Two Peas in a Pod – December 1898

John Franklin, murderer of Mrs. William J. Bowles, was taken to Bowling Green after his capture for safekeeping, and he was brought back to Glasgow on Sunday, December 11, 1898, to be arraigned.  The motion for a rehearing in the Brown murder was also being argued before Judge Jones that morning.

The motion for a new trial in the case of Bob Brown, who was convicted in the same term of court (December), of the willful murder of his father-in-law, Alonzo McClellan, and given the death penalty, was argued before Judge SE Jones on Monday afternoon, December 12, 1898.  The motion was overruled, and the case will be taken to the Court of Appeals.

As grounds for a new trial, the counsel for Brown introduced 2 affidavits, in which the affidavits avowed that 2 of the jury men who sat the case hade said to them before being summoned as jurors, that if they were on the jury they would break the accused’s neck.  This charge as denied by the 2 jury men in question.   The counsel for the defense also contended there was evidence tending to prove the killing was accidental, and the court failed to instruct the jury upon the point.  Another reason for a new trial advanced was that one of the men summoned to serve on the jury, when asked if he had an opinion on the matter, declared before 10 jurors already selected, that he believed Brown ought to be hanged, thereby influencing the 10 jurors in rendering this verdict.

The court was of the opinion that none of the arguments advanced were sufficient to justify the granting of a new trial.

As to the other, the jury in the case of John Franklin, charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Bowles, near Beckton, on the night of September 19, 1898, returned a verdict on December 14, finding Franklin guilty and fixed his punishment as death.  While the verdict was being read, Franklin trembled all over, but when Jailer Carter started to take him back to the jail, he regained his self-composure.  During the trial, Franklin’s wife remained in the courtroom and seemed to be utterly oblivious to the fact that her husband was being tried for his life.

On Friday, December 16, 1898, Judge Jones pronounced sentence on the 2 0 Friday March 10, 1899 was the day set for the Execution of John Franklin and Bob Brown.

Franklin sent the following note to Judge Jones:

“Glasgow, KY, Dec. 18, 1898 – Judge SE Jones, Esq. – Kind Sir:  I could not express my feelings when I was before your honor.  There is nothing in the future, nor in this life, for me.  The one I loved, and do yet love, has steeled her heart against me and laughed at my misery.  Therefore, death is preferable to a life sentence.  Your honor and the officers have acted most honorably to me.  My crime was not intentional, or premeditated, so help me God, although it looked like it.  Yours truly,       JH Franklin”




About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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