A horrible and cold blooded cannier was committed in the village of Niles, Michigan, on Sunday morning last, caused by that cursed destroyer of human happiness AlcoholThe account of the transaction runs as follows:
On Sunday morning last; our town was thrown into an unusual state of excitement from a report that Barney Slaven, a resident of this village, had murdered his wife.
A large number of people were immediately on the alert, and Mr. Slaves was discovered about half a mile up the river from this place, endeavoring to skulk from place to place to make his escape. Seeing himself about to be surrounded and taken, he plunged into the river and swam across, where he was immediately secured by two men who happened accidentally to be on the opposite bank.
A coroner's jury being summoned, the following is the principal testimony which appeared before them:
James Slaven being sworn, testifies that he was at home all night. I am a son of Barney Slaven. A noise between my father and mother awoke me this morning. They were talking loud when I woke up. I first heard Barney Slaven say, 'where is the axe?' He did not find it. He took the shovel, now here in Court, and hit Mrs. Slaven a crack on the ear. The blood flew out, and she fell down. He afterwards struck her with the shovel several times; I don't know what part of her he hit after that. One blow he hit her on the arm. He had the hole open in the floor when I woke up. There is a deep hole under the floor. I ran out whilst he was hitting her. As I went out he had the shovel in one hand, and was pushing her over towards the hole with the other. She was lying across the hole. I ran out and hallooed murder, and when I came back be was gone. She was breathing, and lived about three hours, when she died. She spoke to me once after I came in, but I could not understand what she said. He had liquor last night, which be got at Hatch's Grocery. I got two or 3 quarts in a little pail at different times yesterday (Saturday) for him, and he hid it away. There was no one in the house last night except the family, after dark. He has during the last week, said that be would be the death of her, and that he would clear out, so that nobody could find him.
The jury returned a verdict that Catherine Slaven came to her death by blows inflicted by Barney Slaven, with a shovel, at about 5 o'clock in the morning the 4th day of June, 1848.
On examination before Justice McIlvaine, on Monday last, the prisoner was fully committed.
This is the third murder committed in this vicinity within 8 months.
Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Daily Gazette, June 22, 1848.