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The State Vs. Virgil Butt
1915 - Part III

Source:  TSL&A Microfilm # A-5162
Sumner County Probate Records (County or Chancery)
Loose Records 3444 - 3513

Transcribed by Jan J. Barnes
© 2002

Loose Record # 3444

Testimony of Brode Dorris and Hirshel Civils

BRODE DORRIS
called for the defendant, being duly sworn, deposed as follows:

Direct Examination
By Mr. Guild.
Q.  This is Brode Dorris, is it?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Mr. Dorris, where do you live?
A.  Close to Salture.
Q.  What is your age?
A.  Thirty five
Q.  How long have you lived in Sumner County?
A.  All my life.
Q.  What is your occupation?
A.  Farming
Q.  Do you have any other business besides farming?
A.  I have a little grist mill.
Q.  Were you in Portland, Tennessee, on July 2nd the day that Mr. Al Hester was shot?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Where were you Mr. Dorris?
A.  I was over there at Mr. Clarence Kerley's cutting a well for him.
Q.  Mr. Clarence Kerley who lives on High Street?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Near Finn's blacksmith shop?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How long had you been there that day?
A.  I got there about 6:20 that morning.
Q.  (Referring to the map)  Mr. Dorris, assuming that this is a map of Portland there and that this is Mr. Butt's livery stable and this is Mr. Finn's shop?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Where were you, point with reference to that map the place you were at on this occasion.
A.  I don't know the houses.
Q.  Here is Mr. Kerley's place right there.
A.  When the shooting took place I was right at the back side of Clarence's house about eight feet from the west corner of that house.
Q.  What were you doing there at the time?
A.  Cutting a well.
Q.  Do you mean you had a well machine?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Now Mr. Dorris, what was the first thing that attracted your attention?
A.  Well, I heard one shot, one little sound of a gun at first.
Q.  What did you do then?
A.  I stepped to the corner of the house there.
Q.  Which corner?
A.  The west corner.
Q.  Of Mr. Kerley's house?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What then occurred?
A.  Mr. Hester was standing up by the side of the gate there and shot some two or three shots, and then a big gun then come in, then that shot several shots I don't know just how many, I can't state how many shots were shot.
Q.  Before you got to that corner of Mr. Kerley's house how many shots had been fired?
A.  Just one.
Q.  What kind of shots were they in sound?
A.  That was the small shots.
Q.  The other two or three?
A.  They were smaller too, and two or three next ones were small.
Q.  Did you see any body else there besides Mr. Hester?
A.  Mr. Butt was running from the gate towards his barn.
Q.  Describe if you can how he was running, in what manner, in what way was he running?
A.  In what position you mean?
Q.  Yes.
A.  He was just up running as hard as he could go towards the barn, with his hands going naturally that way, running as fast as he could go.
Q.  What did he do then?
A.  He turned about as soon as he got in sight or ten feet of the barn, he turned and went to shooting.
Q.  Did you see him at any time when he drew his pistol?
A.  When he turned around he drew his hand out from his breast and had his gun in his hand and fired.
Q.  Had you seem him with the pistol up until that time?
A.  No sir
Q.  How many times did you hear shots, if you know, in all?
A.  Well I can't say how many shots, there was some twelve or fourteen, I can't say positive how many, they were shot so fast you couldn't count them though.
Q.  How were the two last shots as compared with the first shots in sound?
A.  Well, the two last shots were a heap louder than any of the rest, bigger reports.
Q.  Where was Mr. Butt when those last two shots were fired?
A.  About the barn door.
Q.  You could see him?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Where did those two shots come from?
A.  It came from the barn just outside of the door, as near as I can tell, maybe he was standing in the door when he shot the last shots.
Q.  Tell in your own way what Mr. Hester was doing from the time you first saw him when you said you looked?
A.  He was shooting until he shot out and then he looked as though he stooped and loaded his gun is the way it seemed like his position was.
Q.  What happened to him?
A.  When Mr. Butt shot the last two shots, the last shot he fired he kind of dropped his gun and flinched and turned and went down on his elbow and eased over on his face.
Q.  Could you tell which shot hit Mr. Hester?
A.  The last I suppose.
The State objected to what he supposed.
Q.  You say that last shot he flinched and dropped his gun?
A.  The last shot he flinched and dropped his gun.
Q.  Did he fall backward or forward?
A.  No, like he was in this position he turned and eased down on his elbows and then went down on his face.
Q.  Do you know how close Mr. Hester was to the gate post?
A.  He had his hand on the post while he was doing the shooting.
Q.  Did you go to the immediate scene of the shooting after Mr. Hester fell?
A.  No sir, I went back and stopped the machine and engine.
Q.  Did you go then?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Was any body there at the scene of the shooting at the time you got there?
A.  Yes sir, Mr. Leonard Finn and Mr. Finn and his wife and one or two little children were there when I got there and the crowd gathered up.
Q.  Whose wife do you mean?
A.  Mr. Hester's wife.
Q.  Mrs. Al Hester?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How long did you remain there Mr Dorris at the body?
A.  I staid there until they taken him over home.
Q.  What was Mrs. Hester doing there, Mrs. Al Hester?
A.  She run over there when he shot him down and kind of picked him up in her lap and crying and taking on.
Q.  Did you hear what she was saying?
Objected to by the State as incompetent.

BY MR. BASS:
Mrs. Hester has testified and the proof here shows she ran out and took his head in her lap and made a statement, and we think it is competent.

BY THE COURT:
I don't think it would be competent, Mrs. Hester has taken the witness stand and has testified and any statement she made there would be extraneous.

BY MR. BASS:
We want to get it in the record.

BY THE COURT:
I will have you consume time letting the jury go out.

THE JURY HERE RETIRED.

BY MR. GUILD:
Q.  Did you say Mrs. Hester was crying over the body--what was she doing there at the time?
A.  She was holding his head in her lap and crying over him.
Q.  Was that immediately as soon as you got there?
A.  Yes sir as soon as I got there.
Q.  Do you know how long she had been there?
A.  She had been there about three or four minutes or five when I got there.
Q.  What did she say if anything while you were there, immediately upon your getting there?
A.  She said, "Oh Al.  I begged you for an hour not to come down here and raise any fuss and he would kill you."
Q.  Anything else?
A.  No sir, not that I remember of.

BY JUDGE ANDERSON:
Your Honor, let me make this statement and this ruling will settle it.  We have a large number of witnesses by whom we can make this evidence, this same evidence, and it is offered with the idea of being corroborative or affirmatory of Mrs. Hester's testimony on the stand.  The other witnesses will be in substance the same.

BY THE COURT:
I don't think, gentlemen, now it is competent, I will investigate the matter and see.  I don't think it is competent now.
Defendant excepted to the ruling of the Court.

THE JURY RETURNED.

BY MR. GUILD:
Q.  Mr. Dorris, at that time of the shooting had you known either Mr. Hester or Mr. Butt?
A.  Yes sir I knew both of them.
Q.  You were acquainted with both of them?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  When you went up there I believe you stated Mr. James Finn was there?
A.  The old man and Mr. Leonard Finn, I don't know what the old man's name was.
Q.  Old man Finn and his son Leonard Finn?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Did you hear them make any statements concerning the shooting or either one of them?
A.  I heard Mr. Finn, some one--
Objected to.
Q.  I will ask you whether or not old man Finn, James Finn stated there in your presence that Mr. Hester fired the first shot?
A.  He stated that he fired the first two shots, Mr. Finn said he fired the first two shots.
Q.  I will ask you if his son Leonard Finn didn't state that Hester fired the first shots?
A.  No sir I didn't hear him say that.

CROSS EXAMINATION
BY MR. BASKERVILLE.
Q.  Mr. Dorris, you say you were drilling a well that day?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  And you were in the rear of Mr. Clarence Kerley's house, who was there with you?
A.  Barney Forbes
Q.  The well machinery was in operation then?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What part of it were you looking at?
A.  The machine part, the well machine.
Q.  You were at the well machine?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  It makes a great deal of noise?
A.  That one didn't.
Q.  You had a noiseless well machine?
A.  No sir it wasn't noiseless, but I saw them that made a heap more.
Q.  That made some noise?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Was Mr. McNeil's little girl out in the yard?
A.  I never saw her.
Q.  Mr. Kerley's I mean.
A.  His little boy was out in the yard.
Q.  Mrs. Kerley was there?
A.  She wasn't in the yard.
Q.  She was there at the house?
A.  I suppose so, I don't know that she was.
Q.  When the shooting commenced you were back behind the house?
A.  About eight feet from the west corner.
Q.  Attending to the well machinery?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Which way were you looking then?
A.  I was kind of looking a little west, looking at Barney Forbes sitting on a box.
Q.  He was west of you?
A.  Kind of North of west.
Q.  You had hold of the drill?
A.  I had hold of the rope, turning the rope standing there talking to Barney.
Q.  Talking to Barney when the first shot was fired?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How far did you say you were from the corner of the house?
A.  Something near eight feet, I never did measure it.
Q.  Don't you know you were about fifteen feet?
A.  No sir, I don't now how far it was, eight or ten feet.
Q.  What did Forbes do?
A.  When the first shot fired he just raised up and looked in that direction and I stepped to the corner.
Q.  Didn't both of you think it was something about your well machinery that popped?
A.  No sir I knew it was a gun.
Q.  Didn't you say so right then and didn't you both think so?
A.  No sir
Q.  What did he do?
A.  He raced up and when Hester commenced shooting the second time he grabbed this little boy and got right in behind me.
Q.  After the second shot was fired you saw Forbes back there grab the little boy?
A.  I said when Hester went to shooting the second shot he came right in behind me with the little boy.
Q.  And put the little boy up in the house?
A.  No sir.
Q.  What did he do with the little boy?
A.  The little boy was at the engine when I went to stop it.
Q.  You say Forbes after the second shot was fired grabbed the little boy?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Where was Forbes behind you?
A.  No sir he was a little to the right of me the way I was standing then.
Q.  Both of you behind the house?
A.  No sir Forbes was behind the house and I was out at the corner, the wood shed, kind of opposite the street.
Q.  When the first shot was fired?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  I thought you said when the first shot was fired Forbes had hold of the well drill and you had hold of the rope.
A.  No sir I didn't say that.
Q.  Where was Forbes?
A.  He was sitting on a box.
Q.  How close to you?
A.  It must have been near eighteen or twenty feet.
Q.  Which direction?
A.  Kind of northwest.
Q.  Then he was further down towards the corner of the house than you were?
A.  To the west corner, he was but past the west corner.
Q.  How much past the west corner?
A.  I don't know how much, he was right in view of the street.
Q.  He must have been eight or ten feet past the west corner?
A.  Which, Forbes?
Q.  Yes.
A.  Yes I guess he was.
Q.  You run down to the corner you say to the northwest corner of the house?
A.  I stepped to the corner of the house.
Q. To the northwest corner? 
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Forbes was some eight feet beyond the northwest corner?
A.  I can take that stick and show you just how that was.
Q.  Well go ahead.
A.  We were at work there and this wood shed was out back of the house, this is the yard fence there (Indicating on map) and this wood shed set out here past the corner of the house and Forbes was sitting there on a box in the shade of the wood house.
Q.  Where were you?
A.  I was eight or ten feet from the corner of this house right there.
Q.  Behind the house?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You were ahold of the well rope and you were looking down towards where Forbes was?
A.  Yes sir standing there with one hand.
Q.  Where was the engine?
A.  The engine was back.
Q.  Come and locate the engine.
A.  The engine was sitting back up this way, east from there.
Q.  The engine was north east?
A.  Yes sir I guess it was northeast of this house and the machine was sitting in here and we were sitting here at work (Indicating)
Q.  Your well rope was right there where the well hole was?
A.  Yes and this was the back end of the machine and the engine was sitting this way, and the drill was working on this back end of the machine.
Q.  And you were working the drill?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Mr. Dorris, don't you know all of that first shooting had been done before you ever went around there at all?
A.  There was but one shot fired.
Q.  But one?
A.  Just one shot.
Q.  How come you to hear but one?
A.  I didn't hear but one.
Q.  Your attention hadn't been called until that shot was fired?
A.  I dropped my rope loose.
Q.  Did you turn to Forbes?
A.  Not until after the shooting was over.
Q.  You turned the rope loose and walked to the corner?
A.  I don't know whether I run or walked.
Q.  You said a while ago you stepped?
A.  Well, I stepped.
Q.  You made that in two steps?
A.  No I guess it would have been four steps.
Q.  You walked down there?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What did you see when you got down there?
A.  Hester shooting at the gate, standing with his hand on the post.
Q.  On top of the post, which post?
A.  The east post.
Q.  That sits back some six or seven feet from the pavement?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  He had his hand on that?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  On top of the post?
A.  I don't know that it was on top.
Q.  Didn't you say he had his hand on the gate post?
A.  Yes sir he had his hand on the gate post.
Q.  Which hand?
A.  His left hand.
Q.  And had his hand up against the post shooting with that?
A.  Shooting with his right hand.
Q.  With his left hand against which side of the post?
A.  The east side, he was shooting from the west side of the post.
Q.  Did you see where the shots were hitting?
A.  I didn't then, I did afterwards.  That is, part of them.
Q.  How many did you find?
A.  Five I think.
Q.  You saw some that hit on the ground?
A.  I saw where they hit the ground, I never saw the bullets.
Q.  You saw where they hit the ground?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Down there near the gate post?
A.  No sir close to the barn.
Q.  When?
A.  Just after the shooting was over.
Q.  Who was with you?
A.  There was a number of them in there, Mr. Finn and I don't know who all was there.
Q.  You don't know who all was in there?
A.  Some in there I didn't know.
Q.  Where was Butt standing when you saw Hester there at the gate post as you say you saw?
A.  Butt's was running when I first saw Hester at the gate post.
Q.  How many shots had been fired when you saw him there, Hester?
A.  One.
Q.  How much time was it between the firing of the first shot and the firing of the next two?
A.  Just a short piece, about a second.
Q.  About a second?
A.  Something that way maybe.
Q.  You were behind this house ahold of the rope of the drill eight feet behind the house and in one second you walked that distance around the corner and saw the second shot?
A.  It was about a second.
Q.  You saw him there, took in all of that in a second?
A.  I said in about a second.
Q.  Turned that rope loose and stopped the drill?
A.  No, I didn't stop the drill.
Q.  Turned the rope loose and walked down to the corner in time to see that in about a second?
A.  About a second.
Q.  How long was it before you heard Butt shooting?
A.  Mr. Hester shot some two or three shots then, and Mr. Butt commenced shooting in there with that gun.
Q.  Hester shot about two shots when Butt began shooting?
A.  About three shots and about two from the gate when Butt commenced shooting, they were shooting so fast I couldn't swear how many there was.
Q.  What became of Forbes then?
A.  He was there with me.
Q.  Don't you know you were both behind the house?
A.  No sir we were not both behind the house when it was going on.
Q.  Now Mr. Dorris where was Butt when the first shot was fired?
A.  You mean when Hester shot the first shot?
Q.  I mean when the first shot was fired where was Butt?
A.  He must have been somewhere about his gate, I don't know where he was standing when the first one was fired.
Q.  Where was he when the second shot was fired?
A.  He was running somewhere about half way between the gate and the barn.
Q.  Where was he when the third shot was fired?
A.  He was something near the barn.
Q.  He was in the barn then?
A.  No sir not in the barn.
Q.  How near that barn?
A.  Something like eight or ten feet.
Q.  Did he run on in the barn then?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did he get closer to the barn?
A.  He stood there and Hester shot at him and he was kind of backing up, they shot a little again and the big shot gun mixed up there.
Q.  The big shot gun?
A.  Big sounding gun.
Q.  Did he shoot any from the inside of the barn?
A.  No, he never shot any from the inside of the barn.
Q.  You say when Mr. Hester fell he still had hold of that gate post?
A.  No he didn't when he shot out.
Q.  He sunk down at the gate post?
A.  No he went back from the gate.
Q.  His feet were right there at the gate post?
A.  Something in two or three feet of the gate.
Q.  He sunk down you say and turned around?
A.  He turned around on his elbow and eased over on his face.
Q.  Went down on his face you say?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Now Mr. Dorris, you know Charles Kerley don't you?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You saw him on the day of the shooting at his store?
A.  I don't know whether  did or not, I don't think I went back to the store though.
Q.  I will ask you if on the day of the shooting, some time after the shooting occurred, if you didn't tell Mr. Kerley that you didn't see the first of it at all and that you were behind the house and didn't know who made the first shot at all?
A.  I told Mr. Kerley, I know it wasn't that day, I went home.
Q.  Didn't you tell him the next day?
A.  I told him the next day that I didn't see the first shot.
Q.  Didn't you tell him you didn't know anything about the first shooting?
A.  I didn't see the first shot.
Q.  And didn't know who did the first shooting at all?
A.  I told him I didn't know who shot the first shot at all.
Q.  Didn't you tell him you didn't know who fired the first shots at all?
A.  I told him I didn't know who fired the first shot.
Q.  That you were behind the house and couldn't see?
A.  I told him I was behind the house and couldn't see the first shot,  told several that, any one that asked me about it.
Q.  Didn't you tell Mr. Absher that runs the grocery, two or three days after the shooting there in the store that you were behind the house and didn't know anything about it until they had shot several times?
A.  No sir I didn't tell him anything of the kind.
Q.  Didn't you say to him that you didn't see the first of the shooting and did not know who fired the first shots?
A.  I told him I didn't see the first shot and didn't know who fired it.
Q.  You didn't tell him the first shots?
A.  The first shot, that means one, and don't mean two or three or four.

Re-Direct Examination

Q.  Mr. Dorris, you don't claim now to have seen the first shot fired, do you?
A.  No sir, I didn't see the first shot fired.
Q.  When you first saw Mr. Butt was his back to Mr. Hester or was his face toward him?
A.  His back, running.
Q.  At that time were you familiar with the sound of pistols?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What kind of pistol was that first shot from?
A.  An automatic.
Further this deponent saith not.

HIRSHEL CIVILS
called for the defendant, being first duly sworn, deposed as follows:

Direct Examination
By Mr. Bass

Q.  What is your name?
A.  Hirshel Civils.
Q.  Where do you live Hirshel?
A.  Portland.
Q.  Did you know Al Hester.
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Do you know Virgil Butt?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Were you in Portland on the day that Mr. Hester was killed?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Who were you working for at that time?
A.  Virgil Butt.
Q.  What were you doing for him?
A.  Working in the livery stable for him.
Q.  Where were you at the time the shooting too place?
A.  I was something near about the center of the hallway back of the front doors.
Q.  You mean there at the stable?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Did you see Mr. Butt when he left the stable?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  At that time do you know where he went out?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Where?
A.  The back door.
Q.  Now you were at what point when the shooting first began?
A.  I was about the front door, the hallway between the doors.
Q.  When you speak of the hallway door, that stable has a kind of vestibule or open hallway in front of it before you get back to the doors?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You were in what part of that?
A.  I was right there at the front door.
Q.  What attracted your attention?
A.  The guns firing.
Q.  What did you do when the gun fired?
A.  I just run around to the corner where I could see.
Q.  Which corner Hirshel?
A.  The left hand corner.
Q.  You mean the front of the building?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Look down here now and let's see if you can understand this map Hirshel, here is the part of Portland where most of the stores are over here on Main Street.
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Here are the railroads and this long building is the depot.
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Then this is High Street runs up here, here is the livery stable right here with the front end facing there?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  And that little hallway is indicated, you will see there, marked?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Here is where Mr. Virgil Butt's driveway is leading back to his barn?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  There is his house over there?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Do you understand it?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You were in this hallway or vestibule?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  When you heard the shots you run around to this corner you say?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  That is the southwest corner?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Did you run or walk?
A.  I run.
Q.  Did you go as fast as you could run?
A.  Yes sir I went pretty fast, not was fast as I could.
Q.  How many shots were fired before you got to the corner where you could see up this street?
A.  There were two or three shots.
Q.  Fired before you got to the corner?
A.  Fired before I got to the corner.
Q.  What did you see when you looked up that way?
A.  I saw Mr. Al Hester.
Q.  Where was he?
A.  Standing in front of Virgil Butt's gate.
Q.  Did you see Mr. Butt?
A.  I seen him, I taken a glancing look through the driveway and could see about that much of his head.
Q.  Was he standing still?
A.  No sir he was running at that time.
Q.  Why couldn't you see only that much of his head?
A.  The palings were sticking up tolerable high and there was some vines I think there at that time, I couldn't very well see him.
Q.  Did you see any shots fired after you got around where you could see up there?
A.  Yes sir Mr. Hester continued on shooting.
Q.  Well, were there any other shots besides the ones you saw Mr. Hester fire?
A.  I didn't see any, I heard some.
Q.  Where did you hear those?
A.  They sounded like they were over there about the barn.
Q.  You say you saw Mr. Hester shooting when you came around?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Was there any difference in the sound of the shots he fired and the shots you heard over at the barn?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What was the difference?
A.  Right smart of difference.
Q.  Which was the loudest and which was the smallest?
A.  The gun at the fence Mr. Hester had was making a keen noise and the other gun was making a big noise, something like a shot gun, hardly so loud.
Q.  Those first two or three shots before you got to the point where you could see, what kind of shots were those with reference to the others in sound?
A.  They were just like the ones Mr. Hester was shooting, the same kind, I couldn't tell any difference.
Q.  Well, how many shots did you hear him shoot in all Hirshel?
A.  I don't know there was several.
Q.  About how many would you say?
A.  I have no idea, there was several, I didn't count them, I guess there was fifteen or twenty maybe.
Q.  How many of the keen small shots did you hear you think before you heard any of the loud shots?
A.  Two or three.
Q.  Two or three?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Well, did you see Mr. Hester when he fell?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Were there any shots fired after he fell?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Was the last shot that was fired or the last two shots that were fired, were they small keen ones or loud ones?
A.  They were the loud ones.
Q.  Where did they come from?
A.  They came from over about the barn.
Q.  Hirshel, you know Clint Mays?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Was he working for Mr. Butt at the time?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Do you know where Clint was about the time that the shooting began?
A.  Yes sir  know about where he was.
Q.  Where was that?
A.  He was at the back end of the stable at the back doors.
Q.  Do you know Leonard Finn?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  I will ask you if you and Clint Mays and Mr. Butt on Sunday morning before this shooting entered into a plot or a conspiracy by which it was understood that Mr. Butt was going to kill Mr. Hester as he passed by the barn or any where else and that you and Clint and Martin Wright would swear him out of it?
A.  I never heard nothing of it before.
Q.  Well, did such a thing happen?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did you on that Sunday morning there in the stable back near the pump while Leonard Finn was sitting out in the front, on Sunday morning, in talking with Mr. Butt and Clint Mays, and loud enough for Leonard to hear you, agree that Mr. Hester was going to be killed by Mr. Butt and that you two, you and Clint Mays and Martin Wright would be witnesses and swear for him or did anything like that happen?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did it ever happen at any time?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did you agree to take part in the killing of Hester?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did you ever hear Mr. Butt threaten to kill Mr. Hester?
A.  No sir.
Q.  At any time?
A.  No sir.
Q.  You and Leonard had some words on Saturday or Sunday before this killing hadn't you?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did any row come up there about Finn's chickens?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Were you into that?
A.  Yes sir a little bit, I wasn't exactly in it.
Q.  Finn's chickens were running through the stable and they accused you boys of killing some of them?
Objected to.
Q.  There was a row there?
A.  Yes sir, I had run them out a few times.
Q.  Did you hitch up the team that brought Mr. Butt and the officer here from Portland after the shooting?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How did you happen to hitch up that team?
A.  Virgil Butt called me and told me to hitch it up from the bank.
Q.  Was that before the shooting or after the shooting?
A.  That was twenty or thirty minutes after the shooting.
Q.  I will ask you if before the shooting, about the time Mr. Butt left the stable, if he hollooed back to you to hitch up a team and hitch up Nigger in the team?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did anything like that happen?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did he direct you to hitch up any team before he left the stable going up that way?
A.  No sir.

Cross Examination
By Mr. Bowman:

Q.  Hirshel, you were working for Mr. Butt at the time of this trouble?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How long had you been working for him?
A.  Three or four months, I don't know how long.
Q.  Were you ever arrested for any offense?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Ever been indicted in this court?
A.  No sir.
Q.  You have been arrested a few times?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How long did you say you had been working for the defendant?
A.  Something like three or four months.
Q.  Who was at the stable that morning before this difficulty occurred?
A.  There was Mr. Butt and myself.
Q.  I mean at the time Mr. Butt left?
A.  I was there, Clint Mays and myself, and Gally Crafton, and J. Hinson, I believe.
Q.  That is all that were there?
A.  That is all I think were there.
Q.  You didn't see any body else?
A.  If I did I don't know.
Q.  Wasn't all three of you boys there in front of the stable when the shooting first occurred?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Wasn't Crafton and Mays?
Q.  Wasn't all three of you boys there in front of the stable when the shooting first occurred?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Wasn't Crafton and Mays?
A.  When the shooting occurred?
Q.  Yes, wasn't all three of you there in front of the stable together?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Where was Mays?
A.  He was somewhere about the back end of the stable.
Q.  Did you see him?
A.  Yes sir I seen him.
Q.  What was he doing?
A.  He was walking back that way.
Q.  That was before any of the shooting taken place at all?
A.  That was about the time the shooting taken place.
Q.  About the time the shooting occurred he was going towards the back door?
A.  Yes sir.  He might have been,  don't know that he was going, I seen him back there.
Q.  How long was that barn, 140 feet long?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How near was he to the back door?
A.   Can't tell you.
Q.  You know Mr. Davis the Marshal there?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  After those first shots were made didn't Mr. Davis come in front of the livery stable and wasn't you three boys out there at the time he passed you, and that was after all the shooting was over?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did Mr. Davis pass the front of the door?
A.  He didn't pass the door until the shooting was done and over, Mr. Hester was down and he and several people were going up the street and he came and asked me, he said he thought it was some one in the barn.
Q.  Do you know Mr. A. T. Bradley, didn't he come right up here at the time the shooting occurred from the depot and stop right out here by this railroad track?
A.  I didn't see Mr. Bradley at all.
Q.  Weren't you three boys then in front of that livery stable?
A.  We might have been after the shooting.
Q.  Wasn't he there?
A.  If he was there I didn't see him.
Q.  Didn't he come from the depot platform?
A.  I don't know where he came from.
Q.  Do you know Mr. E. N. McGuire?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Did you see him any where near?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Do you know L. A. Absher?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  I will ask you if he wasn't at the railroad crossing right where this shooting occurred and if you were not near the front?
A.  I didn't see Mr. Absher at all.
Q.  The first thing that attracted your attention was two or three shots made?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You don't know who made those shots do you?
A.  I think I do.
Q.  Did you see them made?
A.  I didn't see them made.
Q.  How do you know who made them?
A.  He was still shooting and they were from the same gun all right.
Q.  You swear to this jury while you didn't see those first two or three shots made--
A.  I didn't see the first shots made.
Q.  When you got to the corner he was still shooting?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  How many shots were made in succession?
A.  About fifteen.
Q.   You mean the first time you said three?
A.  Two or three, he might have made more.
Q.  I understand he made two or three shots and when you got to the corner of the livery stable he was still shooting, now how many did he make after you got to the corner?
A.  I can't tell you, he shot so fast I couldn't tell.
Q.  Three or four more?
A.  I can't tell you.
Q.  As many as three more?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Then if there was two or three before you got there and two more after you got to the corner, that made five shots in succession from Mr. Hester's pistol, isn't that correct?
A.  What?
Q.  He made five shots in succession?
A.  I don't know how many, I said he made two or three shots before I got to the corner.
Q.  And he was still shooting when you got there?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  And he made three or four after you got there?
A.  It looked like he was shooting, I could see a little smoke.
Q.  And hear the gun?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You heard three or four more after you got there?
A.  I don't know how many, he might have shot twelve or fifteen.
Q.  You said he made two or three?
A.  He made that many by the time I got out there and the other gun commenced shooting, and then they commenced shooting one another first one shot and then the other.
Q.  Hirshel, didn't you just swear to this jury that the reason why you know Hester made those first shots was that you had heard two or three shots about the time you got to the corner and about three or four more was made from Mr. Hester after you got to that corner?
A.  No sir.
Q.  You didn't swear that to the jury?
A.  No sir I didn't swear that to this jury.
Q.  Let us get back again, he had made two or three shots when you got to the corner?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  What was he doing when you got to the corner?
A.  He was still shooting.
Q.  How many did he make after you got to the corner?
A.  I don't know, I didn't count them.
Q.  He made so many after you got to the corner that you didn't have the time to count them did you?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  That was continuous shooting, all right; now son, William Civils is your father isn't he?
A.  Yes sir, supposed to be.
Q.  You think probably he is.
A.  I think so, yes sir.
Q.  Didn't you Hirshel, the very next morning at your father's house, tell your father that you were in the front part of the stable cleaning up, rolling out manure and didn't see any of the shooting?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Hirshel, how many trips did you make down to Nashville to see Mr. Butt while he was in jail.
A.  I made one.
Q.  Only made one trip to see him while he was there?
A.  I was down there twice while he was down there but I didn't go to see him.
Q.  You went to see him twice?
A.  Yes I went to see him.
Q.  You and he discussed these matters?
A.  No sir.
Q.  He never asked you what you knew about it?
A.  No sir.
Q.  He never asked you where you were when the difficulty occurred?
A.  No sir.
Q.  Did he ask you what you saw?
A.  No sir.
Q.  All he asked you was did you hear the shooting?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You never told him?
A.  No sir.
Q.  This is the only time you stated it?
A.  Yes sir.

Re-Direct Examination

Q.  You told the lawyers, me and Mr. Durham and Judge Anderson and Mr. Guild?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You would have told them if they asked you?
A.  I think so.
Q.  You were working at his stable when this killing occurred?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Did you continue to work there after he was in jail?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  I believe they asked you if you had been arrested?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  You stated you had a time or two?
A.  Yes sir.
Q.  Never indicted in court?
A.  No sir not that I know of.
Q.  Got you up before a Magistrate?
A.  Yes sir.

Further this deponent saith not.


State vs. Virgil Butt - Part IV

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