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Donald Paine Research Regarding Henry Clay King, June Newberry, and Lawrencia Bembenek

 Collection
Identifier: MS-2095

This collection houses correspondence, photocopied newspaper articles, court depositions, articles, transcripts, maps, videocassettes, audiocassettes, and compact discs that Donald Paine collected or created while researching three murder cases. He later used this research to write articles published in the Tennessee Bar Journal.

Series I of this collection houses information about Henry Clay King's trial for the murder of lawyer David Hammill Poston. The case stemmed from an extramarital affair that King conducted with Maria Eliza (Dickson) Pillow, General Gideon J. Pillow's widow. King met Pillow in 1883, and soon after abandoned his wife, Sallie E. (Haughton) King, and family in Memphis to live with her. The couple later moved to King's plantation in Lee County, Arkansas. Pillow eventually convinced King to deed most of his property to her and registered the deeds secretly. King was furious when he discovered her duplicity, and the couple had a fight that ended when Pillow ordered him off her plantation. King subsequently sued Pillow in the Memphis Chancery Court to recover his property. During the course of the proceedings, King was harshly lectured by Pillow's attorney, David H. Poston. King was incensed and, after having drunk a good deal of alcohol, shot and killed Poston on the morning of March 10, 1891. He was convicted of the murder, but Governor Buchanan commuted his original sentence of hanging to life imprisonment. King died in prison on December 10, 1903.

Series II documents June Newberry's trial for the murder of Ann Gowder on November 6, 1961. Newberry shot Gowder outside of their mutual workplace after Gowder taunted her about having seduced her husband, Raymond. With the help of Ray Jenkins (known as the Terror of Tellico Plains), Newberry pled temporary insanity. The trial itself was notable for Jenkins' oratory, including a moving description of Raymond Newberry deserting his wife and children. June Newberry was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served about a year and a half of her two year sentence, the minimum allowed for her crime.

Series III shows Lawrencia Bambi Bembenek's trial for the murder of her husband's ex-wife Christine Schultz on May 28, 1981. Both Bembenek and her husband, Elfred Fred Schultz, worked as police officers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the time of the murder. Fred Shultz's alibi excluded him as a suspect and Bembenek, allegedly the only person with motive, means, and opportunity to commit the crime, was eventually convicted. She appealed, claiming that evidence had been mishandled and that the Milwaukee police had singled her out for prosecution because she was a key witness in a federal investigation into corruption in the department. Her appeals were denied, and she was a model prisoner (even earning a college degree from the University of Wisconsin at Parkside) before escaping from prison with help from her new fiancee, Nick Gugliatto, on July 15, 1990. The couple escaped to Canada, where Bembenek became something of a folk hero as a woman scorned. Due to public pressure, she was eventually granted a new trial where she pled no contest and was sentenced to time served. She has since continued to maintain her innocence, but the Wisconsin courts have refused to vacate her plea.

Dates

  • 1891, 1961, 1981

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection houses correspondence, photocopied newspaper articles, court depositions, articles, transcripts, maps, videocassettes, audiocassettes, and compact discs that Donald Paine collected or created while researching three murder cases. He later used this research to write articles published in the Tennessee Bar Journal.

Biographical/Historical Note

Donald Franklin Paine was born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1939. He earned his B.A. (1961), M.A. (1963), and LL.B. (1963) from the University of Tennessee. Immediately after graduation, Paine served in the Army as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was discharged in 1966 and returned to Tennessee, where he authored the Tennessee Law of Evidence (1974). Paine practiced law with Paine, Tarwater, and Bickers in addition to researching Tennessee's legal history. He was a Reporter to the Supreme Court Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure, wrote a monthly column for the Tennessee Bar Journal, and lectured for the Tennessee Law Institute, the University of Tennessee College of Law, and the Tennessee Judicial Conference. Paine also served as President of the Knoxville Bar Association (1983) and of the Tennessee Bar Association (1986-1987). He died in Knoxville on November 18th, 2013.

Arrangement

This collection consists of one box divided into three series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Henry Clay King Trial, 1891-1892
  2. Series II: June Newberry Trial, 1961
  3. Series III: Lawrencia Bembenek Trial, 1981-1982

Acquisition Note

Donald F. Paine donated these papers to Special Collections.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480