Thursday, May 21, 2015

52 Ancestors Week 20-Black Sheep- Found Guilty of Murder~Twice!

The blog prompt for week 20 of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2015 Edition leads me to my maternal Great Grand Uncle Andrew Clifton Roberts, Sr. (1905-1971).

     Andrew Clifton Roberts, Sr. the son of my Great Great Grandparents, George Philip Roberts (1856-1930) and Hattie (Brazell) Roberts (1870-1927) seems to have had several run-ins with the law. As a young man in 1922, he was sentenced to a life sentence for the death of a transfer driver in Columbia, South Carolina.  At the time of his arrest for the murder of the driver, Andrew was serving a nine-month sentence for grand larceny after being convicted of stealing a car
The life sentence was not served however as he was released from prison after an appeal proved successful. 
   For a time, Andrew seemed to have made a new life for himself with a good job as the Captain of the county chain gang. He had become a family man marrying Laura Belle (Wilson) Roberts (1911-1997) and was the father of six children. Events to come eventually lead to a divorce. 
The following is the front page headline from The State, Columbia, SC, Friday, Nov. 4, 1949:

  Andrew Roberts, once again had been found guilty of murder. This time his 18-year-old son, Andrew, Jr. was one of the witnesses.
 According to several newspaper accounts, on August 17, 1949 Andrew Roberts, Sr. and an insurance salesman got into an altercation.  The disagreement according to  Andrew, Sr., was over some unwelcomed attention given by the man to wife Laura during times when he was not at home.
 Andrew and son Andrew, Jr.,  were driving down the road when they spotted the salesman driving in his car. A chase began, and they ended up in a wooded area near Eastover ,SC. An argument ensued, and the agent was shot and killed.  
  The car belonging to the insurance agent was discovered, and a search began for him. His body was found 11 days later. The gun used to shoot him was turned over to the police by Andrew Roberts, Sr. who eventually confessed to the crime. 

The State, Columbia, SC
10 Sept., 1949 pg. 9

  After a trial lasting several months, Andrew Clifton Roberts, Sr. was sentenced to life in prison April 22, 1950.  Then in June of 1968 a list of Paroles Granted is printed in The State newspaper.
The State, Columbia, SC
7 June 1968, pg. 4C

 Andrew died three years later at the age of 65. 
 Found guilty of murder, twice. The toll on his family must have been immense.

Are we kin? Please contact me. Together we can find our family.
Thanks so much for stopping by.


  1. Wow, Cheri! Uncle Andrew definitely sounds like he fits in the "black sheep"category! I am interested in learning how his children turned out, especially Andfew Jr. Did they inherit his violent tendencies? Or, did they live the good, clean lives?