The Caddo Banner
editor, J. Y. Schenck
May 10, 1895
Was the Verdict in the Schenck Case
Marshal Williams Prostituted His Office and Perjured
Himself to Convict Him, but Failed
His Whole Fort was Perjured Testimony from the Scrappings of Hell
Last Friday evening the editor of this paper was put on trial in the Federal Court at Paris, Texas, charged with assault to kill George Willis, on the 15th of last November and the trial was not ended until Monday morning when the jury, after being out about twenty minutes, returned with a verdict of “not guilty”.
This was one of the most hotly fought cases ever tried in the Paris court, Marshal Williams having employed two attorneys to assist in the prosecution. He never left the side of the paid prosecuting council one moment and even went so far as to go in the room where they jury was out with the case at one time.
Williams took the stand and swore that he had taken more interest in prosecuting this case than any one ever tried in that court before; that he had no love for the defendant and hated him to the bottom of his heart. When he did this he committed perjury as he swore when he took his oath of office that he would conduct the same with impartiality. He said the defendant had written him up in his paper. He had nearly twenty witnesses taken there, a number having been wired for after the trial had been set; but he used none except those whom he could make swear to lie or anything he told them. His office was their headquarters. Frazier and George Willis were his main witnesses. Frazier is a married man, but he ran off with a young girl and left his wife, but finally came back and had to leave between two suns to keep from being arrested. Willis is a low down pup, as everyone knows and was whipped on the streets of this town by a prostitute for the non-support of his and her illegitimate child, and a warrant is out and has been for over a month for his arrest for adultery, but Marshal Williams gave his deputies instructions not to serve it until after this defendant’s trail as it might have some effect with the jury. Those scoundrels would swear to whatever Williams dictated, and when he wants to convict an enemy, his main fort is perjured testimony. He had a number of good men there, but he could not tamper with them and would not put them on the stand. The defense, however, used them to good advantage and impeached Willis with the government witnesses. The prosecuting attorney, who is a gentleman of the first order, admitted in his prosecuting speech that they were trifling scoundrels and should not be allowed to run in any community, and that if the defendant had killed him like a dog, the jury would have said “amen”.
Col. Hodges made one of the best speeches of his life for the defense. Everyone who heard it said they never listened to such a speech in their lives. It was complete in every respect and it went down deep into the hearts of the jury. All during his speech the large court room was crowded and if a pin had dropped it could have been heard.
(Note: You may recall that editor Schenck was shot and killed in 1913 over a piece he had written in the Sulphur newspaper.)