Press enter after choosing selection

They're Not Guilty

They're Not Guilty image They're Not Guilty image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Latest. - The jury in the Richards murder case came into court at 10:30 this morning after 14i hours of deliberation and announced thiough their foreruan, Robert Campbell, the verdict as "Not Guilty, because of a reasonable doubt," and the prisoners are freed, never to again be tried on this charge. The standing of the jury at first is not definitely known but one report has it, that they stood three for conviction and nine for acquittal on the first ballot. The hearing of the evidence, the pleas of the counsel, and the judge's charge to the jury in the case of the People vs. William Larkins, Edward Lyons and Rupert Jones, suspected of the murder of James Richards, of Superior, en the night of Jan. 30, 1897, came to an end at 8 o'clock last night and the case was given to. the jury, who at once retirad. Up to 10 o'clock this morning they had not yet arrived at a verdict and the Argus is, therefore, unable to state how the famous trial, which has created so much excitement and attention has ended. ït bas been a long and weary case for witnesses, jurymen, lawyers and judge alike, besides being a heavy bill of xponse to the county. Tbe latter, however, does not count for much, for criminals should be punished, no matter what the cost may be. Every real criminal who escapes punishment is an added element of daDger to the community in which he lires, for the very immunity from punishment that be enjoys is only ao added incentive to him and others of like ilk to commit some fresh misdeed. Circumstantial evidence is at all times a class of evidence which will bear the closest scrutiny and it is not to be wondered at that the jury in this case is taking so much time in determining whether these three yonog men shall be immured behind prison walls for life on the evidence offered by the prosecution. Below is given a continuation of the evidence from last weeks' report: The next witness called was William Tate, who examined the foot track around the house on the morning of the murder and detscribed them as the other witnesses had done. He found the bullet which killed Richards on the floor of the bedroom. Eugene Barton saw some blood marks on the snow under the window and had his attention callea to foot tracks by Peterson. Saw Peterson measure footprints under window. John Stafford testified as to cutter tracks and footprints. Judge Newkirk was allowed to say that he bad received the letter from England relating to John Briston. Deputy Sheriff Fred Dunn, of Plymouth, had charge of Jones after his arrest. Jones remembered being in Northville, slept until he reached Parmington, went from henee to Novi and home. Witness had a short talk with Larkins, who told him they had been too drunk to know which road they had taken to Northville. On Friday morning Wiu. Tate was recalled. Did not oblitérate tracks around the house. Frank Kingsbury, who lives about three miles from Pymouth, was calling on the night of the murder, at the house of a friend named Root, who lives on the road between Richards' house and Plymouth. He left there about 1 :30, started towards Plymouth, and on the way three men in a cutter passed him. Albert Aliutborn and George Arthur, who had been roommates of Lyons, testified to Lyons possessing two false mustaches, one brown one and one black. A. E. Oliver testified that Rupert Jones told him on the night of Feb. 2 that he had attended a party on the Saturday night precding. Daniel Adams, a Plymouth saloon keeper, testifiad that the defendants had not purchased any liquor of him on the day of the murder and were not in bis saloon that Light. Byron Downing testified to seeing the men buy liquor at a hotel in Plymouth on the night of the murder but he and others testified that they were not under the influence of liquor. Claud Sbaft'er, a hotel clerk frnrn Northville, testified that the hotel at Northville closed about 11 o'clock. He knew the prisoners well but they had not appeared when the hotel was closed. Mr. Stanley, a hotel man from Novi, testified that he closed up at 11 o'clock and at tbat time none of the prisoners had called. Zar Penny, a Plymouth liveryman, said that Lyons hired a horse and entter of biru at about 8 o'clock on the night of the murder and be was not drunk. Cutter was black with a swell body. When he paid for it on the following Saturday night he said that he wanted tbe rig,to go to the Nortbville gymnasium. Theron Wykoff.Wm. Manly and Wm. Bolgus, Superior farmers, testified to the tracks, etc, eeeu at the Richard's place the day after the murder. Fred Burch was a barkeeper at the only hotel in Northville on Jan. 30. Closed the bar room at 10 o'olock standard and the electric lights went out at 11. Had played whist in the room irnmediately over tbe bar room until after midnight. Heard no alarm at the barroom door. George Eldert had a conversation with Larkins in December, during which Larkins pulled a big revolver from his pocket and said "Wel!, here is something that will bring me either money or blood. " Deputy Sheriff George Goodell, of Novi, left Brown's hotel, Novi, at 1 a. ra. on the night of the murder. Knew of no one trying to get into the hotel during the night. Mrs. Hattie Saely was at the tollgate beteen Novi and Farmington until 1 1 :30 p. m. on the night of Jan. 30. No entter containing tbree men passed through tbe gate up to that time. George Stíely, her husband, corroborated her testimony. John D. Hiles, of Farrnington, testifled that on Jan. 30 he was tending bar at the only hotel. Retired at 12:30 on tbat night, Ieaving hotel at 12:15. Saw no persons in entter during night, and no one tried to get into hotel. Cross-esaimnation. Doors were opfn until after he left. Bar was kept open on that nigbt till after 12. Edward Thompson, a Northville photographer, testified that in paying a bilí on Feb. 3 Lyons showed a $20 bilí as well as other bilis. Edward Merritt, a Nortbville jeweler, swore tbat on Feb. 10 Lyons paid him $15 for a ladies' watch and $S for a watch case. Ira Folman, a Farmington wagon maker, was at tbe Farmington hotel on tbe night of Jan. 30 from 9:30 to 12 :30. No cutter eontaining three men carné to hotel that nigbt. ' L. D. Owens, proprietor of that hotel, kept his hotel open on tbe nigbt of Jan. 30, nntil 1 :30 a. in. No three yonng men in ontter had stopped at the hotel. None of tbe defendants were at bis honse that nigbt. Orson Moore, bartender at Strang's hotel, Plymouth, saw the three defendants in the barroom on tbe night of Jan. EO. They booght a quart of whiskey. W. G. Brown said he kept his hotel in Novi open until after midnight Jan. 30. No one who had tried to get into hotel failed to obtain entrance. A. B. Beach and Will Munger corroborated the testimony of Owens and Tolman as to the Farmington hotel. James Tolbert, the colored man who first saw Richards after he was shot, was recalled and testified that he approached the Richards house on the Sunday afternoon he found Richards from the direction of the chicken house. Did not walk around house. Inspected footprints later on and corroborated the testimony of other witnesses. Supervisor Walter Voorheis, of Superior, heard Lyons, on the day of his arrest tell what the defendants bad done on the night of the murder. He had known Larkins for 10 years. Lyons said they were going after musio rack belonging to Jones and also for a good time. Loyns said he hid a pair of puinted shoes and rnbbers on the night of the murder. Lyons and Jones had taken turns at driving. Had found gymnasium and hotel at Northville closed. Said Jones had missed train for Northville. Left Plymouth about 9:30, north by airgnn factory. Had gone from Northville to Novi, leaving the former place at 10 p. in. Went on to Farmington. Hotel closed here. Lyons thought there was a turned down light at hotel at Northville. Lyous thoaght they reached home by 2 o'clock. Said they had seeu no one, talked with no one and met no one during tbe entire trip. Witness also heard talk with Jones. Jones agreed with Lyone as to way of leaviug Plvmoutb. Jones said be had no mnsic stand at Northville, bot agreed as to missing train and wanting to play with baud at Nortbville. Described route and difficultifis of arousiug anyone tbe same as Lyons had Had seen, met nor passed anyone. Jones said he had on pointed toed shoes without rubbers. Had woru a Fedora hat. Had also heard Larkins tell the same story after the trip to Northville, Novi and Farmington and acknowledge tha revolver nft'ered in evidence as his. Larkins said be had worn feit boots on the nigbt of the murder and that he was too fnll to kuow which road he had taken out of Plymouth. Larkins said he had only earned $2 or $3 during six weeks. This flnished the testimony Friday eveniug. Jaturday morning James Lovely, of Detroit, testiiied that he had sold Larkins a piano Jan. 6 in Plymouth. Larkins said he had no money to make first payment, but expected to have $?.5ÜU in 30 days. The price of the piano was $325. The piano was atterwards taken back by the house. (Contiuued on Fourth Page.) THEYIJOT GUILTY (Continucd from First Page.) John II. Quackenbush. of Salem, had made but slight examination of the tracks. He corroborated previous witnesses as to Richards' statement. Mrs. Hendricks had charge of the tollgate between Farmington and Novi until 12 o'elock Saturday night. Did nót let defendauts through the gate thüt night. Gate ■ was locked., No strangers passed through while she was in charge. Her husband returned froin Farmiugton at 11:30, took Mrs. Seelev home and then returned. Had light in window so that it covered gate and road. William Hendricks testified that he did not unlock the gate that night after it was turned over to him. Gate was locked when he returned home and he did not let three men in a cutter through the gate. Willis, the Plymouth blacksmith, testified as to the shoes worn by the horse Lyons had hired from Penny the night of Jan. 30. James Rideout, an Ypsilanti colored man. who was a prisoner at the county jail, said that after Mrs. Larkins came to see her husband, Jones told Larkins that he would not live with such a woman as she would condemn all three of them. On cross-examination he told Col. Atkinson that he was a notorious bad character and a liar the same as the rest of us. Rideout's testimony that Mrs. Larkins had told her husband at the jail that he ought to plead guilty as she would secure leniency i'or him was ordered stricken out. M. C. Peterson, who made the arrests, testiñed that he drove out to the Richards' farm Monday with Sheriff Judson. Examined tracks at south window, at the north window and west of the house. Also examined tracks at second gate. Tracks were fairly well preserved. Tracks seemed to show that the cutter had been lifted around. Saw mark in the heel of the rubber track at house. Told others that it was of importance and made drawing of the same on back of bank check. Made design from right foot. There were no design of marks on the footprint made by the other shoe. Measured the tracks he saw. Witness then produced newspaper - an Ypsilanti Sentinel, on which the size of the footprints had been marked. Ideutified rubbers as ones he had procured at jail. Sheriff Judson at this time took the stand and related how he had gotten Mr. Lyons' rubbers and given them to Officer Peterson. Mr. Peterson again took the stand and identified the Lyons' rubbers and described how carefully he had made the measurement. The rubbers fitted into the marks made on the newspaper. Witness thought that the measurements of the feit boots coincided with the measurements recorded on the newspaper Feb. 4. Identified the revolver found at Larkins' house and said that Larkins had acknowledged it to be his. The tracks at the second gate looked like the tracks near the house. Lyons told him that he wore shoes with rubbers that night, Larkins that he wore feit boots, and Jones that he wore pointed toed shoes without rubbers. The witness here detailed at length the story of the prisoners after their arrest which was_ the same at that told by Supervisor Voorheis in his testimoney. Larkins told witness that he had had a dark lantern but did not know wheie it was. A bullet taken from the 44-calibre revolver belonging to Larkins weighed 199 grains. A severe cross-examination did not shake the witness' story. M. A. Van Wagoner, of Detroit, testified that Larkins came into his store in Detroit to pay a note tor the piano he had purchased. He exhibited a roll of bilis in which there was one $20 bill and several $5 bilis. On Monday morning the jury visited the scène of the murder and returned to the court house at 11:30. After some additional testimony by Mr. Peterson, John Maltz testified to seeing Lyons in the Plymouth hotel at 9 o'elock Jan. 30 with a long overcoat on. Sheriff Judson identified the buüet. Was at scène of murder on Monday. Saw place bullet struck and tracks. Did not examine tracks at second gate. Measured tracks in snow by Windows. He knew without measurement that the shoe Lyons was wearing did not compare with the small track at the Richards' place. He next testified as to the money received by him for the several defendants, the offer of the reward and his recommendation of John Shankland for administrator of the Richards' estáte. Had no feeling against PeterSQn. Shankland had told him in the presence of witnesses that Richards kept his money in pocket of strawtick. He did not see Peterson make measuremerits. Peterson had never called his attention to fan shaped mark in track. Did not examine tracks at second gate. Lyons had told him they met a man wiih a horse and buggy between Novi and Farmington. Told Lyons if they could ftnd that man it would be of great service to them. Some unimportant testimony followed. Witness denied that prisoners played cards together in the corridor. Mr. Ely was suspected of the crime. He had since been convicted of another crime. E. L. Cuitis swore that he made comparison between his own tracks and the tracks in the snow on Jan. 31. His shoes were No. 7. Tracks were trom one to three sizes larger than his. Andrew Shankland aDd Frank Duress were recalled. Shankland identifled a shoe as one worn by him and which fltted the tracks at the Richards' place. Mr. Duress' testimony was unimportant. Walter Ely, of Dixboro testified that he knew John Briston. the man who had been suggested as the guilty party. He identifled three letters as the ones he had received from Briston since he left here for England. The last was received in May. A paragraph in the first letter describing the manner in which Briston had spent Christmas and the envelope of the Jast letter were offered in evidence. The prosecution then rested and the evidence for the defense was commenced. Lizzie Finch was the first witness sworn. She testified to Peterson having been at Larkins' house. On Jan. 30 Larkins left about 8:45 p. m. He turned just before 3 a. ai., Jones came with hiin. Jones was ilrunk. Helped take his shoes off aud put him on lounge where he slept. Saw revolver while Larkins was away that night. Mrs. Larkins had the pistol and said that they need not be at raid if Larkins did uotA'eturn, they had the gun anyway. On cross-examination the witaess said she did not remeniber of keeping house w'ith Mrs. Larkins in Ypsilanti. Knew John Birch. Was not at his house when his wife was away. Mrs. Birch did not find her at her house and make her leave there with nothing on but a bedquilt. Was engaged to be married to Jones. Jones sonietimes staid all night. Did not see or make any false faces. Tried to persuade the boys not to go away that night. Boys said they were going to Northville. Was at the jail the Monday after the boys were arrested. Did not teil the assistant prosecutor ttiat she did not know anything about the case. Walter Voorheis recalled by the defense said he was at an Indian medicine show at Cherry Hill on the night of Jan. 30. Cherry Hill is three miles off the road from Ann Arbor to Plymouth. Wm. Eldert, deputy sheriff, had talked with John Shankland about the danger of his being suspected as he lived so near the scène of the murder. Larkins had showed him his revolver and had given him some of the cartridges. Harris Ball did not see anyone make measurements of tracks at Richards house. Did cut sticks tor Judson to measure tracks with. Marshal Zenus Sweet was at John Shankland's house Feb. 13. Shankland said he had two revolvers. Was at the Richards farm Feb. 1. Measured tracks leading away from the house. Had talked with each oí the defendants. Charles Merritt, a drover and butcher, had known Larkins for 17 years. Larkins had worked for him, always found him reliable. Larkins used revolver to kill cattle. He knew Lyons and Jones and knew nothing against them. On cross-examiuation he testified that he had bought stock of Richards in August, 1896. Had never charged any large bilis for Larkins. Charles Van Valkenburg's testimony was unimportant. J. H. Wingert, business manager of the Northville orchestra saw Jones at the Nofthville depot on the morning of Jan. 30. Had been playing for dance Friday night. Understanding was tbat they were all to come to Northville Saturday night to receive pay for two dances they had played at. Gymnasium closed about 9:30 or 10 that evening. Played sometimes four and five nights in a week. Got 2 apiece each night. On eross-examination he said he never knew Jones to go off on a drunk. The testimony of Bert C. Bradley, a member of the orchestra was uuimportant. Fred Simmons was next sworn. Lived in township of Farmington. Was at Masonie meeting in Farmington on Jan. 30. Lives southwest from Farmington. Left Farmington at 11:30. Drove single horse and buggy. Met horse and cutter containing three persons about 60 or 80 rods from the center of town. Did not turn out to let him pass; kicked about it. One of them said something in a low voice. Thought they had been drinking. One that sat iu middle was leaning forward with elbows on his knees. Cross-examination: Saw Hendricks at lodge. Arrived at lodge about 9 p. m. Never heard of au offer of $50 for anyone who would swear that he met a cutter that night. George W. Hunter, of Plymouth, testitied to Lyons' and Jones' good reputation, as also did William O. Allen. Lyons had worked for him in summers of '94 and '95. Bert McCrumb, of Oakland county, said he had passed through the tollgate between Novi and Farmington, June 11, betwee 10 and 11 p. m. and the gate was wide open. Dan Bryant's testimony brought out nothing new. Harold Tubbs, of Northville, night watch, remembered night of Jan. 30. After gymnasium closed that night, abont 11 o'clock, saw cutter containing three persons drive up to gymnasium. Came in from direction of PJymonth, passed by hotel and stopped at livery atable, in the seoond story of which the gymnasium is located. On oross-examination admitted that frequently saw persons drive up to and enter livery stable. At one time had declined to talk to Mr. Sawyer and Mr. Kirk. Northville hotel was closed at that time, although eleotiic lights were not out. Wm. Nowland, of Plvmonth, night watch, was on duty night of Jan. 30. Knows defendants. Saw them twice on that night, flrst at 9 :30 at Hotel Strang. Saw three people in cutter with blaok horse later in night corue into Plymouth on Nortbville or Farmington road. Time was 2 or 3 o'clock at night. Was pretty sure they were the three defendants. Edward Holmes, a huokster, of No vi, had found tollgate open frequeutly at nigbt. John McKenzie, of Plymouth, lower town, testified to having lived Jast January adjoining the Northville road. On night of Jan. 30 had oocasion to be up at 3 :30 a. m. At that time saw a cutter containing three men pass his house, going sonth towards Penny's livery stable in Plymontb. Cross-examination showed tbat Street lamp bad been burning iu front of tbe house. Witness positively identified cutter which passed them as a swell box cutter. Miss Leavington, of Plymouth, who is engaged to Loyns, testified to walking with him at abont 9 o'olock p. m. Jan. 30. Was at Northville with him Feb, 3 and 10. Saw him pay money to photographer. Loyns had given her $20 the night he was arrested with which she paid some little debts he owed and returned him the change, f 5, at tbe jail. Fred A. Colson, of Detroit, had taken the piano from Larkins' house and placed it in Mr.Ü Robinson's. Never saw Larkins in Detroit. Irving Lake was next sworn. Drove from Farmington to Novi Jan. 30, about 11 o'clock. Passed through tollgate which was open. Met cutter with three men in hollow east of tollgate about oue and ons half miles lrom Farmington. J. D. Murdock, barber, of Ply-' moutb, had shaved Lyons Jan. 30, wbo paid him wirli a $10 bilí. He also cut Jones' hair and loaned him a qaarter to go to Wayne Feb. 3. Jones left his instrument with him at 3 p. rn. Jan. 30. Said he got left by train. Carne and got instrument later. Wrigbt, the liveiy stable employé, recalled. Went to bed at 1 :45 Saturday uight. Jjyous came in before 2:30. Found an empty bottle in ontter. Mrs. John Schlee and Martin Wackenhut ooi'roborated oonversation between Sheniï Judsoa and John Shankland. Daputy Sheriff Canfisld was at Richards' farm Feb. 2 and measured tracks pointed out to hira by Shankland. Geo. A. Starkweather, lawyer, of Plmouth, testified that he was admini6trator of the estáte of Larkins' father. Ou cross-examination he testifled that eaoh of the heirs got $87, ont of which Larkins took a norse at $40. F. C. Sberwood, of Plymouth, had never heard the reputation of defendants for honesty qnestioned. E. W. Chaffee swore that Lyons had worked in the airgun faotory and had earned $58. Jones had worked theie a year ac $7.50 a week. Sheriff Judson testified tbat when broaght to jaü Loyus had $7.85, Jones $4.09, Larkins 7c oents. Mr. Robinson, of Plymouth, swore to the good reputatiou of Lyons and Jones. Severa! witnesses were recalled by the prosecution in rebuttal after which both sides rested and -the arguments were oomrnenced at 2:15 p. m. Wben courfc reassembled iu the afternoon Prosecuting Attorney Kirk began his argument. He reviewed at length the evidenoe before the jury and sbowed up the disorepancies of the alibi sought to be established by the prisoners. He was followed by Attorney Frank E. Jones for the defense, who paid particular attention to the evidenoe of M. C. Peterson. His speech was ended before court adjourned. It 8eemed as if everyone wanted to hear Col. Atkinson and yesterday morning when court opened at 9 o'olock the conrt room was crowded to suffocation. At shortly after 9 he commenoed to talk and oocupied all the morning session. He detailed the circumstances of otber crimes that have been commtted in this state of a similar nature, dwelt at length on the oncertainty of the evidence for the prosecution in locating the prisoners at the time of the murder, and insisted that the footprints of the third person was brought into the case so as to bring Jones into it and thus account for the three young men on that night. He spoke of the previous goed character of the prisoners and closed by saying that the only thing the prisoners had to fear was that the eloquene of the gentleman who was to close the case for the prosecution might unduly influence the jury. A. J. Sawyer corumenced the concluding argument in the trial at 1:30 p. m. The court room was, if it could possibly be so, more orowded than in the mornins and the people listened attentively to the speech. Mr. Sawyer reviewed the whole evidenoe, dwelt particularly on the alibi of the prisoners and the extreme improbability of three young men going out oonfessedly on a druuken spree and tu cali on friends in three different places, thir drive covering a distance of 24 miles and acoording to their account a period of five hours time and never in all that distance or all that time seeing anybody. But during that time an old man was murdered and robbed. At the conclusión of his argument he asked tbe jnry to lay asideall sympathy that they migbt feel for the young men because one bad a wife, the other an aged mother and the third was betrothed and to render a verdict just and true aocording to the evidence that was befoie them. He asked it for the future safety of the state, family and home. It was nearly 6 o'clock when Mr. Sawyer concluded and court then adjourned to 7 :30 o'clook when Judge Kinne read his charge to the juy. It was an eminently fair and impartial charge throughout and in it he particularly cautioned the jury te lay aside from their minds all passion and prejudice and reminded them that if any doubt whatever existed in their minds it was their duty to exercise it on behalf of the accused. It was then 8 o'clock and the jury retired to their room in charge of the officers. At 9 o'clock they had not reached a verdict and court adjourned until 9 a. m. today.