Mistrial in the Andrews Cases. It will be remembered that on Dec. 17th, 1904 last that old man Jim Andrews and his wife, Bama Andrews, were killed at Schuster, this county, and that John and Bob Andrews were accused of this foul crime. They are the sons of Jim Andrews by a former wife.–John lived at or near Repton, Conecuh County and Bob near Schuster in Wilcox County.–John was called by wire on Dec. 17th to come to Schuster by that day’s train without fail. Message was sent from McWilliams Station, dictated by Bob Andrews and signed Jim Andrews. John came on train, was joined at McWilliams by Bob, and together they went to Schuster, and that night both James Andrews and Bama, his wife, were killed, and after investigation by Coroners, Jury, John and Bob Andrews were arrested and sent to Jail in Camden. In the trial a severance was had, and both juries failed to agree and a mistrial was entered in both cases, both the accused and the State were represented by able council, and every inch of ground stubbornly contested.
We have no comment to make as to the result of the juries deliberations. Their verdict was rendered according to the lights before them, and as they saw the evidence. While the public might clamor for a decisive verdict and express regret or dissatisfaction at the outcome of the juries’ deliberations, together with the expense attendant of a second trial, the county press has no right to approve or condemn the proceedings in view of another trial, but we join the people of the county, and the Circuit Solicitor in urging our Circuit Judge to call an extra session of court to dispose of these cases together with that of the Ptomey negro who shot Prof. Claude Hardy. The crime of which John and Bob now stand accused, is one of the blackest the most diabolical that ever stained the fair name of this county. It will so blacken the pages our county’s history that time will not efface it, and we solemnly urge a special term and a speedy trial. It is best for everybody concerned, if these men are guilty, their punishment should not be delayed, if not, in God’s name turn them loose, and not keep them confined until the Fall term of the court. If guilty let a jury say so. Let the public know that the laws of in county is sufficient to protect life and property, and will punish crime, if guilty don’t encourage an outraged public to take law in their own hands in the future, by dilitory tactics now, if innocent, be just to them and let them go their way.
We do not wish to prejudice nor inflame the public mind more than now exists, nor do we wish one utterance of this paper to convey the ideas that undue haste is our object or wish. Ample time for preparation on both sides should be had, but these cases should be tried and taken from the docket, before the witnesses are scattered. We urge it for the county’s good we urge it because justice demands it; it works no hardship on teh defendants in the case, if not guilty, turn them loose, and if guilty they have had too much time already.
Of course we are not unmindful that a special term will necessarily be attended with considerable cost to the county, and we are authoritively told, that the county had to borrow $1200 to run the last court, and we further state that the proceedings in calling an extra session is unusual after a trial by a jury–still we ask Judge Miller to consider seriously the situation in all of its barings, and act after mature deliberation for the best interest of his home county, more he cannot do; more we do not ask!