21 Feb 1907 Culpeper tragedy - trial started

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21 Feb 1907 Culpeper tragedy - trial started - Tbr Stro hers Trial. Calprper, IVb. II.?With no...
Tbr Stro hers Trial. Calprper, IVb. II.?With no defenae, e "uowritten law' as it has been in'.oked in the South for generationa to prntect the honor of wife, lieter or daugh ter, Philip and Jamej Strother went oa triil here todav for their livea. Their billfog ofWilliam F. Bywaters ia not denied. They fired eleven enots into Bv*aters as he waaattt-mpting to eacape from the Srothers hoaie after they had couip'llcd bim to ruarry their siater Vf 11, wbom he had aeduuad. Th prominet-ces'icialiy and politically ot tbr fainilie- of tbe priaonera and tbeir victims, together wi.h the senaational circurastances aurrounding the tragedy, baa atlracked the atteotiou ol the entire S uih Tbe little towo waa crowded to d.y by the tnendsof the two lamiliea and tbrongs of out-aidera who come for milea by rail and in carriagea and on borsehack to witne?s the openng of what pnmi?ci<o be oneof the most noi ihk tnals ever beld in thia sectioo oi the C'lUtitry. Jamea ^trotber, one of the defend?nts ia a leadmg lawyer ot Welcb, W V< aod a rnemoer ot the iegiaiamre of that S ale. He happened to be home on a viait at the time of the tragedy. The vietim, Bywaters, waa a clubman, horaeman, hunter and a leader in the social aet of this county. Yiola Strother, h s bride of an hour, was one of the vtl Uga b* 11-a. -ly in Dccember last Yiola return ed from a viaii in Waahington ill. Phy sicians were aent for, and to tbem sbe conlesrtd that Bywaters had accom i-aoird her to Waahington where, in tha :i unifn to cooceal the cona^qu-nc-s Ot their rehilions, be had cauaed a ciminal operaiion to be p- rfirmed upon her. Soe had rt mrfined in W shington two weeka iimhrhis can. and that of a notorioua doctor of that city. iier coofesBioo waa repeated to her brothers, Phihp aud Jamea Tney lo?t no tuue in hunting out Bywatera aud under tbreats ot hia I'te ioducing him la ma.-ry the girl. According to tbeir s.ory he profesa^d repeotaoce aod bis love for Yiola, aud pr.-unied to make her a good husband, The brothers procured a license, and that evening the marriage took place. Vi-da lay dexperately sick in bed. The c^remony was sc^reply per lormed when Bywaters aaid that be muat reuirnto Calpearr, some fourmilet from the Strother home. He waa told by the girl's brothers that he muat re main and earo for her, and they relueed to liaten to hia promiae to come back iater in tho evening. A few niinutea atterward he aiarted to leave but waa confrontfd by another member of ihe family, He then ran up-atairs, through ihe girl's rooni, and bolted for the win dow, appa^mly intending to climbdown Iri'iu ihe porch roof. Juat aa he Btep ped out of the window, and in sight of hia girl bride, ihe two Strother brothers wbo had followed him, opened fire. By? waters fell on the roof dead, hia body rlddlad. The Strother* will claim that By? waters inteaded absolutely to d^aert th. ir ibtar, in which event her ahame w uld be pnb;i.-iii?'l to tbe commamty. Also, under the Yirgima law, be wou d have been able Iater to proeure a divorce oti tho grounrla of dureas and the fact that he had not lived wiih hia wife after the ceremony. Tbe pn secution will claim that By ra had fulfi 1 d hia duty in marry ing the girl, and thai hia death waa a c dd-blooded murder. < >n account of the relationahip of Judge Uritnsley, of the'Culpeper circuir, to the Bywaters famdy, Gov. Swanaon lated .lii'tge Thomaa W. Harria-n, of Wincbester, to try the ca8?. The b-at 1-gal talent in \irt>inia will repre sent iho dtfeodants, J >hn Jtflries, of Norfolk, bcine chief munael. Micajah Ur <><is, of Charlotteaville, nored for bis proarcatloo of iie famous McCuecaae. waa retaincl by the Bywatera family (o asaint the pr secution, Beforo 10 o'clock thia morning the clans began gathe'ing in the court bou-?e hete fortbeirial. Judge Harrism and the lawyers were prompt Io arrive. The acjuaed br tbara Pb'iip and J m-s, nc Otipird seata wiiltm the bar, wuile near them aat a coueiderable number of tbeir oihIp rela'h ? Mr K>-iib, Commonwealth'a Attorocy, Btat?d thai counael on both sides h?d avreed tbat it waa inexpedient to get a jury from Culpeier. After some dia etiH8ion the lawyera agreed to leave tb a to tb? beneb. .luige Harri?on, of Wn. ch?3!er, stated he would prefer for the jury to come from hia circntt and coun? ael rtadily acrpiieaecd in thia, D.'puty Sher ff Boweraett accordirgly waa dirccted to go to Sheoand ah county f r fify men and the order waa made returaabla next Monday morning, at 10 o'clock._

Clipped from Alexandria Gazette21 Feb 1907, ThuPage 2

Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia)21 Feb 1907, ThuPage 2
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  • 21 Feb 1907 Culpeper tragedy - trial started

    jenniford – 07 Dec 2014

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