58 -Edmonia Peebles-

58 -Edmonia Peebles-

Early parole records in the Virginia Penitentiary.
Edmonia M. Peebles, the subject of this week’s post, brutally killed her husband. Her subsequent manslaughter conviction as well as the decision to grant her parole was controversial.
On the afternoon of 31 August 1907, David C. Peebles and his 11-year-old daughter Mary Sue arrived at their home in Bedford County, having spent several days in Lynchburg. His wife, Edmonia, was working in their detached kitchen. David was drunk and argumentative. David cursed her and accused her of neglecting her responsibilities. Edmonia responded that “if I were a man I’d give you a good thrashing, but I can’t beat you.” Enraged, David attempted to choke her; Edmonia grabbed a stove-lifter and stuck him several times on the head. Peebles grabbed an axe handle and beat her with it. Edmonia got away from him, ran into the house, grabbed a shotgun and returned to the kitchen. Peebles was washing the blood off his face. “You see that don’t you?” he shouted. “You made me do it,” Edmonia replied, “but I want to know if you are going to beat me anymore.” Peebles grabbed the axe and started towards her. “I am not going to let you beat me with that,” Edmonia cried, “I’ll shoot if you don’t” stop. David continued toward her and replied, “I am not afraid of your damn bluff.” Edmonia fired.
The shotgun blast shattered David’s lower jaw cutting off part of his tongue.
He fell but got up and chased her outside. They struggled over the gun. Edmonia grabbed a rock and struck him in the head repeatedly. These fatal blows fractured David’s skull driving a portion of it into his brain.

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