Killing of Virgal Wilkerson in Tennessee in 1934


Case summary

Virgal (or Richard) Wilkerson (1898-1934), a tenant farmer, was killed by eight white men in Hillsboro, Coffee County, Tennessee. The white men crashed a Black dance event and were harassing a Black girl there. Wilkerson got into a fist fight with them and knocked one of them down. They pursued him and killed him with gunshots and a chopping ax. Trial jury convicted them of manslaughter.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: [ ]

Date of incident: 1934-06-24
Location: Hillsboro, Coffee County, Tennessee
Location type: private space - agricultural or industrial
Allegation against victim: knocking down a white man in a fist fight at a "Negro dance"

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: [ ]
Finding of no legal responsibility: [ ]

Criminal process
Arrest: yes
Charge/indictment/information: yes
Grand jury: yes
Trial: yes
Conviction: yes
Sentence: five of the white men were given 2-5 years in prison, beginning their sentences on 1934-09-20

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