The next case taken up was the commonwealth vs. Charles Holland, charges, attempting to escape and escaping from jail. Defendant, on being arraigned, said he would plead guilty to attempting, but not to escaping from jail. The court informed him that he succedded in gaining admission to the sheriff's department, which was equivalent to escaping from jail. Defendant then pleaded guilty to both counts. The following case brought in same defendant.
Commonwealth vs. Charles Holland charge, larceny. District attorney for the commonwealth, and J.J. Reardon, Esq., for the defense.
Michael Slaven sworn: Live on Fourth street, Williansport; had been working on Starkweather and Manson's mill prior to November 8d; had about a month's wages due me; received it on the 3d of November last; came down and met Holland coming up from City Hotel restaurant; we walked down the street as far as Coady's and then went to the Hepburn House and took a drink; came down and went through the market house; Holland asked me what I had been doing; told him I was going to the woods; he said he didn't intend to go to the woods, that he was here with the intention of robbing Mussina's jewelry store; we went down to the City Hotel restaurant where we drank; the bartender wanted to sell out to me; a man by the name of Clark was there and wanted to sell me a horse: told him I didn't want to buy; had my money out on the bar; an envelope had some certificates of deposit in it; as I was leaving, Clark asked me if my wallet was all right; pulled my wallet out and examined it and found that a $150 certificate was missing; as Holland had been handling them I charged him with having it; he said he hadn't it; I then told him that he had it; he said he didn't want to be charged with stealing; he then took the certificate out of his vest pocket and threw it at me, and said he took it only in joke, and didn't want to be be charged with stealing; I told him it looked like stealing; he then struck me, and we had a tussle; left soon after, and as I was leaving he asked me if I was going to bring in a crowd; told him that I was going to have him arrested.
Cross-examined: Did not hear him say to the bar-keeper that the taking of the certificate was intended for a joke.
Re-direct examination: In talking about robbing the jewelry store, he said he robbed a man by the name of Garman some time ago.
Testimony on the part of the prosecution closed with the above, when the defendant took the witness stand.
Charles Holland sworn. Think it was on the last night of October that I came here; had been an old acquaintance of Slaven, and went to police headquarters to inquire for him; asked Redmond if he knew where Slaven was; Redmond told me I had better leave Slaven alone as he was a mean man; afterwards saw Slaven and went with him to the City Hotel, where we had some drinks; Slaven was showing these certificates of deposit, and when I took one I said to the bartender it would be a good joke to keep it a while; knew that the certificate could not be used by me; served as a policeman and detective on the coal and iron police force of Luzerne and Carbon counties up to the 6th of last February, from 1875 to 1878; came here to have a spree, as it would not have been safe for me to have taken it in Carbon county; I had been drinking three or four days before this happened; Slaven had been drinking all the afternoon; it takes a good deal to fill me up, not sO much for Slaven; when Slaven put the certificates on the bar I summed up the amount of them on the margin of a newspaper; knew that I could not make use of the certificates, as they were made payable to his order.
Cross-examined: Cannot swear that Heffren was one of the men that came to the jail to assist me to escape; Mansfield was; knew John B. Wright; he was in the state prison for passing counterfeit money, not for manufacturing it; my clothes and other things were to have been given me, if I had escaped, on the railroad above the Herdie(?) House.
The above closed the testimony, when the attorney on each side was given ten minutes to argue the case before the jury. At half past five the jury retired, and before six they were back with the verdict of "guilty in ?????? and former ?????" Court was then adjourned to nine o'clock Tuesday morning.
Willaimsport (Pennsylvania) Daily Gazette and Bulletin, January 6, 1880.