Ed Smith

Background

On April 27, 1958 Ed Smith, 40 years old, was shot and killed in his front yard by a neighbor, L.D. Clark in State Line. The victim’s wife, Daisy B. Smith witnessed the shooting. Allegedly, Ed Smith owed L.D. Clark money. According to Daisy Smith, when she returned from church to the café that the couple owned, she found the two men discussing the money owed Clark by Smith, which amounted to about $2.50. Clark left and came back to the house twice. When he came back the second time, he was in an automobile with one John Colker. L.D. Clark returned in an automobile along with a man by the name of John Colker. Clark called out to Smith, and the men began to argue once again about the debt. Clark shot at Smith, killing him almost instantly.

Daisy Smith sought assistance from Medgar Evers, who interviewed her.

Legal Status

The matter was set for a preliminary hearing before a justice of the peace, who placed L.D. Clark on a $5,000 bond to wait until the next grand jury. Daisy B. Smith and two other witnesses testified before the grand jury, which declined to indict Clark for the murder of Ed Smith. Acting pursuant to the Emmett Till Act, the FBI investigated the case, but it closed the file in November 2009 without taking any action.