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June 27, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part XVII

Arson_17_Still in Jail

 

Still in Jail

The June 10, 1904 issue of The Times-Dispatch announced that the Wooldridge-Forbes case was to open on Tuesday, June 14th, with Judge George J. Hundley on the bench. The case would be called at noon.

John W. Lee, of Lynchburg, and his partner, Mr. V. E. Howard, with Judge Crute assisting, would defend Charlie Forbes. Congressman H. D. Flood would represent E. C. Wooldridge. The prosecution team remained Edmund W. Hubard and Aubrey E. Strode.

Since the preliminary trial, Wooldridge and Forbes had been held in the Buckingham County jail. Each were offered release on $5,000 bail. Forbes could not meet the amount and, although Congressman Flood, Benjamin Davidson, and one other individual made up Wooldridge’s bail, all involved decided it was best for the prisoner to remain in jail, feeling it might be unsafe for him to return home. Citizens in the county were sharply divided in their sentiments concerning Wooldridge’s participation in the crime. One group of men volunteered themselves as a posse to accompany Wooldridge to his home. Clearly, he had some very loyal friends.

Hyperbole continued to pepper the articles of The Times-Dispatch, which printed:

Never before has the county been so thoroughly stirred. Men who were never before known to be excited are now wrought up to a pitch bordering on desperation.

More importantly, the newspaper noted that, considering the highly charged situation in the county, it was not known if a suitable, impartial jury could be found within Buckingham. Perhaps, the attorneys for the defense would request a change of venue.

Coming Next: Change of Venue

Need to catch up? Click here for The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part I

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