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Clinton “Clint” Cornett

Birth
Death 28 May 1947 (aged 60)
Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Skyline, Letcher County, Kentucky, USA
Memorial ID 100128877 · View Source
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The following article was published in the May 29, 1947, issue of The Mountain Eagle:

TWO HELD HERE IN SLAYING
Clinton Cornett, 66, Linefork Man Robbed, Assaulted And Killed Holcomb Brothers Arrested For Murder By Sheriff's Force Wednesday

On Wednesday morning many citizens of Whitesburg and Letcher County were shocked when the news reached here telling of the robbing, assaulting and slaying of Mr. Clinton Cornett, 66, father of Mrs. John Gose, wife of our county jailer. Mr. Cornett was attacked and robbed and beaten and left near the roadside for dead in the Pine Mountain section near the head of Linefork.

Mr. Cornett had spent Sunday night with his daughter and Mr. Gose here in Whitesburg, returning home via Cumberland on Monday, accompanied by Mr. Gose and Mr. Gilbert Polly as far as Cumberland. From there he started walking toward his home on Linefork, taking a near cut through the mountains and before reaching his home he was robbed, beaten and left for dead by the road side. In a dying statement at the Lynch Hospital he stated that he met Luther Elbert Holcomb, about 30, and Roscoe Holcomb, 18, about the hour of 11:00 A.M. in the mountains - they having about 8 1-2 gallons of moonshine whiskey in a bag and they robbed him and kicked him in the ribs, throwing him over the hill for dead - he lodged in a tree. They overlooked $2.00 he had in his watch pocket and came back to search for more money and beat him into unconsciousness, taking the other $2.00. Mr. Holcomb {sic} said that several hours later that he regained consciousness and crawled to the home of his brother-in-law, El. Holcomb who lived about three-fourths of a mile away and asked them for help. They immediately rendered aid and called an ambulance which took him to the Lynch Hospital. He succumbed there at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday afternoon.

The Sheriff's force went to the scene of the crime Wednesday morning as soon as they received the word of the crime and at 5:00 P.M., Wednesday evening the accused slayers were lodged in the Whitesburg jail.

The deceased is survived by his five children, among them, Mrs. John Gose of Whitesburg.

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The following article was published in the July 24, 1947, issue of The Mountain Eagle:

Holcomb Trial Results in "Hung Jury"

The trial of Luther Holcomb, 30, and his brother, Roscoe, 16, accused of slaying Clinton Cornett was held this week and after much deliberation the jury was unable to agree and the case was postponed until the October term of court.

Mr. Cornett died on May 27th in the Lynch Hospital where he was taken after having lain in the open on Pine Mountain in the Linefork district for several hours.

Before his death he was quoted by police and hospital authorities as identifying the Holcomb brothers as his assailants and said he had been robbed.

At the trial the Holcombs confessed to meeting Cornett and drinking whiskey with him but denied harming him.

Reports coming from the Court House state that two of the Jurors were for acquittal, three for death and seven for 21 years.

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The following article was published in the October 16, 1947, issue of The Mountain Eagle:

Letcher Circuit Court Jury Finds Luther
Elbert Holcomb Guilty of Misdemeanor
In The Death of Clint Cornett

The trial jury after four days in the trial of Luther Elbert Holcomb, returned a verdict fixing his punishment at $250.00 fine and 60 days in County Jail in connection with the murder of Clint Cornett. The Commonwealth was not able to get the benefit of the evidence of Nelson Holcomb, age 10 years, the son of Luther Elbert Holcomb because the defendant failed to introduce him as a witness, but he admitted that he was along and knew what all happened at the time Clint Cornett lost his life. The boy had on May 28th, 1947, made a statement as to what happened at the time Clint Cornett lost his life, which statement is copied so that the public may know the facts concerning the death of Clint Cornett:

(Following is exact copy of statement made by Nelson Holcomb). Copy:

Whitesburg, Ky.
May 28, 1947.
State of Kentucky,
County of Letcher:

To whom this may concern:
On May 26, myself (Nelson Holcomb) and Roscoe Holcomb, my father Luther Elbert Halcomb, were in return from Linefork to Cumberland, Ky. We met Clint Cornett on Line Fork side of Pine Mt. near top of the above said Mt. Mr. Cornett ask Luther, Elbert Holcomb what he had in a sack he was carrying. He answered, saying moonshine. Straight corn. Luther Elbert Holcomb said do you want a drink, he, Mr. Cornett said, well. (my Daddy) Luther Elbert Holcomb kicked Mr. Cornett on the leg. Mr. Cornett fell and he came back up and asked my father Luther Elbert Holcomb, if he had anything else he wanted. My father then reached for a basket Mr. Cornett was carrying and I told him (my father) that Mama didn't need it and he, my father, said it would be pretty good to carry groceries in. After this we went on to the top of the hill, my father had a .22 caliber rifle and Roscoe Holcomb shot the said rifle at some birds. Myself and Roscoe went down to what is known as The Raven Rock, and my father stayed on top of the hill for about one half hour. Then he came on down to the Raven Rock where we were. At this time my father had the 22 rifle in his possession, Roscoe Holcomb, tried to get him my father to go on home, and my father said to Roscoe, if you don't come back here I'll shoot you.

But before we left the top of the Mt. going down to the Raven Rock my father said to Roscoe Holcomb * * * Rock if you hadn't made me quit we would have got them other two dollars. Roscoe answered and said that is all right. Then Roscoe said, come on, we will wait for you down at the Raven Rocks. My father came on down to the Raven Rock about 15 minutes after Roscoe Holcomb and myself had got there, that is to the Raven Rocks. Then Roscoe said, come on and he my father said, give me that Qt of liquor or I'll shoot you. Roscoe said lay that gun down and I will and he, my father took the shell out of the gun and said, now are you satisfied. Then Roscoe gave him my father, the Qt. of whiskey. Then Roscoe took the gun, put a shell in it and shot at a bird near Arline Cornett's. Then we separated and Roscoe Holcomb, took the whiskey to Velar Cornett's in Saw Mill Hollow, near Cumberland, Ky. and me and my father went on home, which is in Fair View Hill, Cumberland, Ky.

This statement is made of my own free will and without promise of anything. --NELSON HOLCOMB

Witt: B. E. BANKS, GILBERT POLLY, LINDSEY POLLY, JOHN H. GOSE, HILLARD PROFITT

Signed: --JOHN GOSE.


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  • Maintained by: Brian K. Caudill
  • Originally Created by: S PRICE Nance
  • Added: 4 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100128877
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Clinton “Clint” Cornett (8 Oct 1886–28 May 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100128877, citing Cornett Cemetery, Skyline, Letcher County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Brian K. Caudill (contributor 48482664) .