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The Hennessy Murder
A Young Man Arrested for the Crime.
How a Citizen Spoiled an Interview.
Points in the Case

Houston, Texas, September 30, 1886--At 5:00 PM it was reported than an arrest had been made in connection with the Hennessy murder. The News correspondent went to the jail and through the courtesy of Sheriff Fant was admitted to the corridor of the prison. The prisoner, D. H. Melton, soon made his appearance. He was asked a few questions, which he answered in a straight-forward manner.
The arrest, he said, was a surprise to him, from the fact that he did not know Hennessy personally, nor had he ever seen him. He said that he was from the neighborhood of Lone Oak, Hunt County, Texas, where his brother Columbus Melton, now lives. His place of residence in Houston was 280 Prairie Street, on the corner of Hamilton.
While the correspondent was talking to the prisoner, a citizen put to him a leading question as follows:
"Did you hear the shots that killed Hennessy?"
"Gentlemen, I decline to answer such a question," was the very proper reply from the prisoner.
The leading question from the citizen killed the gossip that was necessary for the good of the public, or the good of the prisoner, if he were innocent.

Melton is as straight as an arrow, is about six feet high, twenty-eight years old, with blonde complexion, light mustache, and is good looking. During the short interview, he bore himself in a manly way, and seemed to speak with earnestness. Before leaving him, he asked the correspondent to send a dispatch to his brother, stating his condition. The duty was performed.

In the interview, he said that when the arrest took place, he was in the back yard of his house, watering his horse. A number of men entered by the front and back doors and took him. The arrest was made by Deputy Sheriff Gaston Ashe, Deputy United States Marshal John Morris (who said that he planned the arrest), and Constable Jim Perkins.

It appears that the colored cook of James F. Dumble gave the clue by describing a man who resembled Melton, whom she had seen running down Crawford Street a few minutes before the assassination took place. Deputy John Morris claims that he has fitted one of Melton's shoes in the tracks of the assassin at he corner of Jackson and Congress and on Howard's corner on Chenevert Street. The examination of Melton will probably take place tomorrow morning.

(October 1, 1886, The Dallas Morning News)

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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