Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

(145 N. E.) of Martin, and told Mrs. Martin he was part of a building that had previously sorry she felt as she did. After that visit burned down, and the wire was similar to and conversation, defendant returned home. wire used on the farm. On January 5, the On Tuesday morning, January 3, he returned day the body was found, but before the to his work at the Kratz home in his fa- sheriff had notice it was found, he and a ther's Ford touring car, which he left stand-deputy, Goodin, went to the Arthur home to ing in the garage of a Mr. Stiverson, who again search the premises. While Goodin was lived on the place. That day the sheriff searching the haymow and other places, went out to the Kratz place, arrested de Sheriff Gale again examined the Ford tourfendant on a charge of larceny of money ing car of J. W. Arthur, which he bad brought from Martin, and put him in the county home from the Kratz place, where it had jail.

been driven by defendant before his arrest The sheriff testified he looked for blood and where it had remained two days. The on the car that day and saw none; that sheriff testified he found blood stains on the he looked at the running board, opened the car. They were on the right-hand side of doors, and looked at the cushions. The the car, on the rear seat, on the sill between car remained at the Kratz place till the the two seats, on the cushion and upholsterevening of the day following defendant's ar- ing, and on the covering of the floor between rest, when his father went after it and the front and rear seats. He called Ardrove it home. The disappearance of Mar- thur's attention to the stains and inquired tin excited considerable public interest and whether anything had been recently hauled several parties visited defendant in the in the car from which the stains came and jail and talked with him about Martin's was told there had not. Deputy Goodin disappearance, some of them directly or in- testified there was "quite a little blood" on directly accusing him of Martin's murder. the car. Some of the stains were on the Among the parties visiting defendant in matting, some on the upholstering, some on the jail were Martin's mother and sister. the floor, and some "streaks and spots." To all he denied knowing anything about | Late that day, after the body of Martin was what became of Martin after he took him to found, Goodin and another man went back town following the oyster supper Friday to the Arthur home, and drove the car to night. Searching parties were organized, Monticello, and put it in the Rudisill garage. and the body was finally found Thursday, It was later, the same day, as we understand, January 5, in the Sangamon river at the taken to the jail garage. Specimens of the place and in the condition above stated. stains from the car were delivered to chemThe coroner's jury, at the inquest held Jan- ists in Chicago, and they testified an anuary 6, charged defendant with the murder alysis of them showed they were human of Martin, and at the February term of blood. Afterwards several trips were made court he was indicted for the murder by by officers and others to the Arthur home the grand jury. In May the grand jury in search of evidence, and May 12 stains rewas, on motion of the state's attorney, re- sembling blood were found. Some of these called and returned another indictment were on a barn door at the south end of charging defendant with the same crime. the barn. Scrapings from these stains were He was tried at the October term, 1922, taken for analysis. On the same day scrap found guilty and the punishment fixed at ings from several stains found at the Ardeath.

thur residence were taken also. The chemA great many errors are assigned as ists reported the specimen taken from the reasons why the judgment should be re-barn door was human and beef blood and versed. The trial lasted four weeks. With that the specimens taken from the Arthur the exception of the testimony of some wit- residence were not blood. Later more stains nesses who were in jail with defendant, the were found on the inside and outside of the evidence, the most important of which will barn. Specimens of them were taken for be referred to, was circumstantial. The analysis. Most of them, according to the principal circumstances relied upon by the chemists, were human and beef blood, some people are that, so far as the proof dis- of them were human blood only, some were closes, defendant is the last person who saw animal blood, and some were not blood of Martin alive, and that was on the occasion any kind. of the oyster supper at defendant's home In this connection it is proper to note the night of December 30. On one of the defendant's claim that, if there was blood officer's visits to defendant's home in search in the car, it was put there after January of evidence, he asked Mrs. Arthur for de- 3. This contention is based on the proof fendant's revolver, and she gave it to him. that, when J. W. Arthur and his family It required a 32-caliber cartridge, which left home for a visit on December 24, they was the size of the bullet found in Martin's were driven in the Ford touring car to the head. The rock (a piece of Bedford stone) railroad station in Monticello by defendant. placed in the gunnysack and bound by wire There was a comfort in the car, and Mrs. to Martin's body was similar to some rock Arthur wore a stocking cap to the station, at the Kratz home place, which had been where she took it off and left it in the car.

are

Some of the Arthur family testified these , quilt was in the car and they used it for a things were in the car when they used it lap robe. after their return home from their visit. Mrs. Tubbs, housekeeper for Mr. Billman, The car was used by Arthur on Saturday whose house is a little over a half mile afternoon, December 31, when he drove to southwest of the Arthur home, testified that town, bought about $50 worth of groceries, near 11 o'clock the night of December 30, and brought them home in the car. The while she was in bed, she heard what soundfollowing day, Sunday, Arthur and his two ed like two pistol shots; that they were daughters drove the car to Sunday school; about 5 minutes apart; that the second was the father riding in the front seat and the louder and more distinct than the first one. daughters in the rear seat. Only one of the Bonnie Billman testified that some night daughters returned home with her father, and in December—she could not fix the time in the afternoon of the same day the father she heard what sounded like two pistol shots, drove the car to get the other daughter and but could not tell from what direction the bring her home. The following day, Mon- sounds came. day, January 2, Arthur and his wife drove Floy Russell testified for the people that the car to a funeral. Arthur testified that she lived with Mr. and Mrs. Stiverson; that on the way to the funeral he drove his car the Friday night before New Years she to Rudisill's garage, in Monticello, to get heard, about 1 o'clock, a car come in the some alcohol put in his radiator, and then yard; that the engine ran for 10 or 15 minwent on to the funeral. He testified he did utes, and then the car went west, she thought not observe any blood stains on the car on toward the road, which is not a great way any of these occasions. He also testified he from the house. observed no blood stains on the barn prior These

not

all the circumstances to May 6, when he dehorned a calf. The proved and relied upon by the state, but calf bled freely and he had to put flour on are, we believe, the principal and most imto stop the bleeding. After that there was portant ones. In addition to the testimony blood on the barn, inside and outside. He referred to, the people introduced witnesses said the stains were sprayed on the barn by to prove statements made to them or in their the bleeding calf. He further testified that hearing by defendant. some two years ago, in attempting to take As soon as the body of Martin was found, with his fingers some grease out of a pan kept the sheriff of Piatt county removed defendin the cow barn, he ran a piece of granite ant to the De Witt county jail, at Clinton. in his finger at the first joint of the fore. He was kept there until January 11, when finger, and he exhibited a scar which he said he was removed by the Piatt county officers it made. He said the finger bled freely, to the Champaign county jail, at Urbana. but he went ahead and turned his five cows January 22 he was taken back to the Piatt out of the barn before wrapping the finger. county jail, at Monticello. The cows were fastened in stanchions and Ralph Henson, who was a prisoner in the had to be released. He also testified that in jail at Clinton for "bootlegging," testified he January, 1922, while grinding a butcher heard defendant say to Lafe Miller, another knife on a grindstone in the barn, he cut prisoner, who was awaiting transfer to the the thumb of his left hand from the nail penitentiary, "Give me your hand; I believe to the joint, and he showed a scar he said you are my friend.” Miller replied he was, was caused by it. He said when he cut and defendant said, “I shot him.” That was his thumb he reached up above, where some all the conversation he heard. He heard bed springs were (on which the people's no one's name nor any time mentioned, and testimony showed the stains of human blood said he did not know whether defendant were found), for a cloth and tore off a referred to a person or to something else. piece to wrap his thumb. The blood was Grover Warrick, also a prisoner in the dripping freely.

jail at Clinton, testified he had never seen Mrs. Arthur testified to the use of the defendant before he was brought to jail; Ford touring car on Saturday and Sunday, that while in the jail he heard some one and that the cap and quilt left in it De-ask Lafe Miller, another prisoner, if he was cember 24 were taken out of the car after the speaker's friend; that Miller replied Sunday, January 1.

he was, and the person speaking then said, Naomi Arthur, sister of defendant, 15 years “I killed him," or, “They say I killed him." old, testified to going in the Ford touring Witness only knew Miller said it was de car driven by defendant to the station to fendant talking to him. He heard no names take the train when they left home for or time mentioned, and did not know wheththeir visit on December 24, and that when er defendant was referring to a person or they got out of the car they left a quilt not. A dozen or more witnesses, who were and a cap in the car; that on Sunday, Janu- acquaintances of Henson and Warrick, tesary 1, she, her younger sister, and her fa- tified their reputations for truth and veracity ther went to Sunday school in the car and were bad. there were no stains on it. She said the Earl Pitman, who had served a term in

(145 N.E.) the reform school for burglary and larceny, testified he was in the Champaign county: and who was at the time of the trial serv- jail at the time defendant was there, and ing a term in the penitentiary for stealing heard him say to Pitman that the gun he an automobile, testified as a witness for the (defendant) shot him with was not the gun people, having been brought from the prison they found, but did not mention the name as a witness. He testified he was in the of any person. He acted irrational, like a Champaign county jail in Ja ary, 1922, crazy man. Witness further testified defendwhile defendant was a prisoner there; that ant said he took "him” out of the car, stumdefendant began trying to play insane, and bled, and threw him off the bridge into the talked with witness about that as a defense, creek. At one time he heard defendant say and witness advised that he adopt some other he wiped the blood off the car and thought line of defense; that defendant told him he had everything clear. There is a good he and Martin had lunch together at de- deal of confusion in witness' testimony, and fendant's home; that after they had eaten, it is difficult to understand under what cirand Martin was putting on his gloves to cumstances, and where, and who, if any one leave, he turned in his chair, which gave else, was present when the defendant made defendant the opportunity he was waiting the statements witness testified to. for, and he "throwed a slug.” Martin was Roy Carrow, deputy sheriff, testified for not killed, but rose from his chair, and de- the people that he and Mrs. Reed had an infendant was so stunned he could not move. terview with defendant in the Piatt county Martin staggered outside. Defendant fol- jail after he had been brought there from lowed him out and found him by the barn, Champaign county. He said defendant statat the entrance to the garage, where he ed he had come home from his service in kept his car. Martin was staggering and the war with money on his mind, and in falling, and defendant said he "throwed an- reply to questions by witness if that was other shot into him.” He fell at the entrance why he took Martin's money said it was. to the garage. Defendant picked up some He said Martin accused him of owing Martin pipe lying there and finished the job. He about $115 and said he would send the shersaid he took the body in a car to the bridge iff to get defendant if he did not pay it, and and dropped him in the river after first it was agreed he should pay Martin $100. wrapping some wire around the body. Wit- | He said he had paid Martin two payments ness asked defendant if he did not know the of $25 each by check and one of $20 in body would come to the surface in about 7 cash. He said Martin saw him four or five days. Defendant said it would not rise, for times a week and threatened him with the he put a rock and half a bale of wire on it. sheriff. Witness testified Mrs. Reed was Witness testified that on another day, in present when the statements were made. his cell, defendant asked him what he knew On cross-examination he testified defendant about Harry Brown, who had been in the denied having taken money from Martin, but Champaign county jail and was then in the said Martin nagged and threatened him till penitentiary. Defendant said ther was a he agreed to pay him $100. Witness said good chance to "unload the whole thing" on Mrs. Reed did most of the talking to deBrown and some one else whose name wit- fendant. ness could not remember. Witness further Mrs. Reed testified she and Carrow saw testified defendant said he wiped the blood defendant in jail and talked with him. She off the car with a rag, also off a door which understood defendant had sent for her. He Martin had struggled up against when he said they were accusing him of the Martin ran from the house. On cross-examination, murder. He told witness of him and Marwhen asked if he was still in the penitentiary, tin being together Friday night, December he answered, “Yes; and I am going to get 30, at defendant's home; that previously out, too." "He said the statements he had | Martin asked him in town for money he related were made in defendant's cell and thought defendant owed him, and said he no one else was present. He said a Mr. had to have some money to pay debts. DeFirke, a lawyer of Piatt county, who had fendant told him they would go to defendbeen employed to assist in securing evidence ant's home and talk it over. They had an for the people, had visited him at the peniten- oyster supper at defendant's home and talked tiary, but he required Firke to prove his the money matter over. Defendant did not identity before he would tell him about the have wages due him to pay and agreed to conversation with defendant. Firke, who try to borrow it. He said Martin said he testified at length in the case, said he visit- wanted to go back to town to meet a couple ed the penitentiary in search of evidence on of fellows who had promised to get some May 13, May 25, and September 25. Pitman booze. Defendant said he took Martin to said he had read about the case in the papers town, let him out of the car in front of the and that they had found blood in defendant's Russel barber shop, and he walked over to car, before defendant told him the things the sidewalk, where two men were standing he testified to.

close to an automobile, and defendant then Joseph Catte, a prisoner brought from drove back home. He said that was the the penitentiary as a witness for the people, last time he had seen Martin. He thought

145 N.E.-27

one of the men on the sidewalk was Harry, went to Ellis' place of business, next door Montgomery. He said Martin claimed $115, to Russel's barber shop, that evening about but it was agreed, if defendant paid him 8:30 or 9 o'clock, and stayed till about 10 $100, that would settle it. He said he had o'clock. paid Martin two checks of $25 each and $20 Ellis testified he ran a clothes cleaning in money. He said he had given him two and pressing business next door to Russel's other checks—one for $25 and one for $10– barber shop, and that Montgomery came in for a carburetor, work on car, inner tubes, his place the night of December 30, about and spark plugs. Defendant requested wit- 8:30 or 9 o'clock, and stayed till after 10. ness to come back again alone, and she did William Smith, state's attorney of De Witt so about February 1. Defendant said he county, in rebuttal for the people, testified had told her the truth as far as he had gone, he visited defendant while he was in jail in but had not told her all. He said that after that county and told him it was known he he went home, after taking Martin to town, committed the crime; that he might as well about 10:30 he was awakened, went to the confess, “because they have it on you, and door, and found Martin there. He wanted you might just as well tell it"; that defendto borrow defendant's father's car, and said ant said, “I am not going to tell it now," he had two fellows with him and their car or "I am not going to say anything about it was not working good; that they wanted now." to get some booze. Defendant told them The people introduced proof for the pur. he did not want to loan his father's car to pose of showing defendant had a motive transport booze. Martin said there was no for killing Martin. Dwight Duvall, who was danger, and defendant consented to his tak- employed in Rudisill's garage, testified for ing it. He put on some clothes, went out, the people that Martin did some work on and Martin introduced him to his two com- defendant's car September 5, 1921. Depanions. One was named Lynch and one fendant was there at the time, and that all Brown. Martin asked for some old gunny- the persons in the garage but himself left it sacks, or sacks that binder twine had been for a short time while defendant's car was in, and wire to wrap and secure the jugs. there. Some one drove up in front, and He gave them some, and they drove away, witness went out to see what was wanted. and he returned to bed. About 2:30 in the Defendant and Martin had been testing demorning he heard a car drive back, and a fendant's car, and he saw them drive in the little later he went out and looked in the door at the rear end of the garage and car to see if they had left him something to stop. When witness went in the garage, he drink. They had not, but he said his gun, saw neither Martin nor defendant. He first which he had loaned them, was on the back saw defendant come out of the opening leadseat. It was clean, was loaded, and had not ing to the stairway which went to the upper been fired. The next night he started to floor. He heard footsteps on the stairway drive to Cisco, and met some parties who before he saw defendant. Martin came 15 indicated they wanted him to stop. They or 20 minutes later. His bedroom was on the were Brown and Lynch. He gave them a second floor above the garage. spark plug and asked where Martin was. On this same subject of motive, William They said he was stirring off a batch of Biesecker, for the people, testified he bought booze and would be home in a day or two. a Ford car from Martin in August, 1921, and Defendant denied he took Martin's money, gave him a check for $100. Afterwards, the and denied he was in any way connected same day, he saw Martin with $100, all in with his murder.

bills. Defendant was at the garage when Sheriff Gale testified that after defendant Martin came in with the money and saw had been returned to the Piatt county jail Martin have it in his hands. The check wit. he told the sheriff a bunch of booze runners ness gave Martin was dated August 30, six knocked Martin off, and when the right time days before Duvall said he saw defendant came he would tell who did it.

come from the opening to the stairway leadM. C. Long, for the people, testified that ing to the second floor, where Martin roomed. in a conversation he had with defendant in This proof, and the statements testified to the jail after defendant told him about bring- by witnesses that defendant said Martin ing Martin to town Friday evening, Decem- accused him of taking his money and threatber 30, and two men standing by a car when ened him with the law if he did not pay it Martin got out, witness asked him if he knew back, we believe is substantially the testithem, and he said one of them was a man mony on the subject of motive. called "Gummy"-meaning a

named March 3 and March 14, 1922, after the Montgomery.

first indictment against defendant was reMontgomery testified for the people that turned, he filed petitions for a change of he was not standing on the sidewalk near a venue on account of the prejudice of the inFord car talking to anyone the night of habitants of Piatt county, supported by afDecember 30; that he did not see a car fidavits. After the return of the second indrive up and Martin get out of it, and he dictment the motion for change of venue was did not know defendant, He testified he renewed, and by leave of court the original

man

(145 N.E.) petition and affidavits were refiled and de- , the question of insanity there was some confendant given till June 6 to file additional flict in the testimony, but the testimony for affidavits in support of the petition.

defendant upon that defense was not of such The petitions for a change of venue, and character that in our judgment the jury many of the more than 50 affidavits in sup should have found there was a reasonable port of them, set up that the inhabitants of doubt of his sanity. Piatt county were so prejudiced against de [2] The first and second instructions given fendant that he could not have a fair trial on behalf of the people were on the law apin that county. They set out articles print- plicable where the defense is an alibi. Ined in newspapers published in Piatt county struction 1 told the jury, before that defense and neighboring towns in nearby counties could avail a defendant, the proof must covassuming the guilt of defendant and pur-er the whole time of the alleged commission porting to give the evidence to establish it. of the crime, so as to render it impossible Some of them were bitter and recommended or highly improbable defendant could have the extreme penalty, or predicted that the committed the act, and unless the proof in evidence was so strong against defendant the case showed such an alibi and that the that he would be given the death penalty.commission of the crime by defendant was Substantially all, if not all, the newspapers impossible or highly improbable, if the evicondemned defendant as the murderer of dence showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Martin, and some of them stated in publica- he was guilty, then that defense was not tions that the officers were in possession of available to defendant. The second instrucfacts which would likely show the murder of tion told the jury the burden was on defendMartin was not the first murder defendant ant to establish the defense of alibi; that bad committed. Affidavits of defendant's at- it was incumbent on him to prove facts and torneys stated they had interviewed a num- circumstances which, considered in connecber of men, who admitted the prejudice tion with all the evidence, create a reasonagainst defendant in Piatt county was such able doubt of guilt, and if it is not sufficient they did not believe he could have a fair to do that, the defense cannot avail defendtrial, but refused to sign affidavits; some of ant. No defense of alibi was made by. dethem stating that the reason for their not fendant. In People v. Lukoszus, 242 Ill. 101, doing so was the public sentiment in the 89 N. E. 749, it was held to be prejudicial county. When the body of Martin was found, error to instruct the jury on the subject the officers of Piatt county quickly removed of alibi as a defense when no such defense defendant to Clinton, the county seat of De was made. People v. Smith, 254 Ill. 167, Witt county, as a protection against violence 98 N. E. 281, was a homicide case. Defendfrom the people of Piatt county. A few ant's defense was that deceased was acci. days later they removed him to the jail at dentally shot with his own revolver while Urbana, Champaign county, and gave as a the two men were engaged in a struggle. reason for doing so that the people of Piatt | The court instructed the jury, for the people, county had learned defendant was in jail at on the law of self-defense. This court held Clinton. About January 22 he was returned that, however correct the instructions may to jail in Monticello and has ever since re- have been as abstract propositions of law, mained there. The people filed an answer giving them in a case where no such defense to the petition, denying the inhabitants of was interposed was serious error, and tendPiatt county were so prejudiced against de-ed to lead the minds of the jury away from fendant that he could not have a fair trial the real issue being tried. See, also, People in that county, and supported the answer V. Schultz, 267 Ill. 147, 107 N. E. 833. The by approximately 600 affidavits of inhabit- trial court stated, in passing on the motion ants of the county. The court denied the for a new trial, that he did not think the petition for change of venue and defendant defense of an alihi was made, but did not bewas tried in Piatt county, and after venires lieve the instructions were injurious to dehad issued and 330 jurors summoned a jury fendant. was obtained. The ruling of the court in By the twenty-first instruction given for denying a change of venue is assigned as the people the court told the jury that if a error.

defendant makes a free and voluntary con[1] We shall not discuss in detail the rul-fession that he committed a crime, and the ing of the court on the motion for a change evidence showed beyond a reasonable doubt of venue. The showing in support of it was he was sane, and the confession is believed a strong one. The public feeling was so in- by the jury to be true, it is sufficient to susflamed against defendant that the sheriff tain a conviction without any other cordeemed it wise for his safety to remove him roborating evidence. The twenty-second infrom the county for a time. In our opinion struction told the jury that if a defendant the motion for a change of venue should have who is sane voluntarily and of his own free been granted, and it was error to overrule it. will confesses to another he committed the

Defendant entered a plea of not guilty to crime for which he is tried, and the evidence the indictment and set up the defense of in- shows beyond a reasonable doubt that some sanity. He did not testify on the trial. On person committed the crime, the confession

« ForrigeFortsett »