George Holmes

Wes Morgan

George W. Holmes

          George Warren Holmes was born on December 31, 1934. Newspaper reports reveal that Holmes had led a violent life. He had a number of charges on his record including fighting, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, drunk driving, housebreaking and larceny. In 1958, Holmes was charged with felonious assault in the shooting of Dr. Lewis Y. Keith, a dentist, during a scuffle over a pistol at a Maryville Pike service station. However, the charges were later dismissed when Dr. Keith declined to prosecute.

          On November 11, 1962, the 6-foot, 4 ˝ -inch, 198-pound Holmes shot Alvin Gentry in the face in a Sunday night gunfight during game of ‘tong’ at Ab Franklin’s bootlegging and gambling spot on Belt Road. Both men had fired their .38-caliber pistols four times each. Gentry was killed, and Holmes was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. During the trial Holmes claimed that Gentry’s sister had smacked him during a card game and he smacked her back. Gentry then grabbed and tore Holmes’ shirt and came out shooting. Holmes then drew his pistol and fired back. After having been charged with murder, Holmes was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and served a sentence from February 5, 1968, to July 5, 1969. Later, on January 25, 1970, Holmes was fatally shot once in the head with a .38-caliber pistol by Billy George Poe at Ab Franklin’s place. Poe claimed that he was showing Holmes the pistol when it fired. The 35-year-old Holmes was buried in Woodlawn Cemetary.

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Wesley G. Morgan, Ph.D.

Last Revised: 28 May 2011