Ada Evening News
Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Abstracted / Transcribed byDiron Ahlquist
[No April Abstracts]
Ada Evening News, May 8, 1909
Hugo Marshall[sic] Killed
Moonshiners On Little River Murder Hugo Officer
Hugo, Okla., May 7 - Deputy Marshal Lon Holden was killed by moonshiners about 5 o'clock this morning one mile above where Turkey Creek empties into Little River, 30 miles from this place. The moonshiners were surrounded in an old house by a posse consisting of Sheriff Connell of this county, the sheriffs of McCurtain and Pushmataha counties and six deputies when the battle ensued in which Holden lost his life and two moonshiners named Lee, father and son, were captured and are now being brought to Hugo for trial. A man named Meyers was also captured, together with a still outfit and 15 gallons of whiskey.
Ada Evening News, May 10, 1909
Misses Laura Scribner, Minnie West, and Mrs. Sol Moss and Mrs. Dan Scribner, relatives of Mrs. Frank Scribner, went to Stonewall this morning.
Ada Evening News, May 10, 1909
Hugo Officer Killed By Member Of Own Posse
Thought To Be A Moonshiner In Ambush
Misunderstanding Of Time And Places Of Hiding Cause Accident
Hugo, Ok., May 9 - The killing of Officer Holden is still the topic of discussion in this city and later information is that Holden was killed by some of his own party through a mistaken belief that he was one of the men they were seeking to arrest and not by the alleged moonshiner, as the latter offered no resistance whatever and did not fire a shot.
It seems that at Holden's suggestion the party of nine raiding deputies on arrival at the scene were divided in three squads, one of which was to approach from the front while the other two were to go to exact spots on the east and west ends of the house at a point where their lives would not be endangered by cross-firing.
Sheriff Connell and officers[sic] Irvin assumed the duty of entering the front way while Holden and a party went to the east side and the remainder to the west end of the house.
Holden, for some reason, went far beyond the point designated and hid himself in a clump of thick bushes. Sheriff Connell and Irvin approached the house through an open five acre lot and almost gained the house before they were discovered by some children who gave the alarm. The men in the house immediately stepped out the rear door, and seeing they were surrounded, at once surrendered to the officers on the west side of the house.
Meantime Sheriff Connell and his assistant had entered the house and a 17 year old boy left the house when Officer Holden opened fire upon him, firing three shots in rapid succession, driving the boy back in the house.
Each one of Holden's shots went through the house, endangering the lives of the officers.
The officers on the west, seeing that shots were coming from a direction and a point where the officers were directed not to get, began firing at the clump of bushes in which Holden had concealed himself, supposing they were shooting at an enemy. After about ten shots had been fired one of the prisoners remarked:
"You are firing upon your own men."
Sheriff Connell then stepped out of the house and requested the officers to cease firing. He and Officer Irvin then went to the spot where the shots were first fired and found the dead body of Officer Holden lying upon the ground. The body of Holden was buried here yesterday and many citizens attended the burial.
The officers are in possession of reliable information that eight or ten illicit distilleries are in operation in McCurtain county and it is probable more raids will be made in the near future. The two prisoners in default of bond of $500 each were placed in jail.
Ada Evening News, May 19, 1909
An Additional Arrest
Mack Lee Is The Latest Addition To The Suspects In Scribner Case
Late yesterday afternoon, Mack Lee, of near Citra, was arrested and placed in jail on a warrant connecting him, it is supposed, with the Scribner and Putnam murder cases. It appears from the best information obtainable, that these two cases are now inseparable, that is that the murder of Mrs. Frank Scribner grew out of the murder of Zeke Putnam, and is only a sequel to it. Information that sifts through from a grand jury room is always meager, but the current information is that the two cases are connected, whoever may prove to be guilty. Various theories have been advanced as to the possible guilt of various parties, but certain it is that grand jury's investigations will be interesting when made public, for the reason that these are noted cases in which the whole community is much interested. If it should develop that those who are in jail on the charge of murdering Mrs. Scribner are also guilty of the murder of Putnam, then the murder of Mrs. Scribner will be plain enough, for the reason that in all likelihood she had become informed as to the facts in the Putnam case.
Mack Lee is a well to do farmer and stock man of the Citra community, is a director in the Farmers State Bank, of this city, and a son-in-law of R.C. Couch. Just what connection he is charged of having had with the cases is not definitely known at this time.
Ada Evening News, May 20, 1909
Pay Fines In The City Court And Then Vamoose
Many Declare Against Spotters Of Uncertain Character, But It Is Declared That Sheriff's Office Will Be Put In Sausage Mill If Don't Do Duty
Following the arrest and sensational trial of Mrs. Edith Davis in the city court last Tuesday, and subsequently the arrest of Mr. C.W. Brackman, who submitted his case and paid fines for both, the couple have packed their chattels and departed.
Mrs. Davis was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of prostitution and found guilty. Mr. Brackman was also arrested on a charge of consorting with a prostitute, and his trial was to have occurred yesterday but was continued, pending a decision of Mrs. Davis' attorney on what course to pursue relative to an appeal to the county court. Mr. Brackman, however, decided later to submit his case and pay the required fines in both cases, which he did this morning through his Ada constituency. The fines and costs in both cases amounted to $45.10.
It is stated that the Law and Order league will be rejuvenated and that the entire pressure of its influence will be brought to bear on the sheriff's office in the undertaking to secure the strict enforcement of the law.
Ada Evening News, May 20, 1909
To The Penitentiary
Eight Prisoners Are Taken To McAlester This Morning
Sheriff T.J. Smith and deputies John Chapman and Bob Nester left on the south bound Katy train today with eight prisoners in custody who have been sentenced at this term of court to serve terms of various lengths in the state penitentiary at McAlester. In addition to these eight they also carried Dan Scribner and Ed Johnson there for safe keeping.
The names of those who have penitentiary sentences, their crimes and their terms are as follows:
A.C. Baugh, forgery 1 year and 1 day
Argus Lavender, stealing domestic animals, 1 year and 1 day
Sam Barnett, assault with dangerous weapon, 1 year and 1 day
Sam Barnett, assault with dangerous weapon, 1 year and 1 day
Ben Rushing, stealing domestic animals, 3 years
Charley Stives, grand larceny, 1 year and 3 months
Joe Shatwell, stealing domestic animals, 2 years
Charley Bruner, stealing domestic animal, 2 years
Geo. Brown, forgery in two cases, one case 1 year and 1 day. Second case 5 years
Ada Evening News, May 20, 1909
Putnam And Scribner Cases To Be Tried At This Term
Mack Lee And Frank Scribner Arranged[sic] Today On Indictments Charging The Murder of Zeke Putnam
At four o'clock this afternoon Mack Lee and Frank Scribner were arraigned before the district court and grand jury indictments were read charging them with the murder of Zeke Putnam, at Allen, several months ago. Dan Scribner and Ed Johnson were carried away today for safe keeping and when they will be returned is not known.
The present status of the case appears to be, as developments are brought to light, that Dave and Ed Johnson, Dan, Andy, John, and Frank Scribner and Mack Lee with possibly another arrest to follow, were charged with the murder of Zeke Putnam and Mrs. Frank Scribner, the theory being that Mrs. Scribner was murdered by reason of her knowledge of the Putnam case.
In Oklahoma, complicity in murder carries the charge of murder on the indictment and just what the plot will reveal as to who committed the deeds and who were only accomplices will not be known until the trial takes place in the district court, even if those now indicted should be proven guilty. Dave Johnson was released yesterday from the county jail, and it is understood that the grand jury failed to find any evidence to hold him. It is reported on the streets, in fact, that Ed Johnson made a complete confession to the grand jury, implicating himself and the others held, but not implicating Dave. It is understood that his confession throws light on both the Putnam and Scribner cases.
When Lee and Scribner were arraigned this afternoon Judge Rainey issued an order extending the term of court three weeks. The civil docket, which would have been reached at the end of this week, was moved up three weeks in consequence, in order that the hearing of criminal cases might continue. County Attorney Wimbish announced that the day of trial for the cases of Lee and Scribner would be announced tomorrow.
On last evening there was a persistent, but undoubtedly an unfounded, rumor to the effect that mob violence was imminent, and for safety a few extra men were summoned to keep watch at the jail. This no doubt accounts for the fact that two of the accused men were spirited away today. Ada officers are taking no chances since the recent tragic affairs in this county and this is one reason why the channels of publicity have been clogged.
Whatever news which purports to be the facts regarding these important cases are of vital importance to the people, and those which will do no one an injustice will be published from time to time.
Ada Evening News, May 21, 1909
Nelson Hawkins Case
One of the most noted murder cases scheduled for this term of court is that of Nelson Hawkins, charged with the murder of a little girl, near Ahloso, about a year ago. Hawkins is a full blood Indian and a reputed bad character, having been implicated in several criminal escapades in the Chickasaw country.
The jury was selected today in the district court and his trial was commenced at three o'clock. Both the state and the defense exhausted quite a number of challenges in selecting a jury and it is predicted that the case will be watched with much interest.
Ada Evening News, May 21, 1909
Seized The Property
Saw Mill Companies Are Accused Of Violating Timber Act
Oklahoma City, Okla., May 19 - Coincident with the completion of a report to the department of the Interior relating to conditions in the timber reservation of the original Choctaw nation, made by J.M. Miller, a special representative of the department, writs were issued out of the United States court of the eastern district of Oklahoma, calling for the seizure of all the property of some of the leading sawmill companies on the reservation.
As a result, Deputy United States Marshal Bacon of McAlester levied on 5,000,000 feet of lumber, six sawmills, one planing[sic] mill, several miles of tram railroads offices and other property belonging to the Pine Hill and Walter Hopkins companies and other smaller concerns.
The Mueller[sic] report is expected to be filed with the clerk of the United States court at Muskogee this week charging unlawful depredation of timber on the reservation.
Ada Evening News, May 21, 1909
Developments Of Scribner And Putnam Cases
The Last Arrest Is That Of L. Impson Today
Indictments So Far Read Only Include The Putnam Case
The last arrest so far in the Putnam and Scribner cases was that of L. Impson of near Citra and said to be an uncle of Mack Lee. In the district court this morning Impson, Dan, Andy, and John Scribner were arraigned and indictments charging them with the murder of Zeke Putnam were read. All these men have so far been denied bond, and if the attorney can agree it is understood that their trials will commence Wednesday. The indictments in the Scribner murder will evidently be brought before the court later, as those so far read only apply to the Putnam case, and from the vehement assertions of the friends of Mack Lee and from the developments so far brought to light it appears that he will not be included in the indictments, which are being framed in the case of Mrs. Scribner.
The grand jury this morning completely exonerated Bill Stix, the father of Mrs. Scribner, in view of the fact that all the guilty parties have been apprehended and he was not implicated. This will, of course, release him on the $2,500 bond which he is now under.
Having been arrested yesterday on the indictment Mack Lee was brought into court today for the purpose of allowing his attorneys to enter their plea. They introduced a demurrer, however, and the point will be argued tonight, as the court will hold a night session.
Ada Evening News, May 31, 1909
Judge Robt. M. Rainey Sworn Off The Bench
Mack Lee And Dan Scribner Make Affidavit That He Is Biased And Prejudiced
Judges West And Rainey Inter-Change Benches, The Former Coming To Ada, The Latter Going To Tishomingo
The Putnam-Scribner murder case did not go to trial this morning. When the jury for the week had been empaneled[sic], the court was notified by attorneys for Dan Scribner that it was desired to disqualify his honor as presiding judge over the case of the defendant. Dan Scribner was brought into court and made affidavit that he could not secure a fair trial on account of the bias and prejudice of the court. Later Mack Lee was brought in and made a similar affidavit as to his case. Under the law, such an affidavit is sufficient to disqualify a judge on any case, there being no option except to get off the bench.
The statute disqualifying a judge from sitting on a case on affidavit of bias and prejudice made by a defendant was repealed by the last legislature under House Bill number 217, but since the bill did not carry an emergency clause, the law will not operate until June the 8th.
When Judge Rainey was sworn off the bench, he immediately phoned Judge A.T. West, who is holding court at Tishomingo, and secured agreement to inter-change places.
Judge Rainey will go to Tishomingo and Judge West will arrive this afternoon on the 4 o'clock train when the battle between the prosecution and the defense will be resumed.
It is understood that the defense will strongly petition for a change of venue and that the prosecution will strongly urge against a change of venue.
It is understood that of the defendants in the Putnam case Dan Scribner will be the first to go to trial.
Ada Evening News, June 1, 1909
Scribners Will Receive A Fair Trial At Home
Judge West Overruled Motion For Change Of Venue
The Entire Afternoon Consumed In Jury Selection - Courthouse Crowded
When district judge A.T. West, vice district judge Robert M. Rainey sworn off the benck, arrived late Monday afternoon judicial hearing of the change of venue pleading behalf of Dan Scribner, principal defendant Putnam murder case was resumed. Defendant's attorneys presented through brief witnesses and affidavits exhaustive pleadings for change of venue undertaking to prove inflamed public mind account lately of numerous tragedies. Defense declared that local press reports and editorials the general knowledge that one defendant had turned states evidence and the public thought that Mrs. Scribner's assassination was aftermath of Putnam assassination and knowledge that Mrs. Scribner was eight months pregnant, all had operated to inflame the public mind to just extent that a fair trial was not possible.
The change of venue hearing resumed this morning. The prosecution introduced one hundred eighty seven controvert affidavits and heard numerous witnesses declaring defendants could receive fair trial before a Pontotoc county jury. Judge West overruled please for change of venue.
Trial Is On
Dan Scribner, principal defendant in the cases wherein there are eleven indictments for murder, surrounded by kindred watches selection of the jury.
The entire day will be consumed in the selection of the jury. Several of the panel in the vorie dire proceedings were disqualified, some on account of having formed an opinion as to guilt or innocence of defendant and several on account of conscientious scruples on attaching the death penalty.
Mrs. Zeke Putnam, widow of the murdered man and relatives are observing the progress of the trial. Dan Scribner is surrounded by his relatives. It is noticed that Katie Scribner, who was Katy Styx and who is the wife of John Scribner and the sister of Mrs. Frank Scribner, who was assassinated appears to have attached herself to the family of the defendant Dan Scribner, since she sits with them at the trial.
Judge McKeel and Duncan attorneys for defendant and County Attorney Wimbish, Duke Stone, and Jas. Dean, for the prosecution are going all the way in the interest of their respective duties in the case. The court room remains crowded with spectators and the best of order is preserved.
Ada Evening News, June 2, 1909
Dan Scribner Charged With Murder Faces Jury
On Trial For His Life
An Apparently Strong Jury
Court Room Crowded
States Attorney Wimbish States To Jury Synopsis Of Case Made
At 11 o'clock today the long drawn out effort to secure a satisfactory jury for the trial of the Dan Scribner murder case was concluded. Those constituting the jury are: O.H. Neal, C.Y. Partain, D. Jeter, Tink Vevila, John McKinney, Claude Rosell, G.W. Farmer, Charlie Cusban[?], W.C. Rollow, G.W. Garrett, J.W. Fuller, J.A. Scott.
When the jury had been sworn in, county attorney Wimbish stated to the jury facts he expected to prove as establishing the guilt of defendant Dan Scribner with being guilty of the death of Zeke Putnam. The state would prove that Dan Scribner on the 6th day of January moved to Idabel, Okla., that shortly after, Ed Johnson, accomplice with Scribner, joined the defendant apparently working for him that the state would further prove that on January the 11th defendant Scribner received a letter from Mack Lee of which the contents in part would be proven, that on the same day Scribner and Johnson went to the depot at Idabel, starting on their journey to the murder. The state's attorney continued that there would be proven the pathway from the date of leaving Idabel of these defendants until after the murder had been committed. Deputy sheriff, of Idabel, Thompson, would swear that he saw defendant at depot at Idabel, who told him that he was not going anywhere. Other credible witnesses who got on the train at Swain between Idabel and Harge[?] will swear that both Scribner and Johnson told several conflicting stories of their proposed destination before they reached Durant. The state would prove that Scribner and Johnson were next seen at Atoka on January the 10th where there was purchased by the defendant ten shells loaded with buckshot, that from Atoka they went to Stonewall, got off the wrong side of the train and proceeded direct to the home of John Scribner. When John Scribner's was reached that it would be proven that an Indian boy was sent to a hardware store at Stonewall for a shot gun, that when the gun had been secured, that Johnson and Scribner borrowed two horses from John Scribner and went to Mack Lee's and from there to L. Impson's. The state would prove that the first trip of defendant and Johnson to Allen was without results for the reason that Zeke Putnam was out of town; that on the next night, which was Thursday night, the defendant and Johnson did not go to Allen, but that on Friday night they went to Allen when they got a line on Putnam but failed to kill him on account of the gun snapping; would prove that on Saturday night the same men went to Allen, hitched their horses in a particular clump of bushes and proceeded to locate Putnam; would prove by accomplice that Dan Scribner shot and killed Zeke Putnam by firing a shot from a shot gun, that after the killing that defendant and accomplice road [sic] on into the Mack Lee country shot off a Winchester near Mack Lee's house at which point the Winchester was left, that they continued on to John Scribner's home near Stonewall and that John Scribner having company, that they went on to Frank Scribner's house. Would prove that Johnson got up early and that a conference was held, that the shells from the shot gun used by Scribner were left at this house, that Johnson pulled out for Stonewall and from there riding a delayed freight train on Sunday morning went to Atoka.
Just before the first witness was called attorneys for the defense moved to discharge the jury because no copy of indictment had ever been served on defendant. Court overruled motion to which defendant accepted. Deputy Sheriff Johnson, of Idabel, was the first witness on the stand. About 100 witnesses have been summoned in this case.
Proceedings of Trial
C.H. Thompson, city marshal of Idabel, was the first witness introduced. Stated that he saw Ed Johnson and Dan Scribner at Idabell[sic] on January 12th. He knew Scribner and passed a few words asking him at the depot if he was going up the line; Scribner replied that he was not, but was seen to board the train.
Katie Scribner, wife of John Scribner, formerly Katie Stix, was the next witness. Stated that on the afternoon of January 16th Dan Scriber and Ed Johnson were at her home shortly after the Katy train went north. Left there later and proceeded toward the home of Bill Stix. She failed to ascertain their business or their motive in making the visit, as John was not at home and they gave her no information.
George Perryman, a young Indian about fourteen years of age, was the next witness. Spent the night at the home of Bill Stix and stated that Dan Scribner and Ed Johnson were there on the afternoon of January 16th, and sent him to Stonewall to borrow a shotgun from one Mr. Reeves stating that they were going hunting. They left the home of Bill Stix about dusk and returned about midnight, waking him up but failing to secure lodging for the night. Witness swore that the parties proceeded toward the home of Frank Scribner.
G.W. Sweetman testified that he was operating a pool hall business in Allen and that his building adjoined that in which Putnam was killed on the night of January 16th. He saw Putnam enter the building a short while before the shooting.
Ed Johnson, principal state's witness, confessed accomplice in the Putnam murder, who has turned state's evidence, was brought in, sworn, and testified as follows: I lived at Allen and have been in Pontotoc county since last April. I have known Dan Scribner since last year and met him in Ada three weeks before Christmas when there was a conversation between us at a joint where we drank some whiskey. Dan Scribner told me that Mack Lee would give him and me 120 acres of land to kill Zeke Putnam. Dan told me that Putnam had accused him of swearing a lie in the case of Putnam for the killing of Clarence Lee. I saw Dan in Ada later and Dan made a proposition for us to go to Allen and kill Putnam; an agreement was made and we went to Stonewall on the Katy and went to Allen Christmas night. We saw Putnam on the street, but I prevented Dan from killing him for fear of detection. We passed the Putnam home on another occasion when I prevented Dan from shooting a woman through the window of the Putnam home. When we had failed to get a good chance at Putnam Christmas night, we went to the home of Mack Lee for the rest of the night. I went to Stonewall the next day and from there to Francis, hired a team and went to Allen, stayed at Allen a short time and returned to Ada, having decided that I would settle my personal differences with Putnam face to face and would not help Scribner in the assassination.
I went to Idabel on January the 11th to make a timber deal with Dan Scribner. (This statement was corroborated by Bud Gregg and officer Thompson who swore that they met Scribner and Johnson on the train.) On January the 12th, I went to Stonewall with Dan Scribner and from there to the home of Bill Stix, thence to home of John Scribner and from there to Allen.
(Ed Johnson's testimony continued in tomorrow's News.)
Ada Evening News, June 3, 1909
Scribner Trial To A Close
Attorneys Rest Their Case And Argument Begins This Afternoon
The substance of Johnson's testimony was that he and Dan Scribner had made four or five trips to Allen before they were successful in their undertaking. Witness stated that on the night of January 12th they were in Allen and consulted with L. Impson. They went from there to Sweetman's pool hall and watched for Putman but failed to find him. Failing in their purpose they returned to Impson's home and thence to Lee's remaining in the neighborhood the balance of the week making several unsuccessful attempts to locate Putman.
Finally on the 16th day of January, the defendants were at the home of Impson and were in conversation when Johnson stated to Impson and Dan Scribner that he had gone as far with the plot as he cared to and was going to lay down.
Following this statement witness testified that Impson told them to go on and do the job, and that as an extra inducement he would give one of them a good six shooter and the other $25.00 in money. When dark came, however, they asked Impson for whiskey to go home on, and got it. They left Impson's home after dark, Scribner armed with a double barreled shotgun and Johnson with a Winchester. A short distance from Impson's home they came to the forks of the road, one road leading to Allen and the other to Stonewall. Witness testified that he insisted on going to Stonewall, while Scribner insisted on going to Allen and completing the job they had undertaken. They parleyed for some time, drank some more whiskey and set out for Allen. They hitched their horses in the alley about a quarter of a mile from the square and proceeded to Sweetman's pool hall. Witness remained in the pool hall while Scribner went toward Dr. Thellkell's office and afterward into Whitehead's grocery.
When Dan returned they stationed themselves in the dark at the rear of the pool hall and in gun shot range of the door. Putman entered a little later and Dan Scribner raised his gun to fire at Putman. Witness stated that the gun snapped and at that instant Putman sprang from his position as if he had heard something and started for the door. Johnson stated that he dropped down on the ground and remained in his position, while Scribner ran back a few yards under cover of the darkness. Putman came out of the building, turned the corner and was crossing the alley back of the store when witness states that he saw the blaze from Scribner's gun and Putman was killed.
Witness stated that after the gun fired Scribner came past him in a run, witness joining him and both together making a run for their horses.
They passed near the home of Mack Lee, at which point Johnson states that Scribner asked him for the rifle, fired it off and set it down. They proceeded down Boggy toward Stonewall. They went first to the home of John Scribner, but finding no one at home there they proceeded to the home of Frank Scribner, arriving there about three o'clock in the morning, and witness states that when they arrived there Dan Scribner, turned the clock back to nine, but seems to have made no statement as to his motive.
Witness stated that no conversation occurred that night relative to the shooting of Putman, but that they got up about seven o'clock next morning and that he heard Dan and Frank Scribner discussing the matter out in the yard. Stated that he failed to hear all the conversation but did hear Dan tell Frank that he killed Putman, that he shot him in the head and that he put the gun in the hay mow at John's house.
Witness stated that after breakfast he left for Stonewall afoot, and catching the south bound local there about 9:40 in the morning rode it to Atoka. Dan arrived at Atoka on the passenger a little later and went to Idabell, while Johnson went to Mount Pleasant, Texas. About the latter part of January, witness stated that he returned to Idabell, saw Dan Scribner, came to Durant, then to Stonewall. Leaving Stonewall on foot he went to the home of John Scribner, secured a horse and proceeded to Mack Lee's. When questioned as to his mission on this trip he stated that Dan Scribner wanted him to go up and see Mack Lee and find out what the sentiment was relative to the murder. He questioned Lee, he states, and was told by Lee that he was accused of the murder, but stated that Lee denied having heard anything implicating Dan Scribner. Johnson told Lee then that he wanted enough money to leave the country on and stated that Lee let him have a hundred dollars. After securing the money he returned to the home of Frank Scribner, went to Stonewall, from there to Ardmore, thence to visit a sister in Comanche county, Okla. Remained there for about a week and returned to his old home at Mount Pleasant, Tex. Stayed at Mount Pleasant for several days and went from there to Knox, where he went to work, and where he was later arrested by Pontotoc county officials.
Johnson's testimony complete would fill several columns but the more important points are given. Answers to questions relative to dates, distance, conversations with no direct bearing on the case are omitted for the reason that they would make a newspaper report tedious and cumbersome. The many maneuvers, the many trips over the country and the various plans which failed to execution, however, were thrilling to say the least.
Johnson was on the stand and withstood a torrent of interrogations from two o'clock yesterday afternoon until six, without the least sign of exhaustion. He was cool and composed, spoke in a calm tone of voice and never once showed a sign of nervousness.
Relative to his motive for assisting Dan Scribner, the attorneys were able to get little more than the information that he was working for Scribner from time to time and simply acted as he did at the suggestion of his employer. He made it plain that he was urged in his work by suggestions from Scribner, Lee, and Impson to the effect that Putman was his enemy for the reason that he had appeared as a state witness in the preliminary trial of Putman for the killing of Clarence Lee.
He testified that he had never had any trouble with Putman personally and that he had worked some for Putman at Allen, but after hearing that Putman had become his enemy he never conversed with him again and had never asked him for a settlement on account of services he had rendered Putman for fear it would result in a difficulty.
Johnson stated that he was 23 years of age and married. Was born at Mount Pleasant, Tex., had lived at Omaha and Greenville, Tex., and Allen, Oklahoma; stated that he had never served a term in prison and that he had never been convicted of any crime. Denied that he had been promised immunity by the state's attorneys if he would turn state's evidence and denied any knowledge of Oklahoma law, which guarantees immunity in such cases.
The attorneys for the defense consumed about two hours in cross-examination. Several questions were repealed at different times but if the witness was ever tangled or confused the onlookers failed to observe it.
Three other witnesses were placed on the stand yesterday following Johnson. The examination of these witnesses consumed only a few minutes. They were Mr. Gree, the Kay agent at Ada, and Mr. Timmons, the Kay agent at Stonewall, and R.C. Couch. Mr. Green and Mr. Timmons corroborated Johnson's statement about the local going south on Sunday morning. It is not customary to run a local on Sunday, but on this occasion the local that should have gone Saturday, was delayed, stayed over night at Ada and went south Sunday morning. The Katy agents gave the time of the departure of this train from Ada and Stonewall from their records.
Couch is the father-in-law of Mack Lee and was spending the night at the home of Lee on the night of the murder of Putman. He was questioned about the shooting of a rifle near Lee's house about ten o'clock at night and testified that he heard a shot fired which sounded like a revolver. Wouldn't swear positive whether it was a revolver or a rifle, but was positive that it was one or the other.
During the progress of the trial yesterday every available seat in the court room was taken and it was with great difficulty that the windows and isles were kept clear. Many ladies were in the court room and the keenest attention was observed throughout examinations.
Mr. Scribner's wife and children were near him during the afternoon, as well as other relatives, and it is doubtful if a more interesting court scene was ever witnessed in Oklahoma than that in the Pontotoc county court house yesterday.
The case was resumed this morning at nine o'clock with the introduction of six witnesses in the forenoon. The testimony of the witnesses this morning was more or less inconsequential as they were character witnesses and were only asked a few questions each. One Mr. Murphy was one of the principal witnesses who testified as to the veracity of Ed Johnson.
The most important witness for the defense was Mack Lee. He denied many of the visits to his home of Scribner and Johnson as alleged by Johnson, also denied any knowledge as to the guilt of the defendant Dan Scribner. When court convened this afternoon Lee was called back on the stand and asked by the attorneys for the defendant if he owned, or ever did own any land in the neighborhood of Purcell. He stated that he did not own any such land. It was 120 acres of land in the neighborhood of Purcell which Johnson alleges was offered to Dan Scribner if he would murder Putman.
Ed Johnson was also called back on the stand by the attorneys for the defendant and was again asked if the county attorney or any of the authorities had promised him immunity from punishment f he would turn states evidence. He stated that they had made him no such promises. He was then asked by the attorneys for the defendant if he entertained hope of immunity. The state objected to the question and was sustained by the court. The attorneys for the defense excepted.
It was thought that Dan Scribner would be placed on the stand, but after a consultation with the defendant, his attorneys rested their case. The judge hurriedly prepared his charge, and at 2:30 argument was commenced before the jury. Duke Stone opened for the state and was speaking when the News man left the court room.
Ada Evening News, June 15, 1909
Court At Holdenville
Ten Murder Cases Scheduled For The June Term
Holdenville, Okla., June 14 - The criminal docket for the June term of district court, to commence June 21, has been set and is an exceedingly heavy one. There are ten murder cases, eleven assault with intent to kill, seven for false pretenses, six for forgery, and twenty-five for grand larceny. Among the murder cases are those of Jeff Smith and Tom Sipes, charged with the murder of City Marshal Tabner of Wetumka; John Haney, Lloyd Brisco, and Horace Brians, charged with murder of Bob Armour; an old man at Non[?]; L.D. Shawhan, charged with killing 15 year old Bud Aylor, while Shawhan was United States deputy marshal and others of more or less importance. Court perhaps will continue for six weeks.
Ada Evening News, June 24, 1909
Well Known Adaite And Former Office Deputy Marshal Visiting Home
Mr. Ed Brents, special government Indian marshall[sic], whose field of operations extend over the entire nation wherever there are Indian agencies or reservations is spending a few days with his home folks, 14th and Broadway.
Mr. Brents' special work is looking after law violations wherein the wards of the government are the aggrieved and wronged parties.
This particular employee of Uncle Sam who merely changed jobs within the service when statehood came declares that Ada is the best little city anywhere and that the indications of commercial growth is most marked.
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