Greene County, Arkansas
From the Soliphone
May 16, 1902
A. B. Thomason is a dead man
Thomason, a man well known to the people of Greene County, is lying dead at the undertaker's establishment of H. S. Trice. He was shot to death last night just after midnight by Joe Thompson.
The shooting occurred in a room upstairs on Pruett street, formerly occupied by Jake Shippers as a pool and billiard room. witnesses to the shooting were J. H. Bryant, Tom Tate, Dick Thomason and Bruner Thomason.
The dead mans anatomy is punctured with four bullet holes made by a 38 caliber Smith & Wesson. One bullet entered the head just above the left ear; one entered the left cheek; one entered the neck just under the shoulder blade and one entered the body in the region of the heart. Death ensued within a few minutes after the shooting occurred.
Coroner Norwood this morning summoned a jury for the purpose of holding an inquest. The jury, after hearing the testimony of the witnesses above enumerated, failed to agree on a verdict as to whether the killing was justifiable and referred the case with the evidence before them, to Justice A. B. Hays. Justice Hays will not undertake the hearing of the case until the return of the Prosecuting Attorney S. R. Simpson, who is attending court in Mississippi County.
There have been several brawls between the two men recently and Thomason had threatened Thompson.
Last night when difficulty occurred the dead man used language according to witnesses that is to indecent to print. He repeated the language three times, applying it to his slayer, and at the same time placed his hand to his hip pocket and assumed a threatening attitude. The shots were fired very rapidly and either would, perhaps, haven proven fatal.
Thomason had been a turbulent and quarrelsome character. Has had many personal encounters and has been several times severely wounded. He was a man of great physical strength, of large and sinewy frame, and no ordinary man could cope with him in a rough and tumble fight. He knew no such word as fear, and the sight if a weapon in his hands of his antagonist only increased his rage and made him more defiant. A few ago he was shot by Charley Houston, a young man of the town and the Doctors pronounced his wounds fatal, but he survived them.
A. B. Thomason, in his way was a clever, good hearted fellow, but his turbulent and overbearing disposition, especially when drinking, often involved him in trouble, and the manner of his taking of is no surprise to the people of this community, where he has spent most of his life. He being about 35 years of age.
He leaves a young wife and a child.
Joe Thompson surrendered himself to tonight Marshall Lawson a few minutes after the shooting. He expressed great regret at the killing, but says he could not avoid it ~ that he had to do it. He is under the confidence that Thompson will not be convicted of any higher degree of homicide than manslaughter, if convicted at all.
Thompson has been at his residence today under guard and refused to be interviewed by the Soliphone.
Thomason's funeral occurred this evening at 5 o'clock. Transcribed by: Sandy Hardin