Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
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From the Collection of Gary Frazier
Frazier Family Petition For Parole Denial To John Barnette
Court Papers Filed By Family Of Creed
& Willie Frazier
James H. Price
understand that an application has been made to Your Excellency for a
pardon for a John Barnett who is convicted in the Circuit Court of
Scott County, Virginia, in one case for the murder of Mr. Creed
Frazier and in another case for the murder of Willie Frazier, and was
given a sentence of life in each of the cases.
represent the children of Mr. Creed Frazier, deceased who very much
opposed to the granting of a pardon in these cases and we would
appreciate it if you would give us an engagement to discuss this
matter with you at your convenience.
His Excellency, James H Price, Governor of
Re: Application of John Barnett
for a pardon.
petitioners, who are children of Creed Frazier, deceased, and brothers
and sisters of Willie Frazier, deceased, respectively represent to
Your Excellency that John Barnett should not be granted a pardon of
his conviction in the Circuit Court of Scott County, Virginia, for the
murder of Creed Frazier and for the murder of Willie Frazier, and your
petitioners are informed that a petition for a pardon has been filed
with Your Excellency.
different juries passed on these cases, on a jury of
petitioners file herewith a stenographic copy of the evidence in the
case in which your petitioners are advised amply justified the jury in
their verdicts in the cases.
petitioners also file herewith a petition of most of the jurors who
tried the case respectfully advising that a pardon should not be
granted in these cases.
petitioners therefore respectfully represent that a pardon should not
be granted to John Barnett.
the undersigned jurors who participated in the trial of John Barnett,
who was convicted in the Court of Scott County, Virginia, for the
murder of Creed Frazier, respectfully represent unto His Excellency,
the Governor of Virginia, that the said John Barnett had a fair trial,
that the facts in the case were fairly presented to the jury and that
we know of no reason why a pardon should be granted to the said John
letter of July 26th, advising that you represent the
children of Mr. Creed Frazier, who opposed to a pardon for John
Barnett, has been received and placed in the file so that the governor
may have it before him when giving consideration to this case.
to the Governor.
Amos Ervin (sworn) testified.
State what he said and all that occur on that occasion, so far
as you know it.
He says are there “Ar’y
God dammed man here that wants to die”
You mean that was the first thing he said when he got to you?
Who was with you at that time?
My father and Will Frazier were all close by.
State what occurred and what he did.
I had a strip in my hand and he back a little bit from me and I
threw the strip down, and he had this gun in both hands and I told him
when he said “ Are there Ar’y God dammed man here that wants to
die”, I says, “John, I don’t want to die”.
What did he say?
He says, “I am going to kill Will Frazier in five minutes.
He never gave me time to answer – oh, I might have said
something to him, what was the matter or something, I would not state
positive, but he says “If Will Frazier don’t take something back
he called me across the ridge I am going to kill him in five
Where was Will Frazier at that time, when he said that?
Well he was right close, I judge twenty to thirty feet from me:
I believe he was below my father.
Where was he with reference to where you father was at that
Well, I never noticed, but we were all close together, right
Do you know if he was between Will Frazier and the defendant?
No sir, I do not know.
Go ahead and tell me what else he said and did.
I commence talking to John trying to plead with him.
(** The next part appears to be after John had shot Creed and
What else occurred right there at that time, after this
conversation, just after you got there.
John has come over across the branch and was in about ten to
fifteen steps of him.
Had he got over there at the time Creed Frazier was having that
talk to you?
What called it to my attention somebody says –
(objected to Etc)
(cont’d) Somebody says “He going to shoot him again”.
I was holding his head up.
Me and Charlie Robinett and Eli Son stepped between them and
went to talking to him, put our hands up and told him that he was the
same as dead and plead with him not to shoot him any more.
How did he have the gun when you r attention was called to him
He had it in both hands in what I call a ready position.
In what direction was it pointed?
He did not have it up to his shoulder, he had it pointed out
some in that direction, but the gun was not to his shoulder.
When you begun to plead with him what did he say?
He said, “If he has not got enough and goes to wiggling
around, “I’ll give him some more”.
He told us all to stand back, not to get up around him, not to
come close to him.
What was Creed doing at the time he had the gun in the position
stated and said, “If he has not got enough and goes to wiggling
around I’ll give him some more”?
He was lying on his back and I believe his knee (indicating)
was up and this leg was kinder straightened out; he could not move
You meant the right leg?
Yes, I never did see him move his left arm or leg; he ask me to
move him several times.
What was Frazier doing when he doing when he made the
expression “goes to wiggling around”?
Well he moved his foot – must have moved his foot or
something like that.
How close was he to Creed Frazier when he said, “if he
wiggles around I will give him some more”?
Well, I judge he was ten steps, or something like thirty to
How far had he gone from the place at which he stood when he
shoot Creed Frazier until he was thirty to forty feet of him and used
the expression you stated?
It was one hundred feet from where he stood to where Creed
fell, and I judge it was something like seventy feet he had gone over
in that direction.
He had gone seventy feet from the place he had shot him, when
he said this talk about giving him some more?
Had he crossed any branch or anything?
Where was he at the time he was doing this talking with
reference to Will Frazier?
Well, he was farther from it then he was from Creed Frazier.
The body of Will Frazier –
-- Was lying in the opposite direction.
Creed Frazier was lying between there and where the body of
Was Will Frazier’s body lying in plain view of him at that
It was unless somebody was standing between them.
There were some several around and it could only have been
hidden by somebody standing between them.
How long was it from the time he shot Creed and Will Frazier
and they had fallen until he was in thirty to forty feet of Creed?
It was not but a short time.
As much as a minute?
I would not think over two minutes, two or three minutes, I
never noticed, the first I noticed of him was when someone said he was
going to shoot again.
(** Skips forward to next section**)
Did you hear John Barnett say anything farther over there at
the body of Will and Creed Frazier?
No, Sir, I do not believe I heard him say anything.
Yes, I heard him say “I’m not a dammed bit scared or
Where were you when you heard him say I am not a bit scared or
That was while we were talking to him about not shooting Creed
the second time.
What else did he say except that he was not a dammed bit scared
or excited then and what you have already told.
By way of refreshing your memory, do you recall whether he said
“I told you what I would do”?.
Yes, he said “I done just what I told them I would do”.
is the affidavit of Charlie Good, taken at Clinchport, on August 2,
was the sawer at the saw mill at the time Creed Frazier and Willie
Frazier were killed. The
first I saw of John Barnett on that day was in the morning when he
came to the saw mill where we were working, at which time he was armed
with a rifle and a pistol. At
that time he had some trouble with Mahone Frazier, a brother of Creed
Frazier, and threaten to kill Mahone on that morning.
stayed about an hour that morning and came back that afternoon around
. When he came back that
I had my sawmill crew working there at
the saw mill. The men who
were there were myself, Eli Sons, Charlie Robinette (who was there on
other business not connect with the sawmill), Amos Ervin, ? Ervin,
Morgan Seymour (who is now dead), Roy Frazier, Enon?, Arrington, Logan
Falin, Willie Frazier, and perhaps some other that I do not recall.
Anyway I had a full crew of men at the sawmill and I was in
charge of the sawing operation. The
sawmill belonged to me. Mr.
Creed Frazier and Willie Frazier had employed me to do the sawing on
I first saw John Barnett come back to the sawmill that afternoon, he
was coming in kind of a “trot” he had a pistol in his belt and was
carrying a rifle in his hands. He
came on up to where we were sawing and, at that time, Mt Amos Ervin
and J? Ervin and Willie Frazier were handling the strips from the
sawmill and the first word John Barnett said was “Does anybody here
want to die”? When John
Barnett said that, Amos Ervin said “John I don’t want to die”.
Willie Frazier jumped behind the sycamore tree.
Then Eli Sons, who was present, talked to “John Barnett and
said John let this go, you have some children and Willie has some
children”. John Barnett
said, “God damn the children.”
said, John , let’s go up and talk about this a little and Amos Ervin
and John Barnett went up above where we were working and sat down on a
log and talked awhile. I
do not know what they said. While
Amos Ervin and John Barnett were up above the mill talking, Willie
Frazier came back to the mill and said , “Do you suppose that man
wants to kill me?” and I said “Willie”, I don’t know, that man
has some meanness in him.”
went down around the boiler and in a few minutes Roy Frazier drove up
in a truck and I saw John Barnett throw his gun on Willie Frazier, Roy
Frazier ran in between John Barnett and Willie Frazier.
went from there up to Amos Ervin porch and I don’t know anything
from there about their conversation.
Then John came back toward the barn door and set down on a
board block for a few minutes, and then Creed Frazier came up to the
sawmill from a road that came up from the east.
When Creed Frazier came up near the mill, John Barnett ran
toward the barn door and jumped behind the barn door.
As Creed Frazier came up he put his hand up and said something
to John but I couldn’t understand what he said; and John Barnett
then opened fire and shot Creed Frazier.
At the time he shot Creed Frazier, Creed was not attempting to
do anything to John Barnett.
John Barnett shot Creed Frazier and he fell, Willie Frazier ran a step
or two beyond Creed Frazier and then turned and ran back in the
direction he had come, as he was running John Barnett shot him in the
back. Willie Frazier was
killed instantly. Roy
Frazier was running along with Willie Frazier and John Barnett shot
the third time at Roy Frazier and
went to Creed Frazier immediately after the shooting and found that he
was shot, and Creed asked me “Is Willie dead?” and I says, “I
think he is, he is not moving any.”
Creed said I would rather he had killed me because Willie has a
wife and some little children.”
Then John Barnett came down to where I was and at that time I
was holding Creed Frazier’s head in my lap, and John Barnett said,
“Are they dead? If not,
I can finish them.”
he came down to where Creed Frazier was lying, he still had the gun in
his hands. John Barnett
left there in a very few minutes with C. C. Robinette.
that time I was in the hospital with blood poisoning and not a witness
at the trial.
is the affidavit Charles C Robinette taken at Gate City, Scott County
My name is Charles C. Robinette .
I live in the Lowell Magisterial District,
I went down to the sawmill which the Frazier’s were operating
on Amos Ervin’s place, that day I had just had my dinner.
It must have been
P M as the mill had started running
again after the dinner hour. I
had gone to look at a heifer of Hall Pierson’s which was grazing on
Amos Ervin’s farm. I
went down and started talking with Lnoch Arrington at the mill, who
was firing it. We had
talked a little while when he had said, “Charlie” did you know
that there was trouble up here, that John Barnett was about to kill
Willie Frazier awhile ago?” I
noticed the Frazier boys were not there at the mill at that time,
neither one of them, and I asked Enoch where the Frazier boys were.
He said that he didn’t know where they were.
I was setting down on the wood at the mill and there were weeds
there so I could not see the road very well from where I was setting.
I noticed Enoch looking out the road (he was standing up) and
he said, “Charlie, I see the Frazier’s coming now.”
I got up and looked toward the barn and saw Amos Ervin and John
Barnett setting on the board block together.
Amos could see up the road and John was facing Amos, and with
his head in that direction he could not see up the road where the
Frazier’s were coming. Amos
Ervin seemed to be watching the road and John Barnett too.
I saw John all at once turn his head in the direction of the
road and jump up and run. He
ran fast until he got to the barn and I though he was going in the
barn. The door to the barn
was swinging open to the outside.
John Barnett made about one step behind the door and got his
gun ready to shoot, stepped back out in the clear and shot Creed
Frazier. He shot from his
left shoulder and had to be clear of the door to shoot from his left
shoulder, as he was shooting east.
Had he been shooting west he could not have stayed behind the
saw Creed Frazier, as John Barnett was running to the barn through up
his left hand with his hand open.
After he was shot, Creed Frazier slumped to the ground.
He did not fall, but rather slumped down gradually.
From my position I had not seen Willie Frazier until after
Creed was shot. He had
come out into the open then where I could see him.
Willie had run a distance almost parallel with the barn and
about one-half the length of the barn going north.
He suddenly turned and run back toward his father, the way he
came in, and just as he passed his father John Barnett shot him in the
back and he fell spreading out, falling on his face.
Frazier was right close to Willie when the latter fell and
asked him if any of the other Frazier’s had shot at him and he said
they had not. Mahone
Frazier was there and ran to the house in it.
John Barnett told me he shot at Mahone, that he shot four shots
in all and came damn nigh getting Mahone.
went over to where Creed Frazier was by the way of the barn and John
followed me over there. When
I got there I noticed him about four feet behind me with his gun to
his shoulder waving it and I told him for God’s sake not to shoot a
man who is already dead. Creed
Frazier had kind of raised up and John Barnett has said, “God Damn
you, if you haven’t had a enough, I will give you another.”
That was before I told him not to shoot a man who is already
dead. I was waving him
back, saying, “John, get back”, and he waved his gun toward me and
told me to stand back and not touch him.
he just dropped his gun down and pointed it toward the ground and
walked off like he was going up the hollow.
Then Roy Frazier got the truck to go to Clinchport for a
doctor, and John Barnett ask me where he was going and I replied he
was going for a doctor, but that I did not think it was of any use.
Amos Ervin came up and ask John what he was going to do about
this. And John did not say anything.
Amos ask him if he would give up to me.
John Barnett then gave me the big rifle and said, “I will
give you the big gun, Charlie, but I won’t give you the pistol.”
I told him I would not him unless he gave me the pistol too.
Then when he started to hand me the pistol, he says,
“Charlie, will you let anyone hurt me?” and I replied that I would
not let anyone hurt him, and he gave me the pistol and we started for
went to the
took him on up the river almost to the state highway and hid him in
bunch of willows.
He ask me to let him have the big gun and I did.
He was hidden almost out of sight.
I got to the bridge which crosses
is the affidavit Doyle Head taken at Scott County
name is Doyle Head. I am
42 years of age. I live in
was working for Creed Frazier when the shooting occurred and was
logging in the woods. About
that morning in September John Barnett
came by as I was hooking up to a trip of logs.
He was armed with a rifle and had a pistol in his belt.
I ask him if he was going hunting or something.
He said, “Nowhere”, and left and then in about an hour he
Frazier and I had been in a conversation and John Barnett evidently
had been in the brush listening to our conversation.
When Mahone Frazier left, John Barnett came out of the brush
and approached me and ask what Mahone Frazier and I were talking
John Barnett ask me what Mahone Frazier and I were talking about I
said “Oh Nothing much.” He
had his guns and he remarked to me, “You are upholding that
God-dammed set”, meaning the Frazier’s, and I told him that I was
upholding nobody, and that he had better get his guns and go on away.
He told me he had a good notion to kill me.
I did not know what he was going to do.
I thought he might have shot me.
Frazier had left shortly before that, not more then a minute and
one-half, but after John Barnett had threatened me and threw his guns
on me, he put them down and left and I did not see him any more.
He abused me on that occasion very much and he had no right to
abuse me at all.
or something like in that in the
afternoon after this, I heard three maybe four shots from that
direction. I heard them
plain from where I was working and it seemed to me like from where I
was that they were from down around the mill.
am not related to the Frazier’s, but I am distantly related to John
Barnett, his father (Tom Barnett) and my father were second cousins.
hereby authorize Mrs. Babcock to sign my name to this affidavit as I
am unable to read or write
is the affidavit Lee Head taken at
name is Lee Head and I am 44 years of age.
I live in
after John Barnett was in jail after the murder of Creed Frazier and
Willie Frazier, John Barnett sent for me to come to the jail.
He sent word by his father, Tom Barnett, and his mother Belle
Barnett. He sent word two
or three times. I went to
the jail he was in at
to the killings, John Barnett had been in my home.
When I lived in
was working in the woods in the morning of the shooting for Creed
Frazier, logging. John
Barnett made two trips in there that day.
He came in about
in the morning.
He was armed with a high powered rifle and a pistol when he
passed me. He came back
after dinner sometime. He
was still armed and in a bad humor, but he passed me up and I do not
know what he said to my brother or to Mahone Frazier.
heard the shooting. I was
about 200 yards away. I
had come out of the woods and was down in the clearing.
There were four shots.
by Lee Head and Notarized by W. R. Jennings.
is the affidavit J. H. Ervin taken at Gate City, Scott County
name is J. H. Ervin I am 77. I
was present when John Barnett shot and killed Creed Frazier and Willie
I came in from the mill they told me that John Barnett had been in
there that morning with a high-powered rifle and pistol.
We had Charlie Good sawing timber there.
This was a sawmill set which Creed Frazier, Willie Frazier,
Charlie Good and others were operating on the land of my son, Amos M.
Ervin, in Scott County Virginia.
the men who were working had eaten their dinners and rested awhile, I
heard Amos Ervin and Willie Frazier say there “Yonder John Barnett
comes again.” John
Barnett was off about 100 yards when I first saw him and he kept on
coming straight to where we were.
Amos Ervin was there, Willie Frazier and myself.
John walked up to us three.
There were also others present.
first word John spoke when he come up to about 8 steps was “Do you
know of ant God-dammed man who wants to die”?
Well, he got no answer for some little time, then Amos spoke
up, “ No, John I don’t
want to die.” John was
carrying a high powered 45x90 lever action rifle and pistol.
I noticed this, yet I had never spoken a word.
John made three motions with the muzzle of the gun bit I
didn’t know what he meant.
Frazier was standing directly behind me.
I suppose now that the motion was for me to step aside.
John Barnett spoke to Amos and motioned him to walk off some 20
to 25 yards away from there. Amos
Ervin and John Barnett then set down on a saw log there on the ground,
and I immediately left and went to Amos’ house to talk to his wife
told her what was happening. She
was nervous about what had happened that morning.
The house was about 100 yards from where I was.
I went by John Barnett going to the house, he said to me, “Don’t
come close to me, and I answered, “John, I am not going to bother
you, I am going on over to the house”.
I told Amos’ wife not to get excited, but that John had come
there to kill or be killed. I
could see that in him. It
was his first trip he had ever made in there to the mill.
I picked up a chair and went out on the porch and set down.
From the porch I could see everything going on at the mill,
pretty soon I saw Amos get up and come to the house and John started
in the direction of where Willie Frazier was.
Willie was down at the boiler of the sawmill which was about 50
yards from where John Barnett and Amos Ervin were.
They proceeded until they got in about 8 or 10 steps of where
Willie stood behind the boiler.
that time Roy Frazier, who is the brother of Willie Frazier, came up
driving a truck and when he saw there was trouble going on, he went
over to the boiler where Willie was.
He stayed right by the fire box of the boiler and Barnett was
10 steps away. Roy Frazier
had both hands up high. John
Barnett motion for Roy to come out toward him, and John backed up 15
steps never turning his back toward Roy Frazier.
He then motioned with his gun for Roy to be seated beside him
on the saw log. This log
was about 14 ft in length and John Barnett set down on one end of the
log and Roy Frazier on the other end. They talked together for about a
minute or a minute and one half, but I could not hear what they said.
was still setting on the porch and saw everything that happened, and I
noticed Roy Frazier get up and start in the direction of the house
where I was. Roy told me
later that he said, “There’s Mr. Ervin on the porch, let’s go
over there and talked to him”.
John Barnett also got up and came in the direction of the house
about 8 to 10 steps behind Roy, never getting any closer to him, still
carrying his guns. Roy
came straight to where I was and set down on the steps.
Barnett came to the road about 20 steps from the house and stopped.
I said to John then, “Come on up, John, I want to talk to you
awhile anyway.” John
finally came up into the yard. I
then began to reason with John and talked to him about the trouble
that was brewing. I told
him that Willie Frazier has a wife and small children and that John
himself also had a wife and small children.
When I told him about the children he said, “God Damn the
children”. I reason and
reason with him but I saw it was not taking any effect;
and he ask me if I would go down and bring Willie Frazier up
there. I made him no
answer. He ask me that the
second and third time. I
finally said John you are heavily armed, but I will go down there and
get Willie Frazier and bring his up here if you will turn these guns
over to Amos Ervin or Roy Frazier.
He made no answer to that.
I got up to go down and bring Willie Frazier up there, but when
I arrived at the boiler of the sawmill Willie had moved down the
branch about 15 to 20 steps lower where they loaded their lumber.
Roy Frazier had walked out behind me and caught up with me just
as I got to the mill. When
he came in sight of Willie he motioned his hand to him to get away,
but didn’t speak a word. Then
Willie ran until he was out of sight, which was a distance of several
Willie ran and was out of sight, I came back to the house and told
John Barnett that Willie was not down there.
He said “he is nothing but a damn coward for running, but I
will kill him before the sun goes down if I have to follow him to his
home”. I told him that
settled nothing that if he killed Willie it would just enthrall him
and get him into bad trouble. He
replied that he didn’t care about the trouble.
then went back top piling my strips and Amos Ervin and Roy Frazier and
John Barnett talked awhile still longer.
Then Amos and John went across the branch where there was a
large block and set down. Roy
Frazier went for his father, John Barnett having suggested it, to talk
the manner over in a friendly spirit or manner.
Something like 30 minutes later as I was still working with the
strips, and Amos Ervin and John Barnett were still together on the
board, I looked up and saw Creed Frazier, Mahone Frazier, Willie
Frazier and Roy Frazier coming toward the sawmill set.
Creed and Willie Frazier were carrying shotguns.
could see the Frazier’s and Barnett both and were watching them.
When the Frazier’s got within about 40 yards of Barnett, he
saw them and ran toward the barn which was a distance of about 10 to
12 yards, he ran behind the door shutter.
While Barnett was running to the barn, Creed Frazier raised his
hand with his palm extended toward John Barnett, and told him not to
shoot, that he had come to talk the matter over with him.
John Barnett ran to the barn door shutter, got behind it and
fixed his gun to shoot. The
barn door which was swinging out, and was at least 18 inches above the
ground, exposed Barnett’s legs all of the time.
The Frazier’s could have easily shot Barnett while he was
running to the barn
Barnett came out from behind the barn door and shot creed Frazier in
the left chest with the 45x90 caliber rifle.
When Barnett raised his rifle to shoot Willie Frazier, Willie
started running toward the opposite end of the barn where he would
have protection. When
Creed Frazier was shot, he yelled and said, “Get out of the way boys
or he will kill all of us.” Willie
then turned and Roy Frazier likewise and ran in the direction of their
father who had fallen and was lying on the ground.
As Willie got just beyond where his father was lying, John
Barnett shot him through the back and killed him instantly.
He then shot another shot at Roy Frazier, who had got behind a
rock having falling flat on the ground, and barley missed him.
the shooting was over, everybody there immediately surrounded Willie
and Creed. As I reach
Creed Frazier he ask me “What in the world did John Barnett mean
coming up to their place of business and doing this way”.
He then request that his legs be straighten out and for a
pillow and about that time someone remarked that John Barnett was
going to shoot him again. I
looked around and Barnett had left the barn and had come within 10
yards of where Creed Frazier was lying.
He had his gun in his hand with the muzzle down in a menacing
way and his hand on the trigger. I
raised and look over toward him and said “If I were you John I would
take that gun and go back into the hill, you have killed Willie
Frazier and Creed is just about dead”.
I did not see John Barnett after that day.
and sworn to by J.H. Ervin before the undersigned Richmond Bond,
commissioner in chancery for the Circuit Court of Scott County,
Virginia, this the 31st day of July, 1941.
is the affidavit Roy W. Frazier taken at Gate City, Scott County
Virginia, on July 30, 1941.
name is Roy Frazier and I am 25. I
live in Scott County Va. Near
the town of Gate City. I
was present when John Barnett show and killed my father, Creed Frazier
and my brother, Willie Frazier, in Scott County, Virginia, on the 20th
day of September 1927.
was driving a truck to the sawmill set at Amos Ervin’s farm in Scott
County, Virginia, on the occasion when the shooting happened.
I was working for my father and my brother who were operating
the sawmill set. I came
upon the sawmill a few minutes after 2 O’clock to the best of my
recollection. Amos Ervin
and John Barnett were setting on a log.
John Barnett was armed with a pistol and a high powered rifle.
I took my truck down to the boiler where Willie Frazier was.
When I got there Willie told me that John Barnett was heavily
armed and he said Barnet said when he had walked up there, “Is any
damn man here wanting to die”. To
which Amos Ervin answered that he did not want to die, and Willie
said, “Roy he was aiming that at me”.
thought I could talk John Barnett out of it and that he did not have
anything against me, so I started up n the direction he was and when I
did that, he started toward me with his rifle in his hand in a
shooting position, but he swerved around toward the boiler where
Willie was and I went that way too and got there about the same time
he did. He said to Willie
“I am going to kill you”. Then
I raised my hands and got between Willie and John Barnett and begged
John not to shoot Willie. I
told him that Willie had a wife and 6 small children and that if he
wanted to shoot someone shoot me.
I reminded him that he had a good wife and a good mother and
kept begging him until he finally backed off with me in front of him
and we went to a log and set down on it.
I talked to him for some time and then he ask me to go over and
with Mr. Ervin who was setting on the porch of Amos’ house.
Mr. Ervin had been tipping strips but when John Barnett and I
started toward one another, he left the strips and had gone to the
porch and was setting on it in a chair.
Barnett finally agreed to talk to J. H. Ervin and we went over there.
I walked several step in front of him and went to the house and
set down on the steps. John Barnett came up to the road some 16 or 29
steps from the porch still carrying his guns and stopped.
Mr. Ervin finally persuaded him to come into the yard so he
could talk to him.
Ervin begged him to behave himself and not bother Willie and told him
Willie has a wife and small babies and that Barnett had a wife and
some babies, and Barnett said “Damn the babies”.
Finally Barnett asked Mr. Ervin to go down and get Willie to
come up to the house where he was.
Mr. Ervin said that he would go if Barnett would turn the guns
over to me or Amos. John
refused to do this so Mr. Ervin said he would go and talk to Willie.
He got up and went toward the mill where Willie was and I
followed him out there.
When we got there Willie was down below the mill a few steps
and I motion to him to go away, and he ran down the hollow out of
sight. Mr. Ervin and I
then went back to the house and Mr. Ervin told John that Willie was
not there, and John remarked that Willie was a damn coward to run away
but that he would kill him before sun down if he had to go to his home
and do it.
Mr. Barnett told me to go and get my father and bring him down there
and that they would settle it in a friendly way.
My father was working in the woods where they were logging and
I went after him and found him. I
told him that John Barnett was down at the mill armed and was trying
to kill Willie.
had been in the woods where my father’s hands were cutting timber
that morning and had threaten to kill one of his men by the name of
Doyle Head. Father had
taken his shotgun to the woods when he had heard about Willie.
father and I started out to hunt Willie and meet him and my Uncle
Mahone Frazier about 5 to 6 hundred yards from where the shooting
occurred. They had come
off a spur, saw us and hollered to us.
Willie had his shotgun with him.
Mahone and I were not armed.
four talked it over for awhile and my father said, “I don’t think
John Barnett had got a thing in the world against me.
Let me go up there and talk it over with him”.
We walked on up there and when we got almost to Amos Ervin’s
house, John was setting on a board block and saw us and started
running to the barn with his gun.
My father threw up the palm of his hand and said, “John,
don’t, don’t shoot us, I want to talk this over with you.”
My father or Willie either one could have easily shot and
killed John Barnett while he was running from the block to the barn.
barn door was swung open and John got behind it and came out and shot
my father who said, “Run, boys or he will kill all of us”.
Papa was in front of Willie and to a little piece and when he
was shot and he figured we could run around behind the barn and get
away, but when he said for us to run or be killed he turned and ran
past where my father was lying, just then John Barnett shot Willie in
the back. I knew that he
was going to shot me then so I threw myself to the left, falling on
the ground behind a pile of rocks and John Barnett shot just above my
head. The concussion
numbed my jaw, the bullet came so close that it drove out a groove in
a fence rail right at my head.
the shooting was over Charlie Good shut down the mill and the men
begin gathering around my father and Willie.
I looked and thought I saw my father raise one of his arms and
I went up to see if I could help in any way.
I knew that Willie was dead because I passed him getting to my
Wolf and Mr. J. H Ervin and I looked toward the branch and John
Barnett was there and yelled at me saying, “ Damn you, I haven’t
got anything against you, but don’t touch that shot gun”.
The shot gun had falling over the railing.
Barnett came up to where my father was lying and Mr. Ervin and Mr.
Wolf were begging him to go away and he said to my father, “Damn
you, if you haven’t got enough, I will give you some more”.
Mr. Ervin said John why don’t you take that old gun and go
away from here.
finally left and went back to the barn, in the direction from whence
he came down there. He
went to Charlie Robinett’s and gave up, and he brought him on back
and took him to the Gate City jail.
Frazier was a witness for the defense.
Mr. Frazier where do you live?
In Wise County
Were you acquainted with Mr. Creed Frazier in his life time?
Were you in any way related that you know of?
Not that I know of.
State to the jury if you had a conversation with Creed Frazier
in reference to the Barnett’s and if so state when it was, where it
was and what he said about them.
Well, I do not recollect what time it was, it was about five
days before the killing took place.
Where was it?
Down here at Speers Ferry at his lumber yard.
I ask him who lived at the old Noblin place, that was my old
home place, and said didn’t no one live there, he did not own it
that he sold it to Mahone Frazier.
I ask him if he had a place that he could rent to me, and he
said “Yes I have Marshall”. I
says “Where is it at” and he says up here on the branch, the old
Aunt Peggy Barnett place.” I
says “Creed” I don’t want that”, I says “They tell me, some
of the brother in laws, tell me you and the Barnett heirs are in
trouble over that, and I don’t know trouble, and he says, he looked
right at me “ If that is what they are after.
I can give them trouble and damned bad trouble.”
examination by Mt. Vicars
Where did you say you lived?
Appalachia, in Wise county.
What do you do?
Just work around there in the town.
What are you doing over here?
I had been here to rent me a farm to farm this year.
You are going to leave town and go to the farm?
How happened you to approach Mr. Frazier for that purpose?
I was down at my brother’s sons and he told me Creed Frazier
owned a whole lot of land and he said he was satisfied I could rent
from him better than anyone else.
Who brother’s son?
Bud Frazier’s boys.
What relations are you to Mr. Barnett?
Not any but a little that I know of.
What is that little?
About fifth cousins I think.
Who did you tell about this first?
I believe I was telling old man Tom Templeton in Appalachia.
Yes and Joe Barnett.
What interest does Tom Templeton have in this?
We were talking about it after Creed was killed.
What was said about it to Jon Barnett?
Joe Barnett happened to be where he understood what we were
How did Joe and Tom happen to be together?
Me and Tom Templeton were talking and Joe was pretty close to
us, I did not know Joe then.
You cannot account for the presence of you, Joe Barnett and Tom
Templeton all together on this particular occasion?
I didn’t know Joe was there.
But he happened to be near by?
When did you say you conveyed this information to the
Well is was some day or so after Creed was killed.
And it was in the town of Appalachia?
And when was he killed.
I don’t know just when he was killed.
In what month was it that you were looking for the land you
wanted to rent? Was that
about the time to put out a crop.
No sir it was no time to put out a crop.
It was just five days before Creed was killed.
When was that?
Well now I don’t recollect now just when it was.
It was in October
or November or some where along there.
October or November of this last year?
You know about Thanksgiving days, was it before or after
Well, I could not tell you.
That is a holiday?
I never pay any attention to anything like that.
Didn’t you pay attention to Thanksgiving day?
How long was it before Christmas, Christmas comes the next
month after the month in which Thanksgiving Day comes usually I
It was directly after Christmas.
This conservations occurred directly after Christmas?
About how long after Christmas Mr. Frazier do you think it was?
It must have been something like—Well it must have been
something --. I cam down
here Saturday before Christmas and that was about Monday or Tuesday
This conservation occurred between you and Mr. Frazier on
Monday or Tuesday after the last Christmas?
You are sure of that, are you, or, at least, it was only a few
days after Christmas?
It seems to be it was.
How long before Christmas did you come back to Scott County
I came here on Saturday before Christmas.
You are certain of that?
Yes, Saturday before Christmas.
And a few days after Christmas you have this conversation with
Mr. Creed Frazier?
I don’t recollect now.
Give it as near as you can, just study over it and think over
it and give it the best you can., Mr. Frazier, you best judgment.
I don’t know that that was the time I had the conversation
that time. I had been down
here before that that we had the conversation that time.
I was here I just positively could not tell you whether it was
before Christmas we had the conversation.
You know that you came over the Saturday before Christmas.
Now was it on that trip?
I don’t recollect if it was on that trip or the trip before.
You just told me it was after that trip and you thought Monday
after Christmas. Now when
was the other trip?
Well I think it was about two weeks.
I went home and stayed about two weeks and came back.
The first trip was about two weeks before that, or two weeks
before Christmas, was it?
I don’t recollect.
Just think I want you to get it right as near as you can.
I want to get it as near right as I can.
Oh, certainly we all want that.
How long before Christmas now was your first trip.
You know the other one was the Saturday before Christmas.
I came on Saturday before Christmas.
That was the second trip. I
want to know how long the other trip was before Christmas.
Well I could not tell you.
Give your best judgment, was it as much as two weeks or one
week. Study about it,
study about what you were working at home, maybe you can fix the
length of time by how much you worked between the two trips, that
might help you.
I believe that is was the same trip, that I made.
I understand you think it was the Christmas trip, the time you
came before Christmas, but, as you made another trip shortly before
that. I want to find out
as near as I can when the other trip was, you only made the two, as I
Now, when was the other trip made as best you can fix it?
It was the trip when I cam down here, when I cam down here on
Saturday before Christmas.
You are certain this conversation happened on that trip?
Yes I believe it did.
But the other trip, was that as much as a week or two weeks
before your second trip. Study
what you were doing along about Christmas time and a week or two
before and see if you can place the time of the first trip.
I don’t recollect just exactly if it were two weeks or three
weeks that I was down here the other time.
Either two or three weeks but not exceeding three weeks, you
are sure of that are you?
I won’t be positive about that.
Where were you working at?
Let’s commence to get you self placed to remember these
things. What did you work
at between the two trips?
I worked on the street in Appalachia.
At that work what were they doing?
They were concreting streets there.
How may pays did had you had, or had you had a pay day between
the first and second trips. You
can remember about pay days, we all study about sundown and pay day,
Some of them do and some of them don’t.
Well, how many pay days had you had between the two trips, or
had you had a pay day?
Yes, I had one. They
paid off every Friday night so for as that is concerned.
Oh, I thought you were getting paid every two weeks, but you
got paid every Saturday night. Now,
tell me how many pay days you had between the two trips.
I think I got two.
Were you working regular putting in good time?
You had two pay days and you got paid each week.
, then these trips were two weeks apart.
I think that is correct, the best I recollect.
This is what I am trying to get at, your best recollection
about it, you are the only one who knows.
Who was with Creed Frazier when you had this conversation?
Some man with him, there were two men, I knew Dan Darnell, he
drove up in a car and he and Mr. Frazier had a talk, the other man who
was setting there with us I did not know him.
You are satisfied it was the second trip that this occurred ,
and that trip was made over to your brother’s son, I believe you
Are was it the second trip you came over to see your
How long did you stay on that trip, Mr. Frazier?
I stayed over here. I
came on Saturday and went back home on Thursday.
The conversation then
occurred between Saturday and Thursday?
With me and Mr. Frazier
Yes, Is that correct?
The conversation that took place with me and him took place on
Wednesday, and I went home on Thursday.
That was the Wednesday then after Christmas and you did not go
home until Thursday after Christmas?
You went home on Thursday and you now recall the conversation
occurred on the day before you went back to your home?
What have you been doing since you went back home after this
Just working here and yonder.
Did you go back to work on the street anymore?
No, sir, the street man quit work on account of the freezing
weather, they could not work, and they went back home, and we have
been working anywhere we could get a day’s work to do around there.
The last work done on the street was done before this
conversation occurred, they had to quit on account of the weather
getting to cold to lay concrete or had finished.
No sir they had not finished.
They quit on account of the cold weather?
Yes, still work when I came down here.
The weather got so cold they quit?
They worked a day or two after I went back.
But the temperature kept getting low, and it got so cold and
kept getting colder they quit.
And you were getting a job here and there where ever you could
Mr. Vicars: That is all, stand aside, Mr. Frazier.
Where do you live?
I live down in the lower end of the county.
Near what town?
Near Sloan Town.
How old are you?
I am 30 years old.
Are you a married man.
Did you visit the saw mill at Amos Ervin’s on the morning
that Creed Frazier was killed?
I was in the hollow, I was not at the saw mill, I was three to
four hundred yards above the saw mill.
What did you come over there for John?
Just tell the jury about that trip.
Well I had two purposes in going over there.
Amos Ervin had proposed to try and make a settlement with Creed
Frazier about some land down there, and another thing, Will Frazier
has called me a God damn son of a bitch a few days or a week or two
before that as I was going to the store one morning, and I was seeking
apologies of him. I felt
that was to much to take. I
had taken off the Frazier’s, of Will, all my life, and Creed had
been mistreating me and my people for something like eight years.
I had sent folks to them different times and tried every way I
knew how to get along with them, and this corn they spoke of was all I
ever harmed them in the least, and that was four hills.
I just considered that was to much to take, just passing the
road and I seen Will. Before
that I had gone to Mahone and told him --.
Yes, I told him I tried every way I could to get along with
them fellows and I says it seems like they will mistreat me and tramp
on me in spite of everything that can be done.
I says I have got one more proposition to make them, tell Creed
I said the longest day he lives to pass me on the road and say
nothing, I will give him his side and take mine, you tell Will I said
the same for him, to pass me when I meet him on his side of the road
and I will pass on mine, and surely we could make it that way.
We went along with that for something like six months, and I
started to the store one morning and met Will Frazier and George
Frazier riding a horse and I was riding and he broke over there and
call me a God damn son of a bitch.
Did he have a gun on that occasion?
If he did he had it on. I suppose he had a gun but I did not
Your business over there that morning was to get an apology for
calling you a son of a bitch.
And to try and settle this land matter with Creed.
Vicars: We object to those
leading questions. Let the
witness testify. We object
to that your Honor.
Court: Go ahead and
don’t lead the witness.
Did you go back to the saw mill a second time that day?
Yes sir. I learned
from John Rhoton that Amos Ervin had not been around there that day
snaking logs and he said that Will was not about there.
Mahone Frazier had been cursing me all the summer, he fell out
with me because I would not help him curse(?) the Pearson boy he was
trying to get to marry one of his girls.
Every time I heard from him it was all kinds of abuse, and I
meet Mahone, and he had not spoken t me since the corn pulling time,
since the corn was pulled up. I
spoke to him and he spoke, and I says “Mahone, I want to talk to you
a little this morning” and he said “all right”.
I says “What do you and Will and Creed mean laying around the
field over there where we were working, and he said “By God, he had
not been over there”. Well,
I had been told that they laid there one day after my father, brother
and uncle had worked there one day.
They came in and laid around the field the next day, and he
tried to get out of it, and I says “Hep damn you don’t
know that I was looking at you”.
He says “you didn’t see me with any guns” and I says “I
didn’t see you with any guns but don’t tell me that you were not
over there” and he says then “I was looking for a logging job”.
I says “Now, Mahone, let me tell you something, so for as
your lines go over there, it would be alright for you to log, but my
advice to you is to stop when you get to your lines”.
He looked straight at me and says “By God, you got your big
guns, I want you to understand one thing, the God Damn man don’t
live that I am afraid of”, and I says “Mahone I don’t want you
to be afraid of me”. I
says “if these guns are bothering you I will pitch them on the
bank”. He got in a hurry
he did not have time to fool with me, been talking about five minutes,
the mill was after him. I
says “If you had been logging the day you were way-laying my daddy
and brother over there, you would have more logs out.
I walked back to the hollow with him about 200 yards I guess
and talked along about this trouble and cursing and told him looked
like all the summer was long enough and I was expecting him to hush, I
didn’t want to hear him anymore.
I went back home then and worked until twelve in my fodder.
Had there been communicated to you any threats up to this time.
The Frazier’s made against you.
Creed or Will Frazier?
I don’t know as any body has ever told me they heard them say
they were going to kill me, but I had been advised by different and
different men they were going to kill me.
I never would ask a man how they knew nor nothing.
Had Amos Ervin told you anything about what Creed would do to
Yes Sir, Amos Ervin –
You need not go into details on what any of them told you at
this time. Begin at the
time you left home to over there, the time you got there just after
Well, I eat dinner near twelve o’clock and started over
there. I went down to the
sawmill and Amos Ervin, Will Frazier and Jim Ervin were standing like
they might be having a conversation or doing something like that on
the right side of the mill. I
believe somewhere along there. I
walked down to where they are and said come here to Amos and Amos
started up toward me, and I said Amos don’t come to close to me.
I aint taking nobody to be my friend today.
I don’t want anyone close to me today. I
started back and he did not come any closer, and we walked up near the
barn and set down, and I says Amos, Willie Frazier has called me a God
Damn Son of a bitch over here across the bridge and I says I have
taken off Willie Frazier all my life.
I took off of him and we have fought and almost killed one
another. I says I have
never caused any trouble in my life, he raised every racket we ever
had from boys right on up. I
never raised a racket in my life and I says Willie Frazier is going to
take that back and I says “Will you go down there and tell him that
I said he can come in the length of this log we are sitting on to me
and make apologies to me about that”.
He says I will and went down to where he was and stayed there a
minute or two and he came back and said he didn’t want to come and I
will tell you what he told me, he said to him, “John wants you to
make apologies about some talk you had across the ridge”, and he
said I believe if you don’t he will kill you and he said he said he
might come up after awhile. I
says “he is going to take it back and I got up and started down that
way. Amos says if
anything happens” – First he says I don’t believe Billie has got
arry gun”, He called him
Billie all the while. He
says then “if anything happens I don’t want to see it” and he
walked over and set down on the portico.
I walked around to the left side of the mill across the logway
and about the time I got over to the foot of the hill on the other
side I saw, I noticed Roy Frazier down about the boiler and Roy came
out and came walking up to be. When
he got up in a few steps I says “Roy don’t come ant closer to me
“ and he says “John, Willie is afraid of you” and I says “is
he” and he says “yes”. I
says he was not afraid of me the other morning when I meet him over
there you know going to the store, I says “I don’t aim to bother
Willie all I am asking
Willie is that he take back what he said to me and that will settle
it. He says he is afraid
of your guns. I say these
won’t bother him. He
says lets go over and talk it over with Amos, maybe he can do
something with it and I says “Amos went to him once”.
We started over to the house and I don’t remember but I think
Roy Frazier was the man that asked Amos to go to Willie.
He says “I went to him once and I am not going to him any
more”. Jim Ervin or Roy
Frazier one went down there, maybe both of them.
I believe both of them went down to the saw mill and they came
back to the house and they said Willie is gone.
I says now “don’t you see he is a coward”.
Me and Amos had a conversation sometime ago and I told him
“Willie will fight like hell if he had a lot of backing.
If he did not have any backing he would not fight at all.
I says don’t you see he is a coward and Amos said I guess he
is in the brush. We sit
there and talked over the long string of trouble we have been having.
I would not begin to tell it and the old man Ervin and Amos
went back to the sawmill and Amos says “You and Roy sit there as
long as you want to and they left us sitting there on the steps.
Now John you said you told Amos about all the trouble that had
been giving you --
repeated over to Amos what trouble the Frazier’s had giving you
while you were on the steps.
Vicars: This question is objected to because he is leading and
suggestive to the witness.
Court: Go Ahead
Did you repeat all the things the Frazier’s had done to you?
No Sir we had talked a great deal before that.
That was our conversation generally when we were together.
Amos has been in Kentucky and just been back about a year and
the most of the time we were together the Frazier’s were the
conversation we talked about.
Go ahead and tell what agreement or talk you has with Roy.
I commenced to explain to Roy about this way laying first.
I say Roy you are a man of sense and I says “Don’t you know
this Peggy farm over here aint worth a bunch of folks going to their
grave over and he say yes I know it is not.
I says “It looks to me like it is right up to the brink of
something to be done or somebody is going there”.
I says “I can’t afford to have people laying around
watching for my daddy, brother and uncle”.
I have begged them to give it to them.
I says “You never had nothing to do with that down there, and
I says if the Frazier’s could live with it we could live without it
and I put that up to my daddy “To give that to them the first you
knew they would be wanting more. I
told Roy that I never as I remember cut a fishing pole or riding
switch on that place and I says every time he gets into it with daddy
and uncle Joe he jumps to me. He
sent me notice the other day to get the fence down from around the
Wait a moment. (hands
papers to witness) I hand a paper in writing and will ask you if that
is the notice to which you refer.
I suppose it is.
Mr. Kennedy: We
want to offer that notice in evidence.
Court: All Right
Mr. Barnett, read the notice to the jury.
T E Barnett, John Barnett and Joseph Barnett:
You and each of you are here by notified not to go on or
trespass on any of my land in Scott County in any manner.
You are further notified to remove the fence you have placed
around the grave yard on the Pheobe Barnett land and all trespasses by
you or wither of you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the
law. Given under my hand
this 26th day of July 1927.
(handing paper to witness) Have you also seen that letter from
Yes Sir, I was the first man who read that.
Mr. Kennedy: We
want to introduce this letter in evidence to the jury.
The Court: Go Ahead
please read it.
Gate City Va. December, 24,
1926. T E Barnett, Dir
Sir: I hereby notify you
not to trespass on me in any respect you and you folks and renters
stay off my possession, walking or riding or traveling anyway.
You have been cutting my timber, the mystery to me if you had
any right there, why you get out of the way before I get there and
this give you warning you better know you have a right there before
you come there again. I
bought that land and paid for it and get possession of it and you know
it. Creed Frazier
Go ahead and tell the conversation you had with Roy Frazier.
I says, Roy, you know, I know and every body in the county
knows that Creed Frazier never bought that land.
Creed Frazier has no right to that land.
All in the world that he is trying to hold it on is his bad
name. A bad name is a
pretty good thing to get a man killed but it is a darn poor thing to
try to hold land on. I
says Roy you could not spend a day any better then to talk to your
daddy and brother and try to get this thing settled down.
I says if you want that land over there I can buy it cheaper
then anybody in this country and if he wants the timber on this land
or my father’s land I will but it cheap.
Roy I will actually cheat them to get the thing settled.
He said he would do his best, he will see daddy that night.
He says I will tell you what to do you come back over here in
the morning about eight o’clock and I will bring Willie and papa.
I says now Roy, Creed Frazier has been sent to, been man sent
to him, and a big string of cursing and abuse is all they ever got,
they told no later then two or three days ago that he did not fear
death, hell or no grave and that he would have that land or sink his
soul into hell, he had no little children to look up to him for bread.
I say I have two looking
to me for bread and Willie’s got a bunch looking to him for bread.
I say I don’t put myself before Creed Frazier for nothing.
I expect Creed Frazier to stick to the proposition the longest
day he lives. We have
passed different times and have not spoke yet.
I consider Amos Ervin a friend to both.
I rely on anything he says.
If he will serve between me and Creed Frazier I will go into it
with you. Amos was
setting on the log below the barn and he says let’s go over and see
what he says about it. We
went over and one of us said Amos, I don’t remember which one of us
it was, “How about serving between John and Creed and try to make a
settlement of the trouble, getting the trouble settled over the piece
of land. Amos says “I
will serve and do anything I can to get it settled”.
Roy says “I have to go to work, the truck has been standing
now for a long time”, or something like that and he started down to
the sawmill where his truck was.
I noticed him and Mahone standing down there.
In a few minutes he came back to where me and Amos were.
He said John, if you will wait until I can go and get Willie
you fellows can settle this trouble this evening I say where is Willie
at and he says up the hollow here.
I say I will wait if you will not be gone to long.
He started up the hollow. Me
and Amos kept setting around there.
Amos had his baby with him.
I took the baby and played with it for awhile.
I had given them out coming.
I didn’t know what to think.
He had been gone long enough to go to the head of the hollow
twice and back and I practically got him off my mind.
I think Amos had taken the baby to the house and come back, or
maybe Mr. Ervin took it to the house.
I was setting up on a block that had been out for some boards
or something, and had the gun setting down this way (indicating, this
big Winchester), just setting down holding it up between my legs with
my back to the hollow where they came down.
I had just been talking to Morgan Seymour, he came up from the
sawmill and went into the barn and started on his way back to the
mill, and Amos, he was sitting or standing up.
I could not say which, anyway he was in front of me kindly
toward the mill there. What
ever made me look around I do not know, I turned around and looked and
when I turned I saw them coming. Creed
Frazier was in front, Willie next, Roy next.
I knew right then the thing was up.
Did you see them carrying anything?
Yes, Creed had a gun on his shoulder next to the palings, that
would have been on his left shoulder.
The thought struck me to run through the barn and up the
hollow. I sprung to my
feet and I made for that barn, and just about the time I got to the
door, Willie made a dash around, I saw that he was aiming to cut me
off at the upper side of it; I had got behind the door, it was
standing back this way (indicating) the same as this was the door to
the barn, it was standing back, straight back, I might have got a step
behind that. I saw that
they were aiming to cut me off at the upper end.
I stepped back and when I stepped back I saw Creed had the gun
to his shoulder (indicating) and when I stepped back it looked like he
was starting to bring it off. I
had mine in my hand one thumb on the hammer and finger on the trigger.
I threw it up and when I when I threw it up it went off.
I threw another shell in and by that time Willie was in sight
and I threw it at him. I
threw another shell in and Roy was behind a rock trying --- I threw
one at him. He dropped
down out of sight. I
dropped another shell over the rock where he went down; he came up
form there with both hands and says “John, don’t shoot me”.
I dropped the gun and he ran down to Creed, never paid any
attention to Willie no more then if he had not been there, he ran to
Creed and fell down beside of him.
Down on his knees some way like this and he says “Papa, if
you had listen to me, there never would have been nothing like
this”. I made my
way across the branch a few steps, eight or ten steps, across the
branch, I kindly bore up the branch after I crossed it.
John, let me call your attention to right before you left to
back across the branch. Did
you make any effort or anything to shoot Creed again, when you went
across the branch close to him?
I never made any effort to shoot him.
Tell the jury what you did do and what you said.
He was lying there and he has his feet kindly up this way
(indicating) and I knew he lacked a lot of being dead.
When I walked over there he turned his head around and looked
at me commenced moving one hand or the other around and I thought he
was trying to gat a pistol off his side.
I says “Aint he got enough?
If he aint, I can give him some more”.
There were five or six, I won’t say how many three or four, a
number of them there, they said “don’t do it, don’t do it,
don’t shoot him anymore, don’t shoot him anymore”.
What did you go across the branch for?
I was afraid Roy was aiming to grab the gun.
I could not see very plain from where I was at.
I watched that gun close that nobody didn’t pick it up.
Now, go ahead to where we where when I called you back. You
had left there and gone across the branch.
Amos Ervin came up to me and he says “if I was you, I would
leave before Mahone gets here”.
I don’t know that I made him any answer.
He went to get a pillow I think for Creed, he went to the house
to get a pillow for Creed and I decided it would be a good idea for me
to go away and let them take charge and not bother them.
I went a little ahead and says “Tell Amos as quick as he gets
his wife settled down for him to come up the hollow, I will go up the
hollow a piece, for him to come up there.
I started and when I started Amos came out of the kitchen
door and down the hill, he called me several steps away.
He Says “John, what you aiming to do” and I says “I have
not made up my mind yet, I will give though I suppose”.
He says “Well give me your guns then” and I says “I
can’t afford to give my guns up here”.
He says “I won’t go with you if you won’t give me your
guns”. About that times
he says “There comes Charlie Robinett, gibe up to him, my wife is
excited to death”. Charlie
Robinett walked on up and Amos says “I was trying to get John to
give up to you”. I says
“I will give up to anybody, I don’t like the idea of giving my
guns up until I get away from here”.
I finally decided to give up the guns and take chances on
getting out without getting hurt.
I gave him the guns and we started off to jail.
We went down to the river and across the river and up to Speers
Ferry and Sheriff Palmer had heard the news and Charlie Robinett left
me two to three hundred yards down the river, gave me back the
Winchester, and said he would come up there and get someone with a car
to bring us to town. He
came back and said he had good luck, he ran into Sheriff Palmer at the
bridge, and so we came on.
Why did you shoot Creed Frazier?
Because I knew if I did not shoot him he would shoot me.
Were you expecting to see Creed Frazier come there?
No Sir, I had no idea at all of seeing Creed Frazer that day.
What did you think when you saw four men coming there armed?
I thought they would kill me: I knew they would not be there
that way with any other intention.
A man who had the conversation with Roy that I had about one
hour before that would know they would not come here in that form with
them guns with any other intention but to kill me.
Did you have any reason to fear Creed Frazier any more then any
of the rest of them?
Yes, I dreaded Creed Frazier worse then any man I ever saw; he
was a dangerous man, he had killed one man, he had shot other men, he
came down there at (blank on original papers) with a gun and kicked
him all over the place, all around and beat him up.
I could hear of him beating up the prisoners when he was
sheriff, it was general talk that he was a bad man, a dangerous man.
I heard lots of men say you could not take any chances with
Tell the jury where and when you got that big gun they talk so
Well, that big gun, I went to the store, Bob Frazier’s store
and Amos Ervin was there and when he started to leave the store, we
walked out in the road and he had some shells for this gun in his
pocket and he pulled them out and says “John would you like to have
the gun that shot them” and I says I don’t know, and he says “I
will sell you the gun that shoots them awful cheap”.
I says “I have been thinking I might buy a thirty-two savage,
a 30-30 Savage to shoot fish with, I saw one the other day I thought
was the best I ever saw. I
was asking him about it, asked him where it was and he said up at Lee
Head’s. I told him I
might trade with him. He
went on down the road but waited for me and we went to Head’s and
got the gun and he went home with me and I tried the gun out and
How long was that before your difficulty with the Frazier’s?
It must have been something like six weeks.
Well the next day I did not have all the cartridges, he had
eleven cartridges up there, part of them were at home, he says I will
bring the rest of the cartridges tomorrow, and that was on a Sunday,
and he came over and brought the cartridges;
he says “now John let me tell you something”.
He says “Creed Frazier and Willie are going to kill you if
they get a chance”, he says “Let me tell you what to do, you keep
liquor out of you, enough to bother you”.
He says “A drunk man can’t fight, I would not give one
sober man for two drunk men”. I
says “ Oh, Willie, I don’t think he is so bad”. I says “He
will fight like hell if he has the advantage on you”.
He says “I will admit he is a coward, but he will kill you, I
know him, he tried to get me to help him kill a man in Lynchburg one
time, and you know Creed killed one man” and I says “Yes, in the
bed” and he says “you know a man who will kill a man in the bed
will kill one up and walking around.
How many cartridges did Amos let you have?
Eleven, we shot two of them the day I got the gun.
After you had the conversation with Roy Frazier and agreed, as
you have stated, to get to gather and settle it, you and he and Willie
Frazier, did you have any expectation of meeting them and having
trouble with them that evening?
I was not expecting any trouble. Of
course I was not expecting nothing hardly only trouble at any time I
stepped out. I had become
afraid to go to sleep at home I had been warned so much about them I
was actually afraid to lay down in my bed and go to sleep.
Had you and Roy Frazier left friendly?
Yes, friendly as ever I saw anybody.
Roy would boil up when I would say lots of things, but not in
his words, I could tell it was hurting a whole lot but he took it all.
Did you know that Creed Frazier was in that section?
No sir, Roy talked to me like Creed was at home.
When did you expect, if at all, to have a conference with Creed
and Amos as a go-between?
I was expecting to see Amos the next day, I was not expecting
to talk at all with Creed Frazier.
Did you meet Morgan Seymour sometime before this difficulty and
have a conversation with him about the Frazier’s?
Tell the jury what you said to him.
I had started to work one morning or stared to find a job of
work, and I meet Morgan Seymour over in the valley from my home, and
he told me the job that I was going to was not started that day.
It was right close by to where he lived, and I turned around
and came back across the ridge with him.
He told that I could get a job over here from Charlie Good,
right at home, and I says I would like the best in the world to work
for Charlie, but I says the Frazier’s don’t like me, we don’t
have nothing to do with one another, and that is their lumber and
timber and I would not feel right going in there and working any.
I says I could get a job with Good alright, but they would not
want me over there I didn’t guess and I would not work over there on
that account. He says they
are into it over some land down there, ain’t they?
I told him “Yes, the Frazier’s tried to take some land away
from Joe Barnett, trying to give him some trouble over it some way I
Did you make any threat against the Frazier’s to Seymour on
Did you or not have a chance to kill Willie Frazier there at
the sawmill before he left there.
Yes, I could have killed him anytime after I went there until I
started to the house with Roy. If
I had wanted to.
Tell the jury whether or not you intended to hurt Creed or
Willie Frazier on that day?
If you could avoid it?
No sir. I had no
intention of hurting them. My
idea was that Willie would take back the God Damn Son of a Bitch and
then I was aiming to warn him about way-laying my daddy and brother.
Then I aimed to explain what lay-waying folks would lead to.
He refused to act at all.
Did you have any other reason for firing when you did fire your
gun at the Frazier’s except what you have already said?
No sir none whatever. I
saw no other way of getting out of there.
section if from the cross examination by Mr. Vicars:
Mr. Barnett, I believe you have read in evidence a formal
notice given to you and your father not to trespass on the lands
claimed by Mr. Frazier, and also a letter requesting you not to do so.
Is that the only letter that you have got?
Kennedy: Mr. Vicars there is another question I would like to ask him
Vicars: Very Well.
How long had you or your people had this grave yard fenced and
in possession and used as a grave yard?
I don’t know. I am 30yrs old and raised within two hundred
yards of it and it was fence when I could first remember.
It had been made larger about fifteen years ago.
And was that done before Creed Frazier laid claim to the land
over there and bought it?
to Mr. Vicars question.
What other letter did you get from Mr. Frazier, or did your
father get from him about this matter, besides the ones you read?
I could not say, it seems like we got several letters from him.
Did you turn them over to your counsel?
Didn’t you turn over to your counsel some other letter other
then the two you read?
I do not know. I
never turned them over.
Your father showed you a letter?
Regarding that land?
I remember one that he showed me from Mr. Coleman that Creed
Frazier had no right to the land.
I am talking about a letter from Mr. Frazier.
I can’t say that he ever showed me any more letters.
Didn’t you get one in February 1927?
I seems to me more letters were written, but I can’t say, I
never paid any attention to the letters, to the number that they get.
How did you just happen to bring this letter written in
December, 1926. Didn’t
you have letters from 1927?
I can’t say.
I show you a copy of a letter that was written to your father
on 5, February, 1927 and ask you and what your father did with the
original of this letter? You
saw that didn’t you?
I will tell you in a minute if I remember it.
All right look at it and tell me if you saw it?
(looks at paper) Yes sir.
You saw this one?
Read this letter to the jury the date of it and all.
Gate City, Va. February 5, 1927.
Mr. T. E. Barnett, dear sir, I saw Mr. J. H. Ervin today and
___ I do not think I can read this writing in here.
“And he said you wanted to buy”?
Cox: Do you know if that
part was in it when you saw it or not?
(Barnett): I didn’t
Go ahead and read it.
And he said you wanted to but the heirs in the land that you
claim and interest in and also compromise with me.
I have bought this land once and paid for it, and you fellows
got the money and I don’t think it is right to pay for anything
was read to the jury, it is now in the hands of the Clerk, it is long,
and will not be copied in here at this time.
Mr. Barnett, your father showed you this letter of February
5,1927, about the time he received it, I presume?
I saw something similar to that I cannot state that it is this
letter, but I read something similar to that.
But when was it you read something similar to this?
I could not state that.
In this letter I notice Mr. Frazier says “ I would rather
have your friendship then to have trouble”.
That was his way of getting by, he was getting the land and
everything. If we accepted
that he was getting the forty acres of land that he had no right to.
He says I would rather have your friendship then to have
trouble, and “I did not think it was mine I would not claim it.
I have always treated you all right.
I let you extend the grave yard out and make it larger enough
to bury the whole Barnett generation”.
No sir, he never done nothing like that.
Did you enlarge it?
Not after he owned the land around it.
He said he owned the land from your line to the mailbox at the
public road and allowed you to travel that road.
I suppose my father had traveled it all his life, I know I had.
He permitted you to go along and travel over it?
I don’t suppose that he could help himself.
And further says “If you want to drop this and go ahead and
treat be right, I will do the same and live as friends and neighbors
He could offer to do that.
You did not want to drop it?
We wanted to drop it if he could act right about it, we
didn’t want to give him everything we had to drop it.
You did not want to make friends?
Yes, we would have been glade to make friends, that letter
looks fair and sense, and in another it is not fair.
He says “If you want to travel over my land you can do so”?
“If you want to drop this and go ahead and treat me right I
will do the same and live as friends and neighbors as in the past”.
Did you answer this letter or talk to Mr. Frazier after he ask
you to drop the trouble and live as friends and neighbors?
He had my father in a close place, similar to having him in a
jug ready to stop him up. He
and Mahone had land two-thirds around my father.
He was aiming to buy the rest of the heirs out, and I advised
him to let it go and I went to Mahone--.
I am talking about this letter.
Did you have any talk with Creed Frazier after he asked you to
live as neighbors and friends and he would treat you right and live as
in the past?
What I am aiming to tell you I had a talk through Mahone.
I suppose Mahone told him.
He is talking about the settling the differences between you in
a lawsuit in court, isn’t he?
No sir, it has never reach court.
Here is what he says “If nothing will do you but to law, I
can find as many loose places to give you trouble and you can me,
nothing less than ten years will settle a land suit”?
He could always find something to law over.
You did not propose the courts to settle your differences did
How is that?
You did not propose the courts to settle your differences did
I did not propose anything about it.
He further says if you want to drop this and be my friends, you
are welcome to go over my land it is necessary and use the grave yard
as you always have and more land, if necessary, for it.
The grave yard was already ours.
He says if you want to drop this and be my friends you are
welcome to go anywhere over my land it is necessary and use the grave
yard as you always have and more land.
Why did you not answer him when he asked you that?
He never wrote me that.
He wrote to your father?
I don’t know if he answered or not, I did not answer.
He says this further, There are some more things I want to call
to your mind while I am writing you.
I have understood by reliable parties that John Barnett
intended to start a grave yard with me and Willie Frazier.
He said he was just obliged to kill me and is trying to let on
like he was a crazy, and so on. Why
were you obliged to kill Creed?
I didn’t know anything about that.
It goes on. I
understood once before when he and Willie had their little trouble he
aimed to play crazy and kill Willie.
He further goes on. It
would not be so bad if Johnny started a grave yard with me, but for
Willie, he has a family to raise and you are advocating something that
would bring sorrow to more homes--, so I think you ought to teach
Johnny something better than murder.
I know he is not crazy and you know it too?
He knows my father was not advocating nothing like that.
It goes on. His
threats are very dangerous. I
want to stamp on your mind that that neither Willie nor myself have
anything against any of you, and will leave it up to you whether you
drop it and be neighbors and friends or not.
When he appealed to you in that way, why didn’t you drop the
trouble, and if you wanted to settle the controverted questions about
the title to real-estate, go into court and settle it and not buy big
guns to kill with. Why
didn’t you take that course John?
We did drop it and my daddy quit fooling with it, meant to give
the land to them. As I
told you awhile ago, if he could live with that forty acres we could
live without it.
He is telling you what he is willing to do?
Then it went along for a long time and nothing more said,
everything got quite and Uncle Joe came down there and bought the land
and had the deed made for it and put on record and Creed came back on
us the same as if we bought it.
Creed was asking you to let him alone.
If your Uncle Joe came in and bought what you claim was your
title, what did you have to do with it?
Tell me why he came back on me when I was not buying it and I
will answer your question.
Is that the only way you can answer it?
Why did he come on me about the fence around the graveyard when
I was not having nothing to do with the land?
The graveyard is not on the disputed land.
No Sir, but the graveyard was expected when he bought the land
The graveyard is not on this land in dispute at all, is it?
No Sir, but the Barnett’s expected it when he bought the land
down here at the front of this door.
Why did you go over after you shoot Creed and Willie to where
the bodies were lying?
I could not see plain from where I was at and I walked across
there to see no one else wanted to start anything else.
You had the big Winchester riffle 45 by 90, you were not afraid
to walk off, were you?
I was not afraid to walk off, I did not think it would good to
walk off as to stay there.
You were studying what would have the best appearance?
I would not think it would look nice to shoot them then to run
You had studied that out. When
did you make up your mind it would not look good to shoot them then
Just after it was done.
You were cool and deliberated and thought it would look better
to over to where the bodies lay?
I didn’t go to where they were at, I went about half way.
You say Creed moved one arm, which one did he move?
I won’t say he was moving different ways, head feet and
He was lying on his back and someone holding up his head?
Not at that time.
He was lying ---.
He was lying on his back, no one hold his head up.
You said his eyes were turned toward you?
Yes, as he looked at me he commenced to move one hand or the
other this way (indicating).
Which hand was he moving?
I won’t say which.
He was lying on his back, his eyes opening and closing
occasionally and while he looked at you, you presented the gun?
Did you say if he is not got enough you will give him some
I said if he is not got enough – Aint he got enough, I can
give him some more.
Did you mean that?
I did not mean for him to draw any gun any more.
You said if he wiggled around, you saw him trying to move one
hand, you would shoot him?
You never said anything about him wiggling around?
No Sir, I said if he aint got enough I can give him some more.
You saw Willie lying out there on his face?
And you saw his father’s eyes glance toward you?
And you held that big gun up in your hand and said if he has
not got enough I can give him some more and you thought it would not
be nice to walk away and leave the men alone?
I considered it would be dangerous to leave there with all them
guns there. I considered
every man there was a better friend of the Frazier’s then me.
Why did you use the expression about Willie, that when you shot
him he jumped like a damn rabbit?
I don’t know that I said that.
Do you deny saying that to Charlie Robinett?
I may have said something about it or about Willie falling
hard, that I knew Willie was dead that he fell so hard.
Didn’t you say to Charlie Robinett that you knew you killed
him because when you shot him he jumped like a damn rabbit?
I don’t think I said it.
What makes you think that?
I don’t think I did.
Then you deny that. You
did not know he was killed, you knew the shock of a gun that caliber
of that you were shooting would kill a person and when you went over
there and saw Creed Frazier laying on his back, didn’t he look to
you in an appealing manner when you look into his eyes lying there on
his back, did that have any appeal to you at all.
When you looked into his face and said you would give him more,
was there no appeal to you of humanity at all, just tell us?
They had treated me so mean and mistreated my daddy so bad that
is was hard to have any feeling for them.
So you had no feeling for them even under these conditions?
Certainly, to some extent.
Then why did you say you give him some more if he has not got
Because I thought he was trying to get the gun off his side.
Don’t you know that you were not afraid at all? Why did you
take that gun with you when you left home?
I was afraid to go without a gun any where.
I want to know when it was that you made up your mind that you
would go over there and that you were going to kill Creed and Willie
Frazier, how long had you been studying that over before this?
I never made up my mind to kill them unless I had to, to save
When did you make up your mind that you were going to kill
them, before or after you bought the big gun?
I never made it up until I was at the barn door.
Why did you take the gun with you?
I took it for defense.
To protect myself with.
Why did you tell Mr. Amos Ervin, Roy Frazier and even Mr. Sons
that you would kill Willie Frazier in five minutes?
No Sir, I did not.
You did not tell them?
Didn’t you tell them you would go to his house and call him
out and kill him?
Didn’t you tell them men there on the ground that if you did
not kill him that evening that you would go to his house and call him
out and kill him?
And if you did not get him there, you would get him as he
crossed the ridge?
No Sir, I did not.
Who did you expect to find up in the woods where they were
logging, along the snake roads and haul roads?
I believe a snake road is a road where they drag logs on the
I thought I might see Willie Frazier up there.
It was you r purpose coming through the woods, you thought Will
Frazier might be found up there.
This was a direct course from my house to Amos Ervin’s and I
wanted to see Willie too.
You thought you might find Willie Frazier up there looking
after the work?
Yes, I thought he might be up there.
It was not a traveled road, they were logging on Mr. Ervin’s
You did not find Willie up there?
You got in the snake road and came down until you found Mahone
Frazier, didn’t you?
And there you abused Mahone Frazier right considerable didn’t
No Sir, I didn’t abuse Mahone at all.
You deny the conversation that Mahone said you had with him, do
Then you went back to the woods, didn’t you, back to where
I turned back and went part of the way up the hollow with him,
and than I came up on top of the hill kindly and he went on up the
hollow, I went up the road that went across through that way.
There was no road out there where you saw Mahone and Doyle
Head, was there.
In about thirty steps of the road that were.
How long was it after you saw Mahone and Doyle Head talking
until you went over there and had a conversation with Doyle Head?
How is that?
How long was it after you saw Mahone and Doyle Head until you
went over there?
Mr. Cox: That
matter with Doyle Head was excluded and that is not admissible.
Objection overruled -- Exception.
How long was it after you saw Mahone up in the woods until you
went and had a conversation with Doyle Head?
Just a tree top between me and Doyle at the time we were
Were you that close to Mahone?
I got to Doyle before Mahone.
I ask him to stop cursing me. I went up there thought I would
see what he has to say, so I walked a few steps out of the road, a
tree top between me, Doyle and Mahone came up and Doyle said “By
God, I am afraid in here” to Mahone, that was all I understood that
was said, and Mahone drove the grabs into the logs and after Mahone
went out I walked around there above the tree tops.
I am asking you what you said.
I want to know something about the facts here.
How close behind Mahone did you follow him?
Like Mahone came up the hollow this way, I went up to the top
of the hill, several hundred yards apart.
You could see him alright, Mahone?
No Sir, I could not see him.
You knew where he was?
I knew he would go up to where Doyle was.
You knew where Doyle was?
Not at the time I left Mahone.
You had gone around and got behind a tree top and was in
hearing distance at the time he meet up with Doyle and had the talk?
That one word is all I heard.
I am not asking you about what you heard.
I am asking you where you were.
How close were you to Mahone and Doyle at the time Mahone and
Doyle were talking?
About like the corner of the house
You were behind the tree top?
Tree top between you and them?
Yes I wanted to see what he would have to say.
Were you hid in the tree top?
No, I just walked down behind it.
How long had you been standing there at the tree top, behind
the tree top?
We both got there about the same time.
How long did you stay behind the tree top?
Two minutes I guess.
You stayed there until Mahone left?
You had already been up there and inquired about Mahone, Creed
and Willie that morning?
I ask the timber cutters if they had seen Willie, that was all.
You were drinking a little that morning when you were up there?
I had a drink before breakfast.
And this was directly after breakfast that you were up there?
About what time of day?
About seven o’clock.
Did you know what time the men went to work and what Willie
Frazier’s usual hour to get there is?
What was the hour?
Seven o’clock is generally the time the sawmill fellows go to
You got in before they went to work or about that time.
When did you take the drink in reference to that time?
I could not say what time it was, that morning sometime before
How far did you travel through the woods to get in where these
men were going to work at 7 o’clock?
Woods pretty much all the way from my house over there.
You went through the woods nearly all the way?
Go through two patches of woods and one field to get to Amos
I am talking about what you did to get into the woods where
Willie Frazier was accustomed to be and where his men were engaged in
work. You went through the
woods all the way to that place?
What road did you travel?
A path across the hill.
Through the woods or field?
Through the woods and field too.
How long did you stay in the woods where the men were at work
that day. I am referring
to the first time you were in there?
From the time I got in the woods until the time I got out?
I guess forty five minutes.
Then where did you go?
I went home.
You came back to the mill yard that same day?
And brought the same guns with you?
Did you drink some more after you got out of the wood or drink
some more in the woods?
No Sir, I didn’t have any whisky with me.
Didn’t you get some whisky after you left the woods then?
Weren’t you drinking under the influence of whisky when you
came there at one o’clock?
You were duly sober?
You were duly sober on the evening and duly sober at the time
you shot Creed and Willie Frazier?
You knew exactly what you were doing?
After the killings you told them you did exactly what you had
intended to do or what you told them you would do”
Didn’t you say that?
Did you tell them you were neither excited or scared?
I don’t remember that I did.
What did you mean by saying to Mr. Robinett that you did some
pretty good shooting?
I said as we come up the river, I says Charlie I don’t see
how I ever got out of there alive.
That is not the question?
Kennedy: Let him tell the
Charlie says I do, he says you beat Creed to it, he is the only
Frazier of the name that ever had any nerve.
He was a fool brave and I said I sure did some good shooting.
Didn’t you ask him this question?
“Didn’t I do some pretty good shooting” and didn’t he
say “You did better shooting then I could”?
And didn’t you say that you ought to,
you had been practicing?
No sir. I don’t
remember telling him I had been practicing, but I have used a gun all
Hadn’t you been practicing on some trees?
I told Roy but I never told Charlie Robinett.
Did you tell Roy that you had been practicing?
I told Roy that when Creed and Willie came on me with their
guns they were going on a man that could use a gun, if he didn’t
believe it I could show him the signs.
What do you mean by signs, where were they?
Where I had been shooting.
Practicing with this gun?
I never had any practice with this gun.
How long had you been practicing?
With the big gun?
Yes or with any gun?
I had a gun ever since I was a kid.
You could show him signs, what kind of signs did you have
I could show him where I had been shooting at spots.
At long distance?
Right smart piece.
Had you ever shot this gun before you shot Creed Frazier with
I had shot it four times.
What did you shoot it at?
Shot it at three different trees and a chicken.
When did you shoot it at the trees?
I shot once the day I bought it, maybe twice the day I bought
it and then later on I shot it at another tree and a chicken one day.
How long before you killed Creed and Willie Frazier did you
shoot at the trees and the chicken?
What shooting I had done with it was the first few days I had
You had owned it about six weeks?
How many times did you take the gun to the woods where they
were logging, how many times had you been in there?
I had been in there lots of times.
I mean since they had been working up these on Ervin’s land?
I could not say, maybe six, eight or ten times.
Did you take the guns in there with you?
Sometimes I would have a gun and sometimes I wouldn’t.
I had been in the woods squirrel hunting different times and
then passed up and down there going fishing, and then when the
threshing machine was through there I was there.
How long had it been since you had been in the woods where they
were at work before the day in which you killed Creed and Willie
How is that?
How long had it been since you had been in the woods up there
where the men worked the day you killed the Frazier’s?
I had been in there squirrel hunting.
Did you see anybody?
What kind of gun did you have?
You did not go down to the mill that day?
How did you happen to make up your mind on that particular day
that the controversy between you and Willie had to be settled, that he
had to apologize?
Well, I had been over balanced at the way they had done.
I could hardly control myself.
How long was it before you killed Creed and Willie before you
pulled up that corn?
That was about June.
You pulled up the corn in June, Wasn’t it in July?
I could not say, surely it wasn’t, it never had been head.
Who’s land was that on, was it on the disputed land?
Did you do that in the day time or night time?
Who was with you?
How long was it you pulled up the corn until the conversation
between you and Willie occurred about the corn being pulled up?
We never had any conversation on the corn pulling.
Wasn’t that was what your conversation came up over?
When Willie called me a God Damned son of a bitch?
That was all that he said that I understood.
I went on up the hollow, up the hill, he was cursing at the
time, he called me a God damned son of a bitch, we were both riding
and I moved out a pretty part when he said that.
Was that before or after you pulled up the corn?
I don’t remember. I
pulled up three hills of corn. Of
course I will admit it was a mean trick to pull up a hill.
What did you do it for?
Just for meanness.
You would not do anything mean would you?
It looked pretty shabby, a man pulling up a hill of corn.
Mahone owed me a half bushel of corn and I offered to give it
It even looked shabby to you?
I thought it was as a sorry thing as I ever did in my life.
That was in June before you killed Willie?
Did you apologize for it?
To Mahone’s son. He
is twenty one, it was his corn. I
went to him and told him I would pay him anything he wanted.
I say you owe me some corn, been owing it for three years.
Where you not trying to provoke a difficulty in ever way you
could to get a pretext to kill Willie Frazier?
No Sir. I was doing
everything to keep down trouble.
Then why did you arm yourself and go up to the mill yard?
I went up there to see if I could not do something to cause
that thing to be stopped.
Do something that would cause it to be stopped.
Stopped, what do you mean.
That fusing and rearing around?
That is what you were trying to stop, the fussing and rearing
You took the guns with you in order to stop it?
I took my guns to protect myself.
I had been warned by different men.
If you were afraid, what was the use of you going to where you
would find the men that you were afraid of?
Why did you go right to where you would expect to find the men
you were afraid of?
We were all mixed up together.
You did not know what day you were going to see them or where.
I believe you stated you notified these men that you wanted to
see, not even speak to you?
I had, but Will Frazier had broken over, he would not stand for
And then you armed yourself and went to stop the dispute?
I went to ask him to take it back.
Did Mr. Ervin plead with you and refer to Willie’s little
children and to your children and did you say to him, God damn the
No sir I didn’t say that.
Did you hold up your fingers and say, one, two, three, there
will be orphans tonight?
No Sir, I didn’t say that.
You deny that?
Did you say that you would go to Willie’s house and call him
out and kill him?
Did Mr. Sons, your wife’s step father , tell you to go back
home and stop this, not to have any trouble, and didn’t you refuse
to do it and you would kill Willie Frazier in five minutes?
No Sir, as I passed he said you had better go on home.
Didn’t all these men, Mr. Ervin –
and Amos and Mr. Sons your wife’s step father beg you to go
Sons asked me to go away and he is the only man that ever asked
me to go away.
Didn’t he tell you he was a good friend of yours?
No sir, he didn’t say that as I understood.
As I passed he mention about going home.
I didn’t pay any attention to what he said.
Why didn’t you pay attention to him?
I didn’t think he knew my business.
Didn’t you think he could give you good advice?
No Sir, I didn’t consider him any friend of mine.
You did not consider him a friend to you?