May 2, 1900
Henry Cleveland, a colored man of Marion ward, came to town Monday and reported to the coroner that the dead body of a white man had been found near a creek on his place. Dr. Jameson went out and held an inquest, and discovered that the man came to his death by a severe blow on his head, his skull being completely crushed to pieces. The body was identified as that of a man named Crockett Hardy, a transient laborer, and the surroundings pointed to murder for the sake of money.
Asa Cleveland, the sixteen year old son of Henry Cleveland was believed to be the murderer, and he was promptly captured. Cleveland confessed to the killing, but claimed it was done in a fight, but as the dead man’s purse was found on the boy’s person, it is unreasonable to doubt his quilt. He stated that the crime had been done on the 16th of April, and that he concealed the body in a pile of leaves and brush to prevent its being found. The mother of the youthful slayer also made a statement to the effect that she believed her son committed the murder. The amount of money obtained by the negro was $2.50.
The murder was brought to town and placed in jail Monday evening where he will await the action of the grand jury. This negro justifies punishment to the fullest extent of the law, and according to his own statement and from what the negro’s mother says, it is evident that he will be indicted for murder in the first degree.