November 28, 2014

Tom Donley/Donnelly Kills W. R. Gooch, Jr., Pulaski, 1881


Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles


[July 29, 1881] -

Donnelly, who shot Gooch at Eubanks Station, had his examining trial Thursday. His bail was fixed at $500. It is thought he will give it in a few days. [1]


[May 12, 1882] -

W. R. Gooch, Jr., is suffering the pangs of death from a wound received from a pistol shot nearly a year ago. Dr. Perkins and Parker, of Somerset think his case is hopeless. [2]


[May 23, 1882] -

After three weeks of intense suffering, W. R. Gooch, Jr., who was shot here by Tom Donley last July, died of his wounds Friday evening about four o'clock. For some months Gooch had been able for an ordinary manual labor, and by many was considered out of danger of death from his wounds, but alas! the fatal ball had done its work of death by fracturing the skull, which sank gradually upon the brain until death was the result. Gooch was interred in Tinsley burying grounds near this place Saturday evening. [3]


[April 20, 1883] -

The criminal docket is unusually large, there being four murder cases, three for robbery, and one for forgery. The murder cases are as follows: Tom Conley, for killing Gooch at Eubanks Station; Logston for killing Phillips; Buck Merritt, for killing Robinson, and the negro Coyle, for killing another of his color named Lewis Owens, in this place last Christmas. [4]


[April 24, 1883] -

The case of Tom Donley for the murder of Wm. Gooch was tried Thursday and Friday and he was acquitted. Commonwealth's Attorney Warren made a powerful argument against the defendant, but the evidence of threats made by Gooch and his character for quarrelsome drunkenness weighed with the jury, and the prisoner received the benefit of a "reasonable doubt" as to murder or manslaughter; hence their verdict was equal to a decision of justifiable homicide. Donley expressed his thanks to the jury when the verdict of acquittal was read. [5]


[1] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 29, 1881. Page 3. LOC.

[2] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 12, 1882. Page 2. LOC. 

[3] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 23, 1882. Page 2. LOC.

[4] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 20, 1883. Page 2. LOC.

[5] Excerpt from "Pulaski County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 24, 1883. Page 2. LOC.


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