“Jim Seams Caught, /Safely Lodged in the Jail, /And Will Doubtless Be Hung”

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Tuskaloosa Gazette
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa, AL
Date of publication: Feb 2, 1888 12:00 am
Source URL: View Source

JIM SEAMS CAUGHT, Safely Lodged in the Jail, And Will Doubtless be Hung, For Killing Mr. J. M. Awtrey. On Friday morning, about two o’clock Jim Seams, the murderer of Deputy Sheriff Awtrey, was captured in the southwestern portion of this county, near the intersection of the lines of Bibb, Tuskaloosa and Hale. The party who captured him consisted of G. W. Sigmend, S. T. Z. Hewett, J. M. Montgomery and Cad Avery. He was at the house of Jonah Murph, and was asleep when the party came upon him. As they entered Jonah’s yard about 11 o’clock at night, Mr. Sigmend heard him turn over in his bed and groan. He at once told his crowd that they had him, and went to the door and awoke old Jonah, who was perfectly willing for them to arrest him. Jim did not agree to this, however, and would not come out of the room, and stood at the window and defied the posse. He had worked with Mr. Sigmend, and recognizing his voice, spoke to him, and asked him what he was doing up there, and requested Sigmend, to come to window and talk with him. This Mr. Sigmend very wisely decided not to do, as he knew the treacherous disposition of the murderer. Had he gone to the window, Jim would have shot him and then jumped from the window and escaped to the woods, while the companions of the shot man would have been too excited to shoot him. After staying around the house for a couple of hours, Jim finally became restless. He fired two shots at the party, as he told the reporter, “hoping to scare them, so that they would run and give me a chance to jump from the window. I knew Mr. Sigmend would not run, but as I had worked for him, I thought he’d have mercy and not shoot.” Just after he fired the shots he carefully peeped around the window, and as he did so, Sigmend let him have the contents of his gun, nine buck shot. He fell heavily, and it was fully a minute before he recovered his senses. When he did so, he commenced to yell for dear life. He told the men outside that he would surrender, but the posse made him throw his pistols through the door before they would go in on him. They finally got his pistol into the yard and made old Jonah pick it up, when they marched in and captured him. Every one of Sigmend’s shot had taken effect. One grazed his throat just under his chin, several went into his jaw, several in his ear and one in his cheek bone. The wonder is that Sigmend’s load of buck shot did not kill him instantly. They reached the city with him about 12 o’clock yesterday. Hundreds of people gathered on the streets as he was brought up from the depot, but beyond one or two yells, nothing was said. Everything was quiet and orderly, and after keeping him in the Sheriff’s office for about half and hour, he was quietly carried to the jail and locked up. Mayor Jemison deputized W. R. Harris, of Livingston, and swore him in as an officer of the law, and left him in the jail as a guard. The negro was made to take off his coat and it was found that several of Carpenter’s shot had taken effect in his shoulder, fired at the time he shot Awtery. J. O. Prude, the Sheriff, being fearful that mob violence might be visited upon the prisoner, we learn, telegraphed the Governor, re- questing that the Warrior Guards, of this city, be called out to prevent same.