The Killing of Jim Green

Written by Gene Barron

On Friday at about 5 o’clock in the evening of August 29, 1925 James Martin Green was stabbed and died instantly, while three other men, Caleb Marcus Green, Roe Thompson and G. E. Lindsey, were seriously cut in a fracas at the Bank of Bernice.

It seems that Green had just finished a settlement of a judgment that G. E. Lindsey held against one of the men at Lindsey’s store. They had walked to the bank where the settlement was finished. Upon the completion of the settlement, C. M. Green, son of James M. remarked to Lindsey, “You’ve got yours and now I’m going to get mine!” and with that all four men came together in a free-for-all. Witnesses indicated that Caleb pulled a knife. At some point Young S. Fuller became involved in the scuffle.

Sheriff Fenner W. “Pat” Murphy and District Attorney W. L. Thompson were notified and both immediately came to the scene to investigate the melee. A coroner’s jury was impaneled and worked late into the night but failed to come to any conclusion as to exactly what had happened.

On October 17 Young S. Fuller, cashier of the Bank of Bernice, was indicted on three counts, one of them murder, by the Union Parish Grand Jury in Farmerville in connection with the killing of Jim Green.

On October 20 the case of State of Louisiana vs Young S. Fuller charged with the murder of J. M. Green began. Both sides were ably represented. District Attorney William J. Hammon of Jonesboro and J. Rush Wimberly of Arcadia represented the state while the defendant was represented by his two sons, Harry Fuller of Shreveport, Roy Fuller of Arcadia, Harvey G. Fields and Seaborn Lee Digby of Farmerville and J. W. Elder of Ruston.

More than sixty jurors were examined before twelve were found suitable to both sides. During the trial, more than twenty witnesses were called to testify and it took three days to try the case. Public attendance was the largest ever seen at a trial in the parish. Witnesses testified that Fuller had been a bystander to the fight and that he went into the melee as a peacemaker.

The case was given to the jury at 10:30 Wednesday night and was only out ten minutes when they returned with a verdict of not guilty. Many prominent citizens from the parish, as well as neighboring parishes, rushed up to congratulate Fuller.

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Gene BarronGene Barron is a native of Spearsville, Union Parish, Louisiana. He has a genealogy database of 182,000 names, who are all connected to his family.

Gene has also written two historical books on Union Parish. I highly recommend both.

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