LESTER EDWARD BARTHOLEMEW
On June 7, 1955, an Information was filed in the
Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, charging the defendant
LESTER EDWARD BARTHOLEMEW with the crime of MURDER (FIRST DEGREE) ,
THREE COUNTS, felonies.
COUNT 1 was for the murder of the defendant's wife, Marie
COUNT II was for the murder of the defendant's son, Rickie
Bartholomew, age 3 years; and COUNT III was for the murder of the
defendant's daughter, Pamela Bartholomew, age 2 years.
On June 9, 1955, the defendant was arraigned and entered a plea of
guilty of Murder (Second Degree) as to Marie Bartholomew, Count I, and a
plea of guilty of Murder (First Degree) as to Rickie Bartholomew and
Pamela Bartholomew, Counts II and III.
On the 22nd day of June, 1955, before judge Renz L. Jennings in
Division 6 of the Superior Court of Maricopa County, Arizona, the
defendant Lester Edward Bartholomew was sentenced to death for the
murder of Rickie Bartholomew as charged in Count II in the Information,
and was sentenced to death for the murder of Pamela Bartholomew as
charged in Count III of the Information. The Court fixed the time for
execution for the 31st day of August, 1955 within the walls of the
Arizona State Prison at Florence, Arizona.
After the plea of guilty and before sentence was passed, there were
two psychiatrists appointed to look into the defendant's mental
condition, said doctors being Dr. William B. McGrath and Dr. Bruce Hart.
Both doctors stated that in their opinion the defendant is legally sane
and knew the difference between right and wrong. The facts and
circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime are as follows:
On or about the 28th day of May, 1955, in a motel court at 2133 East
Monroe Street, Phoenix, Arizona, the defendant shot and killed his wife,
Marie Bartholomew, and two of their children, Rickie age 3 years and
Pamela, age 2 years, by using a 22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. The
young boy, Rickie, was shot in the back and the little girl, Pamela, was
shot while she was lying on a bed. The wife was shot in the front a
little below the left nipple. There was another child involved but this
child was not harmed due to the fact that the wife of the defendant,
Marie, in some way prevented the defendant from shooting the third
The shooting of the wife and children shows a completely wanton
disregard of human life and shows a malignant heart on the part of the
defendant. The killings were brutal, without provocation or cause and
investigation disclosed that there had been some premeditation for some
days before the actual shootings.
The defendant states that his true name is Lester Edward Bartholomew;
that he is 28 years of age; that he was born in Fayettville, Arkansas;
that his father is deceased; that his mother and one sister live in
Phoenix, Arizona; one brother and one sister live in Chandler, Arizona,
and one sister lives in Fayettville, Arkansas. The defendant states that
he is an American citizen and that he has lived in Arizona and in
Maricopa County for 19 years. The defendant has made his living as a
truck driver: The defendant has one child in Phoenix, Arizona.
The defendant has been arrested numerous times on charges including
Petty Theft, Bogus Checks, Simple Assault, Assault with a Deadly Weapon
and Aggravated Assault. He was arrested March 18, 1955 in Phoenix,
Arizona on the latter charge. In March, 1953, he was sentenced to serve
a term of 1.5 to 2 years in the Arizona State Prison.
Respectfully submitted this 22nd day of June, 1955.
WM. P. MAHONEY, jr