I ask him about the man he killed and he gives a variation of his  standard response: ‘I didn’t mean to kill nobody. I just meant to shoot  the sonofabitch in the head and two times in the chest. Him dying was  between him and the Lord.’
It happened at a dice game long ago;  Burnside had beaten the man out of $400. In court he claimed  self-defence, although one of the bullets entered the back of the  victim’s head. Burnside was working for a powerful white plantation  owner at the time, driving a tractor. His boss wanted him back at work  so he fixed things with the judge and R.L. ended up serving only six  months.

I ask him about the man he killed and he gives a variation of his standard response: ‘I didn’t mean to kill nobody. I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head and two times in the chest. Him dying was between him and the Lord.’

It happened at a dice game long ago; Burnside had beaten the man out of $400. In court he claimed self-defence, although one of the bullets entered the back of the victim’s head. Burnside was working for a powerful white plantation owner at the time, driving a tractor. His boss wanted him back at work so he fixed things with the judge and R.L. ended up serving only six months.

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