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December 1903: John W. Terrell murder trial

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

The 1903 murder trial of John W. Terrell in Bluffton captivated not just the area, but made headlines across the nation.

Terrell was accused of murdering his son-in-law Melvin Wolfe by shooting him once then tracking him down to a doctor's office and shooting him fatally on the operating table. The sensational trial included allegations of cruelty by Wolfe against Terrell's daughter and testimony from Terrell in which he claimed not to remember any of the details of the murder. His lawyers tried to prove he was not sane at the time of the killing.

More than 100 men where examined to create the jury of 12, and the final selections were ordered not to leave the courthouse until the trial was complete weeks later. They slept in the jury room with meals being brought to them.

Below are some of the stories about the trial that appeared in The Journal Gazette.

To suggest a date or subject for History Journal, email Corey McMaken at cmcmaken@jg.net

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“THE TERRELL TRIAL: Jury in the Famous Murder Case Not Yet Secured” by Cliff R. Lipkey (Dec. 2, 1903)

BLUFFTON – After battling for two entire days and after exhausting two special venires without being able to secure a jury, Judge Smith, who is presiding at the trial of John W. Terrell for murder, was this evening forced to call for the third venire. One hundred and twelve men have been examined by the attorneys for either side, and as yet neither side is ready to go to trial with the jury organized as it is. The examination was begun with the regular term panel. This was seen to be inadequate, and a special venire of fifty men was called. Monday evening they had been exhausted and another venire of thirty was ordered. The sheriff and his deputies rode all night to get their men, but everyone was present. Thursday afternoon at 4:30 not another name remained on the list, and the jury consisted of but eleven men. Only eight peremptory challenges had been used.

The third venire called for thirty more men and they were in court this morning at 9 o'clock.

Terrell, the defendant in the action, shows but little effects of his long confinement in the county jail and does not seem nervous. The first day of the trial he paid particular attention to the examination of the jurors, but on Tuesday he seemed to be tired, and gave but little heed to what the attorneys were doing. Most of his time was given to kindly attentions to his little grandson, the son of Melvin Wolfe, the boy whom Terrell shot. The child plays about the court room unheeded most of the time, except when his grandfather has it on his knee and indulges it with tender caresses. At one time the baby toddled across the court room to where the attorneys for the state were seated. It went directly to Prosecutor Burns, who picked it up and, after patting it gently as would a father, returned it to Its mother. The baby is a general favorite about the court room.

The court has decided that after the trial of the case has begun the jurors must not leave the court room until after the entire trial has been finished. Bedding is already provided for their use and they will sleep in the jury room. The jury is in charge of Jury Bailiff John Poffenberger Mr. Poffenberger is eighty-one years of age and is probably the oldest man in the United States doing duty of this kind. He has been connected with the court for fifteen years in the same capacity and is known to nearly every man in Wells county. The old gentleman speaks of the Jury as "his boys" and takes a particular pride in seeing that their every want is supplied.

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“A DEATH  SENTENCE: That is What the State Asks in Terrell Case” by Cliff R. Lipkey (Dec. 3, 1903)

BLUFFTON – After exhausting over half of the third special venire of jurymen drawn, the attorneys for both sides in the famous Terrell case agreed upon a jury this morning. The Jury is peculiar in that it is composed exclusively of farmers and that nearly all of the men upon it are past the middle age of life. The jury as organised is as follows: J.M. Settoemyer, Union township: George Noble, Liberty township; John Dean, Liberty township: John Heckley, Jefferson township: J.M. Jacobs, Liberty township. Fred Hiser, Jefferson township; John Hyde, Liberty township; Horace Ellingham, Rock Creek township; Issac Clouser, Lancaster township; Theodore Redding, Liberty township; William Sowards, Jefferson township; and Floyd Redding, Liberty township.

The jury was instructed by the court that during their term of service they must not leave the court room for any reason whatsoever. Their meals will be brought to them and they will sleep in the jury room.

Among the party grouped about Terrell and his attorneys today were two new faces. At noon his aged father and mother, the Rev. William Terrell and wife, arrived from their home in Delaware county and spent the afternoon in court where their son is being tried for his life. The father of the murderer is a minister in the New Light church and has a charge in Delaware county. Both the father and mother are very aged and infirm and their steps as they entered the room were slow and faltering. Terrell was exceedingly solicitous in his care of them and assisted both to seats where they could see and hear all that was being said.

At 10 o'clock, Prosecutor Burns began the opening address for the state and outlined to the fury what the state would attempt to prove. His concluding remarks was that in the event the state proved this, he would feel called upon to ask for a verdict of murder in the first degree and would insist upon the death penalty. In the course of his talk he spoke at some length upon the killing and commented considerably upon the vigorous manhood and general condition of the murdered boy. During this recital the parents of Wolfe were deeply moved and both the father and stepmother shed tears of grief.

The first witness put upon the stand was Jacob Wolfe, father of the murdered boy. He was examined at some length but the defense waived cross examination. Coroner Fred McBride was next put upon the stand and I testimony recorded.

Miss Rose Downey, was the next witness examined. She testified to being one of the party who were buggy riding in front of the Terrell home when the killing was committed. She was followed by Orville Burgess and Ida Clark who were eyewitnesses to the shooting on the road. They were in a buggy not a hundred feet behind Wolfe, and his step sister and both testified to seeing Terrell rise from the roadside and fire the first two shots. Each was subjected to a rigid cross examination but their testimony was not shaken.

Miss Delia Reed was the last witness examined today. Miss Reed was the state's star witness. She was the young lady in the buggy with Wolfe at the time Terrell made his first attack on the highway. Miss Reed is a pleasant looking young lady and gave her testimony in a straightforward manner. She told how the shot severed the lines guiding the horse and how the animal ran away. Her description of the ride from the lonely spot along the road to the office of Dr. Saunders, where Wolfe was finally killed by Terrell as he lay on the table, was graphic and thrilling. Miss Reed did not faint when her companion was first shot and her appearance does not indicate that she is a girl who would easily succumb to any excitement, no matter how great.

From the state's attorneys it was learned that they have about seventy-five witnesses to introduce to the court. The defense has claimed an equal number and the case will likely last ten days or two weeks. Burns and Eichhorn are leading for the state and Gregory and Sharpe have conducted the cross-examinations for the defense to date.

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“THE STATE RESTS: Sudden Ending of Direct Testimony in Terrell Case” (Dec. 4, 1903)

BLUFFTON – Matters in the Terrell trial, in progress here, assumed a slightly different aspect this afternoon when at five minutes after 3 o’clock, Prosecutor John Burns announced that the state rested its case.

A short recess was taken and A.L. Sharpe, who is leading the defense, made the statement as to what the defense intended showing.

Previous to resting the case the state finished the introduction of the evidence going to prove the material facts in the allegation. Twenty out of the sixty witnesses summoned to appear and tell what they know in the case have been used. The others will likely be used in rebuttal. It is the intention of the court to have the trial finished in another week, if possible. Judge Smith has stated that he thought all the evidence and argument could be in by that time.

The examination of Dr. Saunders, the physician in whose office the shooting occured and under whose care Melvin Wolfe was at the time he was last shot by Terrell, occupied the attention of the court today. His story was practically a recital of the facts as had been gone over by a number of other witnesses, and he was not subjected to a very rigid cross examination.

During the afternoon session the state introduced as evidence the torn and blood-stained garments worn by Wolfe upon the fatal evening and also the door which was battered down by the infuriated murderer. The door has been in the possession of the state's attorney since the day following the crime. The gun with which Terrell committed the act was also shown.

Jan Wolfe, father of the murdered man, was called upon to identify the dead boy's clothing. The scene in the court room at this time was particularly affecting. As the blood soaked garments, one by one, were handed to him, his grief gave way to bitter tears, a mute tribute to the love he had for his eldest son.

The father's grief caused many others in the court room to give way to their emotions, and more than one among the spectators were not ashamed to wipe away these evidences of sympathy.

Dr. A.I. Sharpe, who made the opening statement for the defense, outlined at some length the basis upon which the defense would place its case. The substance of his statement was that it would be shown that at the time of the killing, John Terrell was temporarily insane, that his mental faculties had been waning for years, and that Melvin Wolfe had taunted him beyond endurance.

Mr. Sharpe occupied nearly an hour in outlining his case, and at the conclusion asked that court be adjourned until Friday morning. He did this for the reason that the state resting early in the trial was rather unexpected and that his witnesses were not all present in court. He assured the court that they would be present Friday morning and upon this assurance court was adjourned for the day.

The largest crowd that has yet filled the room was present during today's session. All the seats and all the available standing room was taken and the bailiffs had great difficulty in maintaining order. Several times the court was obliged to suspend and admonish the spectators to be more quiet.

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“TERRELL INSANE?” by by Cliff R. Lipkey (Dec. 5, 1903)

BLUFFTON – Matters with reference to the Terrell trial went somewhat slowly today. The defense has begun marshalling its testimony and seems to have some difficulty in keeping its witnesses on hand. At several times delays have been occasioned because of the fact that witnesses were not present when called and the court has felt constrained to administer rebukes to all concerned in the delay. It is the desire of the court to have the matter in hand finished as soon as possible and therefore any delay in presenting the witnesses is resented.

The defense called back a number of the state's witnesses for the purpose of showing that Terrell at the time he shot Wolfe was insane. About an even percent thought he was and the rest had no opinion on the matter.

A large number of witnesses were called to show Terrell's reputation for pare and quietude. Those called from Wells county stated that in this respect they had heard many stories of his having had trouble from time to time with various people. It was shown that he had had two bad fights. From Randolph county, his old home, six witnesses were called. They testified that Terrell had borne a good reputation while living there which was up to the time that he was twenty-five years of age.

Following this line of testimony, evidence was introduced to show that Terrell had at one time in his life received a serious fall which affected his brain. Expert testimony was given to show that such accidents to the brain frequently crop out in insanity long after the occurrence of the accident.

The court ruled that no testimony was admissible to show that insanity existed in the family of the defendant unless it could be shown to exist in the father, grandfather, mother or brothers and sisters. The defense attempted to show that a number of his cousins and relatives equally remote had been afflicted in this manner but the evidence was not allowed to enter in the trial of the case.

The last witness called today was Lemuel Bouse. He testified that he was at the Terrell home on a day previous to the killing and had heard Wolfe taunt Terrell, as he passed along the road.

The defense will offer numerous other witnesses to show this same condition of affairs.

During the afternoon session it was necessary to close the doors of the court room in order to keep out the crowd which was immense.

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“MRS. WOLFE TELLS OF HER WRONGS AND DEFENDS HER FATHER” (Dec. 9, 1903)

BLUFFTON – The trial of the Terrell murder case has dragged prosaically along since Monday until this afternoon when the defense sprung a slight sensation by placing Lucy Wolfe, wife of the murdered man, and daughter of John W. Terrell, on the witness stand. Her introduction had hardly been looked for so soon, and quite a ripple of excitement passed over the court room, so great in fact, that the judge was forced to rap sharply for order. The witness, scarcely more than a girl in her teens, pretty, but pale from the excitement, worry and tedium of the long drawn out trial, ascended the box. For two hours and a half the attorneys for the defense plied her with questions touching on recollections better buried, and then, for corresponding period, the state attorneys cross examined her. Throughout the entire ordeal the girl, knowing perhaps that her father's life and liberty depended largely upon her answers, stood the test bravely but after being excused, she left the court room and in the corridor burst into a flood of tears. During her recital her father, who has sat unmoving so far, no matter what the evidence, was greatly agitated and his frame shook with sobs. If John Terrell goes from the Wells circuit court room at the end of the trial a free man, the testimony of Lucy Terrell Wolfe will be largely responsible for the fact.

In their opening statement the defense declared that they would show beyond a reasonable doubt that John Terrell was so excited by the wrongs heaped upon his daughter Lucy by Melvin Wolfe that his mind broke under the load and he became a raving maniac, venting his feelings on the person who had been responsible for all this in the terrible manner in which he did.

Lucy Wolfe's testimony in brief was as follows:

"I live in Nottingham township, and am twenty-three years of age. A short time before I married Wolfe I told my parents the condition in which I was In, and the fact that Wolfe refused to marry me. My father stated that he would see Wolfe's father, and later did so.

"The result was that we were married, and I went to Wolfe's home to reside. For the first week he treated me all right, but later was cruel to me and mistreated me shamefully. I told my father how I was being treated, and it seemed to affect him a great deal. He would cry for hours at a time and get up in the night to wander about the farm and get away from his bitter thoughts.

"Wolfe frequently ordered me away from his home and on several occasions took me to my home and left me. My father would urge me to try to live with him, but each time I would try it it would be worse. One evening Wolfe left my bed and went across the hall to the room occupied by his step-sister, Delia Reed. Here I found them a short time later."

At this point the witness told of an act so repulsive and abhorrent, which Wolfe at one time attempted to force her to perform, that not a father in the court room but shuddered at the thought. It was on the day following that the witness left her home at the Wolfe's and since lived with her father.

The witness the went on to tell about the events of the day of the shooting. She testified how Melvin Wolfe, the dead man, drove past the Terrell home in company with his step-sister, and how he shook his fist at the gray haired father. She told how her father, who was standing by the wind pump, fell in an unconscious condition and how she ran to his side to assist him. She bathed his face and after five or six minutes returned him to a condition of consciousness. Later she went to summon help and when she returned her father had gone. She did not see him again until after the tragedy.

A rigid cross-examination failed to shake her testimony and she was excused for the time being. Following her an older sister took the stand and recited similar tales which had come to her personal knowledge. The defense is evidently waking up, and today their work created a strong impression on the minds of the people.

Most of the day was occupied with the hearing of testimony tending to prove that Terrell is mentally unbalanced or was temporarily insane when he killed Wolfe, and many old friends and several physicians told of actions of his which would support the claim of the defense in this respect.

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"IT GOT NIGHT: John Terrell Has no Memory of Killing Wolfe” (Dec. 11, 1903)

BLUFFTON – This was a day of most intense interest in the Terrell murder trial. The aged defendant was himself called to the witness stand. After relating briefly the story of his life up to the time of the marriage of his daughter Lucy he was asked to tell what she had told him as to her treatment. As he related her final separation from Wolfe and how his favorite daughter had been dragged from a bed of sickness and driven away from her husband's home, Terrell buried his face in his hands and wept.

He recalled distinctly all the evidence of that day up to the evening. described how he had left Shotts' home, where he attended the birthday dinner, to go home to do his evening feeding. He told of Melvin Wolfe passing and shouting to Lucy, "Hold up the little bastard," and of shaking his fist at her father.

"What did you do then?" asked Mr. Sharpe.

"I don't know. It got night."

From that time on the defendant said his mind was a blank and that he knew nothing of shooting Wolfe, of following him to Petroleum nor of any of the events subsequent to seeing Wolfe on the highway

John Terrell Tells His Story:

I was born in Randolph county about fifty-one years ago, and for the past twenty-four years, except for a short period I lived in Bluffton, have resided in Nottingham township. My father's name was William Terrell and my mother's Rebecca Thornburg. she being a daughter of Joab Thornburg. She is dead, having died when I was about a year old. After her death I lived with my uncle, Drummond Terrell, until the time of his death. When I came to this county uncle came and lived with me. When a boy I went to school one month in a year for six or seven years. All my life I have been a farmer. My father was married a second time, to a first cousin of my mother. I was married to Catherine McDonegal in 1875. We have four children living, three girls and one boy. The son and daughter living at home. Two grandchildren live with us. My youngest daughter is Mary or Lucy, who is twenty-two or twenty-three. Defendant stated that he had learned of the treatment of two of his daughters who had married Vandergrift brothers, but was not permitted to detail their grievances as it was held to be incompetent.

“Lucy, my youngest daughter, married Melvin Wolfe, the deceased. I learned of their separation on the 11th of May. After that time Lucy lived with me. A few months after she came home the child was born, and she and the child have lived with me since. I was at the house on the day she came home. I saw her about the door but don't remember about seeing her afterwards; I don't remember what I did that day; the first I saw Lucy to talk to her was some time later. She told me that Mel had gone upstairs, pulled her out of bed and told her that she would have to go home; that he cursed her, and told her to go, in spite of the fact that she begged to stay, (cry); that she started to walk home, but Mel hitched up and took her. Lucy said that he pushed her out of the buggy and threw her clothes out, and when she said goodbye he would not answer. She said that she had not enough to eat at Wolfe’s, and she came home very hungry. She said about all they would say to her there was that she must go home, and that when Met would pass things to her at the table he would turn his head from her. That Met told her he loved Miss Blair, a girl with whom he had had trouble before, better than her. She told me that Mel and Delia Reed were in bed together one night.

Further evidence on this line was barred by the court on objection of the state, and Mr. Terrell was asked about the Injuries he had received to his head. He testified as to having the three falls, to which testimony has already been given. Following these falls, Mr. Terrell said he had had headaches and an excrescence of the ear for several years. The third fall was from the load of corn near Balbec in 1894. Testified as to having severe headaches at the back of the head since his third fall, and having treated with physicians. "I have often gone out at nights and wandered over my farms and around the power house. I have been at home several times when Melvin Wolfe would pass the house."

"On the 12th day of July I was at home with a severe headache in the morning. About 11 o'clock we went to

son-in-law's (John Shotts) home for a surprise dinner. I left there about 3 o'clock. I don't remember who came home with me, but remember the family being at home after arriving there. I changed my Sunday clothes and made preparations to go to the other farm to feed my stock. My wife prepared to go with me, but she went on ahead of me and I started to the bars to water the horse.

“While on my way to the barn I saw Melva Wolfe pass with Delia Reed. I saw Wolfe shake his fist at me. That was when he was going south. I heard him say. 'Hold up the -------.’ I don't remember what I then did. It

got night. I don't know what I did after that, only what I read through papers and what people have told me.

I did not intend to kill Melvin Wolfe on the 12th day of July, neither of doing him any malice or hurt. I have no knowledge of shooting, pursuing or wounding Melvin Wolfe. I heard of Melvin offering Cliff Shakely $5 to whip my son. I saw him a few evenings before the 12th of July in a store there in Petroleum. As I passed out he came into the store and threw his body against me and pushed me."

During the early days of the trial no one was permitted inside the railing about the bar, but now the inside of the railing is crowded more than the outside.

Mr. Terrell was recalled this afternoon for further examination. Resuming his testimony this afternoon, he said, in answer to a question as to whether he entertained any malice against Wolfe, that he had not. He said he did not remember being at the office of Dr. Saunders in Petroleum on the 12th of July, neither did he remember being in the office of Dr. Dickason on that day and of riding with the doctor toward Bluffton. He did not remember having met Sheriff Johnson and Marshall on the way and of riding to the county jail with them. He denied knowledge of having lain in the weeds, waiting for Wolfe. The introduction of the evidence was objected to by the state, but went in over the objection.

The cross-examination began at 2:03 this afternoon. "When I moved to Nottingham township I went on a farm, which I afterward bought – 160 acres. On the 12th of last July I owned 230 acres in Nottingham, 150 In Jackson township and some town lots in Bluffton, Nottingham and Petroleum. Lot in Petroleum contained a livery stable. Had two lots on Washington street in Bluffton. On one there was a residence; on the other a marble shop. I loaned money sometimes. My Nottingham township farm has produced oil for some time. I have been locked up since July 12th of this year. I have not conducted any business myself. I have had my safe and valuable papers in the jail and have attended to my farm business, selling my oil and rented my village properties. Objection to this evidence by the defense overruled. Have attended to my city property and have collected one note since I have been in jail. Have concreted the sale of farm products and a public sale. I depended on the banks to keep track of my money.

"I understand I am a stockholder but I don't understand that I had much to do with negotiating for it. A stock company was formed of which Charles DeLacour. A.L. Sharpe and I are members and officers. I am vice president I think, I'm not sure.

"I don't know how long after I was placed in jail I seen Levi Mock but It was soon after I got in. I don't remember whether I sent for him. Court would not permit witness to state whether he had hired and discharged attorneys

"You remember of hiring and furnishing money to such men as Cass White, Charles DeLacour and Robert Fryhack to ride this county create a sentiment for you and get witnesses to testify in your behalf."

Objection by the defense to this question sustained, such evidence being held incompetent.

"I have not employed White to get witnesses for me. You have talked to witnesses as to their testimony?"

Objection sustained.

"You have authorized publication of articles in the newspapers regarding this affair?”

"No sir. I have not. On July 12 I lived a mile and a quarter south of Petroleum. House is thirty feet from the road. I saw another buggy ahead of Wolfe when he passed July 12. I was at the southeast corner of the barn. Saw only the two buggies pass. Don't know Clarence Turner from his brothers. Know Orville Burgess but don't remember seeing him. Have no recollection of anything that occurred from the time Wolfe and Miss Reed passed until I was in jail. I don't remember who was the first man I talked to after I got in jail. Don't remember whether it was W. S. Kapp. Don't remember of telling him that he would have to move from marble shop. Don't remember telling deputy sheriff I had slept well that night.

"Know Al Vore but don't remember of meeting him a month after Lucy came home when I had a shot gun in the buggy. Was In Petroleum Saturday night before shooting. I had a shot gun in the buggy. Just was after I heard of trouble between my son Jake and Cliff Shakely. I went there at 10 and left at 11. Didn't take my shot gun out of buggy. I was in Dr. Dickason's once that night. Don't remember talking to Oscar Oliver or Noah Hilliard. I don't recollect of Oscar Oliver calling on me at county jail.

Mrs. John Terrell Testifies:

Recited the trouble that she and the defendant, her husband, had had over the trouble of their daughters and how John worried about her affairs, sitting with his head in his hands, and walking the floor at night.

Mrs. Terrell recited the abuse of her daughter Lucy by Wolfe about the same as Lucy had told them, and in addition told of the night she had taken Lucy back to Wolfe's after Lucy had been driven away. She said that all Mrs. Wolfe would say was that she had not room for Lucy. She spoke of the dinner party at Schott's on the day of the tragedy and said that her husband had complained of a violent headache and she asked him to go home.

The only place there was a discrepancy in her testimony was that she said that her daughter Lucy had not come over to the other farm to notify her that her father had fainted after Mel Wolfe had passed the first time. This she corrected today. Lucy had testified that she had gone over and told her mother that her father was sick. Mrs. Terrell said that her husband worried more over Lucy's trouble than anything else. He said that she was his favorite child and she had been ruined. At nights when he walked the floor he would mean her name. She said that he often spoke of moving out of the neighborhood to get away from the taunts of Wolfe.

Mrs. John Terrell was recalled by the defense this morning for cross-examination of fifteen minutes by the state. She has been ill for several days, and when she left the stand broke down under the strain. Dr. Goodin was called to attend her in the judge's room. Mrs. Terrell is an epileptic.

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“LIFE SENTENCE FOR TERRELL” (Dec. 21, 1903)

BLUFFTON – The jury in the Terrell-Wolfe murder trial today brought in the following verdict:

"We, the jury, find the defendant. John W. Terrell, guilty of murder in the first degree, and that he be imprisoned in the state prison for life.”

That was the verdict handed to Judge Smith in the Wells circuit court at 8:47 this morning by Foreman J.M. Settoemyer.

It was the conclusion of about eight hours' deliberation by the jury and five ballots. On the first ballot the jurors all voted "guilty," but it required four ballots to determine the punishment. On the second ballot there was one vote for the death penalty and thus the division stood until the fifth ballot, when the twelve men voted for imprisonment for life.

When Judge Smith took the verdict from Foreman Settomeyer he opened It and read the judgment of the jury deliberately.

Then turning to Mr. Terrell, who sat stolid and seemingly indifferent he said: "Stand up, Mr. Terrell, and hear the verdict."

Judge Smith read it slowly, and facing the jury, asked: "Is this your verdict, gentlemen?" The twelve men answered in the affirmative and nodded assent.

That was the end of it, and Terrell sat down, never for a moment losing his nerve or indicating any feeling of surprise or disappointment. He said not a word.

Among the thirty-five people in court there was no demonstration and the condemned man was led back to the county jail by Sheriff Johnson, where his daughter, Mrs. Wolfe, and her child awaited him. There was a pathetic meeting and tears of grief when the punishment was made known. Mrs. Terrell, who is an epileptic, was then under a doctor's care.

Mrs. Terrell recovered during the day and this evening visited the jail, taking some oysters with her for her husband. When she met Mr. Terrell she cried aloud in anguish. Mr. Terrell put his arm about her neck and said to her fondly: "Don't worry, don't cry, mother. All will come right yet.”

To a Journal Gazette representative Mr. Terrell said he would say nothing for publication until he talked with his lawyers. "I can stand anything," said he; "but I feel sorry for my wife,” and with that he turned his face to the wall of his cell.

When court convenes tomorrow morning Mr. Terrell's lawyers will make a motion for a new trial, and if they are overruled, as they surely will be, notice of an appeal and arrest of judgment will be filed.

Locally opinion on the verdict is divided, many holding to the belief that Terrell would get a light sentence if he did not go free. Others felt that if he had contented himself with the first shot at his son-in-law, Wolfe, he would have escaped prosecution altogether, but when he followed him to Petroleum, burst into the doctor's office and killed the young man on the operating table, he deserved what he got today, if not the death penalty.

 

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