Holly Griffith Sentenced to Life in 1915


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 7/23/1915.

Griffith Sent Up for Life

W.H. Griffith, alleged slayer of Constable Jeff Goff, of Creston, and who was tried last week in Braxton county for the murder of Police Officer Ord Thompson, of Gassaway, was given a life sentence in the penitentiary Friday of last week by Judge Jake Fisher.

It is reported that the jury on the first ballot stood ten for life sentence and two for hanging.  The following account of his trial appeared in last week's issue of the Braxton Central:

"The trial of W. Holly Griffith, of Wirt county, for the murder of Police Officer Ord Thompson, of Gssaway, on the 30th day of April last, was begun in the circuit court of this county on Monday, the 12th inst.  A list of 120 men had been drawn for jurors.  It was generally expected that a day or two would be consumed impanelling a jury, but there was little delay experienced, as one was drawn in a couple of hours.

"The evidence was completed by noon Wednesday, but the argument of the case was not opened until Thursday morning, and is still in progress as we go to press.

"The State's interests are in the hands of James E. Cutlip, prosecuting attorney for this county, and J.L. Smith, assistant prosecuting attorney for Wirt county.  Attorneys C.F. Greene and W.F. Frame are counsel for the defense.

"The case has attracted much interest and drawn a large crowd of spectators daily, many ladies being among the latter.  It is being very hotly contested on both sides and the public is busy discussing its probable outcome.

"Confinement in the county jail has left its mark on Griffith.  He has become thin and pale and on the witness stand he showed a nervousness that was new to him.  His father, a resident of Clarksburg, was at his side during the trial and seemed much affected over the ordeal through which the young man was passing."