July 1, 2013

Pregnant Woman Cuts Preacher's Throat, 1917

For those reading for entertainment value (hahaha, oh how I kid myself) this is not really a departure from what I've been posting lately because it's still from Kentucky and it's still about a murder.  However, for everyone else, please note that this article is not from the Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel KY area.  This is from Smithland, KY...

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[July 29, 1917] -


Cuts Throat of Man Who Was Slugging Husband

SMITHLAND, Ky., July 28.--(Special to The Courier)--Pete Butler, 52 years old, of Grand Rivers road, five miles from this place, was killed today by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Jeff Fleming, 20 years old, according to Squire G. D. Seyster, who conducted the inquest.

Butler and Jeff Fleming had words of Fleming swearing in the presence of Butler's children and same to blows.  In the fight Fleming forced Butler to the wall, both struggling for mastery when Mrs. Fleming secured a razor from a trunk with which she cut Butler's throat, severing his jugular vein and windpipe.

Fleming and his wife fled, being later captured near Hadbox ferry on the Tennessee river by a posse. [1]

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[September 12, 1917] -

Fight Results in Death of Minister

Wife Charged With Cutting Throat of Clergyman When Latter Has Husband Down.

Smithland, Ky.-- Jeff Fleming, 20 years old, and his wife, Lizzie, aged 18, were jointly indicted here accused of having slain the Rev. T. Butler at the latter's home in this city July 28, last.

According to the accused couple, Butler and Fleming engaged in an argument and a fist-fight followed.  Later the men clinched and as they fell to the floor Butler was on top of his antagonist.  At this juncture, it is alleged, Mrs. Fleming entered the room and hearing her husband scream that he was being killed secured a knife and cut the preacher's throat.  He died instantly.

Mrs. Fleming is to become a mother in a few weeks.  The trial has been set for Friday. [2]






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[April 20, 1921] - 


Livingston Woman Pardoned by Morrow for Feud Murder

(Special to the Herald)

FRANKFORT, Ky., April 19.--Mrs. Lizzie Fleming, convicted in September 1917, in the Livingston Circuit Court for manslaughter and sentenced to ten years confinement in the penitentiary, was pardoned today by Governor Edwin P. Morrow.  She has served three and one-half years of the sentence besides her incarceration in jail before her trial. 

Lizzie Fleming killed S. P. Butler in a general fight between the Butler and Fleming families.  At that time she was 19 years old and was soon to give birth to her first child.

Governor Morrow says that he is of the opinion that this young woman, in her physical condition, alarmed at the fight that was going on, was not responsible for her acts, and being in that condition she should not be judged as a normal woman should.

The county attorney of Livingston County, jurors and lawyers who conducted the defense recommended the pardon. [3]


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[1] "Cuts Throat of Man Who Was Slugging Husband." Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, IN. July 29, 1917. Page 3. Genealogybank.com.

[2] "Fight Results in Death of Minister." Hartford Herald, Hartford, KY. September 12, 1917. Page 6. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84037890/1917-09-12/ed-1/seq-6/.

[3] "Livingston Woman Pardoned by Morrow for Feud Murder." Lexington Herald, Lexington, KY. April 20, 1921. Page 2. Genealogybank.com.

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