Adair County News, November 14, 1906

James Holt, Russell County Man

Arrested in Louisville--Police Think He Is Implicated in Murder

James O. Holt, formerly of Russell county, has been arrested in Louisville and is being held as a suspect in connection with the murder of Mrs. Virginia Etly last Thursday morning [Nov. 8th].

Thursday morning about one o'clock Mrs. Virginia Etly, wife of Mr. Thomas Etly, a laborer, was discovered with her throat cut and skull caved in. The husband and daughter were sleeping in an adjoining room and three children were in the same apartments with the murdered woman. No trace of the person who committed the crime has been found, but the police strongly suspect Holt as the guilty party. He bears a very unsavory reputation in that section of the city and has been arrested more than twenty times on various charges. Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock Holt was released from the workhouse, where he had been incarcerated for driving his wife and mother-in-law from home with threats to murder them. Immediately upon his release he made inquiries for his family, who had moved to get away from him, and stated that he intended to kill his mother-in-law. About 11:30 o'clock he was seen in the neighborhood of the Etly home in a half-drunken condition; a few minutes later a man was seen running from the direction of the murdered woman's home hatless, and as Holt cannot give an entirely clear account of himself he is held as a suspect. During the evening he claimed to have lost his hat, but cannot remember where.

James O. Holt is a native of Russell county, and bore the reputation in that section of a very dangerous man. About twelve or fifteen years ago he murdered Milt Coffey, in a drinking house about two miles from Jamestown and was sentenced to the penitentiary for life. During Gov. Bradley's administration* he was pardoned by Lieut. Gov. Worthington, and we understand that he has since served a term in the state penitentiary.

At one time Holt was a citizen of Columbia and he was generally regarded as a vicious, quick-tempered and a man who knew no fear. During his life in our town he was engaged in a number of quarrels and came very near murdering one of our citizens.

* Bradley served as Governor of Kentucky 1895-1899.
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Adair County News, September 25, 1907

James Holt, a native of Russell county, was re-arrested in Louisville the other day, charged with the murder of Mrs. Etly. It will be remembered that when the crime was committed Holt was arrested as a suspect, but turned loose. The attorneys in John B. Etly, who is in jail, charged with the murder of his wife, caused Holt's arrest. It looks like a play for sympathy.

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Adair County News, April 14, 1909

Jim Holt, who figured in the Etly murder case, Louisville, met a tragic death Monday. He was driving a wagon in the city and was struck by a freight train, killing him almost instantly. Holt was a native of Russell county.