The preliminary hearing of Walter Wallace and Ed Newkirk who are jointly charged with grand larceny - the shoplifting case of several weeks ago - occupied the attention of Justice Cole's court Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of last week and after Judge Cole heard the evidence and arguments of counsel, he decided that there was sufficient evidence to hold Mr. Newkirk for trail in the February term of the district court. Mr. Wallace admitted having taken all the goods stolen and unequivocally exonerated Mr. Newkirk from all connection with or knowledge of the theft. Judge Cole fixed the bond of each defendant at $1,000.00 W. A. Newkirk qualified as bondsman in each case.
Aside from the unfortunate circumstance that Ed Newkirk was in the stores at the time the goods were taken, there was absolutely no evidence that he was in any manner connected with the theft and the only way in which one could conscientiously suspect his guilt would be to disbelieve all that both he and Wallace say under oath and to resolve every doubt against him, and accept unsupported circumstantial evidence to be as good as definite eye witnesses.
The trial developed a great deal of hate and personal feeling. Those who are prosecuting Mr. Newkirk are very impulsive and have permitted their prejudice to overcome their reason, while on the other hand the disinterested ones who heard the evidence are very nearly a unit in the opinion that Newkirk is innocent. There are, of course, people in all communities who believe that the arrest of a man suspected of having committed a crime is conclusive evidence of his guilt and these are always in sympathy with the prosecution.
If a man is to be imprisoned on such evidence as this, then indeed no farmer is safe to accompany his hired help into a store and the best citizen in the county does not know at what hour he will be pulled into court to answer to a criminal charge.
When the trial is finally held Mr. Newkirk will be acquitted unless the prosecution has evidence much stronger than any that has been so far offered.
MRS. NEWKIRK SUES FOR DIVORCE.
To add to Mr. Newkirk's troubles his wife, Ora Eliza Newkirk filed suit for divorce against him when his preliminary hearing was in progress. She alleges cruelty and neglect of duty. They were married April 9th, 1905 and a boy three years of age is the only child. It is now being kept by the defendant's parents.
The plaintiff asks for the custody of the child, restoration of the maiden name of Ora E. Dudley, $500.00 temporary alimony and a half interest in 2000 acres of land appearing on record as the property of W. A. and O. E. Newkirk.
Mr. Newkirk and his wife have not been getting along for some time. She left him several months ago and has been living with her grandmother, Mrs. Hamlin, in Oklahoma.
Judge Gillette will hear the application for temporary alimony in this city January 8th. G. M. Martin is Mrs. Newkirk's attorney. Seward I. Field and J. N. Tincher represent Mr. Newkirk.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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