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October 27, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part XLVII


An Interview with Cliff Wooldridge

On November 9, 1904, an unnamed correspondent from Buckingham County wrote a letter to the Appomattox and Buckingham Times. It read:

Forbes and Wooldridge.

Buckingham correspondent writes as follows:

I went to see Wooldridge and Forbes in jail. Mr. Forbes had just been handed a supper as I entered and to see him devour his food with such avidity reminded one of the fact that he has but lately recovered from his spell of fever; on the other hand, E. C. Wooldridge through his supper out of the window, as he had no appetite.

Wooldridge strenuously denies that he attempted a jail deliverance and said is that the lock had been broken for some time, and that while suffering severely from tooth ache he walked out in the hall of the jail. He is in a very nervous condition, and he realizes this himself, and says that he has been operated on twice before his incarceration, and a man’s nervous system is always impaired by undergoing a surgical operation.

Wooldridge talked freely of his coming trial, expressing confidence in his acquittal, if he gets justice. If he is tried on the charge of jail breaking for which he stands indicted, it will be in the court here, I presume.

A man named Maxey broke out jail here some years ago and was sent to the penitentiary one year therefore.

Under the law an attempt to break jail before conviction and sentence is a misdemeanor, and is not punishable by confinement in the penitentiary. The trial of the cases will hardly be reached before some day in December, when it is understood that Judge Hundley will hold a special term for the purpose.

Judge Hundley moved the cases to Farmville, not for convenience as is alleged by some, but because he was satisfied he would experience great difficulty in obtaining a jury in Buckingham, and in the event of importing a jury the great expense of transportation and hardships a jury would necessarily have to undergo in traveling to and from the courthouse . . . [P]rominent officers of the county say they can get as good a jury has ever went into the box in Buckingham. The judge was not apprised of this statement of the case and in the absence of the attorney for the Commonwealth, and out of an abundance of precaution – that the accused should have a fair and impartial trial he moved the cases to Farmville, where he thinks he can get a jury from the county without any trouble.

Coming next: The Prisoners Move to Farmville

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

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