D.D. April 14, 1922
After Twenty-Four Hours Jury Returns Verdict of Not Guilty In Golden Case; The First Ballott Eight to Four for Acquittal
“We the jury, duly empanneled upon our oaths, do find the defendant, Mordicai Golden, not guilty of the killing of Tom Craighead.”
Thus ended one of the hardest trials that Bryan county has ever witnessed. The jury had been out exactly twenty-five hours and thirty minutes, returning the verdict of not guilty at 3:26 this afternoon. The jurors when they came into open court to return their verdict showed the effects of the strain through which they had gone. When the verdict was handed to the court to be read, the court room was as still as death; a pin drop could have been heard in any part of the court room. When the clerk read the verdict no demonstration was made, the defendant’s face broke out in a smile of joy at his release. The defendant’s wife was not in the courtroom at the time the verdict was given, as it was not expected that they would make their report until later in the day. When the jurors had been released by the court, the defendant went to each juror and warmly clasped his hand, with words of thanks. Several people shook hands and congratulated the jurors upon the verdict. The defendant received the congratulations of his attorneys, and the court announced that he had been released from custody of the officers.
According to the jurors the first ballot stood eight to four for acquittal and since the first ballot was taken, fifteen ballots were cast before a verdict of acquittal was reached. The greatest part of the time the jury was locked up, was devoted to arguments among the jurors as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant, and a verdict was not reached until 3:25 o’clock this afternoon.
It was announced in open court this morning that the cases against D. B. Williams, father-in-law of the defendant, and also against his wife, would be continued for the term. It could not be learned this afternoon whether or not the cases will now be tried since the verdict of acquittal gained by Mr. Golden.