Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia
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THE KINGSPORT TIMES, KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE,
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1928
BARNETT AND RINER GIVEN
SENTENCE TO PENITENTIARYJUDGE OVERRULES MOTIONS OF DEFENSE
Barnett Gets Life Sentence on Each of Two Counts.
GATE CITY, Va., Feb. 7—Motions to set aside two verdicts of guilty of first degree murder returned against John Barnett recently in Scott County circuit court, and to grant him a new trial, were overruled by Judge E. P. Carter this morning, who affirmed the verdicts and set Barrett's sentences as life imprisonment in both cases, as was recommended by the juries. Counselmade no announcement of appealing the decision to the supreme court.
Motion to set aside the verdict of guilty of second degree murder in the case of John Riner was also overruled and his sentence set at 17 years in the penitentiary, as was also recommended by the jury.
Barnett was tried first on the charge of murdering Creed Frazier and second for the murder of Will, Creed's son. Both men were shot by Barnett at a sawmill near Speer's Ferry on the afternoon of last September 20, as theywere returning to settle an argument they had had with Barnett over the ownership of a tract of timber land. Barnett claimed that the men were armed and that he shot because he was afraid they were returning to kill him.
Barnett was convicted of first degree murder in both cases, life sentence being recommended each time.
Riner was tried on the charge of slaying Elijah Corder, aged mountain recluse, near Dungannon, shortly after the Frazier affair. Corder was shot four times with a shot gun, the heavy charges of buck shot literally tearing him to pieces. Riner also claimed self-defense but was found guilty of second degree murder.