The Murder of Lewis Collins

McDowell Recorder
June 27, 1924

No Bond Is Secured For George Conley, Held For Murder Of His Father-In-Law, L. Collins

George Conley, charged with the murder of his father-in-law, Lewis Collins, at Litwar, June 9, and held for action of the criminal court grand jury by Squire Hufford after a hearing Tuesday, has made no attempt to secure bond, and is now in the county jail.

At the hearing Tuesday afternoon no defense witnesses were hear, and the state used only such witnesses as were necessary to make out a case.

Probably the most damaging testimony against Conley was given by two brothers, Floyd and Blaine Lambert, who stated that Conley had told them that Collins' gun, presumably used for the killing, had been fired three times. This, in connection with the testimony of Dr. H. L. Tutwiler, Iaeger, who examined the body of the murdered man, that three bullets had entered Collins' head, two so close together as to make it appear, on superficial examination, that the hole had been made by one bullet, gives color to the theory that Conley knew something of the gun and inadvertently betrayed this knowledge.

Mrs. Lewis Collins testified at the hearing, and made probably as good a witness for the defense as for the state. She said that the personal relations of her late husband and Conley had always been pleasant. As she put it, "Lewis seemed to be a fool about George and George seemed a fool about my husband." She said that she did not know when Conley had arrived at the home on the night of the murder.

Amos Morgan, brother of Mrs. Collins, said that he was certain that Conley arrived at the home about 11:30, and he fixed the time by saying that it was two or three hours before the chickens began to crow. He said that chickens began to crow about 3 o'clock in the morning.

Although the defense used no witnesses at the hearing, counsel for defendant, Clarence Smith, let it be known that he would attempt to establish an alibi for his client.

Crime and Punishment

West Virginia Archives and History