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July 27, 2015 / Joanne Yeck

The 1909 Buckingham Murders: Part XVII

17_Murder_Ed Jones Escapes Death

A Stay of Execution for Edward Jones

On September 18, 1910, Richmond’s Times-Dispatch carried the sensational story of Edward Jones’ stay of execution for the murder of the Stewart brothers:

With a margin of only seventy-two hours of life, Ed. Jones, sentenced to be electrocuted next Tuesday for the murder of W.J. Stuart and T.C. Stuart, in Buckingham county, was yesterday granted a writ of error by the Supreme Court of Appeals. The case will be placed on the Commonwealth docket and will therefore be among the first to be heard in the November term of court.

Originally, Jones’ case had been heard by Judge Gordon who had set aside the verdict, saying that the evidence on which Jones was convicted, given primarily by Willie Jackson and Aylett Johnston, “challenges human belief, is absolutely and utterly untrustworthy, unsatisfactory and incredible.” Gordon also heard Dallas Wright’s case, which originally in a hung jury.

The Times-Dispatch also took this opportunity to print a lengthy recapitulation of the now two-year long story of the murder of the Stewart brothers, reasserting that the alleged feeling in the county was such that a change of venue was necessary.

Was it primarily the inciting editorials of the James River Clarion that influenced public opinion against Dallas Wright, Edward Jones, and Richard Perkins? Or were officials in Buckingham County pushing for a decision before the cases fell apart due to lack of credible evidence?

Coming Next: Dallas Wright’s Appeal Denied on Technicality

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


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