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Newspaper articles from the summer of 1934

Aged Man Kills Kings Creek Citizen

The first killing in Letcher County for some time took place on Kings Creek on last Saturday when Joe Creech, 76, waylaid and shot to death Ira Eldridge, about 30. For a year or more trouble had been brewing between the two men over Creech's wife, it is said.

The report is that Creech concealed himself in or about the head of Kings Creek School house and as Eldridge passed along, shot him, the ball striking the back, killing him instantly.

Eldridge was one of the younger sons of the late Mathew Eldridge, and was born and reared on Kings Creek. He belonged to one of the best and was among the first families to settle in the county.

Creech came to this county about twenty years ago, and has lived in several sections fo the county, generally around Sergent, Millstone and Kona. His second wife is a daughter of Lansford Fields, of Kings Creek. The first family of Creech are all grown while he has several children with his last wife. Eldridge was separated from his wife, who was a Sturgill. He had five or six children that lived with him.

Creech came to the county jail Saturday night, surrendered himself to officers, and was placed in jail. On Monday he came before Judge Adams, where he waived examination and was held in jail to await action of the grand jury, which meets about the middle of this month.

Ira Eldridge, age 27 was mortally wounded by Joe Creech last Saturday.

Joe Creech Goes on Trial

Early yesterday, the case of Joe Creech, on a charge of shooting and killing Ira Eldridge about three weeks ago on Kings Creek, went to trial. The jury impaneled to try the case consists of the following: Wm. Centers, George Webb, Elzy Adkins, Austin Collins, James Williams, Elisha Collins Sr., Isaac Brown, John A. Collier, J.H. Hogg, Sherman Potter, B.F. Bentley and J. Dixon Craft. States Attorney Childers and County Attorney Adams head the prosecution, while Attorneys Dug Day and French Hawk represent the defense. A large number of witnesses have been summoned, but the case it seems will be a short one. Creech is an aged man and the killing is alleged to have been brought about over domestic affairs.


Jury Hangs in Joe Creech Case

After three or four hours deliberation, the jury in the case of Joe Creech, charged with the murder of Ira Eldridge, failed to agree on a verdict and so reported to the court and was discharged. It is said the jury disagreed on the amount of time to fix for him in the state prison. Some of the jury stood out for a sentence of five years, while others stood for two years. The case will come up for retrial either toward the end of the present term or the next term of court.

Joe Creech Goes On Trial Again

Yesterday afternoon, Joe Creech, 76, charged with the murder of Ira Eldridge, 27, about three months ago, was put on trial again. The same testimony as was advanced at a former trial at the May term failed to agree on a verdict. The killing took place on the head of Kings Creek early in April of this year. Creech formerly lived around Thornton and Millstone, where he is well known. Before this issue of the paper is printed we may be able to give the results of the trial.


Creech Gets Verdict of Not Guilty

Testimony in the case of the Commonwealth against Joe Creech and arguments on both sides ended in the forenoon today, and the case turned to the jury for a verdict. Soon after the noon hour and after only a few minutes of deliberation, a verdict of not guilty was rendered.

Apparently throughout the trial the old man manifested no doubt as to what the result would be.