The Death of Lester E. Cantrell - part 5

Vinson's Test Stay Extended

    COLUMBIA -- Accused knife slayer Austin Doffice Vinson, 38, Rt. 5, Seneca, who was brought to State Hospital here from Anderson County Jail July 9 for 30-days of mental observation, is being detained another month to complete the examination.
    State Hospital authorities told The Daily mail of the 30-day extension. They said the longer test period is not unusual.
    ANDERSON County Sheriff W. J. (Bub) ERskine attained a court order calling for the mental examination after Vinson suffered an attack in his County Jail cell early Thursday morning, July 9.
    The day before, July 8, a coroner's inquest jury recommended Vinson -- a former lay preacher -- be held for grand jury action in the fatal stabbing of Lester E. Cantrell, 44, of 429 Horsebend Rd. [sic], Anderson.
    CORONER Tom Tolly took a warrant charging Vinson with murder. Cantrell was stabbed 27 times with a scout knife in front of Anderson Memorial Hospital at 4:10 a. m. July 5.
    Vinson, at the time, was quoted by officers as saying "I stabbed him until I gave out." At the inquest he did not want to be represented by an attorney. He said, "I feel the jury will free me when they hear what I have to tell."
    TESTIMONY at the inquest verified Vinson had hidden in the trunk of his car. His wife had driven the car to the hospital parking lot. She met Cantrell and when they returned some hours later, Vinson had let himself out of the trunk and attacked Cantrell while Mrs. Vinson was getting out of the car, officers said.
    During his arrest and inquest, Vinson maintained a "don't care air." He was calm and cool and gave no signs of being bothered by the proceedings.
    Anderson authorities were notified by State Hospital officials of the extension. Deputies were preparing to go to Columbia for Vinson this week.

SOURCE: Wilkes, Donald E., Jr., "The Eponymous Mr. Prince" Flagpole Magazine 06 Sep. 2000: page 10.
Return to the Main Page