AB THOMASON

IS A DEAD MAN

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SOLIPHONE

MAY 16, 1902

TRANSCRIBED BY : TINA EASLEY

tina@grnco.net

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/

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AB THOMASON , A MAN WELL KNOWN TO THE PEOPLE OF GREENE COUNTY , IS LYING DEAD AT THE UNDERTAKERS' ESTABLISHMENT OF H.S. TRICE .

HE WAS SHOT TO DEATH LAST NIGHT JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT BY JOE THOMPSON .

THE SHOOTING OCCURED IN A ROOM UPSTAIRS ON PRUETT STREET , FORMERLY OCCUPIED BY JAKE SHIPPERS AS A POOL AND BILLIARD ROOM. WITNESSES TO THE SHOOTING WERE J.H. BRYANT , TOM TATE , DICK THOMASON AND BRUNER THOMASON .

THE DEAD MAN'S ANATOMY IS PUNCTURED WITH FOUR BULLET HOLES MADE BY A 38 - CALIBER SMITH & WESSON . ONE BULLET ENTERED THE HEAD , JUST ABOVE THE LEFT EAR, ONE THE LEFT CHEEK , ONE ENTERED THE NECK JUST UNDER THE SHOULDER BLADE , AND ONE ENTERED THE BODY IN THE REGION OF THE HEART . DEATH ENSUED WITHIN A FEW MINUTES AFTER THE SHOOTING OCCURED .

CORONER NORWOOD THIS MORNING SUMMONED A JURY FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOLIDING AN INQUEST . THE JURY , AFTER HEARING THE TESTIMONY OF THE WITNESSES ABOVE ENUMERATED , FAILED TO AGREE ON A VERDICT AS TO WHETHER THE KILLING WAS JUSTIFIABLE AND REFERED THE CASE , WITH THE EVIDENCE BEFORE THEM, TO JUSTICE A.B. HAYS . JUSTICE HAYS WILL NOT UNDERTAKE THE HEARING OF THE CASE UNTIL THE RETURN OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY S.R. SIMPSON , WHO IS ATTENDING COURT IN MISSISSIPPI COUNTY .

THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL BRAWLS BETWEEN THE TWO MEN RECENTLY AND THOMASON HAD THREATENED THOMPSON .

LAST NIGHT WHEN THE DIFFICULTY OCCURRED THE DEAD MAN USED LANGUAGE ACCORDING TO WITNESSES , THAT IS TOO INDECENT FOR PRINT. HE REPEATED THE LANGUAGE THREE TIMES , APPLYING IT TO HIS SLAYER , AND AT THE SAME TIME PLACED HIS HAND TO HIS HIP POCKET AND ASSUMED A THREATENING ATTITUDE . THE SHOTS WERE FIRED VERY RAPIDLY AND EITHER WOULD , PERHAPS , HAVE PROVEN FATAL.

THOMASON HAD BEEN A TURBULENT AND QUARRELSOME CHARACTER , HAS HAD MANY PERSONAL ENCOUNTERS AND HAS BEEN SEVERAL TIMES SEVERELY WOUNDED . HE WAS A MAN OF GREAT PHYSICAL STRENGTH , OF LARGE AND SINEWY FRAME , AND NO ORDINARY MAN COULD COPE WITH HIM IN A ROUGH AND TUMBLE FIGHT . HE KNEW NO SUCH WORD AS FEAR , AND THE SIGHT OF A WEAPON IN THE HANDS OF HIS ANTAGONIST ONLY INCREASED HIS RAGE AND MADE HIM MORE DEFIANT. A FEW YEARS AGO HE WAS SHOT BY CHARLEY HONSTON , A YOUNG MAN OF THE TOWN , AND THE DOCTORS PRONOUNCED HIS WOUNDS FATAL , BUT HE SURVIVED THEM.

AB THOMASON , IN HIS WAY , WAS A CLEVER , GOOD-HEARTED FELLOW , BUT HIS TURBULENT AND OVERBEARING DISPOSITION , ESPECIALLY WHEN DRINKING , OFTEN INVOLVED HIM IN TROUBLE , AND THE MANNER OF HIS TAKING OFF IS NO SURPRISE THE PEOPLE OF THIS COMMUNITY , WHERE HE HAS SPENT MOST OF HIS LIFE , HE BEING ABOUT 35 YEARS OF AGE.

HE LEAVES A YOUNG WIFE AND A CHILD .

JOE THOMPSON SURRENDERED HIMSELF TO NIGHT MARSHAL LAWSON A FEW MINUTES AFTER THE SHOOTING. HE EXPRESSED GREAT REGRET AT THE KILLING , BUT SAYS HE COULD NOT AVOID IT - THAT HE HAD TO DO IT. HE IS UNDER THE EVIDENCE , THAT THOMPSON WILL BE CONVICTED OF ANY HIGHER DEGREE OF HOMICIDE THAN MANSLAUGHTER , IF CONVICTED AT ALL.

THOMPSON HAS BEEN AT HIS RESIDENCE TODAY UNDER GUARD , AND REFUSED TO BE INTERVIEWED BY THE SOLIPHONE.

THOMASON'S FUNERAL OCCURRED THIS EVENING AT 5 O'CLOCK.