Howson Berry, the man who shot and killed Michael Slavin at No. 539 Root street Saturday night, and wounded Frank Slavin at the same time, was exonerated by the Coroner's jury yesterday afternoon.
Over a dozen persons testified. The most important testimony perhaps was elicited from Frank Slavin, Elizabeth Finley, Mollie Jones, and Peter Berry. It took the jury about ten minutes to reach a decision.
Frank Slavin said that Tom and Jack Berry were wrangling and that his brother Mike parted them. A second quarrel occurred and during it he hit Tom Berry. He was ejected from the house with his brother Mike and they went to a saloon close by where they found a man named John Coughlin. They returned with him to the Berry house, and a fight resulted. He saw Howson Berry with a revolver and asked him not to shoot. Howson Berry did shoot and the ball hit him in the thigh. Mike Slavin ran out into the street and Howson followed and shot twice.
Mollie Jones said that the Slavins came to the Berry house intoxicated and started a fight, in which her brother, Tom Berry, was hit. The Slavins were ejected, only to return. Her father ordered them out, and Mike Slavin made a pass at Tom Berry. Some person hit her, and she called for Howson Berry, who ordered them out. When he did so Mike Slavin hit him, and then Berry shot.
Peter Berry said that when the Slavins returned the second time he tried to push them out and close the door. Frank Slavin resisted and struck at John Berry, the father. Mike Slavin struck at Howson Berry, and the latter shot, the bullet hitting Mike Slavin in the face.
Elizabeth Finley corroborated the story told by the Berrys. A mass of unimportant testimony was taken from the boarders in the house, but it failed to shed any new light to the matter.
Daily InterOcean (Chicago, Illinois) December 30, 1890.