Event Person

Gun User Surrenders; Says Nephew’s Death Accidental

William Thornton, aged 40, who is charged with killing his nephew, Ned Thornton, aged 24, at the former’s home at High Hill, Adams county, surrendered to Sheriff Petit at Rome last night. He was taken to West Union, where he was lodged in the county jail. He will be arraigned on a charge of first degree murder.”

“Thornton now claims the shooting was accidental and that the trigger was snapped while he and his nephew were wrestling for possession of the death-dealing weapon.”

April 21, 1922 Portsmouth Daily Times headlines

“Thornton told the officers that he had not intended to shoot his nephew and that they had always been the best of friends.”

“He said that he would plead not guilty to the charge of first degree murder and indicated that he would rely on a plea of self-defense or accidental shooting in an effort to clear himself of the charge.”1

  1. Gun User Surrenders; Says Nephew’s Death Accidental. (1922, April 21). Portsmouth Daily Times, p. 20.