On 21 July 1912, Sarah Vick pressed charges against Fletcher Austin for “intent to have carnal knowledge of her by fraud impersonating her husband West Vick.”
Notes from testimony before the justice of the peace:
“Sarah Vick the prosecuting swore positively that the defendant broke into her room & got in bed with her & began to pull up her clothes & attempted to get on her & she awoke, struck a match & saw it was Fletcher Austin & called to Sallie Rountree who was in an adjoining room & that Sallie Rountree saw him too & that Sallie Rountree told some neighbors of it early next morning
“Sallie Rountree denied that she saw Fletcher Austin, that night, but said she saw a man siting on Sarahs bed when Sarah called to her in an adjoining room. She also denied that she told any one of it next morning.
“Other evidence showed that Fletcher had about 3 hours time that night between 2 & 5 o’clock which he failed to account for
“Jonas Allen proved to be a very strong witness for the state & this court believes that Sarah Vick told the truth, also Jonas Allen, but does not believe Sallie Rountree told the truth”
- Wesley and Sarah Locus Vick
On 25 May 1912 [less than two months before the assault] Wesley Vick, 21, of Wilson, son of John and Hannah Vick, married Sarah Locus, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Jesse and Florida Locus, in Wilson township.
Sarah Vick died 19 March 1916 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1890 in Nash County, N.C., to Jesse and Flora Lucas and was married. She died of tuberculosis of the lungs contracted while “waiting on nursing sister” near Wilson. West Vick was informant.
West Vick died of broncho-pneumonia on 11 March 1919, just two weeks after returning from overseas service in World War I and while still enlisted.
- Fletcher Austin
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer John Vick, 50; wife Liw, 40; sons Paul, 13, and Ollie, 10; and stepson Fletcher Austin, 18.
On 15 September 1915, Fletcher Auston, 22, of Wilson, son of Henry and Lou Auston, married Alice Pearce, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Lillie Pearce, at W.P. Anderson’s farm. Missionary Baptist minister Jeremiah Scarborough performed the ceremony in the presence of James Knight, Paul Vick, and Bill Thorne.
In 1917, Fletcher Austin registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 22 June 1893 in Smithfield township, Johnston County, N.C.; lived in Wilson township; worked as a farmhand for W.P. Anderson; and supported his mother, wife, and child.
- Sallie Rountree
- Jonas Allen
In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Jonas Allen, 49; wife Victoria, 38; and children James, 16, Lillie, 3, and Willie, 22 months.
Criminal Action Papers, 1912, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.