June 20, 2014

Woman Kills Her Husband's Mistress, Rockcastle, 1915



[August 21, 1914] -


Mrs. Gather Filbeck, a daughter of the late T. J. Ballard, and a good woman, fired a shot Tuesday morning into the body of Lena Fields, producing almost instant death.  The shooting took place at the home of Alex Drew, who married a sister to the Fields woman.  Mr. and Mrs. Filbeck have not lived peacefully together for some time, on account of the deceased woman, who did not bear a good reputation and the facts as given to us at the immediate time of the trouble are as follows:  The Fields woman for some few months had been in Louisville, returning home last Monday.  Mr. Filbeck was at Mullins Station when she arrived there, he hauled her and her trunk out in his wagon, up to the home of Drew, which place is only a short distance from Filbeck's home.  The Fields woman had a gallon of whisky of which she and Filbeck imbibed freely and were considerably under the influence so the report goes.  Mrs. Filbeck heard the noise over at Drew's home; she recognized her husbands voice and from the disturbance, thought there was trouble.  Mrs. Filbeck did not know that the Fields woman was any where in the county, and leaving her five children went over to investigate.  She carried Mr. Filbeck's pistol with her.  When she entered the house, Mrs. Filbeck will swear before the grand jury herself, she found the Fields woman sitting in Mr. Filbeck's lap.  Mrs. Filbeck immediately fired one shot into the floor, the second shot passed thru the body of the Fields woman who ran out into the yard and fell dead.  Mrs. Filbeck came to town yesterday and surrendered.  Public sentiment is universal for Mrs. Filbeck and the "unwritten" law will and should govern in this case. [1]


[August 20, 1915] -

The case against Mrs. Lizzie Filbeck, charged with murder in the killing of Lena Fields, was called Wednesday and both sides announced ready.  Attorneys C. C. Williams and Bethurum & Lewis defended and County Attorney E. R. Gentry took care of the prosecution, Commonwealth's Attorney M. L. Jarvis, not being present.  The following gentlemen were selected to try the case:

Geo. Frederick, Jr., John Harp, W. H. Carmical, W. S. Cromer, J. S. Kinley, Hamp Bullock, D. B. Langford, G. M. Hamm, J. L. Doan, J. D. Bullock, John Clontz and L. H. Cromer.

The jury after being out only a very short time returned a verdict "not guilty" which verdict met with a hearty approval of the large number anxiously awaiting the report. [2]


[1] "Fatal Shot." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. August 21, 1914. Page 3. KDL. http://kdl.kyvl.org/ (This page was unavailable on LOC as of 6/19/2014.)

[2] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. August 20, 1915. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1915-08-20/ed-1/seq-3/


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