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July 23, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

The 1909 Buckingham Murders: Part XVI

16_Murder_Arvonia Newspaper


A Change of Venue for Jones and Perkins

On June 14, 1910, The Times-Dispatch reported that a change of venue had been granted for both Richard Perkins and Edward Jones.

Attorney A.S. Hall had successfully argued that public sentiment had been worked up against the men, particularly fueled by editorials published in Arvonia’s weekly newspaper, the James River Clarion. According to The Times-Dispatch:

In these articles [in the James River Clarion] the jury system was severely criticized because of the influence exerted by the criminal lawyers, who are called “imported specialists.” Elsewhere there are references to “trickster lawyers” and “professional criminal clearers,” the intention evidently being to refer to the trials of the indicted men who were accused of the murder.

Months later, in February of 1911, when the Supreme Court of Virginia ordered that the men be sent to Richmond for their trials, Judge Hundley, who sentenced Wright, Jones, and Perkins to death, refused to enter the necessary order for the change of venue. As a result, Judge S.B. Witt, of the Hustings Court of Richmond, sat in Buckingham and granted the order. Judge Hundey stated that he would not have sent the men so far away and that they could have had a fair trial in a neighboring county. Incensed and insulted by the change of venue to Richmond, Judge Hundley’s lengthy remarks were printed in The Times-Dispatch. He bitterly concluded:

[T]he order of the Supreme Court appears to lack that fine spirit of courtesy and comity which one court has the right to expect of another, and especially of a court possessing the power and prestige of a court of last resort. A sense of proper respect for himself, for the dignity of the office which he holds and for the high tribunal which issued the order, impels him most regretfully to say this much.

Coming Next: A Stay of Execution for Edward Jones

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



Leave a Comment
  1. Linda Doerger / Jul 25 2015 10:37 am

    Joanne, I just caught up on the last 4 posts in the Buckingham Murder series. I’m relaxing at home after some minor knee surgery and was a little behind in my reading. I really appreciate the amount of research and effort you have put into this series. It is a great story – I’m going to hate to see it come to a final conclusion.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 25 2015 4:59 pm

      Linda, Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you are enjoying the story. It had been a lot of work but lots of fun too. I love digging into the old newspapers! Joanne

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