Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part IV

The next in the series of articles would have been one published on November 20th, 1897 titled, "They Want Villers".  I transcribed this article for Carnival of Genealogy's "There's One in Every Family".  So if you'd like to see it, it was my November 20th post...Wow...that was NOT planned!

So moving on to the next in the series...

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 23, 1897
"The Villers Case

The prisoner M. J. Villers was arraigned in justice court at Jamestown yesterday charged with murder of August Tromer.  The prisoner is said to have been unaffected by the reading of the charge against him and stated to the spectators in the court that he would be a free man after the trial of the case at the January term of court.  Villers had no attorney and the hearing was continued until Nov 29, when it will be again taken up.  In the meantime Villers is confined in the county jail in Stutsman county.

The removal of the man from the pen here was an extraordinary proceeding, and before Warden Boucher would consent to surrender the man he (wired) for the opinion of a majority of the board of trustees.  Three of them agreed to (allow) the man to go upon the authority of the governor's decision and the request of Judge (Glaspell).  The removal of the man may open up a legal controversy if Villers should be acquitted, or indeed even if he should be (convicted) the former attorneys who have considered the case (said) that there may be a question as to what authority there will be for his return to the penitentiary, after he has been released."

So he had no attorney?  He refused an attorney?  That just sounds awful (and odd).  Anyway, this case was a landmark case for the state of North Dakota in the sense that they were unsure of what to do with a man that was already incarcerated.  How could you release him to be tried for another crime?  I know.  Today we don't think of it as a big issue, but it apparently was a first in the state.  I've got court documents that I'll be posting once I get through the newspaper articles.  Some of those documents...WOW!  Hard to read!  But we'll get there.

Now I'm tired so it's off to bed!  I had wanted to do my Advent of Christmas Memories post on ornaments, but my brain is tired and my Christmas ornaments (for the tree) aren't out yet.  So I'll have to write that one later and find a way to fit it in!  Night all!