Submitted by

Ken Gates





The Galveston Daily News

Monday, August 9, 1886



Rufus Ledbetter Captured Near Waco


     Waco, August 8. Rufus Ledbetter, the Eddy murderer, was brought here on the 2:15 a.m. train and lodged in jail.


The prisoner says the killing of Deputy Sheriff Rice was accidental. He had his Winchester strapped to the handle of a plow he was using when the deputy sheriff and his guide surprised him in the field. He drew his Winchester from its scabbard to kill the guide, who acted the part of a traitor toward him, but before he could use the gun the deputy sheriff closed in on him, and in the tussle, which ensued the weapon, was accidentally discharged, the ball taking fatal effect in the breast of the officer.


     The prisoner says he had been arrested, two or three times previous by Rice and had in each instance been kindly treated by the officer; consequently he harbored no animosity against him.


     His capture was affected without resistance at a farm house not many miles distant from the scene of the tragedy. The officers learning that Ledbetter would come to the house secreted themselves inside. Shortly afterwards Ledbetter hove in sight armed with a needle gun, which he leaned up against a tree some distance from the house before coming up to the gallery. When about fifty yards from his gun, the officers, two in number, stepped forward, leveled a Winchester and six-shooter and commanded him to throw up his hands. Realizing that a refusal to do so meant prompt death, he complied in a second and was arrested.


     Ledbetter was taken to Marlin this morning for incarceration, the crime having been committed in Falls County.


     The lynchers were moving on Waco, but learning of the change of base, turned the heads of their horses toward Marlin to summarily dispose of the murderer. The officials at Marlin were apprised of their purpose and immediately removed the prisoner, who, it is said, is now en route to Galveston for safe-keeping.