Sun, February 5, 1885

A New Trial for Dr. Pitts.

Moral -- Murder

Hampton, Va., Feb. 4 -- In the Circuit Court today Judge Henley reversed the decision of the County Court, set aside the verdict of the jury, and granted a new trial for Dr. James Dennis Pitts, convicted of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to 18 years in the penitentiary for killing Dr. Thomas L. Walter on Tangier Island, Va., May 17, 1884. Judge Henley sustained the third exception of the defense, alleging that the county court erred in admitting the testimony of Witness Striggles in regard to Pitts exhibiting a pistol while in his office, and stating he intended killing "Dr. Tom" and two more in a short time. The new trial will be held in the County Court.

[The crime of which Dr. Pitts was convicted occurred within the limits of Accomac county, Va., but the case was removed to Hampton. Drs. Pitts and Walter were rival physicians, on Tangier Island, and the motive for the crime was said to be professional jealousy. The plea in justification was self-defense. Dr. Pitts was convicted at Hampton on the 15th of September last.]

February 5, 1885