Scott County Historical Society
Scott County, Virginia
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The Kingsport Times
KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE, . WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 1928
SCOTT COUNTY JURY PICKED
John Barnett to Be Tried First on Charge of Creed Frazier-
By THOS. C. HARRIS
GATE CITY, Va., Jan. 25 --- The jury, which will try John Barnett for the alleged murder of Creed Frazier, was completed after difficulty in Scott County circuit court this morning. Examination of veniremen lasted for over two hours before the final selection was completed satisfactorily to both prosecution and defense.
S. H. McConnell. C. H. Bush, Jacob Leonard, P. L. Halt, C. F. Bond, W. P. Kilgore, H. F. Lawson, W. W. Francisco, C. E. Mead, M. I. Baker, F. M. Bayes and J. W. Fink are the jurymen in whose hands the fate of Barnett now rests.
On Two Charges
Barnett is to be tried first for the alleged murder of Creed Frazier, and later, if necessary, for the murder of his son, Willie, instead of being tried for the double murder in one case.
Following the completion of the jury, court was adjourned until 2:30 o'clock this afternoon, at which time actual trial of the case will begin. It is expected that the rest of the week will be consumed in the hearing of the case, with the possibility that it may even extend into next week.
Dr. Dougherty, Gate City physician, who examined Creed Frazier's body immediately after the fatal shooting, is expected to be the first witness called by the prosecution when court reconvenes at 2:00 o'clock. All witnesses in the case were sworn immediately after the jury was completed.
Two of the five jurors selected at yesterday's session of court, were excused from the panel this morning when they admitted to having discussed the case after the adjournment of court yesterday. They were J. E. Lane and NathanCarter.
The greatest difficulty was experienced in the completing of the panel this morning, many of those summoned for jury duty pleading that they were either physically disable, hard of hearing, had formed an opinion on the case, had heard the evidence presented at the preliminary trial, were relations of the slain men and other various things that rendered them unfit to serve in the trial. Two even asked to be excused on account of being prejudiced against punishment. The court readily told them to stand aside when they answered that they could not, in all conscientiousness, render a verdict of guilty and recommend the death penalty.
The shooting of the two men occurred last September 20, Barnett surrendering to Sheriff C. C. Palmer about an hour afterward. He was immediately lodged in jail and has spent the last four months there. However, when he appeared in court this morning he showed no mark of his long confinement and appeared to be calm and in the best of spirits. His expression was entirely unworried about the outcome of the charges against him and showed no trace of fear of possible conviction.
It is understood that attorneys for the defense will present self-defense as the reason for the fatal shooting, Frazier having been armed at the time.
Defense attorneys are W. S. Cox, of Gate City, D. F. Kennedy, of Wise, and J. D. Carter, of Duffield.
The prosecution is represented by J. F. Sargent, commonwealth's attorney, S. H. Bond, S. W. Coleman, all of Gate; City, and 0. M. Vicars, of Wise.