Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer of '65: Murder on the Lake - Part II

The car pulled onto the Lauderdale County road leading to the lake house. Inside were four youths, one a May 1965 graduate of Coffee High School and three current students, all football players and all anticipating a summer party. Instead what awaited the boys was a gang of Colbert County youths led by Bobby Stewart.

With the road blocked, the driver attempted to turn around, but was forced into a ditch. Continuing to drive, he made it back onto the road and out onto Highway 72. Heading back toward Florence, the driver realized he was being pursued by Stewart and some of the track star's friends. Speeds reached 65 miles an hour, but the group of Coffee footballers lost Stewart and his gang after turning onto Huntsville Road.

Instead of reporting the incident to authorities, the youths decided to seek the aid of Richard Leland Romine. The Florence butcher was only 40 years old, and many of his son's friends saw him as one of the gang, one who would know how to handle the situation.

Six months before, Romine's son Richard Jr. had been attacked by Bobby Stewart. Friends said the attack was so vicious that Richard Jr.'s own family couldn't recognize him. For whatever reason, the fight was never reported to police, but Richard Sr. had good reason not to like Stewart or his friends.

The boys immediately drove to the Romine home in North Florence and were soon joined by Richard Jr. who had been at a movie that night. The six decided to return to the lake house and confront Stewart. No one suggested calling authorities, but Richard Romine Sr. was going to be prepared for any eventuality. He picked up a gun...

To be continued...


Autopsy results indicate the death of Jessica Nicole Davis Broadfoot was indeed a homicide. No surprises there. Pen-N-Sword has new information on the murder, along with some exclusive photographs. We'll post a link when it's available.


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