Franklin Beach, $2,000 Bond – 1940

Franklin Beach Put Under $2,000 Bond, Others Held As Accessories

When undertaker John Booth of Oliver Springs expressed the opinion that the body of Bob Lowe contained bullets from two sizes of pistols and pellets from a shotgun, Magistrates D Ward and J S Holt held C Franklin Beach, the deputy who admitting shooting Lowe, and three of his companions under bond to criminal court. The hearing was Friday afternoon. Franklin Beach was placed under $2, 000 bond on manslaughter charge, while his brother, Mitchell, also a deputy, Levi Hawkins, and Carl Allen were placed under $1,000 bonds each on charges of “siding and abetting” in the murder of Bob Lowe”. All made bond. The third deputy, Clifford McGhee, was released when the state considered using him as a witness. Testimony of Sheriff R A Smith showed that Deputy Franklin Beach admitted to him that he shot Lowe “after the roadhouse man fired into the car occupied by the three deputies and their companions”. Sheriff Smith said that Franklin told him he returned Lowe’s fire, shooting through the car’s windshield, and killing the Lake City man instantly. Mr. Booth said Lowe had been shot four times with pistols and “numerous times” about the face by shotgun pellets. Mr.Booth, of Booth Funeral Home, Oliver Springs, testified the bullet entered just below Lowe’s collarbone and emerged just above the hips, traveling at an angle of 45 degrees. The face, he said, was peppered by shotgun pellets. No 8 shot, I judge, Mr. Booth remarked. He said he removed one of the pellets from Lowe’s right eyelid and when removed, the pellet broke in two. Lowe’s skull was fractured just about the eye. The nose was mashed and most of the flesh was torn from one side. There were bruises on the cheeks, he testified. Defense Attorney James M Underwood tried to show the shooting could have been done by one man, but State’s Attorney, Leonard Ladd, said he “couldn’t picture Two-Gun Franklin with a shotgun in his mouth”. The county courtroom, where the hearing was conducted, was filled sometime before the hearing began. Although scheduled for 3 PM, delays held up the start until after 3:30 p.m., and it was after 4:30 before it completed.

Clinton Courier – April 4, 1940

[Transcribed by Susie Bullock]

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