Clipped From The Gastonia Gazette
Dominy murder trial going to jury today I Woman pleads not guilty By EV1E STAUNTON Gazelle Slaff Reporter "I could not stand to see the pain or know that he was suffering," said Mrs. Merle Wiggins Dominy. Mrs. Dominy, on trial for her life in the pistol death of her husband, Gordon R. Dominy, testified that she did not go to her husband after she fired a .22 caliber derringer out her trailer door. She said she closed her eyes when she pulled the trigger and testified that she did not know that Dominy had been struck. "I had no idea that he had been hit," Mrs. Dominy said. The last witness testified Thursday. The case was to go to the jury today, after lawyers for both sides summed up and after Judge John McConnell charged the jury. Under cross-examination, Mrs. Dominy said she looked out the trailer window and "could see a little blood coming out of his mouth but nothing like what has been described here." She said she told her daughter, Sharon, "Oh, my God, we've got to get some help," and went into the bedroom to call an ambulance. Mrs. Dominy said she then sat down to "think about my children. I wanted someone lo take care of my children and I called the chaplain at Pharr Yarn." PROTECTION Mrs. Dominy said she had the pistol lor protection and testified that she took it from between the matresses earlier that night. She said she had fired the gun once for practice when her husband wanted her to get a better gun. She said Dominy told her she couldn't "hit a target as big as the side of the house" with the pistol. She admitted that she had the weapon with her three weeks before the shooting when she went to the beauty parlor with Mrs. Billie Faye Branham, her sister-in-law. Mrs. Branharn testified earlier that Mrs. Dominy told her she was going to kill her husband. Mrs. Dominy testified that she and her husband had been having marital problems for some time. She said she told Ralph Lacky, "Our problems were getting bigger and something had to be done." JEALOUS? The prosecutor hammered away at Mrs. Dominy con- " cerning her attitude toward her husband's generosity. He accused her of being jealous because Dominy bought their daughter a horse, enrolled a son in military school and promised to buy a motor bike for another son. Mrs. Dominy said she "didn't like the way he was trying to buy the children." She said she was not told that Dominy had enrolled the 16- year-old boy in Oak Ridge Military Academy. She said the younger boy was waiting to get the motorcycle before he came to live with her. Mrs. Dominy said she separated from Dominy about three weeks before the shooting and that Sharon lived with her at the trailer. She said Doininy called her the night before the shooting and again that same day. She testified that he told her that would be her last night in Uie trailer. "Hs s"ir! I would move do-d or alive." she said. Mrs. Dominy said sh" did not talk to Dnminy when he came to the trailer at 5 p.m. to pick up her daughter. She said Dominy told her he would conic back to talk after he took Sharon to a concert in Charlotte. "But he didn't come back," she said. She said when Dnminy returned at 11:30 he stood on the bottom steps of the trailer. She said Dominy asked, "Are you going to talk to me now?" Mrs. Dominy said she didn't want to talk to him at that time. Mrs. Dominy testified' that she was afraid of her husband. She said lie had threatened her and locked her out of the house once. A neighbor, Mrs, I.ucy Barnes, testified that she heard screnms from the Dominy house Please SN; HOMINY, n-sn, coi. s BRAVING THE STORM—Downtown Gastonia was nearly deserted early this morning after the season's first snow storm moved in. This man, whose face is hidden by an umbrella, was the only pedes- trian on Main St. at approximately 8::15 a.m. The stores were open today, but most Christmas shoppers were staying at home. Photos bv Chuck Bccklcv Build your snowman, win prize It takes ;ome snow, maybe a broom stick for the arms, a carrot for the nose, and maybe an old hat that Daddy has discarded. But be original — do your own thing, right in your own yard, and enter the citywide Snowman Contest. Any resident of Gastonia is eligible to enter this contest, which is sponsored by the Gastonia Recreation Department, but entries must be within the Gastonia city limits. Anyone wishing to enter the contest may do so by calling the Recreation Department at 864-3211, Ext. 297, by 3:30 p.m. today, and if there is enough snowfall the contest will be carried over until tomorrow, in which case all entries for that day must be called in by 3:30 p.m. After the entry has been called in, judges will go out to the individual houses for the judging. "All roads leading to the house of a contest entry must be passable." said Mrs. Betty Wilson of the Recreation Department. There will be four divisions in the contest: funniest snowman, best snow woman, best and most original snow structure, and best snow man by a senior citizen 'age 55 or over). Only one trophy will be awarded in each division. Winners will be notified the day after each contest. The Recreation Department has also announced that Lynha- vcn Dr., located behind Hunter Huss High School, will be closed off from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. today for supervised sledding. They will also have a bonfire. and roast marshmallows. Christmas toys? Not this family Fire causes some damage A defective electric wall switch was blamed lor ;i house fire Thursday night. A spokesman for the Gastonia Fire Dcp;:r!mcnt said con.sidcr- ablc damage was done when a fire broke out at 1108 N. Piyor St. about I! p.m. Ted Jackson made a, mistake seven years ago that resulted in a five-year stay in prison. He is out now and is making every attempt to build another life for himself, his wife, Sara, and their three children, Sammy, Tammy, and Jimmy. "I realize what 1 did was an awful thine, but I have paid my debt to society and I'm going to make it up to my family "for that long absence," he said. "My problem stemmed from the fact that I was young, had a wife and three children, and just not enough money to make it. So I thought stealing would be an easy way to remedy lhaf. only I got caught at it," he said. Since his return from prison, he is still having problems with making ends meet, but he is playing it straight. He has a job now. Ho isn't making much but it is a start. Sara would like to work, but little Tammy was bom with a severe birth defect and requires her constant attention. Ted is worried about keeping clothes on their backs and food on (he table. The kids need new coats and shoes. Ted just doesn't know where the money will come from. "Christmas toys?," Ted says with a sod look OH his face, "That's just completely out of the question." But his children, Tammy, Sammy, and Jimmy, keep talking about Santa Claus. You could be the Santa Claus to these and hundreds of other Gaston County families; you could turn a bleak Christmas and a sad little face into a joyful day, full of smiles and shouts of glee, by sending your contribution to The Empty Stocking Fund, care of the Gazette, Box 1538, Gastonia, 23052. The fund is an annual joint effort by The Gazette and the Salvation Army to bring food, clothing, and toys to needy families in Hie Gaslonia area. As of Thursday, the fund had received S412. New donors include: The Gastonia Gazette, S25II.. Mrs. W. D. Turner, ?2, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Tale. Bessemer City. $25. Anonymous, 3$, Anonymous S24. Mr. mid Mrs. II. V. Kaul- kcnbcrry Lowell ?5 In memory of J, II. Stewart Sr. $25. The total (o date is S747. Range pay hikes being discussed SHOPPING DAYS TO CHRISTMAS READ OUR ADS The merit pay committee of the city council was to meet this afternoon at 2 p.m. to decide if officers in the police and lire departments will gel their range changes thai would in effect boost their pay. Tho police and fire depart- mcnt range changes were part of the proposed pay raises fur city employees that wore caught in Phase 1 of President Nixon's wage and price freeze. When Phase 2 began, municipal employee wage increases were still frozen until some further guidelines were released by the Lciifnic ot Municipalities. t'ily Manager Dan Eller received (he guidelines Monday, and the puy raise committee met that afternoon. From that mi-ding, merit ,uid longevity pay racses caught in (he freeze were approved retroactive to Nov. 15 and the beginning of Phase 2. Eller said thai the gui:lclincs . sent by Ihe League of Municipalities left "no doubt" that merit a n d longevity raises were exempt from Phase 2. But he said that tho decision on Iho range changes "rests prolly much with the city council," Chapel Grove school bids are awarded Gaston County school officials found that they had hit the nail right on the head when bids were opened Thursday afternoon for the new library-class- i oom-cafeteria addition to Chapel Grove Elementary School. The bids on the building itself were some $6,600 under the initial budget established for the project. However, school offi- •• is transferred this amount into the equipment budget since they felt that they had been extremely tight in the original budget. The grand total for the project came to $396,000. The amount allocated by the county commissioners for this project came to 8396,100, or nearly the ex •••! total of the bids. Following the opening of the b.ds, a special .session of the school hoard was held to award the- low bid contracts. Beam Construction Company was awarded the contract on the general construction. The total bid amounted to S248.<i60. This bid included the base bid of $226,000 plus some nine alternate contracts. Excluded from the alternate contracts were bids on the roof and carpeting. STANDARD ROOF The original plans called for a special liberglass 1 roof to be constructed. This was declined bv tlm school officials due to the maintenance that would be required plus the fact that it has not been fully accepted by the North' Carolina State Department of Public Instruction. Tlie bids on the carpeting were approved not put in the prime contract. The lowest bid of 87,500 for this work was accepted as the maximum cost to be budgeted for carpeting but put aside until an investigation could be made as to the quality of tlie materials used. Other contracts awarded and their amounts were: Plumbing. $21.920 to Melrolina Plumbing and Heating: mechanical, $38,!)00 to Ross and Witmer Inc.; electrical. S29.900 to Howard Electric of Concord. There was also ?1.000 set aside for contingencies, and 524,700 went for architect and engineering fees. The new addition cafls for a building to be built between two existing classroom buildings. Covered walkways will join the new addition and existing buildings. The addition will be shaped roughly like the letter T with the library facility being the center of the top bar with class- iiwms nn each side. There ara four classrooms in each "cluster," which can be used individually or adapted to larger open spaces. The lower part of the T includes the cafeteria dining area oiid kitchen. It will also he possible to use the cafeteria lor large siiiwrings.