Confession of Real Murderer Frees Convicts

Chicago Defender
March 10, 1928

Raleigh, N.C., March 9. – With evidence piling up day by day that corroborated the confession of Willie HARDISON that he alone was responsible for the death of Cyrus JONES, who was killed in 1922, Governor MCLEAN granted pardons to three convicts who were serving life sentences for the murder of JONES.

The three men, George WILLIAMS, and Frank & Fred DOVE, Onslow county, were convicted of first degree murder in October, 1922, and sentenced to die, but commutations from Governor MCLEAN gave them life imprisonment instead.

HARDISON, who was tried separately and convicted, took full responsibility for the crime in a confessions to authorities before his electrocution in April, 1923.  The three men knew nothing about the slaying, he declared.  An investigation was started and with other evidence in their possession of the innocence of the men, the judged and jurors recommended pardons for the three convicts.

- Contributed by Taneya Koonce
December 12, 2009