Deputy Constable Shot and Killed Officer Shot While Attempting to Make Arrest At Church Sunday Carter County Herald August 1, 1935
The quiet little church at Clifty, where folks gather to worship God as they are given the right by the Constitution, was the scene
of a bloody murder Sunday while church was going on, when John Barker, 22, and Virgil Mauk, 26 appeared on the ground, both drinking
heavily, Barker carrying a half gallon of moonshine whiskey and attempting to sell it to the crowd that was standing around.
A deputy constable, James Parsons 66 years old, attempted to arrest Barker, who was carrying the whiskey by a string around the neck
of the jar, started to run. When Barker started to run from Parsons, Mauk pulled a pistol and leveled on him, declaring "Stop,
or I will kill you," whereupon Parsons started to place him under arrest, demanding to the crowd around to "Catch Barker."
Mauk fired one shot into Parsons, and Parsons advanced and struck Mauk with a cane with which he walked when Mauk opened fire and
struck him just below the heart killing him instantly. Both Mauk and Barker escaped in the hills of Clifty and, up to the present time,
there have been no arrests made.
County Coroner C.W. Henderson and County Attorney J. R. McGill left for the scene immediately
upon notice of the happening and held an inquest as to the cause of Parson's death, and found that the shooting was wholly without
justification and issued warrants of arrest for the two men and delivered them to officers of Roy J. Blankenship and his staff, who are
using every effort possible to the capture the men. Parsons is survived by his widow and three children. Evidence at the inquest
developed that Mauk had told several parties he was going to kill Parsons if he attempted to arrest him, and also that he intended to
kill the preacher, Rev. Ned Carroll, who was preaching at the time of the killing. The killing of the latter was supposed to be because
that Carroll had come here a few days before in an effort to get officers to come to the church Sunday because he had heard they were going
to cause trouble there on that day.
Funeral services for Mr. Parsons were held from the Sulphur Springs Baptist Church Monday, with burial following in the Parsons cemetery
near where the shooting occurred. Note: The present day Clifty Creek area of Carter Co., is located a few miles South of Grayson next
to the now Grayson Lake Reservoir, very near to the Carter/Elliott County line.
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