Completely Kentucky Wiki

Colonel Thomas "Tom" Buford (September 18, 1824 - February 12, 1885) was a Henry County judge who murdered John Milton Elliott.

Buford was born September 18, 1824 in Woodford County, Kentucky. He went on to become a judge in Henry County.

On March 26, 1879 Judge Elliott and fellow jurist Thomas Hines left the Kentucky State House, when they met a judge from Henry County, Kentucky, Colonel Thomas Buford. Buford's late sister had lost her land to pay back a debt of $20,000; Elliott had ruled against her in a court proceeding in which she had attempted to save the property.

After Hines had turned and walked away from Elliott, Buford asked Elliott whether he wanted to go on a snipe hunt, then shot him point-blank with a double-barreled shotgun filled with twelve buckshot, as he had sworn on his sister's grave he would do. Hines inspected the body as Buford turned himself in to a deputy sheriff who had come to see where the shotgun blast came from.

The assassination made news throughout the country. The New York Times opined that the murder "could scarcely have taken place in any region calling itself civilized except Kentucky, or some other Southern state".

Buford offered a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity during his trial. The jury did indeed find him insane, after an initial 6–6 deadlock. Buford was sent to the Central Kentucky Insane Asylum in Anchorage, Kentucky, but would eventually escape in 1882 to Indiana, where he was unable to be extradited. He voluntarily returned to the asylum in 1884 and died on February 12, 1885. He was buried in the Central State Hospital Cemetery.