13 year-old charged with manslaughter, sentenced to six months.

A sharp-eyed reader found more about Etta Parker‘s tragic death.

Greensboro Daily News, 24 December 1917.

Three weeks after Parker died, a grand jury charged Warren Barefoot, 13, with her murder. The state prosecutor agreed with “private prosecution” (what was that?) that manslaughter, rather than first-degree murder, was the appropriate charge and requested a bench decision. Judge Frank A. Daniels (brother of Josephus Daniels), taking into account Barefoot’s age and lack of intent, further reduced the charge to assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced the boy to six months in county jail. Daniels further recommended that Barefoot be hired out to his former employer during the term of his sentence. This, no doubt, was intended to keep the child out of confinement with grown men, but effectively meant that he was to be held in peonage.

Greensboro Daily News, 17 January 1918.


In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 637 Broad Street, cook Julia Barefoot, 25, and children Ernest, 8, farm laborer, Warren, 7, Lizzie, 2, and Jessie, 6 months.

Many thanks to Sara Baker Partridge.

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