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Articles relating to J.H. Lemore's Conviction

Doctor found guilty of involuntary manslaughter

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Nashville Banner, 3 July 1923

Negro doctor held on serious charge

Brought to county jail from Murfreesboro for safekeeping.

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jul. 3—(Special).—On Monday afternoon Dr Lemore, an Algerian Negro doctor practising in this city, was arrested on a very serious charge and placed in jail. Shortly after dusk last night the prisoner was rushed off to Nashville, where he is now confined in the Davidson county jail as a caution against mob violence.

Saturday night Red Sanford, a White man, living a few miles south-east of this city, brought his wife to the office of Doctor Lemore and left her there for a very delicate operation, the Negro claims.

Later she was removed to her home, where she has been violently sick ever since, and is now lying at the point of death.

Upon calling on Dr Lemore Mr Sanford was told by the doctor to go to some white doctor and get the operation performed, that he as a Negro doctor did not want to perform it. Sanford insisted and prevailed upon the Negro doctor to perform the operation, which was done. Lemore admits that he performed an operation but has not disclosed the nature thereof.

The state Attorney General, H.T. Stewart, learning of the offense, had the doctor arrested and he is now being held waiting the action of the grand jury which is in session.

Judge John E. Richardson, Attorney-General Stewart and Sheriff Powers and other prominent citizens decided the best interest for the county was to remove the prisoner to Nashville and it was done to avoid any possible violence by mob. Sanford, the husband of the sick woman, is in the employment of the Chero Cola bottling works here.

Lemore was lodged in the Davidson County jail here this morning, having been brought here by Sheriff Powers of Rutherford County. 

The Tennessean 27 October 1923

Trial of Negro doctor is begun

Murfreesboro medico is charged with performing illegal operation.

Special to the Tennessean

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Oct. 26.—J. H. Lemore, negro doctor, indicted jointly with Neville Sanford, white farmer for murder, in connection with the death of Sanford's wife, went on trial in criminal court here today before Judge John E Richardson. 

Although the husband and negro were indicted jointly, the negro is being tried first. Great interest is being shown in the case and feeling is running high. The state, represented by district attorney Hoyt Stewart, charges that Mrs Sanford's death was due to an alleged illegal operation performed by the Negro doctor with the connivance of her husband. 

The opening day of the trial saw 10 of the 12 jurors needed selected and prospects were that the remaining two will be chosen early Saturday and the testimony begun.

It will be recalled that following the arrest of the Negro doctor, fears were entertained for his safety and he was taken to Nashville for safekeeping and held there for some time until the intense feeling in this section quieted down. 

The Tennessean 28 October 1923

Evidence closed in case against Dr Lemore, negro

Dying statement of Mrs Sanford admitted to record.

Special to the Tennessean

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Oct. 27.—After hearing all the proof offered by the state in the case of Dr JH Lemoore, Nico, charged with performing a criminal operation on the person of Mrs Sammy Sanford, Judge John E Richardson reversed his former position and admitted the dying declaration of Mrs Sanford in the record. In this statement Mrs Sanford stated that her husband had taken her to Lemore, who, she alleged, attempted the operation. 

Lemore went on the witness stand in his own behalf this afternoon and testified that Mrs Sanford was brought to him for treatment after she herself had attempted the operation which he is alleged to have performed. He made a poor witness for himself, his evidence being shaken on cross-examination.

The negro is a well-educated man, being able to speak four or five different languages.

Hearing of evidence was closed late this afternoon and the arguments will begin Monday morning.

Public sentiment here is apparently against the doctor and a conviction is looked for. The court room has been crowded throughout the trial. 

Nashville Banner 30 October 1923

Negro doctor gets five years

JH Lemore found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Oct. 30 – (Special) – the jury in the case of the State versus Dr J.H. Lemore, charged with the murder of Mrs Neville Sanford, returned a verdict Monday afternoon finding the defendant guilty of involuntary manslaughter and fixing his punishment at five years in the penitentiary.

Lemore, through his attorney, James D Richardson, will doubtless move the court for a new trial.

The trial of Sanford will come up Thursday.

The Commercial Appeal 1 June 1924

J.H. Lemore vs. state, Rutherford County.

Conviction for involuntary manslaughter. Reversed and remanded. J.H. Lemore, a coloured physician of Murfreesboro, appealed from a conviction for manslaughter based upon evidence that he brought about the death of a Murfreesboro woman as a result of a criminal operation. He was granted a new trial on the statements made by the woman incriminating Lemore were improperly admitted as dying declarations, the evidence failing to show that the statements were made under the consciousness of approaching death.

[Further reference to the case has yet to be found. Lemore died of pneumonia in 1928.

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