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  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing
  • Publication Date: Reprint edition (March 2, 1983)
  • ISBN: 9780882894195

John Wallace was a powerful, feared man whose family holdings in Meriwether County, Georgia, were known as "the kingdom." But when he killed a poor tenant farmer in front of eight witnesses, the law was bound to catch up with him. In his contempt for the law, Wallace had inadvertently crossed the county line from Meriwether into Coweta, Sheriff Lamar Potts's county. And the sheriff pursued him relentlessly. Potts ignored threats and pleas as he conducted his investigation; arrested the sheriff of Meriwether County, who was protecting Wallace; and eventually scraped up just enough corpus delicti to fill a small cartridge box.

The trial that followed was the first in Georgia in which a white man-and one who held such great power locally-was convicted on the testimony of black witnesses. Despite numerous appeals and delays, Wallace was finally executed, and Potts became the embodiment of justice in Coweta County.

Not only is this a true story of a brutal murder that took place in the rural South, but it is a chillingly realistic reconstruction of both the crime and the brilliant investigation that brought the culprit to justice. The atmosphere and social structure of rustic Georgia in 1948 come alive in this fascinating book while the actions and attitudes of the residents leap from the pages with a stunning authenticity. Sheriff Lamar Potts emerges as a brave and honest man of action determined to see justice done.