How He Was Caught

Elmer H. Atchinson, Who Shot Detective Brown, is Now in Irons.

Elmer H. Atchinson, who recently shot Detective Brown at Narrows, and who was arrested at Middleboro, Kentucky, is a native of Kansas. He comes from a good family and has an uncle who is an officer in the United States army. As soon as Pelts and Brown were shot W. G. Baldwin, chief of the detective agency, sent circulars describing the men who did the shooting and wrote to several cities in which Atchinson had relatives, among them Middleboro, Kentucky. On Friday night after the shooting Atchinson escaped on a freight train and went to Tip Top, in Tazewell county, where he laid in the brush all day Saturday, and night coming on he left for Tazewell and spent Sunday in the mountains. On Sunday night he rode a freight train to Norton and then walked to Big Stone Gap, arriving there on Wednesday morning and was arrested by three officers on his arrival. The Kentucky officers wired the Baldwin Detective Agency to know how much reward they would give for his capture, to which they replied, $50 and all expenses. The Middleboro officers wired that they would not give up the prisoner for less than $100 and all expenses. They brought the prisoner over the Virginia line at Norton, where they met Detective Baldwin and he served a Virginia warrant on Atchinson and then tendered the Kentuckians a check for $50.

Of course they kicked, but kicking was all. The man was on Virginia soil and rather than get nothing and lose their man too, they concluded to accept it.

Atchinson was brought to Pearisburg on Saturday and taken before Justice of the Peace J. P. Snyder. He sent for the commonwealth’s attorney and asked to be allowed to make a statement. He admitted having shot Brown and said that he did it without provocation of any kind and requested that they [sic] be allowed to plead guilty and accept three years in the penitentiary. The case will come up in the Giles county court next Tuesday. Atchinson is now in jail in irons and chained to the floor.

The Roanoke Times, Roanoke, Va., 5 October 1897.

Leave a Reply