December 1, 2014

Man Recklessly Shooting Kills Another Man, Rockcastle, 1881


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


[June 21, 1881] -

"Near Mt. Vernon, Ky., Saturday night James Hasty shot Andrew Baker dead. Hasty was drunk and the two were traveling home from town together. Hasty says that they were shooting at a tree, and the killing was accidental. Both parties were about 20 years old. [1]


[June 24, 1881] -

That immunity from violence and bloodshed, which we have enjoyed so long, has been rudely broken. Last Saturday another homicide occurred to stain afresh the already crimson pages of Rockcastle's history. On that day, James Hasty, who lives on the Somerset road, came into Mt. Vernon and began to pour liquid hell into his stomach. He took offense at some trivial remark addressed to him by Ike Hysinger, began to abuse Hysinger and wanted to wade into him, but was prevented by Andrew Sutton. Afterwards, he searched for Hysinger at several places in the town and finally found him at the depot, but did not molest him. About five o'clock, he started home in company with Andrew Sutton. They were overtaken a short distance from town by Andrew Baker, a boy about seventeen years of age. Sutton left the two together near Mt. Guthrie, where he turned off in another road. He had gone but two or three hundred yards when he heard three pistol shots. He went on his way thinking they had only been in sport. These shots were also heard by some men in a field near by. As soon as they were fired, Hasty was seen riding alone back towards Mt. Vernon. On the way he met Jonas McKenzie and told that Andrew Baker was shot. Hasty came on to town and summoned a doctor and Baker's brother. McKenzie rode quick as he could to the scene of the shooting and found Baker lying by the roadside dead. The doctor arrived and examined the body. Death resulted from a pistol ball which entered the chest a little in front of and below the right arm. The ball went straight in a slightly disgenal line, across the chest and did not come out. Baker's pistol, one of the "Bull Dog" pattern, was found in his pocket with all the chambers loaded. Hasty was arrested and his trial set for Tuesday. He claims that in shooting at a tree he had shot Baker accidentally. At his trial the above facts were elicited. His attorneys were Isaac Stewart, J. N. & J. W. Brown. The County Attorney was assisted in the prosecution by Capt. B. F. Holman. the Court decided to hold the prisoner to answer the charge of involuntary manslaughter and suffered him to give bail in the sum of $750 for his appearance. He gave bond with J. N. Brown and John McMullin as his bondsmen an was discharged. The trial attracted considerable interest. Hasty is about 19 years of age and has been married but a few months. When arrested, his pistol, of a nondescript pattern, calibre 32, was found in his pocket, with four of the chambers empty. [2]


[August 12, 1881] -

The grand jury have reported an indictment against James Harty, for manslaughter. He is charged with killing Andrew Baker. An account of the affair was published in these columns some weeks ago. [3]


[January 20, 1882] -

The case against James Hasty, for manslaughter, was called Wednesday, and the testimony was being heard yesterday morning. Hasty is charged with killing Andrew Baker, in June, 1881. His attorneys are Col. T. Z. Morrow, W. O. Bradley, Isaac Stewart, J. W. and J. N. Brown. Mr. R. C. Warren and Sam. M. Burdett represents the Commonwealth. [4]


[January 24, 1882] -

In Circuit Court last Friday, the jury in the case of the Commonwealth vs. James Hasty, returned a verdict of "not guilty." Hasty was charged with manslaughter. [5]


[1] Excerpt from "News Notes." Jackson Citizen, Jackson, MI. June 21, 1881. Page 1.

[2] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 24, 1881. Page 2. LOC.

[3] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 12, 1881. Page 2. LOC.

[4] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 20, 1882. Page 2. LOC.

[5] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 24, 1882. Page 2. LOC.


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