A Young Girls Murderers


Trial of a Kentucky Sheriff and Others For The Crime


Confession of One of the Accused 

Major W. R. Kinney, who is assisting in the prosecution of Joseph Myrick, Sheriff; J. W. Sullenger, ex-Sheriff; and Charles Gardner, Deputy Sheriff of  Carroll County, and others, on trial for the murder of Carrie Anderson, Worthville, returned to the city [Louisville] yesterday from Carrollton, feeling jubilant over his success so far.  The evidence disclosed Friday proved a bombshell to the defense, who prevailed upon Judge Fisher, presiding in the case, to postpone further hearing until Wednesday, in order that they might have time to prepare their line of defense. 

Among the last persons arrested as a party to the crime was Nate Orr, who was taken last Wednesday.  Thursday he sent for his brother, who is a lawyer, and related to him his connection with the affair.  The brother had previously complained bitterly, and, on hearing the statement, advised Nate to make a clean breast of it to Prosecuting Attorney Donaldson and Major Kinney.  Accordingly, Friday morning, he found those two gentlemen in consultation and after having a few minutes conversation again with his brother, he told the counsel exactly what he knew.  They then determined to put him on the stand as a witness instead of a prisoner.  When court opened and Orr was placed upon the witness stand a sensation was created.  The defense attempted to prevent his testimony, but after some skirmishing he related the circumstances of the shooting and killing, in substance as follows: 

He was invited by Julius Petet to have some fun.  He, together with Petet and Thompson, left George Petet’s shortly after dark, and reached the Worthville Road near the Gap Hill about 10 o’clock, and there met Joseph Myrick, J. T. Sullenger, and Charles Gardner.  The whole party then proceeded together toward Worthville, at an ordinary gait.  They all had double-barreled shot-guns, except Sullenger.  Witness rode with Sullenger, who informed him that they were going to give Bill Anderson a scare, so as to run him off; that the Andersons had burned Joe’s (Myrick’s) house, and that he could not use the ferry while they were there, but that there was no intention to commit violence, or to have a difficulty unless attacked.  They hitched their horses at Dean’s Chapel, and staid there about a half-hour, when they proceeded to Anderson’s.  Myrick took a turpentine ball, placed it near the corner of the house and set it on fire.  Then they heard a noise in the house, and thought the Andersons were coming, when, as the door opened, Myrick fired his gun into the air.  Some of the others – he could not state who, except that it was not Sullenger – fired from behind them, and a girl screamed.  Myrick exclaimed, “My God, don’t shoot any more, you have killed a woman!”  They immediately left, and remounting their horses, rode in a trot or pace to the pike near Gap Hill, where Gardner separated from them, going toward Carrollton.  The rest of the party went to Petet’s and staid there until morning. 

After examining several other witnesses the prosecution was ready to close, when the defense obtained the postponement.  Major Kinney says there are two other prisoners who have signified their willingness through friends to turn State’s evidence and corroborate Orr in his statements.


As published in the New York Times on August 21, 1877.  The Times credits the story to be from the Louisville Courier-Journal of August 19.