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Murder and MadnessThe Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy$
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Matthew G. Schoenbachler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125664

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125664.001.0001

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The Trial

The Trial

(p.157) Chapter 7 The Trial
Murder and Madness

Matthew G. Schoenbachler

University Press of Kentucky

The trial, to read the Confession, was an utter travesty, and Jereboam Beauchamp the victim of a “tornado of prejudice”. There has been a disappearance of evidence at the trial and it provides obvious examples of perjury and perhaps bribery. Bizarrely, Beauchamp at times seemed to enjoy his own murder trial. The defense denied not only that Beauchamp had killed Solomon Sharp but that he had any ill will toward the man at all—despite the fact that everyone knew that his wife had previously charged Sharp with seduction and abandonment. The state's first order of business was the unexpectedly easy task of establishing Beauchamp's habit of announcing his intent to murder Solomon Sharp. The prosecution focused a great deal of attention on the erstwhile handkerchief and brought forth a number of witnesses who testified that Beauchamp was wearing a similar one before the murder. The Commonwealth of Kentucky would execute Jereboam O. Beauchamp on June 16.

Keywords:   Jereboam Beauchamp, murder trial, Solomon Sharp, prosecution, handkerchief, Commonwealth of Kentucky, seduction, abandonment

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