Author Archives: Lynn Boyd


VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE INRE:                                           JOHN HENRY JAMES                                                         CASE NO.:


Comes now the Commonwealth’s Attorney, James Hingeley, and presents the following motion, saying as follows:

  1. On July 11, 1898 an African American man, John Henry James, was accused of assaulting a white woman, Julia Hotopp, in Albemarle County. The Commonwealth believes this was a false accusation.
  • Following his arrest, John Henry James was placed into custody at the Albemarle County jail, but then was transferred to a jail in Staunton to protect him from a mob that was forming around the Albemarle County jail.
  • On July 12, 1898 John Henry James was on a train returning from Staunton to Albemarle County when an armed and unmasked mob of white men seized Mr. James by storming the train when it slowed for a scheduled stop at Wood’s Crossing in Albemarle County.
  • John Henry James was taken from the train and hanged from a nearby locust tree. After his death, the lynch mob fired dozens of bullets into Mr. James’ body. There were published reports that Mr. James professed his innocence while he was being murdered.
  • At the time John Henry James was being lynched, a grand jury was meeting in Albemarle County Circuit Court to consider indicting Mr. James on the charge of assaulting Julia Hotopp. Micajah Woods, the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, presented evidence to the grand jury.
  • Despite having learned of the death of John Henry James while they were meeting, the grand jury proceeded to return a posthumous indictment charging Mr. James with rape. The indictment is attached hereto, marked as Exhibit 1.
  • The indictment presented in these circumstances should be without legal effect. Nevertheless, the indictment has remained in the court record, where it stands as an official, but wholly unjust, accusation of John Henry James.
  • No action of this Court can undo the injustice of the racial terror lynching that took place in Albemarle County 125 years ago, but this Court can and should purge the record that unjustly gives official credence to the charge against John Henry James.
  • No action of this Court can make amends for the failures of the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Micajah Woods, and the Albemarle County Sheriff, Lucien
  • Watts, (who was present at the lynching and could have identified people in the mob), to bring charges against the perpetrators. The perpetrators of this racial terror lynching acted with impunity because they knew that the Albemarle County authorities would not hold them accountable.
  1. It is in the interest of justice, healing, and restoration for the Court to make an accounting on the record disavowing the actions that caused the death of John Henry James on July 12, 1898 and acknowledging the complicity of those law enforcement officials who countenanced the racial terror lynching in Albemarle County.
  • The jurisdiction of this Court is invoked under Va. Code § 17.1-513 providing that Circuit Courts shall “have original jurisdiction of all indictments for felonies.”

WHEREFORE, the Commonwealth moves this honorable Court 1) to consider such evidence as may be heard in open Court on July 12, 2023 at 4:00 p.m., 2) to strike the indictment of John Henry James from the record, and 3) to grant such other and further relief as may be appropriate.

Please note that a hearing on the motion is scheduled in Albemarle County Circuit Court on Wednesday, July 12, at 4:00 p.m., and I am hoping NAACP members will be interested in attending.  July 12, 2023 is the 125th anniversary of the lynching of John Henry James.  //Jim Hingeley j

James Hingeley

Commonwealth’s Attorney

410 East High Street

Charlottesville, VA 22902

(434) 972-4072

(434) 972-4073 fax





The Political Action Committee will be hosting a virtual candidates’  forum at the June 12th branch meeting: OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

     7-7:45pm: Creigh Deeds and Sally Hudson (11th Senatorial District)

     7:45-8:30pm: Amy Laufer and Kellen Squire (55th House of Delegates seat)


Topic: Alb-Cville NAACP’s Zoom Meeting – CANDIDATES’ FORUM

Time: Jun 12, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 875 4481 1055

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  • Virginia Candidates forum – May 8 –
  • 54th House of Delegates confirmed participation: Katrina Carlsen, Bellamy Brown, Dave Norris.
  • The forum is open to the public and will begin at 7 pm.
  • Use the link below to join:

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Meeting ID: 836 0353 2497
Passcode: 457467
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Today, January 15, would have been Dr. King’s 94th birthday.

Dr. King’s holiday is celebrated on  Monday, January 16, 2023.

Dr. King was assassinated at the age of 39, in Memphis Tennessee. The holiday will be a time when many observe it as a day of service in the community.

Dr. King’s belief in non-violence would be something that the nation as a whole could pause and reflect upon .For those of us who will observe the holiday, simply remembering the man himself, and what he stood for, would in itself be a way to pay tribute to Dr. King.

Janette B. Martin, President

Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP


NAACP Referenced in the Hiring of the Charlottesville, Virginia Police Chief

At the Charlottesville, VA. City Council meeting held on December 5, 2022, it was said that the NAACP provided a reference in the selection of Michael Kochis. Documentation of that conversation between Interim City Manager Michael Rodgers and Mayor Lloyd Snook is on record  and was reported in the Daily Progress December 6, 2022, that” Kochis received references from Warrenton’s Chapters of “Black Lives Matter and the NAACP”.

The NAACP referenced in the article is officially listed as the Fauquier County Branch of the NAACP. There is no chapter of the NAACP in Warrenton which is in Fauquier County.

The references mentioned is the reason for the Albemarle-Charlottesville Branch of the NAACP to clarify what has been stated, The NAACP did not make a reference nor did they endorse any police chief or candidate for office on any level. All official business of any branch/unit is conducted by the Executive Committee in its entirety. and will be documented on the letterhead of the NAACP. and not in a conversation with an officer or member of a branch/ unit.

                   Albemarle- Charlottesville NAACP Executive Committee