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Jim Henry


In the spring of 1909, Henry Murphy was attacked in Citrus County, Florida. While the conditions under which he was attacked prevented Murphy from being able to identify his attacker, he was able to tell that the assailant was an armed black man. Circumstances suggested that the man who attacked Murphy may have been Jim Henry. Henry was consequently charged with assault with the intent to commit murder. He was brought in front of a jury of the Circuit Court of Citrus County on April 9 and 10, 1909, and found guilty on the circumstantial evidence put forth by the State. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment and hard labor in the State Prison.

A year and a half later, the State’s Attorney received evidence that another man was guilty of the 1909 attack on Henry Murphy. The new defendant was tried and convicted after direct evidence and voluntary admissions concretely established his guilt. Following his conviction, the County Judge, State’s Attorney, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and County Sheriff presented Henry’s case to the State Board of Pardons. On January 5, 1911, Governor Albert W. Gilchrist granted Jim Henry a full pardon.

While Henry was in prison, he worked under lease contracts to private firms. The State had been paid a total of $431.81. In May 1911, this amount was appropriated and paid to Henry for his six hundred twenty-nine days of labor.

- Researched by Sarah Kull

State:FL
County:Citrus
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Reported Crime Date:1909
Convicted:1909
Exonerated:1911
Sentence:5 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:
Contributing Factors: