July 9, 2014

William Tink Mullins Kills Dan Scott & James M. Singleton, 1902-1903



[August 6, 1902] -

Killed at Livingston.

James Tink Mullins and Dan Scott, of Livingston, became involved in a difficulty Monday, in which Mullins shot and killed Scott. [1]


[August 8, 1902] -

Surrendered to the Authorities.

Mt. Vernon, Ky., Aug. 5. -- Dan Scott was shot and killed by Bill Tink Mullins near Mullins Station, in this county.  Mullins and his brother came in and surrendered Monday morning.  Mullins and Scott had had trouble before. [2]


[August 8, 1902] -

The case against Bill Tink Mullins, charged with killing Dan Scott, was called in County Court yesterday at nine a.m., and was continued until nine this morning. [3]


[January 20, 1903] -

Will Tink Mullins killed James Singleton near Doyle's old store in Jackson county Monday.  Both men were citizens of Rockcastle, but were engaged in getting out some logs in that county and were on their way to work when the trouble occurred. [4]


[May 8, 1903] -

The Jackson county grand jury indicted Will Mullins for killing Jim Singleton. Bond was placed at $3,000 which was readily given, and case set for next term of court. [5]


[September 17, 1903] -

Capt. Stewart Lewis, acting deputy warden of the State Prison at Frankfort, passed through here yesterday enroute to McKee in charge of four inmates of the prison, who are to testify in the case of the Commonwealth against Wm. Mullins, charged with the murder of Wm. Singleton in Jackson county last February.  The witnesses were brought in over the L. & N. and transported from here to McKee in a heavy farm wagon.  They were Wyatt Allen and Frank Mullins, each serving a six years term for manslaughter; Willis Allen, up for five years for same offense; and Wm. Cunagim, serving two years for housebreaking.  The trial is set for to-day at McKee where Circuit Court is in session.  Wm. Mullins, the alleged murderer of Singleton, is at present serving a term of ten years for a murder committed in Rockcastle county, having been sent up from that county last June. [6]


[September 24, 1903] -

Wm. Mullins, the murderer of Wm. Singleton, was sentenced last Saturday at McKee, Jackson county, to thirteen years in the State's prison. [7]


[March 17, 1904] -

Court of Appeals of Kentucky.


March 17, 1904.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Jackson County.

“Not to be officially reported.”

William Mullins was convicted of murder, and appeals. Affirmed.

*258 Coyle & Clarke, for appellant. N. B. Hays and Loraine Mix, for the Commonwealth.

Appellant was indicted for the murder of James Singleton. When the case was called for trial at the September term of the court, the defendant filed an affidavit stating that after the last May term of the court he had been convicted in the Rockcastle circuit court on another indictment, and sentenced to the penitentiary for nine years for manslaughter; that he had been confined in the penitentiary until brought out to attend his trial in Jackson county, and had therefore been unable to prepare his case; that he could prove by 12 witnesses who were absent, and who had been subpœnaed for him at the May term, facts material to his defense. On the filing of this affidavit, the court set the case over to the tenth day of the term. Four of the witnesses referred to were convicts in the penitentiary. The court ordered them brought out. The court also appointed a special bailiff, and sent after the other witnesses named in the affidavit. When the case was called on the tenth day of the term, all the witnesses named in the affidavit were present, except William Robinson, Ambrose Williams, and Greely, Williams being returned as in Ohio, and Robinson that he could not be found. The defendant then filed an affidavit for a continuance because of the absence of Henry Hellard, Isaac Lainhart, and Walter Mullins, the two last not having been summoned. The court overruled the motion for a continuance, but allowed the affidavit to be read as the deposition of Greely Mize and Henry Hellard, refusing to allow it to be read as the deposition of the other witnesses. Of this action of the court appellant complains.

In stating his case to the jury, the attorney for the state said that the commonwealth would be able to show to the jury that the deceased was an important witness against defendant in the Rockcastle circuit court, where defendant was charged with murder, and that defendant had killed Singleton in order to get him out of the way as a witness; that the proof would be such that the jury would have no trouble in bringing in a verdict of death against the defendant. No objection was made to the statement at the time, and no proof of this sort was made on the trial. In his grounds for new trial, the defendant assigned this statement as a reason for the verdict being set aside.

The proof on the trial showed that the deceased, Singleton, was working for Mullins in Jackson county, getting out timber; that they both boarded there in the same house, and were friendly; that a few days before *259 the homicide they both went to their homes in Rockcastle county, Singleton riding one of Mullins' mules, which he lent him. After they reached home, Mullins lent him the mule to haul wood. They started back together from Rockcastle county. On the way they bought a quart of moonshine whisky, and stopped at another place and bought three bottles of bitters. After this they stopped again to warm; both were drinking. It was now after night, and some time later a man living on the roadside heard some shots to the west of his house. A while after this Mullins appeared at the house where he boarded, and said he believed he had killed Singleton. They asked him how. He answered he had knocked his brains out. He ate his supper, and then, with three other men from the house, went back to where Singleton was. As they came along that evening, Mullins had a shotgun, and Singleton a pistol. When they got back to where Singleton was, they found him lying in the road dead, with the pistol empty near him, and the shotgun, broken at the breech, also lying near by. He had a fracture of the skull over the right eye, and another on the upper part of the head. From the signs on the shotgun, these wounds were inflicted with it. Mullins' statement was that as they were going along, Singleton, having his gun, which was empty, began shooting at him, and he then wrenched the gun from him and knocked him down with it. The evidence failed to show previous malice, but the jury were warranted in concluding that a quarrel came up between them, and that Mullins had killed Singleton in the quarrel, due to their both being drunk. No shots were heard from the point where Singleton was found dead, and the circumstances did not sustain Mullins' plea of self-defense. The witnesses who heard the shots locate them in a different direction from that where Singleton was found.

The witness William Robinson, as stated in the affidavit, would, if present, have testified to the bad character of Singleton for violence, and of one Alex Allen for truthfulness. But the character of Singleton was shown by a number of other witnesses, and there was no effort on the part of the commonwealth to show the contrary. Alex Allen was not introduced as a witness on the trial. Ambrose Williams was one of the men who went back that night with Mullins to where Singleton lay. There were four or five other men along, who were introduced on the trial, and testified to the same facts as proposed to be shown by him; besides, this witness was in Ohio. The witnesses Lainhart and Mullins were not included in the first affidavit, no subpœna had been issued for them, and no reason was shown for the apparent want of diligence as to them. We therefore conclude that the court correctly ruled as to these matters.

The statement of the prosecuting attorney as to what he expected to prove was perhaps based on evidence that he was misled about. At any rate, there was no exception, and it must be presumed that the jury disregarded statements made by the attorneys, in opening the case, which were not substantiated by the evidence. We cannot reverse for a matter of this sort, unless it is affirmatively shown that there was misconduct on the part of the attorney prejudicing the substantial rights of the defendant. This does not appear. It is only shown that the attorney said that he would prove more than he did prove on the trial, which is often the case in jury trials.

On the cross-examination of Cleo Mullins, a witness for the commonwealth, the defendant's attorney asked her if she did not steal a lot of clothing on one occasion from P. T. Hoskins. The court sustained an objection to this question. There is no avowal as to what she would have stated; the exception is therefore not available. The defendant also offered to prove by an officer that he had arrested her for the offense referred to. This evidence was properly excluded. A witness cannot be impeached in this way.

The court limited the argument of the case to an hour and a half on a side. Considering the nature of the evidence, and the few facts on which the case turns, this was not an unreasonable limit of time for arguing it to the jury.

The instructions of the court are not complained of, and on the whole case we see no reason for disturbing the verdict.

Judgment affirmed. [8]


[November 10, 1905] -

Mr. U. G. Baker received a telegram yesterday morning stating that Frank Mullins, who was serving a five-year term in the pen, for complicity with his brother Will Mullins, in the killing of Dan Scott, had been paroled and was now on his way home.  It has always been the opinion that Frank was unjustly sentenced. [9]


[August 21, 1908] -

Will T. Mullins, a son of H. J. Mullins who was serving a sentence in the pen for the killing of Dan Scott and James Singleton, was paroled Monday.  It will be about thirty days before he comes home. [10]


On findagrave.com there is a photo (click here to view) with the following caption: 

"Widow and family of James Maret Singleton who was the brother of Squire Richard Singleton. Mary Margaret Mullins Singleton was also known as "Molly". Notice the log cabin and that Molly's hand is upon the Holy Bible. Molly allegedly had all her sons take an oath on the Bible not to ever avenge their Father's murder." [11][12]


[1] "Killed at Livingston." The Richmond Climax, Richmond, KY. August 6, 1902. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069162/1902-08-06/ed-1/seq-2/

[2] "Surrendered to the Authorities." The Hickman Courier, Hickman, KY. August 8, 1902. Page 6. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052141/1902-08-08/ed-1/seq-6/

[3] Excerpt from "Locals." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. August 8, 1902. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1902-08-08/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 20, 1903. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1903-01-20/ed-1/seq-1/

[5] Excerpt from "Local." Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. May 8, 1903. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1903-05-08/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] Excerpt from "Berea and Vicinity." The Citizen, Berea, KY. September 17, 1903. Page 6. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052076/1903-09-17/ed-1/seq-6/

[7] Excerpt from "Berea and Vicinity." The Citizen, Berea, KY. September 24, 1903. Page 6. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052076/1903-09-24/ed-1/seq-6/

[8] Mullins v. Commonwealth, 25 Ky.L.Rptr. 2044, 79 S.W. 258 (1904). Retrieved from Westlaw.com.

[9] Excerpt from "Local." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. November 10, 1905. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1905-11-10/ed-1/seq-3/

[10] Excerpt from "Local." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. August 21, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-08-21/ed-1/seq-3/

[11] Entry for Mary Margaret Mullins Singleton. Findagrave.com. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7026087

[12] Entry for James Maret Singleton. Findagrave.com. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7026085


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