The Williamstown Homicide

The Falmouth Independent gives the following account of the killing of young Merril at Williamstown by young Leslie Combs.  The facts were gathered by the editor of the Independent on the spot.  George Merril, a young man, of very respectable family, living near Williamstown, and, when not under the influence of liquor a much praised young man, but when intoxicated, a perfect terror to the community, on Tuesday of last week was in town on a spree, and, as a consequence, had an altercation with a plasterer by the name of Miller, in which he fired several shots, one of which took effect in Miller’s thigh, the other grazing his side, inflicting painful though not serious wounds.  Merril, it seems ,still ran at large, firing his pistol quite often upon the streets, and, about 8 o’clock in the evening, he met Leslie Combs at the door of Rouse’s beer and billiard saloon, just after he had fired a shot, and was asked by him if he was shooting at him (Combs), and was answered in the affirmative, and at the same time fired a shot, which took effect in Comb’s leg.  Comb’s thereupon drew a derringer and shot Merril, the ball taking effect in his left side, killing him instantly.  The noise occasioned brought the men from the billiard hall above, one of whom was Merril’s brother, who, upon finding him dead, in great excitement shot at and wounded a man by the name of Pettit in the arm, and innocent party.  Merril was buried on Wednesday.  Combs is still confined by his wound, but hopes are entertained of his speedy recovery, without sustaining much injury.  Miller and Pettit are able to go about.   The family of the deceased have the sympathy of the citizens of the town and community for the sad misfortune befallen their son.    


From the Covington Journal, December 14, 1872