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From the Soliphone

14 Aug 1944

First Degree Murder Charge

Is Filed Against Ches Rodgers

In Slaying Of Edward Howard

Cardwell Resident Is

Slain With Pistol

Bullets At 8 O' clock

Saturday Evening

Shooting Occurs On

East Kingshighway

Chief Of Police Nath Coln

Says Two Men Had Trouble

Earlier Over Poker Game

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney George W. Butler Today filled a charge of
first degree murder against Ches Rodgers, 41,
being held in the Greene county jail, in connection with the slaying
of Edward Franklin Howard, aged 23, of Cardwell, at eight o'clock
Saturday evening at the corner of East Kingshighway and Wall street.
Mr. Howard was struck in the top of the head, in the left chest,
and under the right shoulder blade, in his right side
under the arm, and through the left arm under the shoulder by .32
caliber pistol bullets, and was killed instantly.

Chief of Police Nath Coln said he understood that the two men had trouble
earlier at the home of Rodgers, on South Pekin near the shirt factory,
over a poker game and that Mr. Howard tried to strike Mr. Rodgers with a chair
and later with a stick, but others prevented it and talked him into leaving.
The officer said that Mr. Howard was talking to J. C. Fartning near
the highway sign on the northwest corner of the
intersection, when he saw Mr. Rodgers come around the corner of
Neal Morrow's cafe , on southeast corner.

Mr. Coln quoted Mr. Farthing as saying that Mr. Howard said he had taken care
of one of those he had fought with and now he was going to take care of the
other as he started running toward Mr. Rodgers. Mr. Rodgers is said to have
opened fire with a .32 caliber Smith and Wessen pistol
as the younger man neared him. He fell just south of the black line
in the middle of the highway.

Chief Coln said that Robie Wilkerson received a cut over his left eye during
the fight at the Rodgers home when he sought to intervene but had been
unable to learn of any other persons involved in the fight with young Howard.
Mr. Wilkerson expressed the belief that he was struck accindentaliy in seeking to
prevent Mr. Howard from striking Mr. Rodgers with the stick, the officer said.
The officer said others at the poker game were Ed Purcell and Shorty Cooper.
The police chief did not learn just what the trouble was over.

Chief Coln said he learned that Mr. Rodgers was en route to the home of
Mr. Wilkerson, at the rear of Bob Isom's pool room at the northwest corner
of the street intersection. Mr. Rodgers has made
no statement to officers concerning the shooting.

Chief Coln said that he was told that when young Howard left Rodger's home
after the fight he had threatened to get Mr. Rodgers
if it took hot lead to do it.

Following the shooting, Mr. Rodgers took six empty cartridge shells
from his pistol and handed the weapon to James Hyde, former constable.
Mr. Rodgers surrendered to police officers when they arrived at the scene
and Mr. Hyde turned the pistol over to police at local headquarters.
Mr.Rodgers was later turned over to County Sheriff Fred W. Gray.

Mr. Howard was born at Beach Grove. He was employed at odd jobs.
Althought his home was at Cardwell, he resided part time with his grandmother,
Mrs. Wyoma Howard of Paragould, and other relatives here.

The body was carried to the Randal L. Mitchell Funeral Home
following the shooting and was later removed to A. J. Emerson Funeral Home
and prepared for burial.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Surviving are his wife,
Mrs. Rochelle Howard, a son, Paul Howard,
a sister, Mrs. Theodore Thompson of Live Oak, Calf.
a half sister, Miss Violet Howard of Cardwell
a brother, Charlie Howard of Paragould:
two half brothers, Frank and George Randal Howard of Cardwell;
his mother, Mrs. Grace Hafford of Paragould;
and his father, George Howard of Cardwell.
He was the grandson of
Mrs. Wyoma Howard of Paragould and Mrs. Pearlie Howard of Cardwell.

Since writing the forgoing, it was learned that the preliminarmy hearing of
Mr. Rodgers would be held at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon before
Justice of the Peace A. D. Jackson. Officers quoted Archie Brooks a witness,
as saying that shortly before the shooting, young Howard
told him that Mr. Rodgers had won $11 from him by allegedly
using marked cards and that he intented to get it back some way.

Transcribed by as printed by: Ronnie Moore

End Note:

This occured on Saturday 12 Aug. 1944

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