(Transcribed from the Adair County News.)


August 25, 1937

Garner Hearing Is Set for Sept. 3

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Casey County Legislator's Trial For Shooting at Fair Delayed When Victims Unable To Attend.

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Garner Released On Bond.


Examining trial for H. Myer Garner, 27, Liberty, State Representative from Casey and Russell Counties, was continued to September 3 by County Judge W.G. Shepherd on motion of County Attorney Ray Montgomery Friday because the chief prosecuting witnesses were absent.

A warrant charging Garner with malicious shooting and wounding was issued [Sunday] August 15 following a fight in a crowd of more than 5,000 on the closing night of the Columbia Fair. The trouble was said to have grown out of the bitter political campaign in Casey County, in which Garner was defeated for the Republican nomination for sheriff by Jack Wells, incumbent. [During this time period, primary elections in Kentucky were held in early August.--ed.]

Three men, James Wolford, Montpelier, Cleveland Janes, Sparksville, and Audry Sanders, Eunice, who were injured in the leg by one shot Garner fired at Harold Wells, Liberty, son of Sheriff Wells and himself a deputy sheriff, were unable to be in court.

Garner and Jesse Simpson, Liberty, charged with being an accessory in the shooting, have been released on $500 bond.

Trials on breach of peace against Garner and Harold Wells were also continued to September 3. Terrill Wilson, Jabez, Republican nominee for Representative in the Casey-Russell District, who paid a fine of one cent on a breach of peace charge in connection with trouble growing out of the fight, is a witness in the Garner case. The representative told officers he did not try to kill the deputy sheriff, but merely shot to halt an alleged advance of Wells with a pair of "knucks."


September 8, 1937

Garner Held To Jury In Shooting

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$500 Bond Continued For Casey County Legislator In Shooting And Wounding Charge.

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Other Charges Dismissed.

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H. Myer Garner, 28, of Liberty, "baby" member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, was held to the November grand jury of Adair Circuit Court Friday [September 3] on charges of malicious shooting and wounding.

Garner's bond of $500, posted on [Sunday] August 15 as the outgrowth of an affray at the Columbia Fair, when a pistol was discharged in a large [crowd] of 5,000 persons, was continued. Charges of breach of the peace against Garner and Deputy Sheriff Harold Wells, Liberty, were dismissed.

Wells' father, Jack Wells, defeated Garner in Casey County in a hard-fought election for the nomination for sheriff.

The three bystanders struck by a bullet Garner fired at Wells, were in court. They were James Wolford, Montpelier; Cleveland Janes, Sparksville; and Audry Sanders, Eunice, each of whom were struck in the leg. None was injured seriously.

According to testimony at the examining trial, the fracas began when Wells and Reuben Bolddock [probably should be Baldock], 27, Liberty, met on the midway and became involved in an argument over who Bolddock's brother-in-law supported in the Representative's race.

Wells called Bolddock "a liar," according to testimony, and struck him. Wells and Bolddock fought, but Garner's companion was "getting the worst of it because Wells was using brass knucks," the legislator asserted. Garner intervened in behalf of Bolddock, he testified, and later the lawmaker and the deputy sheriff came to blows. While both were on the ground, Garner took Wells' out of his pocket and threw it into the crowd, when Clell Tarter, Columbia, retrieved it. Terrill Wilson, 27, Republican nominee for Representative in the Casey-Russell district and a member of Garner's party at the fair, took the weapon from Mr. Tarter. The shooting occurred a few minutes later.

Charges against Jesse Simpson, 26, Liberty, charged with being an accessory in the shooting, were dismissed for lack of evidence.

Although Garner was the youngest member of the House of Representatives at the last session, he weighs about 200 pounds. His term expires in January, 1938.

County Attorney Ray Montgomery, who instituted the charges against the legislator and others, resisted moves by the defense attorneys at the hearing to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor in order that it might be compromised. "Such a reckless shooting in a large crowd cannot be tolerated," he said in refusing to compromise.

Defense attorneys were State Senator E.C. Moore and Charles Montgomery, former member of the State Highway Commission, both of Liberty.