Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dr. Peacock Found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity; Widow Suing Peacock, 1921

From the Rockingham Post-Dispatch, June 16, 1921

Dr. J.W. Peacock was acquitted in Superior Court at Lexington last week of the murder of the Thomasville Chief of Police, J.E. Taylor. The experts, Doctors J.K. Hall, Isaac Taylor and Albert Anderson (the same three who testified in the Foster Parsons trial here at Rockingham last year) testified that Dr. Peacock was crazy at the time of the killing, and it was on this testimony that the imported Rowan county jury acquitted the man. A hearing will not be held on June 28th to determine whether Peacock is insane at the present time; this coming hearing will decide whether he will be committed to the insane department or turned loose.

Mrs. Ethel Taylor, widow of the slain man, has brought suit against the estate of Dr. Peacock for $40,000 for damages. H.S. Shaver, who was wounded by Peacock at the tie Taylor was killed, has also brought suit. He is suing for $25,000. It is to be hoped that both will recover the full amounts. To the lay mind it would seem that the acquittal of Peacock for this brutal murder is an outrage on justice.


From the Elizabeth City Independent, June 17, 1921.

Mrs. Ethel B. Taylor, widow of Chief of Police J.E. Taylor, who was shot and killed in Thomasville by Dr. J.W. Peacock, has instituted suit against the physician for $40,000 as damages.


From the High Point Review, June 23, 1921

Lexington—At 10 o’clock p.m. the jury trying Dr. J.W. Peacock charged with the murder of Chief of Police Taylor at Thomasville, brought in a verdict of not guilty. The jury accepted the evidence of alienists that Dr. Peacock was insane at the time Taylor was killed.

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