March 17, 2016

Jonathan Damron Kills Hayes Mullins, Rockcastle, 1897


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


[December 14, 1877] -

At the last Term of our Common Pleas Court, Charles Damron sued out a writ for the body of his son Jonathan, an infant of two years, charging that said Jonathan was unlawfully detained by its great-grandfather, Liberty Langford. Upon the hearing of the case, Judge Breckenridge gave the child to Langford, deciding that "while it was hard to deprive a father of the custody of his child, yet in the discharge of his sworn duty, the Chancelor must consult the interests of the child, which in this case impelled him to take the child from its father." [1]


[February 1, 1897] -


John Dameron Shoots and Kills Hayes Mullins Near Mt. Vernon.

Mt. Vernon, Ky., Jan 31. -- (Special.) -- Last night, three miles from this place, John Dameron shot and killed Hayes Mullins. The story, as Dameron tells it, is that they had removed the cartridges from the pistol and had been snapping the weapon at each other. Later Mullins replaced the cartridges and laid the weapon down on a table. Dameron picked the pistol up, pointed it at Mullins and snapped it. The cartridge fired and Mullins was killed almost instantly, the ball passing in just below the neck. Dameron came in this morning and surrendered. He declares  the killing was accidental.

At the Coroner's inquest to-day it appeared from evidence of witnesses that it was a case of murder. Dameron and Mullins were at the house of Liz. Merricks. A dispute arose, when Dameron seized a pistol from a table and fired at Mullins, killing him instantly. The pistol with which Mullins was killed was his own, which he had laid down on the table. Further developments go to show that Dameron had been a suitor to the hand of a sister of Mullins and had met with considerable objection from all the family and particularly from Hayes Mullins. Dameron for the last four months has carried a commission as notary public. [2]


[February 2, 1897] -

Hays Mullins, a son of Squire Mullins, was shot and killed last Saturday night by his companion, Jonathan Dameron, more familiarly known as Boy Langford, at the home of Liz. Merricks, near Brush Creek. Report says that a conversation over the cold weather lead to the rash and fatal deed. Dameron stated that while in Missouri he had seen a man start from the well with a bucket of water and before reaching the house 10 feet distant the water was frozen over. Mullins laughingly remarked. "Boys all who believe that stand on your heads." Dameron said, "You mean to say that I have lied." Mullins said, "That's what you have," whereupon Dameron seized a pistol lying near, and shot him in the neck, killing him instantly. [3]


[February 5, 1897] -

The examining trial of young Dameron did not take place Monday, as he preferred to await the action of the grand jury in the case. It seems that he claims that the killing was accidental as he thought the weapon was not loaded. [4]


[February 12, 1897] -

Dameron's trial is set for Monday. [5]


[February 19, 1897] -

In the trial of Dameron charged with murder there was a hung jury... [6]


[September 3, 1897] -

Governor Bradley pardoned John Dameron who was sentenced to six months in jail and fined $100 for the unfortunate killing of Hayes Mullins. The Louisville Commercial says the pardon was granted on the recommendation of the Circuit Judge and the Commonwealth's Attorney, and that the $100 fine had been paid. He had served something over two months. [7]


[1] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. December 14, 1877. Page 2. LOC.

[2] "Says It Was Accidental." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. February 1, 1897. Page 1.

[3] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 2, 1897. Page 1. LOC.

[4] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 5, 1897. Page 2. LOC.

[5] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 12, 1897. Page 1. LOC.

[6] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 19, 1897. Page 2. LOC.

[7] Excerpt from "Local and Otherwise." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. September 3, 1897. Page 3. LOC.


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