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July 18, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

 The 1909 Buckingham Murders: EXTRA #4

Murder_Extra_Lee Obit

Attorney for the Defense: John L. Lee

John Lynch Lee, a Lynchburg-based attorney, was a critical member of the team who defended Dallas Wright, Edward Jones, and Richard Perkins, the three men charged with the murders of the Stewart brothers.

By 1908, Richmond’s Times-Dispatch was already calling Lee a “famous criminal lawyer.” Indeed, he was both celebrated and successful, defending cases across Virginia, as well as in other states. His obituary ran in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on November 16, 1926, revealing that Lee was a native of New Orleans where his parents died when he was about ten years old.

He was educated at Sewanee School (now Sewanee: The University of the South), then schools in Germany and in Amherst County, Virginia. After attending classes at the University of Virginia, he was admitted to the bar in Amherst County in about 1884 where he served as Commonwealth’s Attorney from 1886–1894. Ultimately, Lee preferred the role of defender to that of prosecutor and, over the years, was involved in numerous celebrated cases. According to the obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Mr. Lee probably had a larger acquaintance among lawyers of this and other States than any other Lynchburg attorney. He was recognized as one of the most brilliant and ablest lawyers this State has ever produced, and during his career he was identified with more notable murder cases than any other lawyer of the State during his time.

The obituary concluded:

Mr. Lee was one of the most delightful entertainers in the State, one of the most interesting talkers to be found. He was a profound scholar and philosopher. Noted for his independence of thought and action, he was the soul of chivalry, always one of the most considerate of men and he was noted for his many acts of charity.

It is currently unknown how John “Jack” L. Lee came to take the case of Dallas Wright, Edward Jones, and Richard Perkins. One thing is certain, Buckingham County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Edmund W. Hubard faced a mighty opponent in the courtroom.

Need to catch up on The 1909 Buckingham Murders? Part I: June 1, 2015

 

2 Comments

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  1. Jeremy Winfrey / Jul 18 2015 10:21 am

    Being that the case was such a high profile case in that part of the state, it only makes since that an all star would show up for the defense. A la Robert Shapiro, Johnnie Cochran, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, etc.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 18 2015 11:01 am

      I was thinking F. Lee Bailey. We indeed have an all star cast. On stage. Live in Buckingham County!

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