Walker Is Sane
Twelve Men Hear the Evidence During
Monday and Tuesday.
MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL OVERRULED.
Judge Green Re-affirms Sentence of Death to
take Place on March 6.
Judge Green and Official Court Reporter Scott were on hand at 9 o’clock Monday morning, to conduct the investigation as to the sanity or insanity of John B. Walker—under sentence of death.
The first thing was the jury and that was composed of the following citizens of Dawson county:
F. Fagot, James Grim, Ad Beatty, Link Milborne, Geo. E. Bacon, J. N. Dunaway, H. Galaway, T. S. Watkinson, W. F. Yoe, C. H. Ballinger, W. P. Roadarmer, John H. Sipes.
The state was represented by George C. Gillan, County Attorney; Walker, by Capt. C. W. McNamar and Col. W. W. Leek. The investigation lasted during Monday and Tuesday. During the course of the same the following witnesses were examined:
Thos. VanCleve, A. A. Woodsum, Henry Hobson, E. D. Johnson, F. P. Kreitz, Dr. Wm. M. Bancroft, Wm. McLean, Eugene Ceder, Rev. Rodabaugh, Dr. S. S. Miller, Dr. B. B. Baker, Dr. F. J. Rosenberg, C. B. Taylor, Dr. G. G. Case, A. Garven, Samuel Montgomery, Sam Parker, F. B. Quinby, J. W. Bennedict, Dr. K. M. Krecorian.
We did not hear all of that testimony, Drs. Miller, Baker, Rosenberg and Bancroft all practically agreed in pronouncing Walker insane on one subject—a monomaniac. Dr. Krecorian gave it as his opinion that Walker was sane. Rev. Rodabaugh thought that Walker’s condition mentally was such that he could not expiate his sentence if executed. The testimony of Messrs. McLean and Kreitz, death watch, was to the effect that when the news of his respite—that his execution was deferred until March 6—reached him, he appeared more cheerful and said substantially that it gave him a little longer time to breathe.
The testimony was concluded Tuesday afternoon. By 10:30 the arguments of counsel and county attorney were concluded and the jury listened to the charge by Judge Green. The jury did not arrive at a verdict until Wednesday morning. It was as follows:
In the matter of the investigation of the sanity of John B. Walker under sentence of death.
STATE OF NEBRASKA }
COUNTY OF DAWSON }
Dated this 29th day of January, 1896. Geo. E. Bacon, Foreman.
Judge Green pronounced sentence upon Walker by re-affirming the previous sentence that he should be hanged on March 6, 1896. He also overruled motion of counsel for a new trial.
Thus apparently ends the effort of counsel to save Walker from death. He had a trial by jury that declared him guilty of murder in the first degree. Another jury declared him sane at the time he committed the deed. The supreme court affirmed the judgement of the lower court. He was condemned to be hanged on January 10, 1896, was respited till March 6. Now the jury has pronounced him sane. And unless there is some further interference the sentence will be carried out.
The crime for which Walker will hang on March 6 was a most heinous one. On Thursday, May 11, 1893, Walker entered the little village of Farnam located in the western part of this county on the B. & M. railroad, rode up the street and hitched his horse to a post. He then crossed to the west side of the street and sat down on the edge of the sidewalk. About twenty feet north of him was a drug store. In front of this store stood several men, Dr. Krecorian and Mr. Wykoff being of the number. Dr. Krecorian had his hand on Wykoff’s shoulder and was conversing with him and another man. George P. Stevens came out of the drug store. Walker saw him, arose, came forward and commenced firing at him with a revolver. The first shot struck Wykoff on the skull just below the eyebrows near the juncture of the nose and forehead. The ball was a conical one, and instead of striking on the end struck sideways. Strange as it may seem the ball did not penetrate the skull, but was bent over the bone in such a manner, that it lodged there and had to be removed by force. The force of the ball knocked Wykoff down. Walker fired again but the ball only hit the door of the drug store. By this time Stevens knew that the shots were directed towards him, and he ran across the street, Walker kept on firing. The third shot struck Stevens in the right hand. The fourth, in the arm. The fifth shot struck Stevens in the small of the back, passed through the body, struck the ninth rib, was deflected upwardd and passed into the lungs, where it was probably lodged, causing death by a slow hemorrhage of the lungs. Stevens managed to get across the road and into a store, where he fell to the floor. He lived however until the following Monday, May 15, when he died. The inquest held the next day declared that the shooting was done with felonious intent.
It is now nearly three years since the deed was committed. Dawson county has given him every right that he could possibly have under the law. It has, cost thousands of dollars, but it will probably be worth, in the long run, all it has cost.