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Is Not Insane

Such is the Verdict Returned by the
Jury in the Case of John B.
Walker, the Murderer.

The examination as to the sanity or insanity of John B. Walker, the condemned murderer, was begun on Monday monring last and continued until Tuesday night at half past eleven o’clock when the matter was given to the jury who returned a verdict on Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock that the prisoner is sane.

Court convened at nine o’clock Monday morning with Judge Greene presiding. Court Reporter Scott was also present and took down the evidence of each witness who testified.

Drs. Miller, Baker, Rosenberg, Case and Bancroft, all of this city, said they believed Walker to be laboring under an hallucination at the present time, and that upon the matter of the crime he had committed he was not of sound mind. Dr. Kreecorian, of Farnam, considered Walker a sane man.

Sheriff Hobson in his testimony said he believed the prisoner was as sane as the present time as when he first knew him and as he was when he shot Stevens at Farnam.

Rev. Rodabaugh, of the M. E. church, had visited Walker several times in jail, and believed the man to be of unsound mind.

Wm. MacLean, one of the death-watch, who has been with Walker at the county jail for several months, considered him to be sane enought to know and understand his situation and to realize his impending fate.

S. F. Parker, of Farnam, had known Walker for a number of years and considered him sane.

Eugene Ceder, also of Farnam, had been acquainted with the prisoner for eight or ten years. He considered him to be sane enough to be responsible for his crime.

Andy Garvin, another Farnam citizen, believed Walker to be sane.

Harry Taylor lived at Farnam and had known the prisoner for several years. In his opinion he was not insane.

Louis Tonne, Farnam, was of the same belief.

J. W. Benedict, was one of the death-watch after the conviction of Walker. The latter at times acted strangely. Said he “was sorry he had killed Stevens, for it got me into a bad scrape.”

Sam Montgomery, another of the death-watch with Benedict, said that Walker was quite restless some nights, but quiet during the day time. He told witness that “the killing of Stevens got me into a terrible mess.”

A. I. Woodsum, F. B. Quinby and E. D. Johnson had known Walker for a number of years. Believed he was not of sound mind.

Thos. Van Cleve was in the jail once when a letter from Gov. Holcomb was shown to Walker by one of his attorneys, W. W. Leek. The letter alluded to Walker’s case. Witness said Walker was very much interested and demanded that Leek let him take the letter and read it, which was done.

F. P. Kreitz, another of the death-watch, testified he believed Walker to be insane at times.

After the lawyers had delivered their addresses to the jury Judge Greene read his charges, which were pronouned by all who heard them to be fair and impartial, and the jurors in charge of the sheriff retired to the jury room.

The jurors in the case were Frank Fagot, James Grim, Ad Beatty, Link Milburn, Geo. E. Bacon, John Dunaway, X. Galloway, T. S. Watkinson, W. F. Yeo, C. H. Ballinger, W. P. Rhoadarmer and John H. Sipes.

After the verdict had been returned Judge Green thanked the jury for the attention they had given to their unpleasant task and discharged them.

Col. Leek, counsel for Walker, gave notice that he would file a motion for a rehearing, which the court promptely overruled.

The entry on the Judge’s Docket reads as follows:

“Jan. 29. Jury returned a verdict finding John B. Walker sane. Judgment on the verdict, and the sentence heretorfore passed upon the said John B. Walker ordered to be carried out on the 6th day of March, 1896.

“Motion for rehearing overruled. Defendant excepts. Forty days allowed to settle bill of exceptions.”

Walker’s interests were ably looked after in the hearing by his counsel, Messrs. McNamar and Leek, while County Attorney Gillan conducted the prosecution in a strong and unflinching manner and discharged his duty unbiased by fear or favor.

There is some talk of taking the case again to the supreme court. Opinion in the legal fraternity is divided upon the propostion, some alleging the hearing before the jury is final, while others think to the contrary. If the matter is allowed to rest where it is now is Walker will have to suffer the penalty for his crime on Friday, March 6. It is not thought probable that Governor Holcomb will again interfere.

Dawson County Pioneer 24(5):4, Sunday, 2 February 1896


Published: 8/12/2022 -
Hosted and Published by Weldon Hoppe