Clinch Valley News, Jeffersonville, VA

November 19, 1909


Man Indicted For Sextuple Murder at Hurley-Tazewell Lawyers in the Case

In the circuit court of Buchanan county, at Grundy, on Tuesday, Howard Little, the alleged sextuple murderer, was indicted, the grand jury reported a true bill, charging him with having murdered Mrs. betsie Justis, her son in law, George Meadows, his wife, and their three children, whose dead bodies were found in the ruins of their home at Hurley about two months ago, and with having set fire to the house to destroy the evidences of the crime.

The grand jury's action has ocasioned no excitement at Grundy, or any other parts of the county, and the people seem to be satisfied with the course putsued by the court.

Little is still in the Lebanon jail, where he was taken when arrested, and the date set for taking him back to Grundy has not been made known.

Bert T. Wilson, of Russell county, who has been retained by Little, states that the trial will not be gone into until next week, and if there appears any evidence that the citizens of Buchanan county will take the law in their hands and lynch the man, that Governor Swanson will be asked for troops to protect hinn and see that he has a legal trial. Governor Swanson has indicated that he will send troops as soon as they are needed.

According to the Bluefield Telegraph, the Virginia troops, if they are used, will come to Bluefield. and there await the arrival of Little, who will be taken there from Lebanon, over the Clinch Valley. From here they will go to Devon and up Knox Creek, the nearest route to Grundy. This will necessitate the operation of troops in West Virginia for the most part, and there is some speculation as to whether the governor will do this, or send the troops on to await Little and those having him in charge on the state line. The fact that Little has to cross the state line several times and travel many miles in West Virginia, unless he is marched through the country from Lebanon to Grundy, brings to mind the danger of a mob on West Virginia territory, and it is pointed out that should a mob cross into West Virginia, take Little from the officers and string him up it would be next to impossible for this state to apprehend or punish those who violate the laws of West Virginia.