Part 2 - The Man Behind the Trigger on April 23, 2024

One of Daniel Haston’s G-G-G Granddaughters played a major role in the post-shooting drama.

In Part 3, I will tell you some things about what happened to Ernest Price after the deadly shooting that took the life of Revenue Officer Hugh T. Lowery.  Out of respect for his living descendants and other close relatives, and to honor their request, I will not tell you everything some members of his Price family know.  But I will reveal enough for you to understand, in general, how the story ended.

World War 1 Service

September 29, 1918 - On His Way to France for a Year of Service in World War 1

September 29, 1919 - On His Way to Home After a Year of Service in World War 17

Ernest Price’s Criminal Record 

Not necessarily his complete record.

Before the April 23, 1924 incident near DeRossett, TN that took the life of Hugh Lowery, Ernest Price had already established an ignominious record of criminal activity in and around White County, TN.  He was well known by law enforcement officers and court officials.  When the word of the fatal shooting reached local lawmen, they would not have been surprised to hear that the shooter was Ernest Price.

Mostly from Public Records – Volumes 3 and 4 of the TN Circuit Court Minutes in White County, TN Archives

Note: It is difficult to sort out all of the White County Circuit Court records, as to which are the original charges and which are continuations of previous cases.

1918 – May 5:  Disturbing Worship.  Ernest was 21 years old.  He was arrested just about a month before he registered for the military draft.  He was fined $30.

World War 1 Service

1921 – March 23:  Carrying a Pistol.  Apparently, Ernest liked to carry a pistol as you will see in his court record.  Was he “carrying” for self-defense or for opportunities to do some mischief or, worse yet, some serious illegal deeds?

1921 – July 22 – Disturbing Public Assembly. 

1921 – July 23 – Public Drunkenness.

1922 – July 19 (November 24, 1922) – Carrying a Pistol.  

1922 – July 19 (and continued into November and May 16, 1823) – Assault with Intent to Commit Murder.  Also, Carry a Pistol.  Ernest Price shot through a door of a home and hit Emmett Youngblood, a three-year-old boy, in the eye which paralyzed little Emmett.  

Chattanooga Daily Times - February 25, 1924

According to a TN State Supreme Court case, Ernest was the one who fired the shot into the home of the Youngbloods, near Doyle, TN. (Bristol Herald Courier – February 21, 1924)

1922 – July 22 (continued November 23, 1922) – Public Drunkenness.  

1923 – May 16 – Continuation of Assault with Intent to Commit Murder in First Degree, also Carrying a Pistol. 

On May 16, 1923, the record says “Defendant serving Federal sentence. Case continued to next term.  I do not know what the Federal sentence was about.  Zollie Wright, one of the co-defendants in this case had died by this time.

1923 – September 10 – Alius Capias issued for the arrest of the defendant, Ernest Price.  

Alias Capias = a warrant issued when a felony defendant fails to appear before the court and the defendant cannot be released by posting a bond.  Capias = body

Ernest’s father, Allen Price, was surety for Ernest in a previous Public Drunkenness case.  Ernest failed to appear and his father had to forfeit the bond of $250.

1923 — September 17 – Decision on Assault to Commit Murder case.  Ernest and Clarence were found guilty and fined $500 each and 11 months and 29 days in jail or the county workhouse.  On the 18th they put in a motion for a new trial.  On the 19th an arrest of judgment appeal was made to the TN Supreme Court.

1924 – January 15-16 – Recognizance Bond.  Apparently for the former public drunkenness case.  Defendant paid the forfeiture bond, $250 I assume.

1924 – January 18 – Carrying a Pistol.  

1924 – February 12 – Warren County, TN Circuit Court “Violating the Age of Consent” Case  

For some reason, this “Age of Consent” case was tried in Warren County (McMinnville, TN), even though the plaintiff and the defendant were both from White County.  Ernest was convicted and sentenced to a three to ten years’ sentence for engaging in sex with an underage girl.  After the sentence was given, the girl spoke up and asked the judge to pardon him because he was not guilty.  She claimed that she was guilty and had lied on the witness stand under pressure.  The case was referred to the TN State Supreme Court and Governor Austin Peay issued a pardon.

I won’t mention the girl’s name, but she was from White County.  She was not Sarah Davis who was with Ernest in the car when Hugh Lowery was killed.  And she was not the Haston woman who is mentioned in Part 3 of this story

About 70 days after Ernest figuratively-speaking “dodged the bullet” in the case above.  He shot and killed Hugh Lowery.  He would have been better off to have been serving that three to ten years sentence in prison.

On April 23, 2024 Ernest Price shot and killed Revenue Officer Hugh Thomas Lowery.  From that point on, Ernest was not in court in White County, TN ever again.  But his name is mentioned several times again in the White County, TN Circuit Court records in connection with the continuation of some of his cases. 

1924 – May 15 – The State of Tennessee vs. Ernest Price (Indictment 468), Murder in the First Degree

1924 – September 11 – Final Judgment on Previous Public Drunkenness.  Apparently, Allen Price (father of Ernest) had to pay an additional $500 to cover a bond he signed assuring the court that Ernest would appear in court on the public drunkenness charge.  Ernest’s father paid a total of $750 for surety bonds he signed for his son. 

One of Daniel Haston’s G-G-G Granddaughters played a major role in the post-shooting drama.

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2 thoughts on “Part 2 – Ernest Price, the Man Who Shot Hugh Lowery

  1. Thank you for providing this information. Hugh Lowery was my great uncle. I’ve always wondered about the “real” story.

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