Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Site of Clinton Melton murder, Glendora, Mississippi

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton
Clinton Melton

On December 3, 1955, Clinton Melton was working in a gas station in Glendora, Mississippi. Otis Kimball, a cotton gin operator, drove in and told Melton to fill up his car. Something about the transaction angered Kimball and he threatened to come back to the gas station and kill Melton.

Ironically, Kimball was driving the automobile of J. W. Milam, one of the men a jury had acquitted of killing Emmett Till just the previous August.

Kimball returned with a shotgun and with no provocation and in full view of the gas station owner and other witnesses, he shot and killed Clinton Melton .

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Kimball charged

Authorities charged Kimball with the murder. Kimball’s lawyer argued self-defense. Lee McGarrh, the filling station owner, white, and Melton’s boss, testified that Melton did not have a gun and did not provoke the attack; John Henry Wilson, a black man testified that Kimball said he was going to kill Melton and would kill Wilson too if he got in the way; a third witness, standing ten feet away at the time, testified he did not see a gun in Clinton Melton’s hand.

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton
Medgar Evers speaking with Clinton’s wife Beulah.
Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton

Witnesses

Witnesses for the defense – none of them eyewitnesses – included the sheriff, a deputy sheriff, and the chief of police. Kimball claimed Melton cursed at him during the argument. He claimed he had a scar from a bullet wound that came from a gunshot by Melton, and he produced a doctor who claimed it was indeed a gunshot wound. An all white jury acquitted Kimball after deliberating for four hours. (NYT article >>> Acquitted)

Beulah Melton

Just before scheduled commencement of the trial Beulah Melton, Clinton’s wife, died in a car accident. She drowned after her car ran off the road into the bayou.

Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton
Additional information about Clinton Melton case
Otis Kimball Kills Clinton Melton
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