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MURDER AT WELLINGTON., Issue 7923, 3 June 1889
MURDER AT WELLINGTON.
Thomas Hawkins, a well-known settler of Upper Kaiwarra, was found dead on Saturday evening on a by-road leading to his farm. Marks of violence on the body led to fonl play being suspected, and a post mortem examination by Dr Cahill more than strengthened that suspicion, it being evident that Hawkins was murdered, though the assailant is yet undiscovered, and his motive for committing the crime can only be guessed at. Hawkins left Wellington for his home at about five o'clock in the evening, and was picked up dead, about eight o'clock. His jugular vein was severed, and there was a shot-wound in the shoulder. From an examination of the body and the locality where it was found it is conjectured that the assassin waited for his victim on the bank in a position where he would be very close to anyone toiling up the steep. As soon as Hawkins came near he fired one barrel of a shotgun, but did little more than cut away the portion of clothing found on the road. Hawkins turned and ran clown the road for his life, but a second shot better aimed struck him in the shoulder, and brought him down before he had gone many yards. This wound was not necessarily fatal, but the murderer must then have gone up to the prostrate man and finished his work with a knife. Hawkins was lying on his face, and from the position of the hands would seem to have put up his arms to ward off the blow of the knife. Suspicion at once fell on one of Hawkins's neighbors, an Italian, who had been heard, so it is alleged, to ntter threats againßt him in consequence of some litigation in which they were engaged. His house was searched, and a bone-handled daggor with a doubleedged blade about 6in in length found. A shot flask was also obtained. The dagger, however, bore no signs of blood, and the shot in the flask wore not of the same size as those in the body. No clothes were discovered at all blood-stained, and none had been recently washed. The demeanor, both of the man and his wife, was calm, and not that of guilty people. At the inquest to-day Mrs Hawkins gave evidence that about two months ago the deceased came home much put out because Louis Chemis, a man who worked on the road, had sworn at him, and said he would have him yet. There was a lawsuit pending in respect of a fifty-acre section rented from her husband by Chemis. THE INQUEST. One witness deposed that shots were not likely to be heard, as the wind was blowing away from the nearest houses. Dr Cahill said that as soon as ho noticed the stabs he suspected murder, but said nothing until the body was taken to\he morgue. There he found a large number of stabs, one of which divided the jugular vein. The wounds were thick about the neck and shoulders, and appeared to be made from above forwards. One cut severed the lower jaw bone. On the trunk there were more than a dozen stabs—in fact, the corpse was slashed all over. There was also a gunshot wound in the lower part of the neck, immediately above the shoulder. One stab penetrated to the heart. All the wounds were clean cut, and he believed they were produced by a double edged-weapon. They were also all broader at the surface than the interior of the body. He believed the instrument must have been sharp, two-edged, tapering, strong, and at least sin in length. He believed that the portions shot off the coat and vest must have been torn away by a bullet fired from above, which passed through the coat and struck a knife or something hard in the vest pooket. There was a contusion corresponding with where the knife would have been. A shot from behind musi have been fired when both the deceased and his assassin were on a level and not two yards away. Many of the wounds would cause death almost immediately. Inspector Thompson produced a dagger found by the pdlice, without mentioning how it was obtained, and asked Dr Cahill whether the wounds could have been produced by that weapon. Dr Cahill replied : " Yes ; any of the stabs could have been inflicted with it."
The inquest has been adjourned for a week. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder.
MURDER AT WELLINGTON., Issue 7923, 3 June 1889
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