Third Day

Source Type: Newspaper
Publisher: The Independent Monitor
Place of publication: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Date of publication: May 11, 1868 11:50 pm
Source URL: View Source

Third Day. The examination of James: Rhea, Jr., was resumed. An hour or more was consumed by the .comnsel for the defence, in unavailing efforts to introduce testimony to prove that before Mr. Randolph left the scene. of the difficulty he declared that he had fired the shet from his pistol simply for the purpose of dis persing the crowd. A question in- tended to elucidate this Libeen over- ruled Tuesday evening. Yesterday morning the following question, covering the same ground, was put to the witness: you hear Mr. Randolph say anything at the time of the firing; or immediately afterwards go ing to show the cause of the firing or what lre fired for At the instance of the Judge Advogate, the Court ruled that any statement of this character made by Mr. Randolph between the time the pistol was fired-and the stabbing of Eddins might be given in testimony., Substantially the same question- was put in different form by the counsel, who sought to meet the objections of the Judge Advocate and the opinion of the Court by ver bal modifications. The witness was dismissed. John E. Chambers was called and sworn.-Direct Examination:-is 55 years old; lived 7 miles about Tuskaloosa; has lived there since 1847, except two years of absence; knows Eddins; has known him since 1847; is aquatinted with Eddins’ general character for troth and veracity; would not believe him on oath; Eddins lives, part of the time within a quarter of a mile of witness, and part of the time 7 miles off; and has been living with- in that distanco sinco 1847; witness has seen a great deal of Eddins; knew the family to which Eddius belonged while a slave; his character is that of a notorious liar. Cross Examination: Never heard Eddins tell a lie under oath; never heard lim testify under oath. The defence announced that they had no other witnesses to examine; and at the instance of the Judge Advocate, the Court took a recess until 11} o’clock. Upon the re-assembling of the Court; the Judge Advocate introduce ed David B. Loteman. The counsel for the defence object- ed to Loveman’s testifying, on the ground that the Judge Advocate had allowed him to read the records containing the testimony of the witnesses during the recess of the Court, and the objection was sustained. James Hatter was introduced and for the prosecution. Hatter is n one-legged negro, with a less repulsive conntenance than Eddins, but scarcely more intelligent. Direct Examination: – Witness knows Eddins; has known liim two years, knows his general character or-truth and veracity; and would believe him ou outli; Eddins aud wit- ness lave been together a great deal; witness has donc a good ileal of shoc work for Eddins; witness livés in Tuskaloosa; las lived there six years; is a shoe inaker; knows what all oatli is. The Judge Advocate annottriced that he lind 110 other witnesses to ext amine; and at the instance of the counsel, and with the approval of the Judge Advocate, the Court adjourned to 101 o’clock this morning, when brief written will be read, and the case submitted to the Court. The counsel for the defence urged that there was no proof that Mr. Randolph had ever before seen or heard of Eddins, or of malice, or of an attack with intent to kill; that the pistol was fired solely for the purpose of dispersing a riotous assembly, into the wall above the-heads of the crowd, and without any intention of hurting any one; that the shot was not fired, and could not have been fired, at Ed- dins, as there were at the time a number of persons between Randolph and Eddins; that Eddins, who was armed with a formidable bludgeon and a butcher knife, and was then beating Hollingsworth, turner upon Randolph and assailed him with his club, striking him twice; that then the accused, unarmed except with a pocket knife, cut his assailant; that the cutting was done’ in self defence; that had Eddins been killed, it would. have been justifiable homicide; that the indictment alleging malice and intent to kill, the prisoner must be acquitted, even if he had not acted in self defence, because no malice and intent to killed been shown; that the principal witness for the prosecution had contradicted himself under oath; that every material statement in his testimony had been disproved by the other witnesses, and that he had been directly. impeached by a witness’ who had known him for 21 years, and swore that his reputation was that of a notorious liar; that Hamner, the other witness for the prosecution, was evidently embittered against the accused, by whom- he had been denounced in the Monitor; and was contradicted by Eddins and other witnesses in material matters; that the extracts from the Monitor which had been admitted as evidence had not been legally connected with Randolph in any way, no proof laving been made that they were written by him, or that he had over-seen them; that even if Randolph wrote the articles that hall been read to the Court, they had no bearing whatever on the case: being tried, and should not be considered by the Court; that these articles had evidently been introduced for the purpose of unduly prejudicing the judges against the prisoner; and that the Court owed it to themselves and the country to divest themselves of all political prejudices, to try the ease upon its merits, and to ‘render impartial justice between the government and the accused, and, demanding this, they asked nothing more. These, and other points that have escaped our attention, were pressed upon the court; the testimony was analyzed in its bearing upon them; and the laws of assault and battery, assault with intent to murder, self- defence, malice, etc., were quoted and expounded, all at length by the defendant’s counsel. The Judge Advocate’s reply was brief, and owing to the rapidity with which he read, it was impossible for us to distinctly catch much he said. He insisted that the pistol was fired at Eddins; that Eddins only turned on Randolph when thus attacked, that Eddins was but by Randolph; that the firing of the pistol and the cutting were sufficient evidence of inalice and intent to kill; that Eddins’ self-contradictions grew out of his confused recollection of facts occurring under tho circumstances of the difficulty; that Eddins character was sustained by the testimony of the negro Hatter, who had known him l’or two years; and that AU it was necessary for the protection of society that the accused (to whom he alluded as ” condemned felon “) should be found guilty and punished. He cited a number of legal authorities to sustain his assumption of the law. The case closed. We understand the decision of the Court is made mp; but of course until it shall have been acted upon by Gen. Meade it will- not be made public. The charge is, that Ryland Randolph ” unlawfully and with malice aforethought did assault one Balus Eddins, a freedman of color, with intent feloniously and with malice aforethought to murder him the said Balus Eddins.” There is no other charge, no other specification, against the accused. For this lie has. been tried; and of this he has been acquitted, or for this he has been condemned.