Cumberland Evening Times from Cumberland, Maryland on December 16, 1948 · Page 11
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Cumberland Evening Times from Cumberland, Maryland · Page 11

Cumberland, Maryland
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 16, 1948
Page 11
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Pkont 4800 for • WANT AD Tak«* EVENING TIMES, CUMBERLAND, MD, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 1948 ELEVEN Dramatic Surprises Highlight Murder Trial At Bedford BEDFORD, Pa.—Two dramatic surprises marked the trial last week of James Kelly Perdew, who was nentenced In Bedford court to serve six to 12 years In Western Penitentiary by Judge J. Colvin Wright for the bludgeoning to death of Francis L, Williston, 78-year-old baker at th» Bedford County Home, last August. The two 'men were reported to htve fought over a bottle or wine.. The first came' a few minutes after Perdew was the bar, the Indictment, against him beUg quashed. Attorneys D. Cress Reiley and William Ellis Van Horn, Jr., dtfense counsel, contended successfully that District Attorney Charles M. Koontz had failed to use In the Indictment the charging language which is specifically required by the Ktmtutes. The broad indictment form rrmde It possible for Perdew to be convicted of murder In either the first or second degree or of man- slaughter. It read that Perdew had feloniously, wilfully and "maliciously" killed Francis WilHston. Prescribed language, defense counsel pointed out, is that the Individual charged had proceeded feloniously, wilfully and "of his malice afore- t.'.ought," • Judge Wright said that he had observed the'faulty language:, of the indictment and had not discharged the grand, jury which had .been assembled in conjunction with > the December term 'of court. Grand jurors in Bedford county rarely serve more than a. single day. When Judge/Wrgiht allowed defense counsel's motion to- quash the indictment, a, corrected bill of indictment was drawn and immediately presented to the waiting grand jury. The trial was under way again within an hour. The second surprise of the day came in 'the afternoon' after the 12 Jurors in the case had been Impanel- led. A recess was called. Attorneys for the commonwealth and the defense conferred privately,with the judge for a few minutes. When court.reconvened, Attorney D. Cress Reiley asked the court's permission to change his client's plea of not guilty as charged" to guilty of manslaughter. He explained that District Attorney KoonU assisted by his brother and former district attorney, Paul A. Koontz, had agreed to accept.such a plea. . The district attorney explained to the. court-that his willingness 'to accept 'the manslaughter plea had resulted from -the 'death last £ vtur- day . of a material.. witness upon whom he had' depended to show malice on the part of Perdew in the death' of Williston,' The witness, he said, was Thomas -Davis who had been -Williston's roommate at the Bedford County Home where Williston had been 'employed as a handyman". Davis, the. district attorney said, had been expected to testify that "certain property found in Pcr- dew's possession.had once been the property of Williston. oon after Judge Wright had allowed the change-of plea. District Attorney Koontz moved that Perdew be called at once for sentence. The district attorney -sked the maximum sentence, claiming that Perdew had shown vicious violence in his attack upon the 78-year-old mnn he now admitted having killed. Both defense attorneys pleaded for leniency. D. Cress Reiley said that Perdew, born in B'-.n's Cove, Bedford county, had never had any educational advantages. He could neither read nor write. Attorney Reiley said. Terdew had also been addicted to excessive drinking all his life, his senior counsel declared, but had been regarded as a good worker when sober. . Attorney Van' Horn called the court's attention to the fact, that Perdew, although now 48 years of age. had served more than a year overseas with the armed forces during World War II. Perdew had been given an honorable discharge, Attorney Van-Horn said, and had character ratings in the Army as excellent. Car Is Wrecked By Playful Pets PITTSBURGH — (K 1 ) — Edward Kulm, 38, still Jovcs dogs but he's going to have to explain to his two Scottles that there's a time and place for everything.• Kuhn, who lives at Mercer R. D. 2, Pa., was driving along tast night with the . two" Scotties in the car when the dogs apparently decided to show their affection for him. Both dogs jumped on Kuhn's shoulders.. The car swerved into a pole! and'Kuhn taken to Shadyside Hospital where 14 stitches were reputed :o close a head cut. "Just one of'those things," commented Kuhn, as he returned to his wrecked car, picked up the two Scottles and arranged for a ride honve. The British Royal A!r Force was Poppaea, Nero's wife, used white founded April 1, 1918. lend and chalk for face powder. Insulin was discovered in 1922I The United States has about 30 by Dr. Fred 'Banting, of To'.edo. | Important IlR-hthouscs. Couvicte v cl Slayer To Appeal Verdict BALTIMORE—{£") — An altoracj for the convicted slayer of a Baltimore policeman said today he wouk appeal the case to the Supreme Court of the United States. The accused is Roy Arnold Wood 24-year-old carpenter and bricklayer. He faces the death sentence for shooting Patrolman Joseph Benedict last February 13. Hamilton O'Dunne, attorney for Wood, announced he had written to Governor Lane serving notice thai he would appeal to the Supreme Court. The case is now before the Governor on an automatic plea loi clemency. If the-Governor decides to deny it he will set the date lor Wood to be hanged. Maryland's Court of Appeals last week denied Wood a new trial. 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