The Daily Item from Sunbury, Pennsylvania on May 7, 1941 · 9
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The Daily Item from Sunbury, Pennsylvania · 9

Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 7, 1941
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1941. SUNBURY DAILY ITEM, SUNBURY, PENNSYLVANIA. NINTH PAGB HOGENDOBLER ; (Continued from cage 1) most murder trials in the county court. The issue narrowed down in the arguments of counsel after the evidence was presented. Attor ney Louis Cohen, for the defense, called attention of the jury to the fact that the laws of Pennsylvania require that to be convicted of murder the defendant must know the difference between right and wrong. The defense admitted, he said, that Hogendobler had killed his wife. "But he did not know that what he did was wrong. He had no conception of the difference between right and wrong. The legal test is: Did he know , that difference when he pulled the "He is not insane. He merely lacks an adult mind.' It has been shown that his mind cannot conceive truth. It is that of a' child of 7 years ,: "Society owed a' debt to John Hogendobler in failing to meet its obligation when he was young. Now society is paying for that neglect. John never had a chance in life. He never had opportunity to become the kind of man his neighbors were. "He had' no fight with his wife. They lived together for years. They had no argument before he shot her. After he killed her he went downstairs, fed the cow, the chickens, the dog and cat, then got himself some breakfast. He is no killer; he was not responsible for what he did. "Because he did not know right from wrong your duty is to acquit him." District Attorney R. M. Fortney contended that the crime had in it all the elements of first-degree murder. "Hogendobler's demeanor today," said the district attorney, "is far different from what it was four weeks ago today when he confessed that he killed his wife Clara. "He then gave us a. clean-cut narrative without hesitancy. He said he wanted to get right with God, and he told everything. - "Today you saw how it was almost impossible to drag answers from him. That first night he wmm Baby Reaches Happily For ENGLE'S Homogenized Vitamin "D" MILK o It Tastes Better It Digests Easier It's Fortified With Vitamin "D" Sunburjj Milk Products Co. 'Phone Sunbury 275 uiscovcr comforts its HOTEL 3J!TOCTIDCWOS nakfast treat Me 5fe RMH , rr2. mewyorkX -. r.ii -i m m U. . ! " : ;i Tha United Statei Maritime Service is meeting the threatened ihortage ol skilled merchant seamen by training youths who have had no previous seagoing experience. Young American citiiens in good physical condition 18 to 23 years of age are being enrolled ior a seven months' course of instruction in the duties of the deck, engineers, and stewards departments. Enrollees are paid $21.00 monthly; clothing, food, and quarters are furnished by the Government. The training course qualifies these young men for jobs on American merchant vessels where pay starts at $72.50 a month with food and quarters furnished. For detailed information write to U. S. MARITIME SERVICE, WASHINGTON, D. C. was sorry for what he did. But after he sat around for three or four weeks in jail and had time to think it over, he changed. "That first night in the Kulp-mont jail I asked him about his family, his neighbors. He said he went to church every Sunday. I asked him what he knew of Christ. He said.' 'He was a good man on the cross.' "He said: 'I'm sorry I killed her.' If he . did not understand what he had done he could not have been sorry. "He spent his entire 50 years among the farmers around Sunbury. He must have learned something in that time. "You have been told society owes him a debt. He is physically fit. He lived on a farm. He had means of providing himself with food. "I say society must be protected. You owe that to society now protection from a man with a 7-year-old mind, who killed his wife, placed the gun on her pillow, claimed that she was a suicide, does not know right from wrong, yet is able to say he is sorry. "He is not entitled to acquittal. At the same time," it is the duty of the prosecutor to gather up all the evidence, favorable or unfavorable, and present it to you for unbiased consideration. "The Commonwealth does not, feel that the death penalty should be inflicted. First degree with death is for hardened criminals always in trouble, with a record behind them. That is not applicable in this case. "Life imprisonment in this case would see that society would be protected, and that the slayer is punished. "The defense here is insanity; the defendant is guilty of murder or not guilty. If he did not know what he was doing, then you would have to acquit him. But here you have all the elements of first-degree murder; it was deliberate, willful and premeditated." Two witnesses were called for brief questioning by the Commonwealth at the opening of the afternoon session at 1:30 o'clock. Trooper Albert Baceski, recalled to the stand, when asked how Hogendobler happened to give his second version of the crime on the night of the shooting, said he asked the prisoner: "Do you go to church? Do you believe in God?" Hogendobler, after short hesitation, said: "I want to get straight with the Lord." He then related how it happened. Baceski testified that a checkup of the price of merchandise purchased by Hogendobler in Sunbury revealed it cost 90 cents, and that the defendant had 46 cents change in his pockets when arrested. This was the identical total Hogendobler previously told the officer he found in his -wife's purse after the fatal shooting. Edward Bloom, Shamokin merchant,- testified that when he visited Hogendobler in the Kulpmont jail he advised him of his constitutional right to counsel. Clifford Smith and Thomas Ras-bridge, Shamokin, who were with Bloom on the trip, gave similar testimony. Attorney Steele, opening for the defense at 1:40 o'clock, said that it would be shown conclusively that the defendant did not know the difference between right and wrong and therefore could not be found guilty of murder. Dr. J. O. Kwiterovich, of Danville State . Hospital, testified he visited Hogendobler in the jail on April 24 and found him "dull and retarded in all his mental faculties; not feeble in mind, but with the intellect of a child of 7 years; not having the power of differentiating between right and wrong; physically normal, but with the mental ability of a child." Hogendobler, called to the stand EXTRA COMFORT and ECONOMY for yourself the homey of this most popular hotel. v .OTK0 raaio tn tacb room Fw Room WHh Private Bath m Pron 2.50 to 4.00 Two Peroii-'3.00 to 6.00 BC-OSML 129 WESTUtfc STCTT. NEW YORK CITY . J'Ph t Bath, Prtudtnl Theodore E. Tolson, Jr. Alfred B. Tolson S. TRAINS YOUTHS FOR How The Jury Voted Jury which decided the fate of John H. Hogendobler, confessed wife slaytr, was as near "blue ribbon" classification .as Northumberland county has witnessed in recent years. . That the members were of practically one mind at the outset of their deliberations is indicated by the fact that only three ballots were taken before a verdict was reached. On the first eight voted for first degree murder with life imprisonment, three for second degree and one for acquittal. On the second tally the count stood eleven for first degree and one for L -ond degree. The third ballot brought unanimous consent to a finding of first degree murder with life imprisonment rather than the death penalty imposed. The jury was highly complimented by the court on its findings, the opinion being expressed that it was fair in view of the evidence in the case. in his own defense, spoke rationally when questioned by Attorney Cohen. He spoke of his child hood, his family home, his early years -in Sunbury and on farms in this section. He told of his marriage to Clara Cressinger, and the birth of their two children. He also told of his wife's treatment in the Danville Hospital for the Insane for a year. He spoke then of his home life and said he and his wife went to church every Sunday. He read the Bible, he said, although there were some parts he did not understand, and there were also parts of sermons he heard which he did not understand. He then told of the incidents of the morning of the murder. He got up at daybreak, talked briefly with his wife, then went back to bed. He rose later and got the gun, a small weapon such as is sold in hardware stores for target practice. He loaded it and stood over his wife. "I studied about it," he said. Then he shot her, went down stairs, fed the cow, chickens, dog and cat. Then he walked to Sun bury and applied for relief and bought some things. He was brought home by Walter W. Kalb, of this city, and, on finding the dead body, shouted to Kalb that his wife had committed suicide. Then he said the coroner came and then the police, and he was taken first to the Wirt undertaking establishment at Cliftmont to see the body of his wife, and then to Kulpmont jail. He was cross-examined briefly by District Attorney Fortney. "Do you hunt rabbits?" "Yes." "What happens to a rabbit when you shoot it?" -"It dies." The district attorney showed him the small target rifle. He averted his eyes and refused to look at it squarely. "Is that your gun?" he was asked. The witness was silent. The question was repeated, and he admitted it was his, "Do you know whether or not it is wrong to kill another person?" He replied, "I know it now, but not then." His testimony lasted less than an hour. The next witness was Russell E. Conrad, of the staff of the Northumberland County Board of Assistance, who testified that on the morning of April 8 Hogendobler had visited the office and applied for relief for his wife and himself. He did not appear excited or nervous. The court then declared a recess of 15 minutes. The jury was taken to a room on the upper floor where the members had a chance to relax and discuss the progress of the trial. Next witness called was Grover Lytle, a farmer residing in the neighborhood, who said he had never heard ill spoken of the defendant. George Shipman, whose home is a half-mile from the Hogendobler farm, said he knew the defendant for 20 years. He insisted he had not seen him much in the past three or four years. Asked as to his conduct, the witness said, "He was good around my place, except" He stopped and repressed a smile. District Attorney fortney com- , pleted the sentence: "except when he stole a chicken." The witness said that had been satisfactorily adjusted. The witness was then excused, and the balance of the afternoon session was devoted to closing addresses of counsel. On the jury were E. J. Fisher, Delaware township; C. R. Miller, Milton; Nellie M. Adams, Shamokin; Harry P. Elwell, Sunbury; Mrs. Helen Homiak, Mt. Carmel; J. J. Oakes, Watsontown; R. E. Cross, Riverside; C. M. Boust, Sunbury; Mrs. Ethel Makin, Watsontown; Mrs. C. W. Clement, Sunbury; Elwood Weikel, East Cameron township, and David Deitrick, Shamokin. Mrs. Alice Kirkhuff, Northumberland, alternate, remained with the jury until it retired to deliberate. Members declared: "We were all in accord from the start; there was at no time any great difference of opinion." An hour was all that was required to reach a decision. Word was sent down to the court that the jury was ready to report. Twenty minutes later, the prisoner having been brought from jail, the verdict was rendered. The jurors expressed themselves as pleased with the accommodations provided for them at the Aldine Hotel. "We had pleasant rooms and delicious meals. It was disturbing, however, to have a tipstaff on guard all night long in the corridors." Next step in the case will he the formal sentence by the court, imposing the term prescribed by the jury. Hogendobler will be taken to the Eastern Penitentiary, and if the authorities there find he is not a fit subject for such imprisonment he will be removed to a hospital for the criminal insane fctr the remainder of his life. Enroute from the courthouse to the jail after he had heard himself pronounced guilty of murder in the first degree, Hogendobler asked George Madara, jury commissioner and deputy sheriff, just what was meant by first degree and whether he would "get the chair." He said he hai been told while being held in the Kulpmont jail that he might be electrocuted. When assured that the verdict meant that his life would be spared, Hogendobler seemed much relieved. No motion for a new trial will be filed, it was definitely announced today by Hogendobler's counsel. Attorney J. Donald Steele, one of the defending lawyers, visited Hogendobler at the jail this morning and asked him whether a retrial should be asked. The slayer is said to have replied: "I'm satisfied if you fellows are. I'm very happy. I was afraid I was going to get the chair." In announcing the deecision to let the first degree conviction stand, Attorney Louis Cohen, of defense counsel, remarked: "I fee that he had a fair trial and that it was a just verdict, especially after the doctor testified that he was not "insane. It was"" a coldblooded murder." It was not indicated when Hogendobler would be arraigned for sentence. Motorist Arrested For Old Inspection Sticker Private D. A. Helsman of the Milton State Motor Police has filed charges against J. G. Farley, New Columbia, for operating an automobile which did not have the proper inspection sticker displayed on the windshield. Information made before Justice of the Peace Joseph Showers of Milton states that the violation accured in Milton May 2. John A. McBryan, Milton motorists, was also charged with reckless driving for "speeding" in the borough of Milton by Private Helsman. The offense occurred May 3 in Milton. The defendents have ten days in which to appear for hearings before Justice Showers. CHURCH RECEPTION More than 60 persons attended a reception Tuesday evening at First Baptist church for recently received members. A short program was enjoyed and remarks were made by C. M. Martz, chairman of the Board of Daacons, on the theme "Loyalty to the Church." A social time was enjoyed and refresh ments served. SEA ADDRESSES CLUB Paul F. Keefer, secretary of Sunbury Kiwanis Club, and mem ber of the faculty of Sunbury High school at noon today addressed Junior Kiwanis C h in the Northumberland High School on the subject, "Work of a Junior Service Club in the High School." DIVORCE GRAT"D A divorce was granted in Union county court to L. C. Arnold, Lew- isburg, from Florence Arnold, also of Lewisburg, following a repor submitted to the court by Attorney Charles Kalp, master in the pro ceedings. The decree was issued Monday. TO CAP NURSES Seven young women who have completed the six months' preliminary training period at the Lewis-town Hospital School of Nursing will receive c. ps at a public ceremony Thursday evening, the first of its kind held by the institution. Included in the group afe Velma Breckbill, Port Royal R. D.; Mary Wiser, Mifflinburg and Mae Yet-ter, Beaver Springs. BE FBI SCHOOL TAXES UNCHANGED IN UPPER AUGUSTA Upper Augusta Township schools taxes were set by the Board of Education in session Tuesday at the same rates as last year, 16 mills on property and $5 per capita. Total budget calls for expendi ture of about $20,000, including payment on the school district in debtedness. Largest item of expense is the tuition of pupils in Sunbury High School amounting to $7,000- Present were Claude M. Knoe- bel, president; -C. H. Pontius, vice president; Paul F. Keefer, secre-. tary, and James V, Putnam, Leslie I. Camnbell, treasurer; was ab-" sent; ,j ' Paul F. Keefer was reelected secretary for the coming year, and James V. Putnam, was elected treasurer. , Placement of teachers and pur chase of supplies and books will attended to later. Orphanage school closed Thurs day: Island Park, Monday, and Oak Lyn Conoslidated Tuesday. Mrs. Eva Putnam, tax collector, submitted her report for the year, together with a list of unpaid tax es, which the board will proceed to collect.'. MISS RUCKMAN QUITS HOSPITAL Miss Mabel Ruckman, formerly of Turbotville, for three years dietitian of Shamokin State Hospital today submitted her resignation to the board of trustees, effective May 13. She gave no reason for her action other than stating that she has accepted a position as dietitian at a hotel along the Atlantic coast. Where it is located she refused to tell. Miss Ruckman was considered one of the most efficient members of the hospital staff. Her successor will be chosen later. There was no indication that the recent shakeup in personnel of the institution, which led to an investigation by a Senate committee, had anything to do with her recision to leave. Milton Student Entered In State Band Festival Annual All-State Band festival will be held at Lock Haven, May 15, 16 and 17, when a large number of students from throughout the state will participate, includ BUM iFncmci That's Why Heavy Power Installations and Chrysler Cars Have Fluid Drive "Immediate adaptation to variable power load". . . that's how science describes the function of Fluid Drive. To give gasoline engines the fluid flexibility of steam was long the goal of research engineering. Efficiency and economy were demanded . . . for industry must count the last penny of cost. Flexibility to meet all load conditions . . . scientific control of power slippage in place of the hit and miss power loss of individual driving . . . ability to pick up great loads easily and with ever-mounting power . . . these were the economic requirements of industry. Fluid Drive was the answer! Today the identical scientific principle that drives your Chrysler Car is efficiently serving in huge Diesel powered ships . . . great double-deck busses . . . the heaviest hauling tractor-trucks . . . MODERN WfTH HUID DJtfVf AND VACAMATC TRANSMISSION ! " . SVw I ft .JUV - TV. 1 W- " ... 1 I Sunbury Milk Products Company CRYSTAL ICE is as pure as the water you drink . . . for it's made of the water you drink. The 'dealers listed above sell this better ice exclusively. Ask one of them to serve you regularly with CRYSTAL ICE. Sunbury Milk Products Co. Manufacturers of PURE ICE ing Bruce Houseknecht, Milton, in the alto saxophine division. Garth Kleckner, Lock Haven director, will be in charge at the festival and will direct the musicians. No local entries are planned. STRIKERS GIVEN RAISE Having been promised an increase in t' J day wage rate, employes of two tracks at the steel plant of the American Car and Foundry Company at Berwick re- turned to their jobs Tuesday, a day giant industrial refrigeration plants" Fluid Drive gives industry, as it gives the driver of a Chrysler Car, double economy . . . efficient application of power . . . plus longer life for the mechanism because of lessened wear and strain from jerks and jolts. Now you can have this two-way efficiency in your own car if it's a Chrysler and in addition . . . ease, smoothness and silence possible only with genuine Fluid Drive. New and old owners of Fluid Drive Chryslers now, for the third year, are reporting greater economy than from their former cars. Why shift gears? Why stumble away when you can glide away? Chrysler Fluid Drive jerk-free and jolt-free is easier on both car and driver. The nearest Chrysler dealer cordially invites you to make a real test of Fluid Drive efficiency and ease. BUY CHRYSLER! after they walked out on strike., They are engaged in railroad car construftion. , SCARLET FEVER WAVE A mild w . e of scarlet fever is sweeping Mt. Carmel borough and Mt. Carmel Township, State Health Officer Earl Jones has announced. There are 10 cases in the two districts, six in the borough. and four in the township. Jones j said there was no need to fear an epidemic

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