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A Child Tried for Murder.

The Chicago Iribunc, of Jan. 12, says ; —One of the most extraordinary murder trials on record was concluded at Machias, Me., to-day. The prisoner is only nine yean, old ; the victim was seven. To convict the child, who has scarcely graduated from petticoats, and who cannot possibly have any comprehension of the awful crime laid at his door or the guilt and penalty r t aching to it, the court has sat for three days, and gone through all the routine to which adult criminals are subjected. Warren Longmore, the prisoner, was at Freeman Wright’s house on the Bth of October last, after school, when a boy, attracted by the noise of the discharge of a gun, proceeded to the premises and discovered Longmore digging a hole with a spade in a manure heap back of the barn, with the prostrale body of Wright still breathing, with a track of bood leading from the door of the house to the spot. The wounded boy had been shot in the head and neck, two of the shots penetrating the brain, and he lived but a short time. Longmore told very conflicting stories regarding the affair, claiming that he took the gun down to shoot a cat, while Wright was to stand by and keep her from getting away, and that somehow the gun went off, with the result noted. Realising somewhat the terrible result of the shooting, he determined to hide the body of his late comrade, and before life was extinct dragged it from the house across the yard, and behind the barn, where he was surprised digging a grave. A medical examination of Wright’s body developed the most singular part of this phenomenal affair, for, beside the shot-wounds, Wright’s skull was fractured in two places over each temple. It is charged that Longmore, after dragging the body to the back of the barn, discovered that Wrrght was not dead, and deliberately struck him with the spade to complete the horrible deed. Longmore was not known as a vicious lad, and it was claimed that the shooting was accidental, and Ins subsequent work the result of the craved condition which the realization of his awful deed threw him into. Wright’s parents, however, maintain that it was a case of premeditated murder, and that their little boy was coaxed over there by Longmore for the purpose of killing him. There was a lot of conflicting testimony, and the trial, which is here regarded as an insult to the intelligence and' the humanity of the community, and a travesty upon justice, resulted in a verdict of manslaughter—a result mainly due to the judge’s charge to the j ur y-

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18810422.2.12

Bibliographic details

A Child Tried for Murder., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 325, 22 April 1881

Word Count
452

A Child Tried for Murder. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 325, 22 April 1881

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