Salisbury Recollection: Sheriff murdered 46 years ago

Sheriff Graham 2Monday of this week marked the 46th anniversary of the murder of Sheriff Samuel Graham and Deputy Albert Lee Kelly.

In a crime still vividly recalled in Salisbury, the two men were gunned down on a Sunday evening by inmate James Bartholomey, 21, who had been jailed for burglary.

Bartholomey had obtained a handgun that was smuggled to him in either a cake or a box of candy.

According to reports from the time, as Deputy Kelly placed inmates into their cells, Bartholomey grabbed the deputy and pulled him against the bars. He forced Kelly to open the cell doors and then shot and killed him.

In those days, the sheriff still lived in an apartment in the courthouse; alerted to the escape, the sheriff entered the hallway near the cells and was also shot and killed by Bartholomey.

Both Graham and Kelly were 62 years of age.

The murderer fled Salisbury with an accomplice, but was apprehended in a massive manhunt the next day in a motel in Dover.

Bartholomey was sentenced to two life terms in jail.

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