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Scott County, Virginia

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The Kingsport Times

KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1928

Second Trial Of Barnett Well Underway

Little Difficulty Experienced at Gate City in Selecting
Jury to Hear Second Murder Case

SAME FIRST WITNESS IS CALLED BY STATE

Barnett Being Tried For Shooting Will Frazier
Already Convicted of Creed Frazier Murder

(Special to The Times)

GATE CITY, Va.. Feb. 2.—Scott county circuit court began the trial of John Barnett this morning for the murder of Will Frazier. It is the second time at this term of court that Barnett has been brought to the bar to answer to charges of murder, having already been convicted of the murder of Creed Frazier, Will's father, and the fifth murder trial to take place since the January term began almost three weeks ago.

     Creed and Will Frazier were shot down by Barnett on the afternoon of last September 20 at a saw mill about four miles west of Speers Ferry, according to eye witnesses who testified at the first trial. It is expected that the commonwealth and defense will present practically the same witnesses that testified at the first trial and that the defense will contend again that Barnett shot in self defense.

Life Imprisonment

     In returning a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree at the trial of Barnett for the slaying of Creed Frazier, sentence of life imprisonment was recommended by the jury. Decision on the jury verdict's has been reserved by Judge E. P. Carter until the completion of the second trial. There is the possibility that the Commonwealth may obtain the supreme penalty for the second verdict.

     Little difficulty was experienced in the impaneling of a jury this morning, the jury being completed shortly before 11 o’clock. Two days of the first trial were used in the selection of a jury.

Same Witness

     J. H. Ervin, first witness for the prosecution at the former trial, was called to the stand first again this morning. His testimony differed little from that offered at the first trial. He told how Barnett had threatened the life of Will Frazier, seemingly in a great rage over an insult that he thought Will was responsible for. Details of the actual shooting were again recited to the court with no change. How the four Fraziers approached the mill; how Barnett stood behind the barn door and shot. Creed falling first and Will second, Roy and Mahone escaping the fire, and how Barnett stood over the fallen Creed and said, "G — D him, if he hasn't got enough and starts wiggling around I'll give him some more, was again told by Ervin.

     The prosecution had not finished the direct questioning of Ervin upon the adjournment of court at noon. It is expected that he will be on the stand for at least an hour after the reconvenement of court this afternoon. Indications are that this trial will last practically as long as the first, which took five days.

 

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