« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Helm,14 George A. Caldwell,15 Nathaniel Wolfe,16 Thomas W. Riley,1? Charles G. Wintersmith,18 James W. Hayes, and R. B. Hayes, for the Defense.
The Court made an order prohibiting the reporters, who were furnished with seats by the Court, from publication of testimony during the progress of the case, deeming such publication prejudicial to the interests of justice, and likely to interfere with a fair and impartial trial.
The Counsel on both sides who were not members of the Hardin County Bar, appeared and were duly qualified by taking the prescribed oath.
At nine o'clock the prisoners were brought into the court room, accompanied by their friends. The elder-Matt. F. Ward—was in a very feeble and reduced condition, induced by a severe attack of neuralgia, from which he had been suffering for several months. He was unable to walk without the assistance of crutches.
The Counsel both for the Commonwealth and the Defense expressed themselves in readiness to proceed to trial. islature 1832-1851. Member of United States Congress 1841-1843. A contemporary writer calls him “the foremost Kentuckian orator of his time and for that matter any time, since his time, including the first orators Kentucky has produced." He was popularly known as "Tom Marshall of the Silver Tongue.”
14 HELM, John L. (1802-1867.) Born Kentucky. Practised law. Member State Legislature 1826-1837. Speaker 1835. State Senator 1844-1848. Governor of Kentucky 1850, 1867.
15 CALDWELL, George A. Born in Kentucky. Representative in Congress 1843-1845 and 1845-1851. Died 1866.
16 WOLFE, Nathaniel. (1810-1865.). Born Richmond, Va. Graduated University of Virginia. Practiced law in Kentucky 18391852. Commonwealth Attorney 1852. State Senator 18531855. Member Legislature (Louisville) 1859-1863. Member Union Constitutional Convention 1861. "Achieved great pecuniary success at the bar and a high reputation as a lawyer and pleader, being regarded as one of the most able and eloquent lawyers in the United States."
17 RILEY, Thomas W. Member Louisville Bar. Mayor Louisville 1859. Representative State Legislature 1835-1849. Speaker 1849. Presidential elector 1841. Died 1872.
18 WINTERSMITH, Charles G. Member House of Representatives 1838-1847, and 1851-1855. Speaker of Kentucky House 1854. Presidential elector 1841.
Mr. Helm moved that the prisoners be tried separately.
The Court granted a severance, but left to the Commonwealth Attorney the privilege of deciding which of the prisoners should first go to trial.
Mr. Allen decided that Matthews F. Ward, as the principal in the case, should be tried first.
The Prisoner entered a plea of Not Guilty.
The empanelling of the jury was commenced. A majority of those called had formed and expressed an opinion on the case, from public rumor and newspaper reports, and were therefore incompetent to try it. When the regular panel was exhausted, therefore, only five jurors had been selected; and the Sheriff was directed to bring in bystanders until the full complement should be procured. The jury was at last declared full, after fifty-one had been excused from serving, being incapacitated by the cause alluded to above.
There was but one peremptory challenge made by the counsel for the defense. The others were excluded by the COURT as disqualified or having formed an opinion. It consisted of the following gentlemen, who were duly empanelled and Svorn: Greene Walker, Thomas M. Yates, James Crutcher, George Stump, Raleigh McIntire, John Young, Thomas Thurston, Isaac C. Chenoweth, Asa Buckles, William Eidson, Abraham Neighbors, Richard Pierce.
The indictment was read to the jury by the Clerk.
JUDGE KINCHELOE. Gentlemen: The defendant in this case has been arraigned and has entered a plea of Not Guilty, throwing himself upon God and his country for trial. You are to try him, according to your oaths, upon this indictment. If you find him Guilty, you will say so: if Not Guilty, you will thus return him to the Court. In case the killing shall be proved to have been done by the defendant, under the influence of excitement and passion, you may find him guilty of manslaughter, under this indictment, and will do so. Should it appear that the killing was done in self-defense, it was not an act of voluntary manslaughter, and you will find him Not Guilty.
Mr. Wolfe asked that the Court permit no witnesses for the Commonwealth to remain in the court room during the progress of the trial except the one under examination.
Mr. Allen made a similar motion in regard to the witnesses for the accused. He desired to sail under equal colors here, and from the well-known reputation of the gentlemen engaged on the other side, he had no doubt that they would concur in such a wish.
Mr. Wolfe objected. He desired to have the case tried in the most fair and impartial manner; but in the course of a criminal practice of fifteen years, he had heard such a motion made only three times, and in each instance it had been promptly overruled by the Court. At the present stage of the proceedings it would be impossible to furnish a complete list of the witnesses for the defense, and some might be called, during the progress of the trial, who were not yet subpoenaed. It might be necessary that some one or more witnesses for the defense, should be present during the examination of the witnesses for the Commonwealth, that they might identify them for reasons thereafter to be assigned. The motion supposed the universal depravity of the whole human race.
The Court remarked that the question was exclusively one of practice, and left to the discretion of the Court. When such orders were made, it was done to promote the ends of justice, and founded, not on the hypothesis of the total depravity of the whole human race; but simply on the common sympathy universally existing, and to enable every witness to detail facts as they had been communicated to his own senses, and with no reference to any statements which might have been made by others. In this case the COURT deemed the order necessary, and would make it; though it was not so stringent as to exclude testimony which might be made known during the progress of the trial, but of which the counsel were not yet aware.
Mr. Crittenden said that there were many witnesses present who had been called simply to prove character, and were anxious to be in the room during the progress of the trail.
The COURT said that the rule might be waived in regard to such witnesses.
As the procuring of a full list of the witnesses would consume considerable time, the Court took a noon recess. Prior to adjournment, however, the Court instructed the jury thus: You have been empanelled and sworn, gentlemen, to try a case of peculiar importance, both to the Commonwealth and the defendant. The Court has deemed it its duty, therefore, to make such arrangements that you will not be separated during the progress of the trial. You will not, of course, converse with any one, or listen to any conversation in regard to this case, and should any person persist in addressing you upon it, you will report their names to the Court at once. Neither will you converse with any one upon any subject whatever, unless in presence of the Sheriff, or by special permission of the Court.
On the opening of court in the afternoon, Mr. Allen said that he observed on the list of witnesses for the defense, the names of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Ward (the parents of the accused). They must necessarily feel a deep interest in the progress of the trial, and the Commonwealth had no desire that the rule in regard to the exclusion of witnesses should apply to them.
All witnesses both for the Commonwealth and the defense who were to be procured were brought in and sworn collectively.
WITNESSES FOR THE COMMONWEALTH. Edward W. Knight. Am six- was in Mr. Sturgus' recitation teen years old; was a student in room, but went out to see what Prof. Butler's schoolroom would take place; saw Matt. November 2, 1853; in the morn- speak to Mr. Butler; he told him ing, about half-past nine o'clock, he had a little matter to settle a negro came over to the school with him; Mr. Butler said someroom and took home all the books thing in a low tone, which I unof Victor and William, (the two derstood to be to invite him to younger brothers); about ten come into his study; Matt. said o'clock saw Matt., Robert and "No," and asked him which was William come to the building; the more to blame, the little con
temptible puppy who begged forward and laid his right hand chestnuts and then told a lie on Matt's left shoulder; did not about it, or his brother William; hear Butler make any remark to Mr. Butler asked him to step in- Ward, except asking him to step to his study, but he refused into the office, and replying to again, and said if he could not his question, that he did not feel answer there he did not want an like answering it without giving answer; he then asked him why an explanation; it was then he called his brother William a Ward replied by calling him a liar; I then heard Matt. call But- liar and a scoundrel; when Butler a d-d liar and a d-d scoun- ler fell, he exclaimed, “I am drel; Matt. appeared to be very killed: May God forgive me! much excited; saw that they drew My poor wife and child !” After nearer together, and Butler ap- he fired the pistol, Ward pointed proached Ward; do not think the one he drew afterwards Butler struck him but I observed around the schoolroom for a a moment after that Butler had few minutes, and then left; he his hand on Matt's shoulder; walked away very deliberately; Matt. drew his right hand from he left the pistol he had fired on his pocket, while he and Butler the floor; it was a small selfwere clinched, and drew ont a cocking pistol, with a walnut pistol with it; he presented it im- handle; think this is one of the mediately to Butler's left lung, same description; Butler did not and fired; Butler dropped imme- seem much agitated; he replied diately; Matt. then drew another in a low tone to the questionpistol, and Robert drew a knife he always spoke low; Ward's which he flourished about, and voice was loud; he appeared agiwhen Mr. Sturgus, one of the tated after he had spoken to other teachers, came in, Robert Butler, though not before; nosaid to him, “Come on," and ap- ticed by the working of his right proached him; Mr. Sturgus re- hand that he was very nervous tired to his own room, but came at the time; there were only out a moment after, when Rob- three of the other pupils assisted ert chased him with the knife Butler to Col. Harney's; no one back into his room, and Sturgus else entered the house with us I made his absence out of the win- think, but I was much agitated; dow; one or two of the other after we were in the house noscholars and myself assisted
myself assisted ticed another gentleman there Butler to walk away; when we whose name I did not know behad gone one square he wished fore Dr. Thomson came in; we to lay down, and could not walk; had laid Prof. Butler down, and we took him into Mr. Harney's he told us to set him up; should residence; Butler knocked the know the gentleman were I to pistol from his breast, after it see him; do not think the whole was fired, and went into Stur- affair occupied more than ten gus' recitation room; he came out minutes. a moment after, and motioned to Cross-examined. When Ward the scholars that he was done came Butler was in his recitation for; think Matt. Ward struck room with several of the boys; Butler first; Butler then stepped do not recollect who they were;