In the Bahamas, there is a saying of sorts, which goes something like, ‘he stepped up, as big as Billy’ which is a way of describing someone coming to your house or home uninvited; but acting as bold as if they had always lived there.
Charles Roberts, disgruntled employee and slayer of his boss, Milton Hall in Miami, did just that. Even though every port in Florida was being watched and despite the bulletin put out by the KKK for his capture, Roberts fled Miami under disguise. He made his escape by boat. Charley Roberts stepped up in Nassau, as big as Billy. He made no attempt to conceal himself or what he had done. Despite leaving the island as boy of one or two years old, he found great sympathy in Nassau, among the black population, when they learned he was running from the Klu Klux Klan.
When the Americans appealed to the British to extradite Roberts, there was an uproar by black Bahamians.
By January 1925, Charles Roberts had been in Nassau for almost three weeks.
Tuesday, January 27, 1925
SLAYER OF HALL IN MIAMI ASKS NASSAU ASYLUM
Charles Roberts, Negro, Wins Favour of Bahamians for Himself
Charles Roberts, negro who escaped from Miami after killing of Milton M. Hall, superintendent of the Southern Utilities Co., ice plant, is in Nassau and has appealed to the British authorities there for protection, according to a Nassau newspaper.
Roberts has been in Nassau three weeks, according to the paper, and has made no attempt to conceal himself. When Nassau police were notified of the slaying, the paper says they requested Roberts to report at the office of the commandant there and he asked protection.
Nassau citizens, most of them negroes, held a mass meeting in a theatre to protest against Roberts’ extradition to Miami.
Roberts told Nassau police that a mob surrounded his home in Miami after the Hall slaying, killed his brother and wounded his mother.
According to the Nassau paper, the negro is 26 years old, a native of Nassau, and lived in Miami for five years before he fled after the Hall shooting. He is supped to have served with British troops during the World war.
After the shooting, police made an effort to prevent Roberts’ escape to the Bahamas, where it was believed he would seek haven. When the county jury convened recently, the Hall case was up for consideration. Only one murder case was considered and the jury reported a secret indictment was returned.