Interview with James L. Hicks


James L. Hicks:

Well now, what we're talking about is uh, what you're askin about is Moses Wright's testimony and Moses Wright was a 70 year old man, I guess and uh, he was called, he had he was the boy's uncle. And he called, he was called up on to testify as to uh, could he see anybody in the courtroom identify anybody in that courtroom that had come to his house that night and got the ah, ah, Emmet Till out. He stood up and there was a tension in the courtroom because we had been told that people in our motel that uh, hey, the stuff is going to hit the fan when they uh, stand up and identify when Moses Wright stand up and identified J.W. Milam and the other fellow, I forget, anyway, he in his he's not schooled so when the question was put to him uh, everybody called Uncle Mos and that was resentful to, I mean, but he said ah, Uncle Mos, can you identify the people that came to you that night? And he looked around and there was a tension and he says in his broken language, Dar he**, and uh, so it was uh, well I had been alerted and uh, I told you everybody had been deputized and uh, there was a a veteran white sitting near us and he had a .45 on. And uh, it was sitting just like this on, he was sitting on a chair that uh, didn't have this arm around it a whatnot and ah, this .45 was sticking out like that and I told the felloe that table that cause we were saying what in the world are we going to do when ah, we were up there on the second floor and I said ah, I said I've got a gun and ah, naturally they what do you mean? And I said the man who sits the deputy who sits daily in front of me ah, white, he has a .45 which I was equipped with in the army and ah, I said ah, everyday I've been checking it to see whether the safety's on or not and uh, this was uh something that ah, well I did agreed course there was one bright girl, and we said well she'll get out but it ah, it was a terrific tension in the courtroom at that time but nothing happened. This is the thing that was a let down. I mean, what I mean is that no outbreak came at the, ah, but I think that was because of the judge.