This is Part 2 of the murder and trial of Ben Allen........
Friday Morning - The Greenville Daily News - May 13, 1910
J.G. LINDLEY CONVICTED OF MURDER OF ALLEN
Must pay penalty if other developments do not arise
NEW TRIAL ASKED BY ATTORNEYS
Evidence was circumstantial but convinced jury -- Jury had to either convictor acquit -- Case attracted much interest and many made inquiries as tofinding of the Jury -- Matter may be carried to the supreme court of the stateif a new trial is not granted.
Unless Judge Watts will grant the motion of his attornys for a new trial,J.G. Lindley charged with the murder of Ben Allen at Poe Mill about two weeksago, must hang, thereby paying for the penalty of the crime the State alleges he has committed.
A great crowd packed into the court room yesterday morning to hear thearguments in the case. The testimony taken on Wednesday was purelycircumstantial, but it seems to be connecting and strong and though hisattorneys Messes Jas. H. Price and George M. Pritchard made pleas for hisfreedom, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degreewithout mercy. His attorneys gave notice of a motion of a new trial and JudgeWatts did not set the day for the execution. The motion will be heardtomorrow. If a new trial is granted it means that Lindley will have a betterchance for his life, but if not he must pay the penalty as prescribed by law,death by strangulation on the gallows.
All during the trial Lindley sat there unmoved while his youthful brothershed tears. Even when the verdict of the jury was read to him, Lindley did notseem to pale one bit but his faithful little brother took the court's decisionto heart and left the court room in tears, while the officers conducted hisbrother to prison to await the final disposition of his case.
The arguments for the defense and for the state were brilliant in theextreme. Mr. Pritchard made a splendid plea for Lindly which was followed byan impressive address by Mr. Price. Then Solicitor Bonham spoke for the State.
Judge Watts charged the jury as in the law in the case and said he was goingto leave the evidence entirely in their hands.
As was announced in the News yesterday the case was such that the jury couldbring in but a verdict of either guilty or not guilty. In other words ifLindley did kill Allen while the unfortunate man lay sleeping what could theoffense be but cold blooded murder. Then if the jury felt that Allen hadcommitted suicide or that he was shot by other parties then Lindley'sacquittal was necessary, so the jury could only bring in either one of the twoverdicts.
It was upon circumstantial evidence that Lindley was convicted mainly and itmight be said exclusively on the testimony of Mrs. Allen, who said that sheheard a shot fired and in a few seconds saw Lindley drop to his cot. It waspartly upon this testimony that Lindley was convicted.
The Allen case has attracted perhaps more attention then even the Liddellcase, and the case is perhaps the shortest one on record for the time occupiedin trying it. Owing to the shortness of time the defendant was unable to getany witnesses and only he and his brother testified in his behalf. Four or
five witnesses testified for the state.
The real truth in the matter may never be known or if Lindley pays the deathpenalty, that is if he is guilty, he might give out some information thatwould forever set at rest whether or not Allen committed suicide or was shot.Who knows but that Lindley is either a most diabolical criminal or else aninnocent who must give his life to law for the alleged murder of Allen.
Back up in Tennessee Lindley has one true friend, though the fingers ofillness are gripping his very vitals, who is perhaps heartbroken over the newsthat Lindley must hang. This friend is Lindley's father.
As the attorneys in the case made their arguments they would frequently pickup the pistol with which it is thought Allen either committed suicide or wasmurdered and would speak of its deadly mission. Perhaps when the reporter forthe News looked in the end of the barrel of that pistol while it lay on the
court stenographer's desk, a great story could be unfuried if that piece of cold steel could only speak. It could tell a story that would eithersend Lindley's soul into torment as murder of the meanest type or would release him as an innocent man.
If Lindley is guilty and the death sentence is placed upon him he no doubtwill issue a statement before the sheriff leads him to the rear yard of thecounty jail where the old gallows, which has ended the lives of many men,telling the absolute truth in the matter.
May 1910, The Greenville Daily News
LINDLEY'S CASE TO JUDGE TODAY
Judge Watts will hear motion for new trial in Mysterious murder case - Greatcrowds no doubt will be in court room to hear motion.
This morning attorneys Jas. H. Price and George M. Pritchard will make amotion before Judge Watts for a new trial in the case of J.G. Lindley, who wasconvicted on Thursday of the murder of Ben Allen at Poe Mill two or threeweeks ago.
It will be remembered that Allen was found dead in his bed about one o'clockat night. The theories were advanced at the coroner's inquest, one being thathe committed suicide, blooding over ill health and at hearing stories as tohis wife's unfaithfulness to her marriage vows, and the other was that he wasmurdered by Lindley, who was a boarder in the house.
Lindley was given a trial Thursday and was found guilty on a chain ofcircumstantial evidence. The jury did not recommend mercy, for if Allen wasmurdered as the State charges, the case would be so brutal that the jury couldnot feel disposed to give mercy, and unless a new trial is granted by the judge, Lindley must hang.
Great interest has been manifested in this case and it is indeed a mysteriousone. There are those who believe Lindley guilty, while as many stick to thebelief that Allen committed suicide.
The motion will be argued the first thing today and no doubt the court roomwill be packed to hear the trial.
Sunday Morning, The Greenville Daily News, May 15, 1910
LINDLEY IS GIVEN NEW TRIAL BY JUDGE WATTS
Attorneys Made Able Arguments Yesterday in Convicted Man's Behalf
ON GROUNDS OF NEW EVIDENCE
Judge rules that the attorneys have right to bring witnesses here from NorthCarolina, Former home of Ben Allen the dead man, to testify as to thecharacter of Mrs. Allen, upon whose testimony Lindley was convicted -Attorneys have put up hard fight for man's life - Most peculiar case evertryed in criminal court here.
Another lease on life has been given J.G. Lindley, who was on last Thursdayconvicted in the general sessions court of the alleged murder of Ben Allen.Yesterday his attorneys, Messrs. Jas. H. Price and George M. Pritchard, arguedtheir motion for a new trial before Judge Watts and the judge ordered that the defendant be given a new trial.
It was hardly thought by the people of the city that a new trial would begiven Lindley, but his attorneys put up an able argument for him and won theirfight on the grounds of after discovered evidence. However the case was reallysent back for trial on the fact that the case was called so hurriedly the
attorneys for the defendant could not summon witnesses from North Carolina totestify as to the character of the woman.
Lindley's attorneys tried to have the case postponed before the trial, butthe solicitor insisted on it being tried. Lindley was convicted of murder inthe first degree, which meant if he didn't get a new trial he would meet deathon the gallows.
Immediately upon the announcement of the verdict of the court on Thursday,Messrs. Price and Pritchard worked hard and on Friday succeeded in getting theaffidavits of several members of the coroner's jury in the Allen case who saidthat they had heard Allen say that he intended to end his life. They alsosecured the affidavit of Mr. Brookshire, a man living near the Allen home, whowent into the room with Allen's father, directly after the shooting. Mr.Brookshire says in his affidavit that Allen's arms were not folded across hisbreast as was testified in Lindley's trial by Allen's father, who said his
son's arms were folded and that the pistol was laying on his breast.
But the judge's ruling was that the attorneys had a right to bring witnesseshere from North Carolina, where Allen and his wife lived prior to coming to Greenville, to testify as to Mrs. Allens character.
Mrs. Allen told on the witness stand at the trial on Wednesday that she heard the shot and saw Lindley come back in her room where he was sleeping and lay
back down on his cot. It is said that as three of the Allen children were sickLindley slept in the room where Mrs. Allen and the children were as to givethem medicine during the night and Allen would look after the children duringthe early hours of the morning and let Lindley get some sleep.
At the coroner's inquest Mrs. Allen swore she did not hear the pistol shotand did not know anything of the shooting.It was upon the two conflictingstories that the attorneys in the case tried to impress it upon the jury thatthe testimony of the woman was incompetent. However the jury convicted Lindley
because the chain of circumstantial evidence seemed pretty well connected.
Lindley's attorneys now feel that with an extension of time they can bringseveral witnesses here from North Carolina to testify as to the womanscharacter and especially as to her reputation for truth and veracity.
There has perhaps never been a case tried in the criminal courts here thathas attracted more attention. Public sentiment seemed divided on the matter.Some believed that Lindley really killed Allen while others believed that Allen committed suicide.
Technically the jury could only return a verdict of either guilty or notguilty, though if the jury saw fit it could have recommended mercy or evenmade it manslaughter. But if Lindley is guilty of killing Allen it can benothing but cold blooded murder and therefore the jury can hardly return averdict of not guilty. On the other hand if the circumstantial evidence is notmsufficient to convict there would be nothing left but to return a verdict of not guilty.
Tuesday Morning, The Greenville Daily News, June 14, 1910
PRISONERS PLANNED A DARING JAIL ESCAPE
But Sheriff Poole and his Deputies nipped scheme into the head before itcould be carried out - Seven steel saws were found in cell of J.G. Lindley.
Through the honesty of a prisoner in the county jail, Sheriff Poole and hisdeputies were able yesterday to nip in the bud a plan that has been carefullylaid by a prisoner for a delivery from the county jail. In their discovery ofseven steel saws in the cell occupied by J.G. Lindley, the white man chargedwith the murder of Ben Allen at Poe Mill not long ago.
No doubt a jail delivery was planned and the officers believe it wasoriginated by Lindley, assisted by Fred Curlee, a white man also in jail,charged with having some connection with the big robbery of the Kendricks- Walker store in Taylors several months ago, but it would have taken months ofhard labor for any man to cut his way to freedom from the county jail and thenhis escape can only be effected through his own cell door and through thecorridor door, as it is utterly impossible for a human being to get throughthe tiny windows at the county jail.
To effect an escape from the county jail by the use of steel saws, it wouldbe necessary to cut the bars of the inside cells into and then cut the bars ofthe outer door. This would take a long time and he no doubt would be easily caught in the act.
Upon information furnished the sheriff by a prisoner in the jail, the cell inwhich Lindley stays was searched. Seven Blue fine steel saws, which are abouttwelve inches long were found in a crack in the wall and after some search thehandle to the saw was found hanging down from this crack in the floor next tothe wall held up by a string. It was so arranged that when ever needed itcould be drawn back into the cell and one of saws fastened onto it.
Of course a delivery could be made from the county jail in the manner that"Tennessee Dutch and George Barton made their escape, by the use of nitroglycerin on the floor, but nitro glycerin in the hands of inexperienced men is dangerous. Sheriff Poole is investigating the matter thoroughly.
The Greenville Daily News, September 15, 1910
Trial of J.G. Lindley, murder commenced yesterday afternoon.
LINDLEY CASE CALLED
The following jury were chosen for the case of the State vs J.G. Lindley, whois charged with the murder of Ben Allen: Ed Walker, A.G. Howell, S.J. Hunt,J.G. Smith, Oscar Barton, J.A. McKinley, W.L. Morgan, Ed Noe, John Freeman,C.D. West, R.H. Lupo and J.F. Loftis. The examination of the witnesses for the
state was carried on by Solicitor Bonham and Price & Pritchard were theattorneys for the defense.
Only three of the witnesses, all for the State were examined beforeadjournment of the court. Dr. Wright, Coroner Batson and Mrs. Ben Allen. Itseemed very difficult for the attorneys to get Mrs. Allen to make any definitestatements and a great deal of time was consumed to getting her to answerquestions put by attorneys for either side.
Friday Morning - The Greenville Daily News - September 16, 1910
LIFE SENTENCE FOR J.G. LINDLEY
Alleged Slayer of Ben Allen convicted of murder in Yesterday's court. Jurymade Quick Decision.
After a trial lasting a day and a half, Lindley was yesterday afternoonconvicted of murder with recommendation to mercy of the court, and Judge Garyimposed sentence of Life-time imprisonment at hard labor - Infanticide Casewill probley come up for trial.
Found guilty of murder with recommendation to mercy after a trial of a day anda half. J.G. Lindley was late yesterday afternoon sentenced to lifeimprisonment at hard labor by Judge Gary. The jury remained out on the verdictonly a half hour. Messrs. Price and Pritchard conducted the defense.
Lindley is charged with the murder of Ben Allennear the city, during lastApril. He was convicted of murder at the last term of the court, but wasgranted a new trial on the grounds that he had not had sufficient time to gettogether his witnesses. The trial has excited considerable interestthroughout. A large number of witnesses were brought up by both the defenseand the prosecution , among them was the wife of Ben Allen.
After the jury was selected Wednesday afternoon, three State witnesses wereheard before court adjourned for the day. Dr. Wright, Coroner Eugene Batsonand Mrs. Ben Allen. Yesterday morning the examination of the States theexamination of the States witnesses continued the following were put on thestand, Dr. J.B. Earle, W.M. Allen and W.P. Brookshire. The defendant'switnesses were Dr. G.P. Walker, W.W. Greer, Albert Belt, J. Burgin, L.C.Blackwelder, J.W. Reed, Sam Thomason, O.G. Lindley, J.S. Price, Geo. Illnes,P.C. Harman and W.C. Allison. One more witness was sworn by the State, L.P.
About three quarters of an hour before the time for adjournment the jury wassent out, and the supposition was that it would take some time for a verdictto be reached, the judge adjourned court. The jury arrived at their decisionin half an hour and the sheriff summoned the judge and attorneys, all of whomcame but Solicitor Bonham. The verdict of the jury was guilty withrecommendation to mercy, was then read, together with the indictment. Thedefendant had nothing to say why he should or should not be sentenced and hisattorneys stated that while they would not make a motion for a new trial, if
they found any technicality they would make an appeal to the supreme court.Before imposing the sentence Judge Gary made a few remarks appropriate in thecase and to the purpose that Lindley was fortunate that the attorneys had putup an excellent fight but were unable to get around the facts in the case,that the verdict of two juries had found him guilty though the last verdictwas the lightest, that he had committed one of the baset of acts, to havemurdered Allen after having been invited as the deceased's close friend tolive with him and help take care of the children while Allen was at work or at
home resting, exhausted by his hard labor; and that whiskey and women had beenthe cause of all the cases brought up in the present term of court. Judge Garyexpressed the hope that this case would be taken as an example by those whoneeded it. The sentence was that, you be confined to the State penitentiary athard labor for the entire period of your life.
From the evidence it seemed that J.G. Lindley had been invited by Ben Allento come and live with him and his family and to make their house his home.Lindley had done this and had become infatuated with Mrs. Allen to the extentof making the statement that if Mrs. Allen outlived Ben, he intended to make
her his wife. They were living at the Poe Mill and one of the children wassick last April when the act was committed. Mrs. Allen heard a pistol shotabout twelve o'clock and she and Lindley found Allen in the bed with a bullet in his brain.