

A. At night.

Q. How long had you been with them?

A. About 7:30.

Q. That morning or that night?

A. That night.

Q. How many more were in the car?

A. It was three more.

Q. Were they on the back seat or in the front seat?

A. On the front seat.

Q. Who were they?

A. Arthur Duckett, Josephine Ritchie and Willie Lee Williams.

Q. Did Lindsay point the gun at any of those three in the front seat?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did he point it at you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had you seen the gun before Lindsay put it to his head and then to Rufus' head?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who had it?

A. Lindsay had it.

Q. Lindsay had it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he have it all the time?

A. No, sir.

Q. Who else had the gun?

A. I believe Jo, she had it a while, I had it a while.

Q. Were you playing russian roulette with them?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did it have any cartridges in it when you had the gun?

A No sir.

Q. Did you see any put in it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who put them in?

A. Willie Lindsay.

Q. Willie Lindsay Booker?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had Rufus been out of the car after you got there at Tom Dillardís?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where had he gone?

A. He went inside the house.

Q. Was he inside or outside the car when this happened?

A. He was inside the car.

Q. Did I understand you to say, Mary, that Lindsay did not stick it to anybody else's head before he stuck it to his head?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he stick it to anybody else's head?

A. No, sir.

Q. In other words, the only peopleís head he stuck it to was his and then to Rufus, the head of Rufus Williams?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had they played that game before that time?

A. I don't know, sir.

Q. I believe you said no one else suggested playing that game besides Lindsay?

A. That's all, just Lindsay.

Q. That's all you heard?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. JONES: Gentlemen, if there are any questions you would like to ask the witness, you are at liberty to ask them. Mr. Coroner, do you have anything further?

CORONER SUMMER: That is all. Come down. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Arthur Duckett come around.

ARTHUR DUCKETT was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By MR. JONES:

Q. Arthur, were you in the car when this happened?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. Was it your personal car or was it a taxi?

A. It's a taxi.

Q. A taxi?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Suppose you tell us what you know about the incidents that led to the death of Rufus Williams?

A. The gun was being played with in the car and it was pointed quite a few times. One time he did point the gun
toward me and I told him I didn't play with pistols so at that time I asked him if he wouldn't let me see the gun. He let me see the gun. I took the revolver and looked at it and there was no bullet in it. I gave it back to him. When I said "Let me see the gun" he let me see the gun so just as soon as I got it, Josephine asked me to let her see it.

I gave it to her and she put it in her pocket. He asked for the gun back and started playing with it again, so he was putting it up to his head and snapping it and I asked if he was playing a game of russian roulette. He laughed it off.

This boy Rufus got out of the car and said he was going in the house to tell his uncle goodbye.

He came back to the car. I was looking in the back at that time. When he went to get in the car, I turned around to the front and turned the switch on.

Q. Did Lindsay snap the gun when he held it to your head?

A. No, he did not, sir.

Q. That was sometime before Rufus was killed?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long, would you say?

A. I wouldn't know exactly.

Q. You did not enter into any game of russian roulette with them?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know if anybody else was playing russian roulette with Lindsay Booker?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear anybody suggest to him they play russian roulette?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long, would you say?

A. I wouldn't know exactly.

Q. You did not enter into any game of russian roulette with them?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know if anybody else was playing russian roulette with Lindsay Booker?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear anybody suggest to him they play russian roulette?

A. No, I didn't.

Q. Was there any ill feeling existing between anyone in the party?

A. If there was I didn't know it.

Q. Did you see a bullet put in the chamber or the gun?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who put it in there?

A. Lindsay.

Q. Willie Lindsay Booker?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you see him point the gun at anyone's head besides your head? And his head and Rufus Williams' head?

A. At one time he pointed it toward his brother's head, pointed it in that direction.

Q. Whose brother?

A. Willie Lee Williams.

Q. Is that a brother of Rufus Williams, the deceased?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did Willie Lee ask him to point it at his head?

A. No, he didn't.

Q. Did he make any remark to Lindsay, telling him not to do it?

A. No, Rufus was the one.

Q. Did I understand you, Rufus told Lindsay not to do it?

A. Yes, sir, it had been done before.

Q. Previously?

A. Not right then, before that. He pointed the gun and Rufus told him not to do that.

Q. Not to do that?

A. That's right.

Q. Did you hear him make any remark just before he was shot?

A. When he got in the car he was laughing, Rufus was and Lindsay, I didn't hear him say nothing.

Q. You didn't hear either one of the two make a remark?

A. No, sir.

Q. When this happened, I believe you were at Tom Dillard's house?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tom Dillard lives in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir, he does.

Q. Was this the second of January?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. About what time?

A. We left Clinton at 7:30, that happened about eight.

Q. Eight p.m.?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. JONES: Gentlemen, do you have any questions to ask this witness?

CORONER SUMMER: That is all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Josephine Ritchie, come around.

JOSEPHINE RITCHIE was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By MR. JONES:

Q. Josephine, were you in the car with all these people that day?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where were you sitting?

A. In the front seat.

Q. Was the gun ever pointed at you?

A. No, sir, he said he was going to point it at me and I told him don't do that.

Q. Did you hear anyone ask him to point the gun at them?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you handle the gun?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did it have shells in the chamber?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see anyone put any in there after you had it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who?

A. Willie Lindsay Booker.

Q. Did you know how many he put in?

A. He said he was going to put two in, I don't know how many he put in.

Q. Did you hear Rufus Williams say anything, did you hear him at least ask Lindsay Booker to point the gun at his
head?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear him say that he wanted to play russian roulette,

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear anyone say they wanted to play that with Lindsay?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you hear Lindsay say anything about russian roulette?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What?

A. He was talking about playing this game of russian roulette. He didn't say he was going to play it, he was just talking about it.

Q. Did you hear Rufus Williams or Lindsay Booker make any remark just before Rufus Williams was shot?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see the shooting?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were looking in the back s eat at the time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What happened just before he was shot?

A. Nothing, he just put it up there to Rufus head.

Q. And pulled the trigger?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You are speaking of Willie Lindsay Booker?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Putting it to Rufus' head?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where was Willie Lindsay Booker sitting in the back, do you remember?

A. Yes, sir, he was sitting on the right.

Q. Do you know which side he was sitting on?

A. Yes, sir, he was sitting on the right in the back.

Q. Willie Lindsey Booker was sitting on the right?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. On your right as you looked back?

A. Well, I was sitting something like this, I looked back this way and Willie Lindsay was sitting on this side.

Q. You remember definitely as you looked into the back seat you saw him to your left?

A. The way I was sitting I wasn't looking at Willie Lindsay. I could see Mary and Rufus. I was sitting something like this and looked back this way.

Q. And you saw Lindsay reach across in front or behind Mary?

A. In the front.

Q. Holding the gun with what hand?

A. I don't know.

Q. You do not remember, but he did put it to his head?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Approximately where?

A. Right up here.

Q. Near his temple?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Right or 1eft?

A. Right.

Q. And fired?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did he say anything, that is Willie Lindsay Booker, immediately after he shot Rufus Williams?

A. I don't exactly remember because when he did it, I jumped out of the car.

Q. And ran?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. JONES: Gentlemen, is there anything you would like to ask the witness?

CORONER SUMMER: That's all. (Witness excused.)

MR. JONES: Call Mary Attaway back to the stand.

MARY JONES ATTAWAY having been previously sworn, testified as follows:

FURTHER DIRECT EXAMINATION

By MR. JONES:

Q. Mary, I believe you said you were in the back seat?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You were there when the shooting took place?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. My mind is a little confused about what you testified a little while ago, you might have been confused then or I might be confused now. I want you to tell me just on which side did Willie Lindsay Booker sit beside you?

A. He was on the right side.

Q. On your right side?

A. Yes s1r.

Q. Near which arm?

A. This one.

Q. Which side was Rufus Williams on?

A. The left side.

Q. And which hand did Lindsay Booker shoot Rufus with, do you know?

A. No, sir.

Q. If you don't know, say you don't, but you do know he shot him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And what did you do then?

A. I got out of the car too.

Q. On what side?

A. On the left side.

Q. You went over Rufus?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. JONES: Any questions, gentlemen?

By JUROR:

Q. Did the man in the beck seat that did the shooting take his hand and turn the cylinder of the pistol or not?

A. Did he t urn the cylinder?

Q. Did he take his hand and turn the cylinder or did he just put his hand on it and pull the trigger?

A. He put it to his head first, then put it across to Rufus' head.

By MR. JONES:

Q. In other words, he did not, after he snapped it to his head, hit that thing and make it spin around?

A. No sir, I didn't see him.

MR. JONES: Any other questions?

CORONER SUMMER: That's all. (Witness excused.)

MR. JONES: Call Willie Lee Williams.

WILLIE LEE WILLIAMS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By MR. JONES:

Q. Willie Lee, I believe you are a brother of the deceased Rufus Williams?

A. I am.

Q. Had you gone in the house with Rufus just before this happened?

A. I am.

Q. Had you gone in the house with Rufus just before this happened?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you just returned to the car?

A. I had been out in the car quite a while.

Q. Before he got back?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Had Lindsay Booker pointed the gun at you?

A. Not that I know of.

Q. Had you bargained with him to play this game called russian roulette?

A. I don't bargain with anybody, sir, to play a game of Russian roulette.

Q. Had you heard anyone else suggesting playing that game with Willie Lindsay Booker?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had he pointed it at anyone's head to your knowledge?

A. No one but his.

Q. Had you heard anyone tell him not to play around with that gun, not to point it?

A. I told him myself and practically everybody else in the car told him.

Q. Did you ever have the gun?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever see that cylinder part of the gun?

A. You mean the revolver?

Q. That part that goes around?

A. I seen the whole gun.

Q. Who had it when you saw it?

A. Lindsay.

Q. Did you see that part out of' the rest of the gun?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were you looking into the back seat when Rufus was shot?

A. No, sir, if I had he never would have got shot.

Q. You did not see Willie Lindsay Booker shoot your brother?

A. No, sir.

Q. Can you recall anything that Rufus might have said just before he was shot?

A. No, sir, I cant t.

Q. Can you recall anything that Willie Lindsay Booker said or might have said just before the shooting or immediately after the shooting?

A. No, sir.

MR. JONES: Do you have any questions, gentlemen?

By JUROR:

Q. What time of night was that?

A. I think it was about eight 0' clock, I don't know definitely what time it was.

MR. JONES: Any other questions?

CORONER SUMMER: That is all, you are excused. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate:

"To Whom It May Concern:

Rufus Williams, colored 25 year old male met his death from a bullet wound going through the right temporal bone above the ear into the vital brain center. K. D. Lake, M.D., January 2, 1953."
MR. JONES:

Gentlemen of the Jury, you have heard the four witnesses testify as to how Rufus Williams came to his death and you have heard the doctor's statement.

It is not your duty to determine if this was premeditated nor if it was self defense or anything else. If this man is to be tried, he will be tried before a petit jury and not a coroner's jury. Oftentimes there is built up a misconception of the duty and I think it would be wise and would be better for justice in the end, for it could be a little prejudicial for you to try to say that he was killed without cause or with cause.

Your duty in actuality is only to find out how this man came to his death, that is, if he did you may say as a result of gunshot wound and if you can from what testimony you heard, you may add "inflicted by" whom, but that is as far as your duty goes.

Now, are there any questions you would like to ask before you retire?

CORONER SUMMER: You may retire, gentlemen.

(Whereupon, at 8:45 p.m., the jury retired from the hearing room, and after deliberation, returned.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: May I see it?

This is the verdict:

"Rufus Williams came to his death as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by Willie Lindsay Booker."

That is your verdict, so say you all?

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you gentlemen. You are excused.

(Whereupon, at 9:00 0' clock p.m., Friday, January 9, 1953, the inquest was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Chappells in the County and State aforesaid, the 23rd day of February A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three before GEORGE R. SUMNER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Floree Simpson of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of J. J. Boazman, J. H. Boozer, P. N. Boozer, E. R. Boazman, R. D. Marett and Ralph Lancaster being lawful jury of inquest who being charged and sworn to inquire, for the State of South Carolina where and by what means the said Floree Simpson came to her death, upon their oaths, do say, Floree Simpson came to her death as the result of an unavoidable automobile accident.

AND so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Floree Simpson 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/ J. J. Boazman, Foreman, (L.S.)

/s/ J. H. Boozer (L.S.)

/s/ P. N. Boozer (L.S.)

/s/ E. R. Boazman (L.S.)

/s/ R. D. Marett (L.S.)

/s/ Ralph Lancaster (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquisition into the cause of death of Floree Simpson.

Will the foreman stand and be sworn? (Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand? (Whereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Martin, will you take the stand?

Thereupon, W. J. MARTIN was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

By CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Mr. Martin, you investigated this wreck on September 16, 1952, did you not, sir?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell these gentlemen of the jury, Mr. Martin, what you investigated that night?

A. I got a call up here on 56. When I got up there, the wreck happened about 10:30 p.m. and the car turned over off
of the road bottom-side upwards. There was a body in it. I round out later that it was Floree Simpson, S-i-m-p-s-o-n. The rest of them had gone on to Clinton to the hospital.

We got the read cleared up there. The sheriff and I went on to Clinton and talked to the driver, Lula Belle Simpson, who was driving it and George Smith who was in the car, and George told us the tire blew out. All of them said the tire blew out and caused the car to lose control and run off of the road and they did all they could to get this Simpson girl out but weren't able to get her out.

George Smith was burned bad which showed he tried to get her out. His arms, chest and face were all burned up.

He said he made two attempts to get her out, first on one side of the car and then he went around to the other side.

The car was flipped bottom-side upward just off of the road. The way the thing looked, it looked as if the gasoline tank exploded or caught fire and all that gas ran down in the car and flared up.

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

A. Yes, sir.

CORONER SUMMER: Any questions you gentlemen would like to ask? You are excused, Mr. Martin.

(Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the certificate from Dr. E. N. Sullivan:

"To whom it May Concern:

This is to certify that I examined the remains or a colored woman allegedly one Florie Simpson at Thompson Funeral Home at Clinton, South Carolina on the morning of September the 17th, 1952. Death had occurred as the result of burning. The deceased reported to have been pinned beneath a car, which had overturned and caught fire on the night of September the l6th."

All right, gentlemen, you may retire.

(Whereupon, the jury retired and after deliberation, returned to the hearing room.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: This is the verdict of the jury:

"Floree Simpson came to her death as the result of an unavoidable automobile accident."

Is that your verdict, so say you all?

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you. That will be all.

(Whereupon, at 8:30 p.m., the inquest was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 27th day of March A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Rosa Lee DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Carrie DeWalt of Newberry county, then and there being dead by the oaths of Roland Hawkins, James E. Nichols, George D. Way, B. R. Ro ton, F. J. Harmon and J. T. Dennis, 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 Rosa Lee, Carrie & Fannie DeWalt came to their death, upon their oaths, do say Rosa Lee DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Carrie DeWalt came to their deaths by the hands of Frank Penny.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid came to their 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/J. T. Dennis, Foreman (L.S.)

/s/ Roland Hawkins (L.S.)

/s/ James E. Nichols (L.S.)

/s/ Geo. D. Way (L.S.)

/s/ B. R. Roton (L.S.)

/s/ F. J. Harmon (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest into .the cause of death of Rosa Lee Dewalt, Fannie DeWalt and Carrie
DeWalt.

Will the foreman of the jury stand and be sworn?

(Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand? Whereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Richard Hill, come around.

Whereupon, RICHARD HILL was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY SOLICITOR JONES:

Q. Richard, on the night of March 21st, last Saturday night, did you have occasion to see or be with Frank Penny?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Speak up whenever you answer.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I want these gentlemen to hear you. Will you then tell us where you saw him and under what circumstances?

A. Yes, sir. I come out of the show and went down there to the cafť in Prosperity and he was standing around there. He asked me "What about running me off up the road" and I said "How far" and he said to the planing mill, and I said" I ain't got the gas'" and he said" I'll buy the gas, you don't have to do nothing" so I asked the old lady "You want to go with me?" and she s aid "No, you carry him and come back."

He got in the car and said "Let's go." We got to the filling station and I stopped and he put in two gallons of gas and paid for it. I got up there to the road and turned into the planing mill and he got out. I said "Watch for me until I back out, don't let me run off in the field" and he watched and I turned around and went back. I don't know where he went.

Q. You mentioned a cafe, where was that cafe?

A. Prosperity.

Q. In what direction is this planer you are talking about? Back this way or South?

A. Coming up the road to your left.

Q. Coming up this way?

A. That is the way, Yes, sir.

Q. How far did you take him out of Prosperity, how far did you carry Frank Penny?

A. I don't know how far it is to the planer mill.

Q. Would you say a mile, two miles, three miles, how far?

A. It's over a mile.

Q. Itís over a mile?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What did he give you for bringing him up there?

A. He gave me two gallons of gas.

Q. He gave you two gallons of gas?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Richard---

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you know whether or not all those DeWalts lived anywhere near the planer where you put out Frank Penny?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where are you from?

A. Saluda.

Q. Richard, do you know Frank Penny very well?

A. No, sir.

Q. But you can positively say he is the one you brought up to the planer?

A. Yes, sir, the one they call "Son-in-Law" Penny.

Q. "Son-in-law" Penny?

A. Yes, sir.

SOLICITOR JONES: All right. Mr. Coroner, that's all I have.

CORONER SUMMER: That's all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Sheriff Fel1ters, will you stand and be sworn?

Whereupon, TOM M. FELLERS was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY SOLICITOR JONES:

Q. What is your name, sir?

A. Tom Fellers.

Q. I believe you are sheriff?

A. Yes, air.

Q. You heard Richard just now, Mr. Fellers, testifying about leaving this cafe in Prosperity and coming up to the planer mill, do you know about how far that is out of Prosperity?

A. I would say that is three and a half miles.

Q. Three and a half miles, back up this direction?

A. Toward Newberry, yes, sir.

Q. Sheriff, do you know whether or not Carrie DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Rosa Lee DeWalt live, or did live in the vicinity of the planer where Richard says he put out Frank Penny?

A. Yes, I would say itís almost half a mile from there.

Q. On down a dirt road?

A. Yes, you would have to 80 through a dirt road or come up the highway and go across the field. It would be almost half a mile.

Q. On Saturday night, March 21, in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 22, did you have an occasion to make an investigation at the home of Carrie DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Rosa Lee DeWalt?

A. Yes, sir. We received a call about two oíclock Sunday morning and we got down there about 2:20, all of us, all four deputies and myself and in making our investigation, we received some information of Frank Penny, so we went on to look for him. We located him about five o'clock Sunday morning in his little shack there in Prosperity. We arrested him and brought him to the Newberry County Jail.

Q. Did he make any statement to you at the county jail?

A. Not that day, no, sir.

Q. But subsequently?

A. On Monday afternoon, we had another conversation with him and he then Monday night, about eight o'clock, he confessed to me he went to this house and that he killed them with this club and that they were all dead whenever he left and he wanted to make the same statement in front of Mr. Neel. I called him and he went over the same statement free and voluntarily in the presence of both of us.

Q. Mr. Sheriff, was Frank Penny made any offer of reward, or did you attempt to threaten him if he did not confess to this crime?

A. No, sir.

Q. And you did not offer him any reward?
A. No, sir.

Q. Did you happen to be in the presence of Mr. Neel and Frank Penny when he told Mr. Neel?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Sheriff, the place of abode, or the home of Carrie DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Rosa Lee DeWalt was in Newberry County?

A. Yes, sir. I would say it is a bout three and a half miles out south of Newberry towards Prosperity.

Q. And when you made your investigation, were they still at the home?

A. Yes, sir.

SOLICITOR JONES: Mr. Coroner, that is all I have to ask the Sheriff.

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

CORONER SUMMER: The doctor's statements are so long I will ask the reporter to copy them in the record and will give them to the jury to read when they retire.

"March 25, 1953.

I made a postmortem examination at the Williams Funeral Home at about 6 A.M. March 22, 1953, upon the body of a colored female who was identified in my presence as Rosa Lee DeWalt by members of the Funeral home staff.

These were present during my examination as were members or the Newberry Police Force.

"The body is that of a well nourished colored female appearing between 30 and 40 years or age. Post mortem rigidity was not strong, there was no sign of decomposition. Blood was dripping from the face and nose. The following marks of external violence were observed:

Multiple contusions of face and a compound multiple skull fracture involving the fronto-occipital area.

A sample of blood was drawn, labeled, and turned over to the police department.

Conclusion: Rosa Lee DeWalt died of a crushing wound to the skull." B. M. Montgomery, M.D."

"March 25, 1953:

I made a postmortem examination at the Williams Funeral Home at about 6 A.M. March 22,1953 upon the body of a colored female who was identified in my presence as Fannie DeWalt by members of the funeral home staff.

These were present during my examination as were members of the Newberry Police Force.

The body is that of a well nourished colored female appearing about 13 years of age. Postmortem rigidity was not strong and there was no sign of decomposition. "The following marks of external violence were observed:

Multiple contusions of the face and extensive fracture of the fronto-parietal region.

The hymen was ruptured, the vaginal canal was filled with blood, and there were lacerations of the vaginal orifice.

A sample of blood was drawn, labeled, and turned over to the police department.

Conclusion: Fannie DeWalt died of a crushing wound of the skull. The vaginal orifice was penetrated.

B. M. Montgomery, M.D."

"I made a postmortem examination at the Williams Funeral Home at about 6 A.M. March 22, 1953 upon the body of a colored female who was identified in my presence as Carrie DeWalt by members of the funeral home staff.

These were present during my examination as were members of the Newberry Police Force.

The body is that of a well nourished colored female appearing about 10 years of age. Postmortem rigidity was not strong and there was no sign of decomposition. There was no pubic hair. The following marks of external violence were observed:

Multiple contusions of the face and extensive fracture of the occipito-parietal region. The hymen was ruptured, the vaginal canal was filled with blood and there were lacerations of the vaginal orifice.

A sample of blood was drawn, labeled, and turned over to the police department.

Conclusion: Carrie DeWalt died of a crushing wound of the skull. The vaginal orifice was penetrated.

March 25, 1953. B. M. Montgomery, M.D."

CORONER SUMMER: You gentlemen may now retire.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: Yes, sir. We agreed that Rosa Lee DeWalt, Fannie DeWalt and Carrie DeWalt came to their death by the hand of Frank Penny.

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

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, gentlemen.
(Whereupon, at 8:30 p.m., Friday, March 27,1953, the inquest in the above entitled matter was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISTION, indented, taken at Newberry in the County and State aforesaid, the 27th day of March A.D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of GERALD HUFFSTETLER of Newberry County then and there being dead by the oaths of Hamilton Folk, Frank M. Shealy, Earl Kibler, Robert Smith, O'Dell Mills and Howard Clark 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 Gerald Huffstetler came to his death, upon their oaths, do say Gerald Huffstetler came to his death as the result of an automobile accident, said automobile driven by Mr. George Childers.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Gerald Huffstetler came to his death as the result of an automobile accident, said automobile driven by Mr. George Childers.

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/ Howard Clark, Foreman (1.S.)

/s/ Hamilton Folk (L.S.)

/s/ Frank M. Shealy (L.S.)

/s/ Earl Kibler (L.S)

/s/ Robert Smith (L.S.)

/s/ O'Dell Mills (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest into the cause of death of Gerald Huffstetler.

Will the foreman stand and be sworn. (Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of the jurors stand? (Whereupon, the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Martin, will you take the stand?

Whereupon W. J. MARTIN was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY SOLICITOR JONBS:

Q. What is your name, sir?

A. Marti n, W. J., highway patrolman.

Q. Mr. Martin, on the night of December 21st of the early morning of December 22nd, did you have the occasion to investigate a wreck of an automobile owned and driven by one George Childers on Highway 76 north of Newberry?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Will you tell us what you discovered in your investigation?

A. That night at approximately one o'clock or 1:15, I received a call from someone, I don't know who telephoned, saying there was a bad wreck at the second overhead bridge north of Newberry on Highway 76 approximately five miles north of Newberry. The call that came in said there was several killed. I went up to the scene of the accident and all of the injured or dead had been moved. The ambulance picked them up. I found out later they were still breathing, that was the reason they moved them. I found the automobile out in the field. It happened right beyond the bridge, coming in this direction on a curve and he left the left side of the road and from the edge of the pavement to where the car stopped at the marks in the dirt indicated he had turned, the car had turned over approximately two or three times and rested back on its wheels. From the edge of the pavement m where it stopped at was 270 feet, out in the field. I left there, had all of the road cleared up and had the car moved by a wrecker, and went to the hospital to check on the injured.

Q. Mr. Martin, before we go into that, do I get the picture correctly, by understanding you to say the car was coming south on Highway 76? approximately five miles north of Newberry and it left the highway on a curve just before .you get to the overhead bridge on the driver's side?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Turning over after leaving the road apparently several times and coming to rest some 270 feet from the point from which the automobile left the road?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Might I ask you this, did you observe any skid marks whatsoever on the highway that would appear to be made by this car?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were there any at all there?

A. I didn't see any there and went back the next day in daylight and checked again and still couldn't see any.

Q. I see. What was the condition of the weather on this night in question?

A. The pavement was dry, and it was foggy in spots, but I took notice in this spot that the accident occurred there was not any fog.

Q. On that night in question, you recall there was not any fog then?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Corporal Martin, apparently did the car just go straight from the road or did it almost at the point it left, the highway turn end start rolling or sliding from the road?

A. After it left, it went straight across the curve. The curve was this way (indicating) and it went straight across.
After it left the road, it rolled in the direction of the curve out in the field. The curve was coming this way (indicating) and the car went straight across and rolled toward the direction of the curve.

Q. This was in Newberry County, Mr. Martin?

A. Yes, sir.

SOLICITOR JONES: Coroner, that is all I have to ask the Corporal.

CORONER SUMMER: That is ell, Mr. Martin. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: David Cannon, come around.

Whereupon, DAVID CANNON was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY SOLICITOR JONES:

Q. What is your name?

A. David Cannon.

Q. Where do you live, David?

A. Chapin.

Q. Were you in company with one Gerald Huffstetler on the night of December 21 and 22, 1952?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Were you with him in an automobile owned and driven by George Childers on that night?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Where did you get in that car, David?

A. It was right on this side of Kinards.

Q. About how far north of where the accident occurred?

A. I don't know how far it is.

Q. Approximately, do you know ~proximately, would you say eight or ten miles?

A. Four miles.

Q. About four miles. I understood you to say you and Gerald Huffstetler got in the car with George Childers about four miles above where the accident occurred?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was anybody else in the car?

A. Yes, sir, another guy.

Q. Who was in the car besides you and Huffstetler and Childers?

A. I don't know his name.

Q. Where was he sitting?

A. In the front seat on the right.

Q. Where were you sitting?

A. On the left in the back.

Q. Where was Gerald Huffstetler sitting?

A. On the right in the back.

Q. Was it a two door or four door car?

A. Four door.

Q. Do you remember the condition of the night that this happened, David?

A. It was foggy, a little foggy.

Q. Foggy?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would you say you were going slow or fast?

A. He was going along, around 60 or 65 somewhere, I don't know exactly.

Q. Had anyone asked the driver to drive fast?

A. No, sir.

Q. Had anyone cautioned him against excessive speed?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know why you left the road?

A. No, sir, we were just coming down the road and it left the road, that's all I know.

Q. You turned over several times?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. It must have thrown Gerald Huffstetler out of the car?

A. Yes, it throwed me out too, I guess it throwed him out.

Q. Where were you going with Childers at that time?

A. He was bringing us to Newberry.

Q. He was bringing you to Newberry?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you planned to get out of the car then?

A. Yes, sir, when we got to Newberry.

Q. You were not out on a party with them, were you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were they partying?

A. I don't know.

Q. Were they drinking whiskey?

A. No, sir, not as I know of.

Q. Did you see anybody drink any?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you know whether it was foggy at that spot or not?

A. I don't know whether it was at that spot or not. I know it was foggy at spots all over the road.

Q. Were you injured in the wreck?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is that the reason you are on crutches now?

A Yes, sir.

Q David, from all appearances, was the driver under the influence of anything that might have affected or impaired his ability to drive?

A. I don't know, sir.

Q. You could not say so?

A. No, sir.

Q. And you could not say he was not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You told me you got in the car about four miles before the wreck, were you thumbing or what was the occasion?

A. We hit a hog, and when we hit the hog there was cars coming both ways and we flagged the cars down. We tried to find out whose hog it was and we couldn't find out. He helped get the hog out of the road, and asked if we had a way to Newberry. We told him no, and he told us he would bring us to Newberry.

Q. Do I understand you were driving in the vicinity of 70 miles an hour, or was it 60 or 66?

A. Sixty or 65, I don't know whether that was it or not, we were just riding along.

SOLICITOR JONES: Mr. Coroner, that is all I have.

CORONER SUMMER: Do the gentlemen of the Jury have any questions?

SOLICITOR JONES: Before you go, let me ask you this question. Did you notice a 35-mile an hour speed zone before you had this wreck, a sign to slow down before you came to the bridge and curve?

THE WITNESS: No, sir.

SOLICITOR JONES: You didn't see it?

THE WITNESS: No, sir.

SOLICITOR JONES: Were you looking down the road?

THE WITNESS: No, sir, I was talking to Huffstetler.

SOLICITOR JONES: I see. That is all. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's statement:

"January 2, 1952, To Whom It May Concern:

This is to certify that Gerald L. Huffstetler was examined by me shortly after his death on 12/22/52.

He died of injuries received in an auto accident on 12/22/52.

Sincerely, E. J. Dickert, M.D."

You gentlemen may now go to the jury room.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it, please?

THE FOREMAN: Gerald Huffstetler came to his death as the result of an automobile accident, said automobile driven by Mr. George Childers.

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

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, gentlemen.

(Whereupon, at 9:00 o'clock p.m., Friday, March 27, 1953, the inquest in the above-entitled matter was closed.)


THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
COUNTY OF NEWBERRY

AN INQUISITION, indented, taken at Whitmire in the County and State aforesaid, the 30th day of March A. D., one thousand nine hundred and fifty-three, before GEORGE R. SUMMER, Coroner, upon view of the body of Jim Rice of Whitmire, then and there being dead by the oaths of Gilbert T. Broom, J. W. Carroll, E. B. McMurry, N. M. Harrison, W. C. Hawkins, and Edward Crenshaw 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 Jim Rice came to his death, upon their oaths, do say, that James. Rice came to his death as a result of being thrown from a railroad motor car that had been derailed by gravel having been playfully placed upon the railroad tracks by two minor children, Vincent Milo, Jr., age 10 years and Frankie Milo, age five and one half years.

AND so the said Jurors aforesaid, upon their oaths aforesaid, do say, that the aforesaid Jim Rice 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 hands and seals, the day and year aforesaid.

/s/ George R. Summer, Coroner (L.S.)
/s/ Gilbert T. Broom, Foreman (L.S.)

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

/s/ E. B. McMurry (L.S.)

/s/ N. M. Harrison (L.S.)

/s/ W. C. Hawkins (L.S.)

/s/ Edward Crenshaw (L.S.)

PROCEEDINGS

CORONER SUMMER: This is an inquest into the cause of death of Jim Rice.

Will the foreman stand and be sworn? (Whereupon the foreman of the jury was sworn;)

CORONER SUMMER: Will the rest of you gentlemen stand? (Whereupon the members of the jury were sworn.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Spivey. will you come around?

Whereupon. L. C. SPIVEY was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY CORONER. SUMMER:

Q. Mr. Spivey. go ahead and tell us who you work for and everything that led up to this accident.

A. I work for the Seaboard Railroad. Foreman here in Whitmire. Section foreman. On February 10,1953, after we completed the day's work, I was on my way in to my tool house. About four-tenths of a mile before I reached my tool house, coming around a curve on the motor car, we hit some rocks on the rail and it derailed the motor car, killing Jim Rice.

Q. This happened in Newberry County?

A. Newberry County.

Q. Is there anything you gentlemen of the jury would like to ask? That is all, Mr. Spivey, thank you.

(Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Henderson, come around.

Whereupon, L. L. HENDERSON was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. You investigated this accident, did you not?

A. I did, yes, sir.

Q. Go ahead and tell the gentlemen of the jury what happened that night?

A. On February 10th, about 4:00 p.m., the Sheriff's office received a call that there had been an accident on the
Seaboard Railroad. near or in Whitmire. I, along with Sheriff Fellers, came to Whitmire. On arriving at the scene, we found Jim Rice dead. In our investigation we found approximately130 yards below where Slayton Street ends south where some rocks had been piled on the left hand track, that is the left hand track coming into Whitmire the way the motor car was going. Later in the week, about February 13th we received some information that two small children were seen putting rocks on the track at this particular spot and the description of these children lead us to believe who they might be. We went to the house where these children were staying and found they had left the day before or I believe the night before and had gone to New York. Mr. Bell, who is with the Seaboard Railroad, left a few days later for New York.

I believe that is about all I can tell you about this. Of course, Mr. Bell, I think, has some information on his trip up there.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, Mr. Henderson. (Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: Mr. Bell, will you come around?

Whereupon, J. A. BELL was sworn and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

BY CORONER SUMMER:

Q. Will you state your name?

A. J. A. Bell, special agent, Seaboard Railroad.

Q. All right, please go ahead and tell us what you know about this.

A. On March 10th, I visited the home of Mrs. Nellie Milo, accompanied by a detective, Detective John Myers of the New York Police Department and Mr. Echo of the Seaboard Railroad. We questioned Mrs. Milo's two children. We questioned the youngest first, Frankie, age five and a half. He eventually admitted that he and his brother placed the rock on the track that caused the accident. Shortly after this, the oldest boy, Vincent, Jr., came in from school. He readily admitted he put the rock on the track, that both of them put rock on the track at the place where the accident occurred on the day the accident occurred. We also got a statement at the same time from Mrs. Milo to the effect that the children admitted placing the rock on the track. The statement was to the effect that they admitted it in her presence. That is a bout all I can think of.

CORONER SUMMER: Would the gentlemen of the jury like for the statement to be read?

THE FOREMAN: No.

CORONER SUMMER: Are there any other questions you would like to ask? That will be all.

(Witness excused.)

CORONER SUMMER: This is the doctor's certificate:

"Jim Rice, City, To Whom it May Concern:

The above named met his death 2-10-53 from massive head injuries, cerebral concussion and compound fracture of cranium. K. D. Lake, M.D., 2-10-53."

You gentlemen may now retire to the jury room.

(Whereupon, the jury retired, and after deliberation, returned to the courtroom.)

CORONER SUMMER: Gentlemen, have you reached a verdict?

THE FOREMAN: We have.

CORONER SUMMER: Will you read it please?

THE FOREMAN: Jim Rice came to his death as a result of being thrown from a railroad motor car that had been derailed by gravel having been playfully placed upon the railroad tracks by two minor children, Vincent Milo, Jr., age ten years and Frankie Milo, age five and one half years.

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

THE JURORS: Yes.

CORONER SUMMER: Thank you, gentlemen.

(Whereupon, at 8:30 p.m., Monday, March 30,1953, the inquest in the above-entitled matter was closed)

 

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