The Murder of Joe Smith
Charged With Murder in Marshal’s Shooting
Victim’s Wife Held in Kosciusko Jail
The Conservative, January 19, 1961. Pp. 1., 4.
Mrs. Lottie Skelton Smith, 50, wife of Vaiden’s Marshal,
who has been charged with his murder, is being held in the
Hezekiah “Joe” Smith, 53, marshal of Vaiden for 16 years, was shot to death with his own gun about 11:30 Saturday night as he sat on the edge of the bed, Deputy Sheriff H.R. Michie said.
Mrs. Smith, 50, admitted the shooting but said that the gun went off in a scuffle during which she was trying to take the gun away from him for fear he would shoot her.
[Ed. Note: This edited picture shows the decedent with his hands clasped together. NO mention is made of how the hands were placed in this position, but it seems rather impossible for the decedent to have clasped them together after he had been shot in the head. If they were clasped together when he was shot, it is unlikely that a struggle ensued, as testimony stated. This is one of a set of five pictures taken by the coroner or sheriff before the body was moved. Although this author has all five pictures and all are unedited, DO NOT ask for copies.]
After the shooting, Mrs. Smith called a neighbor, Dr. H.R. Powell [Power] who went to the home and notified officers.
Sheriff Michie said that Smith was just coming off duty and was still fully clothed, still wore a hat, when he was shot through the left temple with a .38 revolver.
Murder charges were filed Sunday after further questioning, said District Attorney Jackson who disclosed there was no physical evidence the shooting was in self defense.
In an interview with a Conservative reporter at the Kosciusko Jail yesterday, Mrs. Smith said that her husband had been in ill health for a long time and that recently he had become despondent “losing interest in everything, even his job.”
She said, “He had been having spells of brooding over his health, and took many shots and pills.” She was unable to identify the medicine.
“I petted him like a child all the time,” she said. “Still he seemed to hate me even though I did everything I could to help him.”
“He had threatened to kill himself Friday night (the night of the shooting [Ed. Note: This was actually the night before the shooting]) but I managed to get the gun away from him.”
“The scuffle Saturday night was just a continuation of the one Friday night, but the gun went off and he slumped to the bed.”
“I don’t see how anybody could think that I would kill him. I lived with him for 31 years, and that’s a lifetime. If I ever could have done such a thing, it would have been long before now,” she said.
Mrs. Smith was weeping and obviously distressed throughout the conversation.
Preceding the incident, Smith had said, “I can kill you and myself too,” Mrs. Smith asserted.
Mrs. Smith said she has not asked for a preliminary hearing and is waiting to see “what they will do.” She said, “I don’t know what to do and don’t have anybody who can do anything for me.”
She said she has not yet obtained an attorney.
Services for Mr. Smith
were held at
Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Mrs. R.C. Overstreet of Winona; two sisters, Mrs. Johnny Skelton of Route 2, Carrollton, and Mrs. Blanche Dunn, Grenada; a son, Tommy Smith of Nashville, Tenn.; six brothers, four grandsons, and his mother.
Mrs. Smith is the daughter
of the late John Tom Skelton and was raised near
Vaiden Murder Trial Results in Hung Jury
The Conservative, November 16, 1961. P. 1.
The trial of Mrs. Lottie Skelton Smith resulted in a hung jury at 10 for and two against conviction as the jury deliberated from 6 to 9 p.m. She was charged with shooting her late husband Vaiden deputy Hezekiah Smith last January.
Mrs. Lottie Skelton Smith , 50, widow of the late Hezekiah “Joe” Smith, Vaiden Marshal, went on trial this week charged with the murder of her late husband in a scuffle at their home in January.
Smith, aged 53 and Vaiden marshal for 16 years was shot to death with his own gun near midnight as he sat on the edge of his bed last January 14. Mrs. Smith told at the time that she was “trying to take the gun away from him for fear that he would shoot her.” After the shooting Mrs. Smith called a neighbor, Dr. H.R. Powell [Power] who went to the home and notified officers.
Sheriff Charger Michie, who made the investigation, said back in January that Smith was just coming off duty and was still fully clothed, still wore a hat, when he was shot through the left temple with the .38 revolver.
Murder charges were filed
on Sunday, Jan. 15, after further questioning by District Attorney Chatwin
Jackson “disclosed that there was no physical evidence that the shooting was
in self defense.” Mrs. Smith’s defense
attorney is Maurice Black of Carrollton, with Dist. Attorney