|Death: ||Aug. 30, 1935|
New Madrid County
Roy Hamilton was born in Indiana in 1909. The son of John T. and Maggie Hamilton. His mother died when he was about four years old.
Roy Hamilton and David "Eddy" Gayman were passing through New Madrid, Missouri. Both ex-convicts, were out of money and looking to keep moving on to the next town. They stopped at a gas station just outside of town. They thought they could simply rob the filling station and make a quick getaway. Their plans went awryl very quickly. The two armed men pulled their car into A. F. Stanley filling station. 27 year-old employee, Arthur Cashion greeted the men at the gas pump. He proceeded to pump their gas as they exited their vehicle to go inside the station. When Arthur finished fueling, he entered the store after them. Eddy and Roy with their guns drawn, demanded money. What the two criminals didn't know was Arthur Cashion had a revolver on him. Gun fire erupted in the station. Eddy was quickly wounded, but the Arthur was out numbered and caught in between the gunmen. Roy delivered the fatal wounds as he shot Arthur in the back. The young man was covering a work shift that night for the owner's son. He should have been home with his family. It was Christmas Eve, 1933.
"They actually escaped and got out of town," says Christina McWater, executive director of the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce. "They put together a posse and hunted them down and brought them back in to town and put them in jail."
Eddy Gayman had just gotten out of jail. He is listed as an "inmate" in his 1930 census in Dunklin County, Missouri. Local authorities and reporters were't even sure about his real name. He had been using an alias.And Roy Hamilton was a youngster who got mixed up in the wrong crowd. His mother died when he was only four years-old. Roy had been estranged from his family for a few years when he was apprenhended.
Gayman and Hamilton went before the judge at the New Madrid County Courthouse. He offered them a deal: plead guilty and receive a sentence of life in jail, or be hanged.
They thought that sounded fair. They had murdered Arthur Cashin, and everybody knew it. They had no chance of convincing a jury. So they took the judge's offer.
However, when the verdict was read, the courtroom suddenly echoed with shock—the two were sentenced to death, despite their plea deal. The same judge who promised them leniency dropped the gavel that led to the noose.
They lingered in the New Madrid County jail for a while, where they were supposedly model prisoners. But when their attorney moved forward with an appeal, authorities decided that immediate justice was required.
"They built the gallows," Christina explains, "just a couple of blocks down from here where the old jail was…And of course this was a big event. And it's sad to say, because it was 1935—It wasn't that long ago. But still that was a big thing for the town, and the townsfolk came out for it. We actually have a copy of one of the tickets for the hanging. People would come out and sell lemonade to the people that were watching."
Eddy Gayman and Roy Hamilton were led to the gallows, through the gawking crowds. As the hangman pulled the noose over their throats, did they feel guilt? Regret? Or vengeance for the judge that promised them life yet condemned them to death.
Roy volunteered to be the first execution. He very calmly marched to gallows. 13 minutes later, he was pronounced dead.
East Side Cemetery
New Madrid County
Created by: Cardinals Fan
Record added: Mar 24, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107198433