Friday, December 10, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part VI

Another episode in the epic saga of Martin Joseph Villers.  Two articles again, since the first is rather short.

This first article ran with no title and was just one of many paragraphs under the heading "The City"

The Bismarck Daily Herald, December 31, 1897
"It is said that a change of venue may be asked for in the Villers case when it is called in district court at Jamestown next week, if any difficulty is experienced in securing a jury.  Villers' counsel would naturally prefer a trial in some other county of the district more remote from the scene of the crime with which he is charge, and where less pronounced opinions have been formed, but if it appears that a fair trial can be obtained it is said that Attorney Ellsworth will not seek to unnecessarily delay a verdict being reached"

Well, of COURSE he would want the trial in a different venue where less pronounced opinions have been formed!  Who wouldn't!?!  OK...I'm done...

"The Villers Trial

The Bismarck Daily Herald, January 12, 1898
The taking of evidence in the trial of Martin J. Villers the prisoner from the penitentiary who is on trial at Jamestown, for the murder of August Ttromer, began in that city yesterday morning.  The first witness called by the state was the coroner, Dr. Baldwin, who testified to the inquiry which had been held over the remains of Tromer discoverd in a field, and who stated that in his opinion death had been caused by a blow on the head from a blunt instrument, dealt with a great deal of violence.  The different exhibits in the case were identified by the coroner, they being a portion of the scalp with a little of the hair attached, a portion of the skull, to which the scalp was sttached, the latter being still bloody and discolored, pieces of the clothing of the murdered man, and the pipe, knife, and other articles found with the body.  Another exhibit in the case is the pocket handkerchief, knotted about the neck of the dead man by his wife before he left home, the knot having been identified by her.  The second witness in the case was Mrs. Tromer, the wife of the murdered man, who testified that she last saw her husband on the 14th of September, 1894, the time he left home with Villers.  She told how he was dressed.  An objection was made to her testimony by the defense, and during its argument, she fainted away, and upon her recovery went into violent hysterics, and the feeling in the court room was intense.  In the afternoon Mrs. Tromer had to be carried into court in an invalid chair and identified the handkercheif, clothing and some of the articles worn by the dead man."

She faints during an objections?  I object!  Actually I would have wanted to slap her.  I've got little tolerance for silly, hysterical people.  Talk about melodrama!  Maybe that's why Villers tried to kill her years before.  OK that wasn't nice, and I'm biased...but if you were watching this in a nice little fictional world of CSI, wouldn't you say the same?

Soon we'll be onto the documents of this case.  They are more challenging for me to transcribe.  My wonderful, darling husband got me several early Christmas presents, to include a new all-in-one printer so I can now scan legal documents.  Can't wait!