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Capt. Allen's Opening

Capt. Allen's Opening image
Parent Issue
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The proponent's side of the case in the celebrated Jerome SchemerhornM.'llie Bennett will case was all In by m mi Monday and showed rauc'i strunger case than had been anticipated. Roger Crippen was put on the stand. He has always lived near the Bennetts. [n reply to questions he said: "The shape of Jerome's head and mouth la like that of old man Bennett. There has been much talk around the neig-hborhood that Jerome must be some ■1 relation to the Bennetts. They allowed Jerome privileges the same as iL he was a member of the famlly. When I -was a young man the young people of the neighborhood did not associate with the Bennetts for two reasons. First, there were a g-ooft many bad reports about them and, oecondly, it ivas quite generally believed that there Tvras colored blood in the family. H was thought that Jerome was eUlier a blood relative or that he had some hook on them that they was afraid to be let known. About the time of ï)oc's death there was talk of Jerome being relation, and then afterwarö they suitl about the neighborhood that jiTinin: was intímate with une úf the girls." Sara Russell, of Superior, swore that there .was some resemblance in the mouth and the peculiar tw mg oí talk of Behnett and Jerome. Doe nett had no kinks in his hair. fíe had heard talk that Jerome was a ineinber of the family. Alfred Ring: swore that he working for Doe Bennett once and hé said jokingly: "What are you golng to do with your property after you 41e?" ■' which Doe replied: "1 wil] give it to my sisif they outlive me and, iL not, 1 will give ii to Jerome." The most peculiai testrmony was of Laura Northrup, a sister f ■■ . . iting, the man who made a of the alleged will.. She swore that she was under a bush near the roa hunting for a kitten one timL, wiien Mollie Bennett drove by with another ffoman and that she heard Moiiie sa': "Jerome shall have all the prop and belongings. I have made my will and it is in safe hands." Capt. Allen made a ten-minute opening for the contestant just ijefore' the noon hour in 'Which he said substantially as follows: "l'mil Mollie Bennett's death there was no talk exeept by me or two persons, that the reputation. deeency, or blood of the Bennett famüy was not good. We shall show that this paper elaimed to be a will - that this man Schemerhorn had presented the paper to one man at least and offered him money if he would swear that he -knew about it. Also that he has offered money to at least four perons if they would swear that they had witneised the paper as a will. Also that we will show that the Bennett family are reputable by persons who stand as high in the community as Crippen. If there is anything above another that I hate it 's the spirit ot' devilishness of avariciousness, that will go after money never earned and dig down into the graves and besmirch the reputation of those that God has called away and it will give me great pleasure to defend their names. We will show that this alleged will is a forgery- that Mi-. Sweating, Mr. Knapp and Mr. Rowe have perjured themselves, and we will show that their reputation for truth and veraelty in the eommunity in which they live is not good. We will show that the Bennett family kept its own councils and instead of associating with coiored people have reputable friends. We will show that Mollie Bennett carne D a reputable business man in Ypsilanti on the very week of her death and then and there decided that she would make h r will and made arrangements about going to a lawyer to have it drawn up but before that could happen she died." Seth Randall, who was consulted by .Jerome Schemerhorn at one time on the will, was put on the stand after dinner. An objection was made by the proponent's attorneys on the ground that any communieation between Jerome and Randall was one between client and attorney and henee was privileged, but Judge. Kinne held that if the conversation showed that there was intent to commit a crime, a conspiracy, or a fraud, t'ue attorney should answer. Mr. Randall testified that Jerome carne to him with the p'.per that is produced in court and which i.he proponents claim is a copy of the will and said that he had got it out of the postoffice. He said he had lo&t the envelope and there was nothing else inside the envelope. Wltness testified that he examined the paper and i"M Schemerhorn that it was nut auy good as it did not contain the names or the testator or of any witnesses, to which Schemerhorn replied: "That's all right. I can flx tha't all right." Randall then said that he would i 't have anything to do with the oase. Robert Martin swore that Jerome Kihemerhorn came to him and asked him if he wanted to make $1,000, to which he replied that he did if it was honest. Schemerhorn said he wanted a man to witness a copy of Mollie nett's will. "Gel out," said Bob. "or I' 31 boot you."


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat