Page images
PDF
EPUB

nothing to do with the killing of the two, willful perjury in giving their testimony. Greeks, or either of them; that he was at Plaintiff in error failed utterly to establish Hopkins' restaurant about 12:30 o'clock p. his alibi-that is, that he was not in Hillery m, the day of the murders and saw Murphy when the murders were committed-by his there; and that he went from there to Mrs. witnesses offered to corroborate his own tesGrant's house and thence home, and got timony. Their evidence only tends to show home before 1 o'clock, and was not outside that he was in Champaign up to 8 o'clock of Champaign that day. He admitted that p. m. that day, while the murders were he was at Higgason's about 4:30 o'clock a. shown to have been committed after 9 o'clock m. of November, 1915, and that Murphy came that night. It was entirely possible for him there that morning, but denied that he told to have gone to Hillery after that time, Higgason to build a fire or that Murphy said have participated in the murders, have re make a fire.

turned to Champaign and burglarized the The only other testimony offered by plain- store of Moran, and have gotten to Higgatiff in error in corroboration of his evidence son's before 5 o'clock the next morning, was: (1) That of A. E. Moran, who testified where he met Armstrong. His own testithat his store was burglarized, his cash mony was contradictory and very unsatisdrawer found on the floor, and such articles factory and very damaging to him. It has as Murphy named were stolen from his store, many earmarks of a fabricated story, and but he could not tell the night or the hour of undoubtedly tended strongly to condemn him the night the burglary occurred; (2) that of in the minds of the jury and to convince Robert Ewing that he had known Murphy them that it was untrue. We do not see about eight years, and saw him about 11 how plaintiff in error could reasonably exo'clock that morning in Champaign and pect a more favorable verdict for a defendabout 4:30 o'clock that afternoon at his ant clearly proven guilty of so foul a murder, home, but could not say which way he left, and we cannot legally reverse the judgment and fixes the date by his brother-in-law's unless the record should disclose some seri. death, which occurred that day; (3) that of ous error committed by the trial court that Cordelia Walls that she saw Murphy a little would have a tendency to unduly prejudice after 4 o'clock in Robert Ewing's yard play. him with the jury. ing with the dog, and the date was fixed in Prior to the commencement of the tria) her mind by the death of her husband that in this case plaintiff in error filed a verified day; and (4) that of Anna Long that she had petition for a change of venue to some other known Murphy since “last spring;" that she county, except Champaign county, on acsaw him “off and on all day;" that she saw count of the prejudice of the inhabitants of him about 3 o'clock that afternoon, and the Vermilion county, setting forth, in sublast time she saw him was at her house in

stance, that the indictments were returned Champaign about half past ? or 8 o'clock against him January 28, 1916; that the first that evening; that he came into the house verdict was returned against him February and asked to see the evening paper, saw it, 26th, and a motion for a new trial was pendthanked her, and left. She was contradicted in rebuttal by two witnesses, Jordan John- that he desired to have the second case set

ing when the state's attorney gave notice son and Charles Vandervoort, who testified for trial; that there was great horror exthat she stated at her home on November

pressed in the newspapers of the county over 11, 1915, that Murphy came to her door in the tragedies committed at the bunk car in the evening of November 9, 1915, but did the killing of the Greeks; that during the not go into her house. The testimony in rebuttal showed that first trial the Commercial News and the

Danville Morning Press, newspapers of 10,trains on the Illinois Traction system run from Danville and Hillery to Champaigu,

000 circulation or more, published flaming and on November 9, 1915, a train on that headlines in giving accounts of the trial, road left Hillery at 11 p. m. and arrived in such as, "Brother is Not Frightened by NeChampaign at 12:30 a. m., November 10th; gro,” “Survivor of Bunkhouse Shooting Bethat a freight train on the Big Four, west haved Well on Witness Stand,” “Murder Evbound, left Hillery at 11:40 that night, and

idence Most Damaging," "William Higgason got into the Urbana yards at 2:35 a. m. No- Testified that Defendant Admitted Killing of vember 10th.

Two Greeks," "Murphy Gets Nervous," etc., [1,2] The foregoing is substantially the en- which headlines were accompanied by full tire evidence in the case. It will require no accounts of the testimony of the state's witargument to convince the mind of any rea- nesses, while only a few words or sentences sonable man that the plaintiff in error is were devoted to the detailing of the evidence guilty of the murder of Louis Roumas be- for plaintiff in error, and that in many inyond all reasonable doubt. Both the positive stances the evidence was different from the and circumstantial evidence for the people evidence given on the trial, to defendants' point strongly and with certainty to his prejudice; that the argument of the state's guilt, and the only escape from that conclu- attorney to the jury was published in the sion would be in a finding that the state's paper at great length, with the statement witnesses, or many of them, have committed that he made a great speech and repeatedly

demanded the lives of the two prisoners; ion county, and that they were disappointed that after the verdict was rendered there that it did not take place; that he interviewwas printed across the front page of one of ed several people from the towns surroundthe papers, "Murphy and Armstrong Get ing Danville, and that they were unanimous Ninety-Nine Years," and that the papers and in expressing the sentiment that the defendsaid printed matter were distributed over ants ought to be hung; that he believes that the county by the sending out of more than the defendants cannot secure a fair trial; 10,000 copies thereof; that, owing to said and as a further basis therefor he states that facts, the prejudice of the people waiting to after the trial of said defendants for the hear the verdict was so great that it was killing of George Roumas, after the jury refeared by the officers, including the judge, tired, certain officers of the court expressed that if the jury should bring in a verdict of fear that, should the jury bring in a verdict not guilty, there might be an attempt made of not guilty, the defendants would be lynchto lynch the defendants; that, judging from ed, and that just before the jury rendered those facts, a general "underground" preju- their verdict he was requested by the officers dice has arisen against Murphy since Feb to say nothing, as they feared the outcome in ruary 20, 1916, and that there is no person of case the verdict should be favorable to the sufficient intelligence to serve upon the jury defendants; that on Saturday, March 2, who has not a fixed opinion as to his guilt 1916, there was published in one of the newsand as to what the verdict should be, and papers a purported statement from Lewman, that a great many people are demanding state's attorney, “I see no use of going to that he be hung without regard to the evi- the expense of trying these men elsewhere;" dence; that he is convinced that no jury that affiant believes that that statement causcan be secured in the county that would give ed many people to make affidavits in support him the presumption of innocence; and that of the people's denial of the affidavits for he fears and believes that he will not re- change of venue. ceive a fair and impartial trial in Vermilion

The state's attorney filed an answer to the county.

said petition, and denied that the inhabitants In support of said petition there was filed of Vermilion county were prejudiced against an affidavit of Charles R. Shannon that he plaintiff in error, and denied the statement was employed as counsel for the defendants that he could not obtain a fair and impartial and interviewed 125 citizens of Danville, trial, averred that the statements made in that he secured from 25 of those citizens 25 the petition were based upon hearsay eviaffidavits, and that 80 of the 125 said that dence and were without foundation in fact, they felt that defendants could get as fair and that it was not true that the sentiment trial as they deserved, considering the crime of the people of the county had become workthey committed, as they felt that both should ed up to an “intense pitch” against him, also be hung, and that the jury erred in not so ed by the officers of the court, and the court

averred that the statement that it was fearfinding, and that the 10 others made no comment. The substance of each one of the itself, that if a verdict of not guilty were re25 affidavits so referred to and filed in this turned there might be an attempt to lynch cause is that affiant is a resident of the town defendants, was without any basis and is of Danville, and that he believes that false, and further averred that Murphy could Charles Murphy, one of the defendants in and would receive a fair and impartial trial

in the circuit court of Vermilion county. said cause, cannot receive a fair and impartial trial in the circuit court of Vermilion The answer was supported by the affidavit of county because the inhabitants thereof are

the state's attorney. The answer was furprejudiced against him, and that the preju- Charles M. Crayton, Charles W. Wortman,

ther supported by four special affidavits by dice has arisen since February 20th. Oliver D. Mann, his counsel, filed in sup- all members of the Vermilion county bar.

Charles W. Fleming, and James R. Juvinall, port of said petition his affidavit, setting It was stated in each of said affidavits that forth, in substance, that he appeared as counsel in the first trial, and that during that since the first trial of the defendants they trial it became apparent to him that there had talked to many persons of Vermilion existed such a prejudice against the defend-county, residing in all parts of it, about said ants that it would be impossible to secure a

case and about the charge contained in the jury in the county of sufficient intelligence indictment, and that none of them expressed to act as jurors who would start with a pre- any bias or prejudice against the defendsumption in their minds that the defendants ants, and only a very few of them knew the were innocent, and who had not formed some deceased or ever heard of him before his opinion as to their guilt which will require death; that the men they interviewed were evidence to remove; that he talked with about from all walks of life, and that from those 50 citizens of Danville who said to him that statements there is no prejudice in the minds defendants ought to be hung, and that he of the inhabitants of Vermilion county against had done well to save their necks; that a either of said defendants, and that in their large number of people had said to him that judgment no reasonable apprehension exists

partial trial in that county; that the deceased alleged prejudice actually exists and that the was a Greek railroad laborer, known only defendant will not receive a fair and imto a few persons living in said county. Affi- partial trial. Jamison v. People, 145 Ill. 357, ants Crayton and Fleming, as shown by their 34 N. E. 486. When all the affidavits are conaffidavits, had interviews with 100 men or sidered, we are satisfied that there was no more, Juvinall with 300 or more, and Wort- such general prejudice prevalent in Vermilion man with 500 or more. The answer was county as would be likely to prevent or interalso supported by over 1,700 affidavits from fere with the due administration of justice. representative citizens of all classes from It further appears from the record that a every town in the county, in all of which the jury was selected and sworn on the first day affiants state that they had talked to many of the trial, and it furnishes no complaint or citizens of their respective towns; that they showing whatever that any of the jurors takfound a few persons who had heard the for- en or examined had any prejudice against mer trial of plaintiff in error; that none of plaintiff in error. them had ever heard any person say he had [5, 6] Peter Docoons was objected to by any feeling or prejudice against him, and plaintiff in error as an interpreter on the never had heard any person say that he ground that he was an officer of the Danville could not get fair and impartial trial; city police. That fact did not disqualify him that affiants had familiarized themselves as an interpreter. This court has held that with the sentiment of the people of their re-even a witness in a case or a relative of the spective towns; and that there was no preju- prosecutrix is not disqualified as an interpredice among the inhabitants of said towns ter on those grounds alone. Chicago & Alton against Murphy, and all of them expressed Railroad Co. v. Shenk, 131 Ill. 283, 23 N. E. the belief that there was no such prejudice 436; People v. Rardin, 255 Ill. 9, 99 N. E. and that he could have a fair and impartial 59, Ann. Oas. 1913D, 282. Besides, the court trial in said county.

continued the case until 1:30 o'clock in the [3, 4] The court is well supported by the afternoon for the defense to produce an inrecord, as above shown, in its finding that terpreter. When the court reconvened it was there was no such prejudice against plain. informed by Murphy's counsel that their intiff in error as would prevent him from re- terpreter had gone away and that they would ceiving a fair and impartial trial in Vermil- have to go on without him, and thereby waivi'on county. Nearly the entire investigations ed their objection. of attorneys for plaintiff in error were con [7] The contention that the interpreter was fined to the citizens of Danville, upon which unfair is not borne out by the record. One they based their judgment as to the existence of the Greek witnesses, in answer to a quesof prejudice against him. Plaintiff in error tion as to which side of the partition his had little or no acquaintance in the county, bed was on that night, merely pointed to the and had no opportunity to make an investiga- west. The interpreter answered for him, “It tion. His affidavit is necessarily based upon was on the west side.” In answer to the hearsay, largely. All the other 25 afidavits question, "Where who held his gun?" the supporting the petition are shown to be made witness answered in Greek, “Megalos," meanby citizens of Danville. The evidence in sup- ing “the big man." The interpreter interport of the answer comes from all parts of preted and answered, “Defendant Murphy." the county, and by men representing all class. In like manner the witness, in referring to es of citizens and all kinds of business con- Armstrong, used the Greek word “mikros," ducted in the county. Even if it be proved meaning "the little man,” and the interpreter that there was great prejudice in the town

answered, "Defendant Armstrong." While of Danville against plaintiff in error, and the interpretations were not literal, the anthat it was caused by the publication of the

swers of the interpreter and the witness newspapers and other causes set forth in the amounted to one and the same thing, as the petition, still, if in the remainder of the coun- evidence clearly shows that Murphy was a ty there remained no prejudice against him, big man and Armstrong a small man and as is thoroughly shown, there could be no that the witness actually referred to them in reasonable apprehension that he could not those terms. The court was at no time asked obtain a fair and impartial trial in said coun- to dismiss the interpreter or to substitute ty. By the affidavits in the record it appears another. It does not appear that the interthat Vermilion county is 42 miles long north preter was intentionally unfair, or that his and south and 23 miles wide east and west, interpretations were, in fact, unfair to the and has a population of more than 90,000, plaintiff in error. while Danville has a population of approxi

[8] Complaint is made that the court erred mately 30,000, and contains perhaps not over in limiting the cross-examination of two of one-fifteenth of the entire territory of the the state's witnesses, John Roumas and Shercounty. The real question to be determined man Hopkins. The court at first limited on such a petition is not whether or not the the cross-examination of the witnesses in the evidentiary facts in the petition are proved, manner charged, but afterwards permitted but whether, upon all the evidence admitted, them to answer the questions. Whatever there is reasonable ground for fear that the error, if any, was thereby cured. The record

also shows that the court permitted Jordan, his cross-examination the state's attorney Johnson to answer the very questions on asked to have the exhibit withdrawn and the cross-examination that it is contended the evidence of Bailey excluded, and the court court excluded over plaintiff in error's ob- instructed the jury to disregard the excluded jections.

evidence and to give it no consideration in [9, 10] J. D. Mann was asked on cross- the case. The court did not err in its first examination what his first name was and refusal to exclude the evidence because of whether the name he gave was the name the fact that the witness first positively given him at birth, and also as to where his identified the plaintiff in error as the Walter home was, all of which he declined to an- Smith named in the people's exhibit. When the swer. The court at first ruled that he should witness weakened on his evidence, the court answer, but later, on the witness' refusal to did all that it could do to take the evidence answer, sustained an objection to the ques- from the consideration of the jury. Besides, tion. Technically this was an error, but we we do not think the defendant was unduly cannot see wherein plaintiff in error was prejudiced thereby, although the evidence prejudiced thereby. No reason appears in was afterwards shown to be inadmissible by the record for the witness' refusal to answer. the further examination of the witness. He did answer that he was in jail, and that [16, 17] The most serious objection presenthe was committed there upon a charge of ed in this record is that taken to the re felony. In our judgment, the witness was marks of counsel for the state in his argu. more discredited in his refusal to answer ment to the jury in which he said, “There than if he had made full answers as to his is a parole law which turns them out as fast name and residence. The natural inference as it gets them there," meaning thereby that by his answer is that he had a history that the Parole Law turned criminals out of the he did not want to reveal, and that the rea- penitentiary as fast as they get there. If sons therefor were connected with other the state's attorney was arguing on the ques. charges against him of a criminal nature. tion of punishment at the time such remark

[11-13] There is no merit in the contention was made, it might have a tendency to cause that the court erred in permitting the state the jury to award the more severe penalty: to introduce evidence concerning experi. The Parole Law has no application whatments made in fitting the blue steel revolver ever to criminal trials, and the state's attorinto the wounds on the body of George ney was clearly beyond his rights in using Roumas. The grounds for the objection are such expression. Farrell v. People, 133 . that it called the jury's attention to the fact 244, 24 N. E. 423. The court therefore erred that a double murder had been committed, in not sustaining the objection to the remark. and because plaintiff in error was not pres. We do not think, however, that the remark ent. The evidence in reference to the killing prejudiced plaintiff in error in this case. of George Roumas was inseparable from the | This appears from the verdict itself, in evidence in relation to the killing of Louis which the penalty of death was inflicted by Roumas, and was therefore admissible as a the jury as to plaintiff in error and a senpart of the res gestæ. Hickam v. People, 137 tence of 99 years was given to defendant II. 75, 27 N. E. 88; Lander v. People, 104 Armstrong. The remark was equally apIll. 248; Farris v. People, 129 Ill. 521, 21 plicable to both defendants, and was not speN. E. 821, 4 L, R. A. 582, 16 Am. St. Rep. cially directed to the plaintiff in error, so far 283. The evidence as to the character of the as the record shows. The crime committed wounds on the body of George Roumas was by plaintiff in error was a very revolting one. admissible for the further reason that the The evidence against him was much stronger character of the wounds was shown by the than the evidence against Armstrong because evidence to point to the owner of the blue of the fact that the latter was not identified steel revolver as the person who committed by so many persons. The evidence also the double murder, which was shown by the shows that Murphy was the one who shot evidence to have been committed at the same Louis Roumas, and it tends to show that he time and by the same men. The fact that also killed George Roumas. The jury no such experiments were made in the absence doubt inflicted the different penalties upon of plaintiff in error goes merely to the weight the two defendants for those reasons, and of the evidence, and not to its admissibility. not on account of the remarks made by the Moore v. State, 96 Tenn. 209, 33 S. W. 1016. state's attorney. We do not believe the re

(14, 15) Henry Bailey, an officer of Padu- marks figured in ixing the penalty of plaincah, Ky., was placed on the witness stand tiff in error, or we would not hesitate to re to identify plaintiff in error as the person verse the judgment on account of this error. whose conviction of the infamous crime of [18] The other errors assigned and argued burglary was shown by People's Exhibit 5. are trivial in character and in no way affect At first he identified the prisoner positively, the merits of the case, and are therefore but later qualified his identification. Plain- passed without any further consideration. tiff in error objected to the evidence on the plaintiff in error could not reasonably ex. ground that he was not properly identified pect another or different verdict at the hands by the witness as the Walter Smith named in of another jury. It should not be and is not

merely because error has been committed,

(225 Mass. 355) unless it appears that real justice bas been GARDINER et al. v. BURRILL, Treasurer. denied thereby or that the verdict of the (Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Sufjury or the judgment of the court may have

folk. Dec. 15, 1916.) resulted from such error. There is no such showing in this record, and the judgment TAXATION Om878(2)-SUCCESSION Tax-PROPof the circuit court is affirmed.

ERTY SUBJECT.

Where the funds held in trust under a will The clerk of this court is directed to enter to pay

the income to L. for life and on his death an order fixing the period between 9 o'clock the principal to whomsoever he should by will in the forenoon and 4 o'clock in the after. I appoint, consisted of shares of stock of Massanoon of February 16, 1917, as the time when i chusetts corporations, so that if there was no

change of investment by the trustees the propthe original sentence of death entered in the erty would, under St. 1909, c. 527, § 8, and St. circuit court of Vermilion county shall be 1909, c. 490, pt. 4, § 1, be subject to a succesexecuted. A certified copy of such order sion tax, on exercise of the power of appoint

ment, as the transfer of the shares could not be shall be furnished by the clerk of this court effectuated without the aid of the laws of to the sheriff of the county of Vermilion. Massachusetts, it is immaterial that the trusJudgment affirmed.

tees organized a corporation, G., under the laws of Maine, with the trustees as its officers, and its stock, amounting to one-sixtieth of the value

of the trust shares, owned by them, and trans(276 Ill. 78)

ferred the trust shares to G., in consideration COHN et al. v. SESTI et al. (No. 10979.)

only of its agreement in its contract with the

trustees, reciting sale of the trust shares to it (Supreme Court of Illinois. Dec. 21, 1916.) by the trustees, and its agreement to return the

shares, or furnish an equivalent number of simiAPPEAL AND ERBOB C 84(3)–REVIEW-D18- lar shares, or pay their fair market value, on MISSAL.

demand, and till then to pay to the trustees the Where garnishees were discharged and on equivalent of all dividends, it in the meantime plaintiff's appeal to the Appellate Court, the to keep the shares deposited with another Maine judgment was reversed, and the cause remanded, corporation, a trust company, which is to issue a certificate of importance and appeal to the a certificate of deposit therefor, and keep them, Supreme Court was improvidently granted, the or an equal number of similar shares, till surjudgment of the Appellate Court not being render of the certificate released by the trustees, final and so the appeal will be dismissed. who agree to protect the trust company from

[Ed. Note. For other cases, see Appeal and "all liability now or hereafter” on account of the Error, Cent. Dig. š530-533, 538; Dec. Dig. shares; these transactions being specious, and Om 84(3).)

the trustees in making the contract, in effect,

dealing with themselves, and intending to reAppeal from Second Branch Appellate tain, and in fact retaining, full control of the

legal title to the shares, and they in reality Court, First District, on Appeal from Muni- comprising the trust property to be distributed cipal Court of Chicago; John K. Prindivill, to Li's appointees. Judge.

[Ed. Note.-For other cases, see Taxation, Action by Isidore Cohn and others against Cent. Dig. $ 1701; Dec. Dig. Om 878(2).] Edward M. Malo, in which Fred Sesti and Rugg, O. J., dissenting. others were summoned as garnishees. The

Case Reserved from Supreme Judicial garnishees were discharged, and, on plain Court, Suffolk County; Charles A. De Courcy, tiff's appeal, the Appellate Court reversed

Judge. the judgment, remanded the cause, and

Petition by Robert H. Gardiner and othgranted a certificate of importance and ap-ers, executors of Lawrence Tucker, deceased, peal to the Supreme Court. Appeal dis

of Andover, Me., against Charles L. Burrill, missed.

Treasurer and Receiver General of MassaThomas D. Nash and Michael J. Ahern, chusetts, for abatement of legacy tax. The both of Chicago, for appellants. Blum, Wolf- probate court dismissed the petition, and sohn & Blum, of Chicago, for appellees. on appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court,

Charles A. De Courcy, Judge, reserved the DUNN, J. The appellees sued Edward M. case for the full court. Decree of probate Malo in attachment in the municipal court

court affirmed. of Chicago and summoned the appellants as Fred T. Field, of Boston, for petitioners. garnishees. Judgment was rendered against Henry C. Attwill, Atty. Gen., and Wm. HarMalo for $76.25. The answer of the gar-old Hitchcock, Asst. Atty. Gen., for respondnishees was contested, and upon a trial they ent. were discharged. The plaintiffs appealed to the Appellate Court, which reversed the

BRALEY, J. By the respective wills of judgment, remanded the cause to the muni- William W. Tucker and Susan E. Tucker, cipal court, and granted a certificate of im- which were duly admitted to probate in this portance and appeal to this court.

commonwealth, the state of their domicile, a The judgment of the Appellate Court was trust'was created for the benefit of Lawrence not final, and the appeal was improvidently Tucker, their son, to whom the income was granted. It will be dismissed.

payable for life, and at his decease the trusAppeal dismissed.

tees were to pay over the principal to whoin

PowFor other cases see same topic and KEY-NUMBER in all Key-Numbered Digests and Indexes

« PreviousContinue »