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Hickman County News
Centreville, Hickman Co., Tenn.
Thurs. Nov. 20, 1924

Nashville Murder Arouses Entire State

Police Sergeant WOOD Slain; Boys Confess after Arrest and Return to Nashville; Death Asked

     One of the most cold-blooded murders of recent years, and one which has shocked the entire section of Middle Tennessee, was that of Archie B. WOOD, police sergeant of Nashville and known to friends in this county.  The officer was shot and instantly killed while standing on the running-board of an automobile said to have been stolen by four boys who had been arrested by the city official, and who had them in charge enroute to police headquarters.  Harry MEADOWS, 17, and John W. DOUGLAS, 17, two of the four boys under arrest, have confessed to firing one shot each into the body of the officer.  James MCGEE, 15, and Tom MURRAY, 16, alleged accomplices, deny firing pistols in their possession when the fatal shots were fired.
     MEADORS, the first to confess the crime, said that he first struck the officer on the head with his pistol and then fired a shot into Sergeant WOOD's abdomen; and that DOUGLAS fired a second later, the wounded man falling from the speeding machine.  He died a few minutes later at a hospital, having never regained consciousness.
     The scene of the tragedy was on the public square in Nashville, near the east entrance to the street railway transfer station.  The arrest had been made at Sixth and Demonbreun streets, the officer directing the driver to proceed to police headquarters.
     After the fatal shooting, the driver of the death car, Tom MURRAY, speeded the machine out Third avenue until flight was blocked by a switch engine on the Nashville terminal tracks.  Abandoning the car, the boys made their way to the vicinity of the Tennessee Industrial School, where all had been former students, and remained in hiding until Thursday night when they boarded a train in the direction of Chattanooga.
     The Nashville policemen were notified by a former fellow-student of the youth, and MEADORS was captured at Murfreesboro after the latter officers had notified the Rutherford County authorities.  His three companions made their escape from the train, again boarding it enroute to Tullahoma.  Nashville officers later captured them in Tullahoma and they were returned to Nashville and placed in the Davidson County jail.  Afterwards, they were taken to the state penitentiary for safe keeping.
     It is understood the prosecution will plead for the electrocution of all implicated in the crime.  According to a state law, their youthful age prohibits a penitentiary sentence although not affecting a death sentence.
     The four boys are citizens of Memphis, where they are said to have had police records in connection with the theft of automobiles.

(Note from Vanessa: The two spellings of Harry Meadows/Meadors were in the original article.)



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and last modified on 08/10/2001

2001 Vanessa Slea