December 26, 2017

John Johnston Kills brother-in-law Joseph Lucas, Lincoln, 1879

Previously:

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

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[August 15, 1879] -

SHOCKING TRAGEDY. -- Joseph B. Lucas was buried at the Hustonville Cemetery on Tuesday, in the presence of a large collection of grief-stricken friends and relatives. His death occurred under circumstances peculiarly distressing. He was shot and instantly killed on Monday evening, by his brother-in-law, J. C. Johnston. There was no witness to the tragedy except Mrs. Johnston -- Lucas' sister. The weapon used was a 32-caliber Smith & Wesson, improved pistol. Three shots took effect, either of which would have been mortal, one being in the bowels, one in the brain, and one in the heart -- the last mentioned passing entirely through the body. Mr. Johnston is under guard at his residence. The position of his wife is peculiarly trying and critical. In an extremely delicate situation as to health, having witnessed the fall of her only brother by the hand of her husband, holding alone the terrible secret of the fearful tragedy, she is in a most pitiable ordeal. The examining trial occupied nearly the whole day Wednesday, 'Squires Hughs and Bailey on the bench, Messrs. Miller & Rodes for the prosecution, and Welch & Saufley, for the defense. There was no positive testimony to the act of killing; but a large number of witnesses were examining as to circumstantial evidence. The testimony having closed, speeches were made by each of the legal gentlemen. The decision of the Court was to send up for further trial, fixing the bail at $1,500, which he easily gave. [1]





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[August 15, 1879] -

THE TERRIBLE TRAGEDY. -- Detailed by our Hustonville correspondent, in which J. B. Lucas was shot and instantly killed by his brother-in-law, J. C. Johnston, appears to have had its origin in some alleged mismanagement of the estate of Mr. Wm. Lucas, which J. B. Lucas, as agent for his mother, who is executrix, without security, was closing up, and as to the guardianship of Mrs. Twidwell's two children, for whom Mr. Lucas was guardian. At a recent term of court, Johnston moved that the executrix be required to furnish bond, and upon her failure to do so, asked that an administrator be appointed. The motion was granted, and Mrs. Lucas was required, in a certain time, to make the bond. Since and before then, Lucas and Johnston have been enemies, and the fatal termination of their quarrel is sadly to be regretted. The fact that young Lucas was unarmed at the time of his death shows that he apprehended no serious trouble, going, probably, on the presumption tha[t] Johnston was too timid to shoot. Lucas was a young man of many fine traits of character, and was a general favorite among those who knew him. The charge against Johnston, as fixed by the examining court, is manslaughter, and bail allowed at $1,500, which was readily given, with Florence Yowell, Col. J. W. Weatherford, Bennett Cloyd and Samuel Johnston, as sureties. [2]



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[October 10, 1879] -

COUNTY COURT DOINGS. -- The proceeding instituted against Mrs. Elizabeth Lucas by John C. Johnston, to require her to give security as Executrix of her husband's estate, was dismissed by request of the plaintiff at his cost. [3]



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[October 24, 1879] -

But five indictments have been found to this date. The one against John Rex for petit larceny, is set for trial this morning; that against J. C. Johnston for killing J. B. Lucas, for next Tuesday, ... [4]



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[October 31, 1879] -

Commonwealth v. Johnston for killing J. B. Lucas, continued at the instance of the prosecution. [5]



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[April 30, 1880] -

The trial of J. C. Jonnston for the killing of his brother-in-law, J. B. Lucas, on the 10th of August last, after three days resulted in an acquittal. A yell of approval by Johnston's friends followed the announcement of the verdict, but it was promptly hushed by Special Judge, Col. Thomas W. Varnon, who presided the last day of the trial, with his accustomed otium dignitate. [6]





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[1] Excerpt from "Lincoln County - Hustonville." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 15, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-08-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 15, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-08-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[3] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 10, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-10/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 24, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[5] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 31, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-31/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 30, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-04-30/ed-1/seq-3/

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