Bryars Hadley Feud (Taken from actual court documents exactly as it was written, and exactly how spelling and words were used) Supreme Court: Hadley v. The State. From the Circuit Court of Baldwin. Tried before the Hon. H. T. Toulmin. The defendants in this case, James Hadley and James M. Hadley, were jointly indicted and tried, together with Jesse Hadley, Thomas Stewart, and Howell Pitcher, for the murder of Green B. Bryars; pleaded not guilty to the indictment; were convicted of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to imprisonment in the penitentiary for the term of ten years, while a verdict of not guilty was returned as to the other defendents. The circumstances attending the homicide, as disclosed by the evidence adduced on the trial, are thus stated in the bill of exceptions: There was evidence tending to show, on the part of the State, that the parties lived about seven miles apart in the northern part of Baldwin county, and were stock-raisers; that on the Saturday before the killing they (that is, James Hadley, James M. Hadley, Jesse Hadley, and Green B. Bryars) were together at the house of said Green B. Bryars, and were friendly, and parted friendly, to meet again on Monday morning, and to go to a fork two or three miles from the house to drive out some sheep belonging to Hadley, and separate them from the sheep of said Bryars. On Monday morning, all five defendants came to the fence of one of Bryars's lots, which was near the road leading from, and about one hundred yards from his house. All of them were mounted except one, and all armed with guns, and were first outside of the fence, opposite said Green B. Bryars, who stood by his plow, just inside of his lot, where he had been plowing before the defendants came up. Larry Bryars, one of his sons, had been to the house for water, and had just returned to his father, whom he had been helping to plow, as the defendants came up, and was standing outside of the fence, a few steps from his father. Wiley J. Bryars, another son, came from the house towards the place where his father and the defendents were; and when he came within about thirty steps of them, the deceased had left his plow, and got over the fence, and walked a few steps in the direction of the house, when he called out, 'Boys, come here." This call attracted the attention of John and Joseph Bryars, who were at the house, and of his wife and daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Bryars and Bettie Bryars, who were in the yard, near the gate. Immediately on the deceased calling for his boys, the defendants dismounted from their horses, and James Hadley, being about five steps from the deceased, leveled his gun at the deceased, and shot him with both barrels. The deceased fell instantly; and about the same time, James M. Hadley shot him with one barrel of his gun, and then shot the other barrel at Larry, who stood near his father; from which shot Larry fell. About the same time, all of the other defendants pointed their guns in the direction of Larry and Wiley, who were in the same direction from the defendants, and fired; Larry being then down on the ground, and Wiley going towards the house. Wiley was shot in the back and the thigh and head. The deceased, Green B. Bryars, Larry, and Wiley, were dressed in their working clothes, were in their shirt-sleeves, and had no arms or weapons of any sort. The evidence tended to show that the deceased, at the time he was shot, had in his left hand a small stick, about two feet long, and an inch and a half in dameter. Very soon after this shooting, Joseph Bryars started from the house, with his gun, and reached within about fifty yards of the defendants, when he was shot in the head, and killed; and the evidence tended to show that he did not fire his gun. John Bryars was advancing a short distance behind Joseph, with two guns, and he received a shot in the arm. He immediately returned the fire, discharging both barrels of his gun, and turned to get the other gun, which he had put down, when he received a second shot in the foot. green B. Bryars, Larry Bryars, and Joseph Bryars were all killed, and Wiley and John wounded, in a few moments of time, and with a short time, not exceeding ten minutes, after the devendants arrived there. The defendants remounted their horses, and left in the direction whence they came; and the evidence tended to show that they went towards the house of James Hadley, and from there to the woods. One Renfro (???) testified, on the part of the State, that the defendant Pitcher was in his employ, getting timber, and came by his camp about sunrise on the morning of the killing, and told him that he was going to fight a duel with old man Bryars that morning and would be back to his work about twelve o'clock that day; that said Pitcher then left his camp, with a gun, and went in the direction of Bryars's house, which was two or three miles distant. The killing took place about eight o'clock in the morning.
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