Cass County

Wallace Gillespie Given Three Year Sentence

Researched by Connie Draper

Additional info:
Naples Cemetery, Morris County, Texas
H. V. Parton - 20 December 1887 - 5 August 1935
Kadelle Parton - 29 July 1918 - 5 August 1935

Mrs. R. T. Gillespie, mother of the defendant, took the stand Monday p.m. She said that the day before the fatal shooting she went up the road toward Atlanta to meet her husband and told him that Clyde Hammond had married Dollie Belle. Her husband, she said, became very angry and returned to Atlanta where he purchased a shotgun. She told the court that the next morning her husband and son left to go to the Parton gate. Both were armed she said.

Mrs. Gillespie said that from her home, 479 yards away, she saw all that took place at the gate leading to the Parton farm. She told the court that Kaydell Parton armed with a pistol fired the first shot. She declined to state whether it was her husband or her son that fired the shot that killed the girl. 

A Mrs. Solley next took the stand and testified that death was caused by gunshot wounds. After her testimony the state rested its case.

Mack Gillespie, brother of the defendant, took the witness stand for the defense and gave testimony as to the distance between the Gillespie and Parton homes and the distance from the Gillespie home to the gate where the shooting took place.

Raymond T. Gillespie, 50, testified Tuesday afternoon that it was he who on August fifth shot and killed Kaydell Parton, 17 and her father, Jack Parton, 40 and not his son, Wallace, 20, who is being tried on a charge of murder.

“I shot and killed her myself thinking she would kill me,” he testified. When I shot Parton he fell on his face, turned over and lay still.

Gillespie and his son went to the gate leading to the Parton home on the day of the shooting seeking information as to where Dollie Belle Gillespie went when she eloped with Clyde Hammonds, a farm hand working for the Parton’s, the father testified. He said that the information was not only refused but that the elder Parton cursed him.

“Kaydell was armed with a pistol” he said, “and Parton kept his hand in his pocket, I told him that if he drew a gun I would kill him, I heard a pistol fire. Wallace ran past me and said, “Daddy she is shooting at me.”

Gillespie said Parton ran to his daughter and asked her to hand him the pistol; “It was then I shot him.” Gillespie said. He testified that he shot the girl when she continued to come toward him, pistol in hand and in a crouched position, Gillespie said, the girl was about 20 feet from him when the fatal shot was fired.

Under cross examination the elder Gillespie testified’ “I intended to kill everyone of them, “ and “I had the Partons in mind when I got the automatic shotgun.”

Gillespie told the court that he had been informed that Jack Parton and Clyde Hammond had carried off his daughter, Dollie Belle on August 3. He said he saw the Parton family return home the night before the shooting took place ant that shortly after he heard a pistol shot and heard a woman scream.

It was the next morning that he and his son went to the Parton gate to seek information regarding his missing daughter, Gillespie told the court.

Wallace Gillespie, 22, charged with the murder of the girl, took the stand Tuesday morning and denied that it was shots from his gun, which killed Kaydell Parton. He said that he and his father went to the Parton gate seeking information regarding the whereabouts of his sister, Dollie Belle.

“Kaydell pointed a pistol at me and fired,” he testified. “I was scared and jumped. When I did my shotgun went off accidentally. She kept coming toward me pistol in hand. I heard three or four shots but did not see them fired.”

“Everything I did at the scene of the tragedy,” he said, “I did at the gate --------------------- father.”

The evidence in the Wallace Gillespie, 22 charged with murder in the death of Kaydell Parton on August 5th was concluded late Tuesday evening. The attorneys argued the case Wednesday morning and it went to the jury about 12:30 p.m. and the jury, returned their verdict as guilty at 5 p.m. assessing his punishment at three years in the pen. Notice of appeal was given.

In the trial of Wallace Gillespie, charged with murder, the state was represented by E. L. Lincoln, District Attorney and B. F. Whitworth, County Attorney. Defense Attorneys were B. S. Cameron, Linden and J. R. Cornelius of Jefferson.

Jurors completed at 2:30 p.m. Monday as follows: N. L. Corzine of Bloomburg; Jesse Loper, Jack Wall, Ab Dees, E. O. Kennedy, all of Atlanta; W. B. Curry, and J. B. Wilson of Hughes Springs; H. T. Jordan of Marietta; Paul Cochran, and Joe Burleson of Linden; H. R. Lockett of Jefferson; and F. O. Lee of Queen City.

The first witness to take the stand as the trial opened was Mrs. Jack Parton, widow of the slain man. Her testimony disclosed that the quarrel resulted over a wedding, for the bridegroom was her brother. He was Clyde Hammond, who had been employed at the Parton farm. On the weekend before the shooting he married young Dollie Belle Gillespie at Texarkana and went to the home of his parents at Omaha to spend the night.

“Wallace Gillespie was waiting at the gate as we all started to Texarkana for the wedding,” testified the widow. “He stopped us and begged Dollie Belle to come home with him. Kaydell pushed him away from the truck. He said if Dollie Belle did not come home his father would kill Miss Gillespie and Clyde Hammond. We drove to Texarkana and Dollie Belle and Clyde Hammond were married at 9:30 p.m. on the Arkansas side, Clyde having obtained the license previously.”

They drove to Omaha and stayed all night at his father’s home, arriving there about 1:30 a.m.

That night my husband, Jack Parton, stood on the porch and fired a pistol, I do not know why.

Eugene Hammond came back with us the next morning and he and Jack started hauling logs. They got to the gate and we heard a racket. Kaydell started to them with a pistol wrapped in a rag. I started with her, but stopped.

Wallace Gillespie shot her with a single barrel shotgun and as she fell the pistol fired and the gun became unwrapped.

Eugene Hammond, 18, took the stand. He said he came home with his sister, Mrs. Parton and started to work at 7 a.m. Monday with Jack Parton and got down to open the gate near the house when someone said “stick ‘em up.”

“It was Wallace Gillespie,” said Hammond, brother of the bridegroom and the widow. “He had a single barrel shotgun and I put my hands up.” Raymond Gillespie came out on the other side and he had an automatic shotgun. He drew the gun on Jack Parton and cursed him and said: “Get down out of the truck or I will kill you in the truck.”

“Parton did not get out, but put his hands up. Kaydell came running down the road. The old man yelled “Shoot her!” but he had to tell Wallace three times before he would do it. Every time she would beg for mercy and ask Wallace not shoot her. But finally Wallace shot her down and as she fell the pistol she was carrying fired once.

“Her father jumped out of the truck and started running to her. Raymond Gillespie shot him three times in the back with an automatic shotgun. Wallace was reloading and I ran. When I came back, Jack Patron was dead and Kaydell was lying face down unconscious. Neither Parton nor I had a gun and had no idea we would meet the Gillespies.

Note: Raymond T. Gillespie, 50 years old, Friday heard a jury fix his sentence at 99 years in prison for the slaying of Jack Parton, August 5th, a neighbor. Taking the case at 11 p.m. Thursday the jury brought in the verdict at 11:35 a.m. Friday.

The jury found his guilty of murdering Parton with malice aforethought. The elder Gillespie was not indicted for killing Kaydell Parton, the 17 year of girl he confessed to slaying in order to defend his son, Wallace on a charge of murder. Wallace, 22 years old, indicted for shooting the girl, escaped with a three-year sentence.

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