The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 4, 1890.
THE GRISWOLD CASE.
The Evidence in Full—Crowds in Attendance.
The opening of the case in behalf of the people occupied about one hour, the District Attorney stating the facts which would be introduced through competent witnesses, after which the first witness was called at 5 o'clock.
Mary D. O'Shea, the wife of the murdered man, testified that she was married to Dennis O'Shea in Ireland, during the year 1861, and is the mother of eight children; has lived on the farm in the town of Preble where the shooting occurred for ten years past; that on the morning of the 24th of last September her husband arose and went out to drive up the cows. Shortly afterward, and while she was at work in the kitchen, she heard some one shouting; going to the door she saw the defendant standing by the line fence with a gun; heard her husband ask Griswold what he was doing with the gun; Griswold replied that he was woodchuck hunting; O'Shea inquired whose fence the cows got over, receiving the reply that it was not his (Griswold's), then O'Shea said that they would go and see. He got over the fence and followed Griswold who had turned, and was about forty feet in advance of him, both men walking quite rapidly. Witness testified that she went directly upstairs and watched their movements from a window. They had gone but a short distance when Griswold turned and pointed the gun at O'Shea; her husband took two or three steps forward before he saw the danger, when he began dodging to confuse the aim. In a brief time she heard the gun discharged and saw her husband fall; ran at once to his assistance; found him lying partially on his right side. He was propped up in the vain hope to relieve his pain until a doctor came, when the injured man was removed to the house, death ensuing at about 3 o'clock P. M. of the same day.
Hon. O. U. Kellogg, one of the counsel for defense, cross-examined the witness. She could give but little testimony given by her at the inquest—did not remember. A photograph of her residence was shown to Mrs. O'Shea and she failed to clearly recognize the premises.
On re-direct questioning Mrs. O'Shea stated that she first learned of trouble between her husband and Griswold about a year ago, over O'Shea's cows getting into Griswold's lot; that when she saw the prisoner with a gun in his hand she went upstairs to watch as she was suspicious of trouble.
THIRD DAY'S PROCEEDINGS.
Before the examination of any witness this morning there was some discussion between counsel over the introduction of the dying declarations of deceased which was agreeably settled, and Mary D. O'Shea was recalled. Witness testified that when she reached the side of her husband heard him speak of his wounds; said he was full of holes in his side; his first words being "I'm shot; he shot me." I told him that he might recover. He was laying on his right side and wanted to be turned over and have me send for some one to take him to the house, which was done after Dr. Hunt arrived; and he wanted a priest but I thought there was no danger. I asked if he had anything to say to us (his family) to which he replied, only his blessing.
Upon cross-examination by defendant's counsel witness stated that when she was before the coroner's jury, she stated the answers to the best of her ability, but did not remember any of the above as being given at that time.
Dr. William Y. Bliss testified: have practiced for 11 years; present residence is at Tully; visited the deceased at about 10 A. M., on the 24th day of September last; found him in a dying condition at a point about 26 rods southwest of his house; he was laying partially on his back, pulse near gone and extremities cold. I gave him some medicine to relieve pain and he was carried to the house on a couch. The wound was on left side; about three inches in diameter and nearly 3 1/2 inches below the apex of heart near the median line; this wound caused death at about half past three o'clock. Justice Haynes was present and took the ante-mortem statement—I asking questions and Mr. Haynes writing the answers; this occurred about 11 o'clock A M. (A paper here shown witness who swore he thought it correct). Mr. O'Shea made his mark, having his fingers upon the pen while Mr. Haynes directed the same, signing deceased's name; deceased's mind was clear so that he could answer, tell about happenings and understood; he placed his hands upon the heads of two of his boys saying, "I give you my blessing."
Cross-examined: Mr. Haynes was there when I arrived; he went away before 1 did. Witness suggested the taking of the statement, and nothing was said in my presence after it was taken.
On re-direct examination counsel J. E. Eggleston read the ante-mortem statement which is as follows: Dennis O'Shea being duly sworn, deposes and says: "I am 53 years of age and know Griswold, his first name I do not know. Griswold came to my house at half past eight o'clock this morning, September 24th, and said my cows were in his (Griswold's) field and I must get them out. Griswold had a shot gun. I asked where the cows were. Griswold started down the road; I followed about 25 feet behind him. When thirty rods from the house Griswold turned, pointed the gun at me and shot me; then Griswold ran away. I came back two or three yards and lay down. As soon as the charge struck me I hallowed to my folks that I was shot."
Cyrus Beardsley, of Rochester, next occupied the box testifying that he was 54 years of age and for 30 years has been a civil engineer and surveyor; made observations and obtained distances on surface of ground on October 15th last, for the purpose of drawing map of the premises connected with the scene of shooting. The door mentioned in the case being located in south end of the house, also the upper window. The line fence between O'Shea and Griswold running 108 feet south of house of the deceased and in a north and south direction. The distance on line of vision from B to A being 24 rods; from A to D 27 feet; from C to door 170 feet and C to A 225 1/2 ft. Between the window (where Mrs. O'Shea observed the movements of the men) and point A ten trees, varying from 2 to 16 inches in diameter, were situated nine to eastward of line of vision at distances varying from 3 1/2 to 9 feet, the east one being 3 1-16 feet, so that the view from window was unobstructed; the lowest limb overhanging being 6 feet 2 inches from the ground; only one tree between C and A; could stand on fence and see parties at points A and D; knew from personal observation. The bottom of window is 48 1-10 feet above the level of point A.
EXPLANATION OF DIAGRAM.
A—Spot where O'Shea is said to have fallen.
B—Location of house, from upper window of which Mrs. O'Shea witnessed the tragedy.
C—Point from which Daniel looked, standing on fence.
D—Position of Griswold while discharging the gun.
Dotted line shows line fence.
The path or wood road run in a winding direction to the northeast of line direct from B to D, but touching at A and D.
On cross-examination witness stated that measurements were from line of vision to nearest surface of the trees; that map shown was a correct copy of tracings made upon the scene; distance from southwest corner of house to northeast corner of the barn was 79 1/2 feet, from C to A 225 1/2 feet; in a due line northward the body was a fraction over 13 rods from line fence; that the course taken by the two men was over undulating ground of slight decline, partially covered by bushes and brush, yet not enough to obstruct clear view from B of objects at A and D.
H. W. Beardsley, an architect of this village, substantiated the testimony of previous witness—his father. Gave the foundation measure of house as 129 x 15-7. There was no plaster on walls of the chamber, which was full size of house.
Clayton H. Overton, photographer, resident of this village, swore: Have 14 years experience in making views of landscapes and places; made two views of premises on morning of September 29th, at 8:15 and 8:45 o'clock; the morning was still and pleasant; used the Ross' lens, one of the wide angle class. Gave testimony relative to experiments from B to A and D with view of recognizing people, which proved successful.
Dr. Bliss recalled and gave result of the autopsy made by Dr. Hunt and himself on the day after the shooting. He said: The wound was 2 1/2 inches from median line, 2 1/2 from apex of heart; there were 29 shot holes. The cartilage of the ninth rib being cut through two inches from the sternum; shot entered chest, part above and a portion going below the diaphragm; 14 shot went through the spleen and one was lodged in wall of stomach; one went through left kidney; six were lodged beneath the skin on back of deceased. The heart was empty and the chest cavity filled with blood. The vital organs were in a healthy condition; death resulting from internal hemorrhage and the shot; discovered no evidence of burning on the skin. Went down the wood road about 1 P. M., September 25th, but discovered no signs of any weapons, neither stone or club, neither was surface of the ground broken around place of shooting. Clothing of deceased identified by the doctor.
Defendant's counsel on cross examination, elicited that the direction of the charge was downward from the point of entry about two inches; would not be positive, but was of opinion there was a dark spot on exterior of coat at time of autopsy; could discover none today, however. About five paces from where body was first seen by him, found a quantity of wadding—gun wadding. On redirect stated that seven shot were removed from body—three offered in evidence and marked.
Daniel O'Shea was next called and said: I am 20 years old, a son of the deceased; on September 24th, 1889, was at fathers house; came there on the 22d; was at work for A. H. Van Hoesen, but not being very well was home for a few days, slept up stairs , near 7 or 8 o'clock A. M. , of 24th heard a voice; I was at top of stairs, heard Mr. Griswold say "cows in my lot." Other conversation like former witness, excepting that he ran around to west of barn and watched the movements of the two men from a point on line fence (designated in diagram at C). After I saw gun discharged I started on a run after Griswold; did not stop at father's side; ran through a piece of woods to cleared land; about 300 feet beyond father. Witness testified that the clothing exhibited was the same worn by his father on that day, excepting the blood was dry now. The points on map declared to represent correct position of parties to the shooting.
Cross-examined; Had a clear view of the shooting. Described it the same as did his mother. About 1:30 went before Justice Daley of Preble, and swore out a warrant for Mr. Griswold's arrest. Did not remember there had been any hostility—no threats made. Never said to Mr. Van Hoesen that he would thrash Mr. Griswold.
Warren N. Haynes, at the time of the shooting was a Justice of the Peace in the town of Preble, and being called swore to taking the ante-mortem statement of the dying man, and identified the paper. On being cross-examined, said he thought the word "rods" was changed to "yards" at the request of Mr. O'Shea.
The court asked witness about the two "statements" of the shooting he had mentioned in his testimony. Ans.— One was oral at the time of his arrival and the other was the written.
Jay L. Griswold next took the stand. The audience was alive to the situation and filled with expectancy, it having gained publicity that this witness would swear against his father; nor were any disappointed but rather astonished. He stated that he was 29 years of age and a married man; a son of the defendant; that on the 1st of April, 1888, he rented the Mrs. Caleb Carpenter farm, joining O'Shea, for the period of one year, and his father came to live with him in part of the house. He knew of there being a difficulty existing between his father and O'Shea; it began in April of 1888 over O'Shea's sheep getting into my pasture through a brush fence; this occurred several times. On one occasion father rushed the sheep through the opening in a hurry and some wool was pulled from the body of the sheep as they passed through, on this occasion O'Shea, who was on the other side of the fence, told father that he would pull him through the fence if he got his hands on him. On another occasion 1 saw father running with a gun, I hailed him, but received no reply, he running still faster toward O'Shea's. I saw O'Shea get over the fence and go into his house, when father came back. Witness made mention of other gun expeditions. June 7th, the cows of deceased were in my lot and father wanted the entire family out, as witnesses of his acts when O'Shea came for his cows and there would be no witness for O'Shea; had a gun this time. Father frequently remarked that "if he could get that man out of the way, he will not bother us any more." At the season for planting potatoes that year had heard defendant make threats repeatedly "that he would kill that man," "get him out of the way," "kill him, and the neighbors would clear me as they disliked O'Shea." Stated that his father had frequent practice with a revolver; that on one occasion he hit a pan after several efforts, remarking that "if that had been O'Shea, a hit would be better than a miss." On occasions when Mr. O'Shea passed by the home of the Griswold's, defendant would say: "I hate that man," or "that man never looks at me."
At the opening of the morning session counsel for the people re-called Jay Griswold and put some questions relative to location of roadway and windings in same.
Cross-examination: Have not spoken to my father since the night of September 24th; have not been to see him since he has been in jail; have not been asked to come; we have met since the opening of this court but have not spoken to one another. Witness narrated that counsel Pierce, for defendant, had requested him to make a statement of facts, but that he had refused to do so until on the stand; had made no voluntary statement to the District Attorney prior to February 6th of the present year; had not said he hoped he would hang his father, or would do all possible to help; but had said he would tell the truth and not any other way; had no fear of Mr. O'Shea; nor did he have any hard feelings toward any of them.
A. H. Van Hoesen, a resident of Preble, related having had talks with defendant in 1889, on his (witness') farm about trouble with O'Shea. Defendant saying he did not like O'Shea; that he would put a pitch fork through him, and "I'll fix him yet." Witness replying that in dealings with Mr. O'Shea he had never had any trouble. The attempt to make the witness swear he believed defendant to be joking failed. Had known of Griswold for 30 years and always thought him excited.
David Fox of Preble, John O'Neil of Syracuse, and William Ackles of Homer, swore to having heard defendant utter threats against deceased.
Deputy Sheriff Ryan Green, of Preble, stated what he knew of the case at time of shooting and preliminary examination last fall. Could tell nothing of recent workings as he had been confined to the house with broken leg.
Sheriff Harlow G. Borthwick narrated the events that were connected with the date of Griswold's surrender to Justice on the afternoon of September 24, at 2 o'clock, substantially as stated in the DEMOCRAT of the Friday following.
Franklin Jones and Alfred Tuckerman, residing in Preble, next testified regarding the survey of premises and location of positions by counsel, prisoner and others soon after the tragedy.
John W. Strowbridge, deputy sheriff on examination, said: That on the morning of the 26th or 27th of September last, when entering the jail for the purpose of taking out a prisoner for a hearing before a Justice, he met the defendant, who saluted him with "good morning!" In a casual manner I inquired how he come to shoot O'Shea; he replied in self defense; also stated that O'Shea did not assault him with gun or other weapon, but O'Shea had bulldozed him and he shot him in defense of family and self. Next a few witnesses were recalled on some unprotected point and at 3 P. M., the
Counsel O. U. Kellogg moved to discharge of the prisoner on these grounds:
First—Evidence fails to establish the crime charged in the indictment.
Second—Under the whole evidence plaintiff fails to establish the crime.
Third—It does not appear in evidence that at the time of shooting this defendant intended to kill the deceased.
Fourth—It does not appear in evidence that at the time of shooting, defendant was of sound mind and memory and responsible so far as to understand his actions, implied or otherwise, and was not therefore accountable for the act.
The Court denied the motion and defendant excepted.
OPENING THE DEFENSE.
It is doubtful whether counsel ever rose at Bar to open his side of the case under more embarrassing circumstances than did O. U. Kellogg of the defense in this case. Scarcely had he made utterance when the prisoner, Robert W. Griswold, sprang to his feet and in a most composed and dignified manner addressed the Court substantially as follows: "Your Honor, I understand these men intend to defend my case on insanity grounds to which I am opposed. I am as sane as any one in this room; it was done in self defense. I desire Your Honor to rule out such insanity evidence."
The stillness of the death chamber pervaded the crowded audience room and counsel for an instant was puzzled, and the Court directed the jury to overlook the event. Mr. Kellogg began by calling attention to the uphill work of the prisoner's attorneys. Stating that it was not the financial reward to come from the prisoner's estate but of the sacred principle of the profession, the justice due to every human being, which directed their efforts. He then gave a brief outline of the tendency of insanity in prisoner's family—his father dying in a Michigan insane asylum at the age of nearly 60, a sister aged 30 also died in a Western asylum. He called attention to the recent remarkable testimony of the son against his father. So successfully did the counselor handle this subject that the prisoner shed copious tears and the eyes of many in the audience were dimmed. Nearly an hour and a half was consumed in the masterly presentation and the closest attention was given by the spectators and jury.
Herman D. Hunt, for 12 years past a practicing physician now of Preble, testified to seeing the deceased on the 24th of September '89 and described the transactions about the same as did previous medical witnesses but did not quite corroborate the authenticity of Erricson on gunshot wounds as read by the District Attorney; had walked down the roadway and discovered a rough flat-stone, peculiar to highlands, about 7 feet from head of O'Shea, but did not take exact dimensions; turned the stone carefully up on edge to ascertain if it had lain in present position for some time, and found an indentation in surface of earth, he then carefully replaced and left the stone. He arrived at the scene about 12:20 P. M.; made two tours near the point of shooting. On cross-examination said he did not like the term "downward" as used by Dr. Bliss in describing course of shot through body of deceased, otherwise endorsed his statement. Did not see the stone on his second trip down the wood road. Made a hand measurement of space covered by the shots—a two-inch ring would cover all but one. Dan, son of deceased called him about 9 A. M., and did not go until Dr. Bliss sent word about 11 o'clock that he must have his assistance.
Dr. George D. Bradford: Am Coroner residing at Homer, this medical description similar to preceding. Mrs. O'Shea pointed out the position of the several witnesses to affray. Did not make autopsy but held the inquest, minutes of which were shown and identified. On October 1st was one of a party present for the purpose of making measurements and obtaining photographic views of tragical territory. Did not ask Mrs. O'Shea or son Dan to locate spots A or D for Mr. Pierce, but asked permission to take a view from chamber window but was refused. The day was somewhat dark.
Julius S. Pomeroy, who was of the party visiting the premises on October 1st with camera said: Mr. Overton used his camera on the occasion of said Overton's taking views; that the son Dan refused him the privilege of placing his apparatus in chamber window to obtain a view of shooting; made several other views, one being from a point of 75 or 100 feet east of buildings looking towards woods through space between house and barn. Several views marked and shown to the jury. Witness stated that it was impossible to show unevenness of the ground's surface as the natural tendency of field photos is to deceive; did not take a view from top of fence.
George W. Hakes: The pictures were taken about 1 P. M., October 1st and the day was rather dark. I made measurements for the party with Robt. Griswold, Jr., drawing surveyor's chains. Found distance from A to B was 6 chains 77 links, or 27 rods; A to C, 3 chains 69 links, nearly 15 rods; house to barn 5 rods 3 links; west end of barn to fence 98 links, trifle under 4 rods; distance of house from point of contact of path to wood road and line fence 1 chain 63 links. In going down wood road could not see only a portion of east corner of the west end of house-window, obscure after passing down four rods of said road. On being cross-examined said that Dr. Bradford designated spots A, B, & C and that he took measurements while balance of party made views.
SKETCH OF PRISONER'S LIFE.
Robert W. Griswold, the prisoner was next placed upon the stand and stated that he was troubled with deafness in right ear. On the 5th day of September, 1824, he was born on the place adjoining that now owned by N. Starr, 3 1/2 miles east of Homer. His father's name was David Griswold. At the age of seven years he went to Detroit, Mich., where his father died, he then making his home with his grandfather until 12 years old, his mother not keeping house, when he was bound out to John Burnham, Jr., but after four years left and began working around until in the year 1845 he went to Norfolk, Conn., securing a job in the carding department of a cloth factory, remaining there about six months when he enters a clock manufactory at South Canaan, Conn., handling phrenological works during the dull winter season. During his stay of one and one-half years in the latter place he made a visit to Homer and returning strikes a deal that locates him in the vicinity of Oneida lake following the trade of carpenter and for pastime studying medicine. Returning again to Canaan for 4 months he next goes to work for N. Pomeroy & Son, makers of fine clocks at Bristol, Conn., but owing to a misunderstanding at the end of about two years service, he left the establishment turning his attention to speculation—trading a parcel of 1 3/4 acres of land for clocks, in turn selling some and trading others for wagons of a special build, afterwards trading the wagons for a land warrant in this section.
In a short time Mr. Griswold shows up in Waverly for a period of eighteen months or two years, buying a block of land 40 feet wide between Erie railroad and State line in anticipation of holding the commanding site for a depot—Waverly at that time being a town of about 500 inhabitants—and proprietor of a building 100 feet long, four stories high in front and two in rear, in which was conducted a bowling alley on lower floor and a bathing establishment on top floors. Witness stated that the railroad scheme fell through and business generally depressed his finances to the amount of $1000 to $1500. Afterward took stock in a lottery enterprise which, failing to materialize into a bonanza, he tries the adventures of a brakeman on the Erie road, becomes acquainted with an operator and pries into the mysteries of electricity for a short time. Visiting Addison, Avon and Fowlersville he follows repairing of clocks and studies photography. At or near Port Huron, Mich., he kept a store for a time. Mt. Morris is the next place he makes his appearance (a lithograph view of prisoner here introduced) handling G. Y. O. (Griswold's Yankee Oil) for causing a luxuriant growth of hair, wearing dark wavy tresses falling well down over the shoulders, with the top hair dressed a-la-puff-de-roll, clean shaven face which is remarkably pleasant and frank—as per authority of said picture. From here to New Market and Stowville, Canada, dealing in tombstones, repairing clocks and lecturing on phrenology, electricity and mesmerism. Some of his handbills were read and offered in evidence, when the question was asked by counsel—What else? Witness—I think it was enough.
Lockport was visited in July '58 and Homer reached in the year '69 where he was in the jewelry business in the old Wheadon building on Main street. About this time he excavated a cellar near the freight depot in Homer covering the hole with rough boards and living as he advertised "in the cottage in the ground;" later erecting a house. The present office of the gas company on Court street, this village, was occupied by Mr. Griswold in February of 1871, as jewelry store and he also controlled the bill boards, figured as a successful 5-mile in 51 minutes walker against a New Jersey party, in Taylor Hall; remembered bills were printed for a match at Virgil but thought it failed. He then resides for two or three years in McLean and Dryden, becoming more famous as the grower of a variety of potatoes known as the "Griswold Seedlings;" makes great preparation for the G. Y. O. business but no sales; always worked on farms when no work to be had at trade.
After moving to Preble in March '88 had first trouble with O'Shea over sheep getting on to our land—Jay rented the place; drove all off but 3 or 4 before I saw O'Shea behind the fence; before I said a word he chased me yelling that if he got hold of me he'd kill me; he looked like a bear; think my light shoes saved me as I could run faster than he did, and reached the house. Had a conversation with Carpenter, the former owner of the farm and he said O'Shea was a bad man; had heard talk and opinions expressed about Dennis O'Shea that "he was a rough, bad man;" "a tough case." In May, 1888, was the last time the cows gave any trouble and had words prior to the 24th of September last. We had had no words and there was not a particle of feeling existing on my part toward O'Shea. Got up at 6:30 on morning of September 24 and looking over the fields—could see most of the farm from our chambers—saw O'Shea's cows in the lot lying under trees; after breakfast (some conversation over the cows taking place) got up from table saying some one ought to go and tell O'Shea to get cows out; Robert says I'll go up, and you go to the village; I said I would go; started, but noticing woodchuck holes up in lot came back and got the gun. I fired the gun off last on September 16; recollect because I had been flagging cellar bottom; I loaded the gun on way up that morning, intending to shoot a woodchuck if I saw one going or coming back; got to woods and stood near wood pile in our lot back of O'Shea's barn, waiting for some one to come out; looking over the fence saw O'Shea creeping along as stealthy as a panther. He said: "What you got that gun for; told him I was hunting woodchucks; he went up to the house and put his head and shoulders into the door; heard him say: hand me—; heard no more; he said he could use a gun; I started for home; heard O'Shea come over fence on a run, shouting "don't think I'm afraid of you." "Why couldn't you have told me where the cows were?" "I'll blow your guts out," etc.; I turned and saw him reaching for a stone; the gun was not against my shoulder, but in my hand. (Witness here exhibited the rubber boots he wore on the morning of affray, the heels being filled with large-head nails, and explained them as the hinderance to his speed on this occasion.)
Continuing he said: and I on a run at the time; I turned and saw him about 6 or 7 feet behind me; he was on little higher ground than I stood; two or two and a half feet from end of gun. (Gun identified by witness who said always called it 4 or 4 1/2 feet long, (actual measure, barrel and stock, five feet.) If I had on my shoes should have got away; was afraid of bodily harm, he looked so ugly and frightful, had been afraid of him all through the race; the gun hurt my hand and I saw him fall; it was done as quick as a flash of lightning; I took no aim; no one else in sight from the time I called; could not have been a minute in running down to place; I was walking on the start; saw our cows going to northward from our buildings, knew they were our cows. When I got to the house took off my boots and put on my shoes; told my wife to have Robert hitch up and follow me; did not tell her where I was going or tell anyone of the shooting. My intention was to follow the road and that Robert would overtake and carry me but I became afraid of some one detaining or arresting me so I struck out over the hill coming into Cortland over lands of Mr. Crandall and direct to sheriff Borthwick. The prisoner said he never told Mr. Strowbridge what he related in regard to assault and self defense, simply said good morning; others have tried to sound me in the jail but was instructed by Squire Matt. Van Hoesen at examination to keep my mouth closed and have done so excepting to counsel. Did not tell Jay to take a gun and I one and we would kill O'Shea, no, sir; no, sir; (very emphatic.) He also denied Jay L. Griswold's evidence as to all coming to see the show, or that the neighbors would clear him, etc.; or making the remarks as O'Shea passed his house.
I did not tell Jay to take a gun and I would take one and drive O'Shea out, or that if we killed him the neighbors would be glad, etc. Had gun on one occasion to shoot a hawk, in short he said he was in habit of carrying gun in woodchuck season, if he had one, every time he went into the fields always carrying in his hand; otherwise should not have taken it on fatal day. I heard no remark "put down that gun before it went off," nothing afterward; have no recollection of telling any one of the shooting.
At this point, by permission several witnesses from Cayuga Co. who had been neighbors to the O'Shea family while they resided in the town of Sempronius, from '74 to '77, testified to the general reputation of the deceased as a bad, quarrelsome and fighting man. On one occasion C. M. Clark was driving a colt and meet O'Shea coming with a small load of wood—about 1/8 cord—and O'Shea demanded the entire road; I could not turn any further than I did on account of snowdrift on my side of track; gave part, however. O'Shea drew a revolver in an instant. Another witness had trouble while opening the highway in winter of '75 or '76, slight words passed when O'Shea struck him with a shovel.
Mr. Griswold having stated at the opening of the afternoon session that he wished to make a statement relative to his testimony in the forenoon about saying anything to his wife upon reaching home after the shooting, it being his impression that he remarked, "I have shot O'Shea."
Cross-examination was a review of his life and business ventures, in conformity with what has been recited above. To a question by the District Attorney whether the exact time of walking, 5 miles in '71 contest was not 53 minutes, replied that it was exactly 51 as reported by timers at the close.
The cross-examination of Griswold was resumed, briefly stated it is as follows: Moved on the Carpenter farm in March of '88, Jay, my son, having rented the same; there never would have been this or any other trouble had O'Shea kept his cows out of our lot. I furnished provisions for myself and wife, but ate at the family table of my son. Trouble began in May. The fence that was rebuilt that spring would stop cattle but not sheep. At the time of the gun transaction it was Jay who proposed the taking of them; I said no, sir; they were not taken or mentioned as has been sworn to by Jay. Do not think O'Shea was in view when we took clubs and drove out the cows. Witness here pointed out on map the position of cows when they were in defendant's lot.
It may be well to here state that O'Shea's buildings were situated to the northwest of Griswold's about 1/4 of a mile up the hill, and some distance back from the highway.
Knowing O'Shea's reputation to be that of an ugly man, Griswold said he did not have any association with him only when the cows got in, which was on eight or ten different occasions prior to the 24th of September; I never have made any threats to kill O'Shea. When questioned concerning the conversation with Mr. Van Hoesen in the matter of running a pitchfork through O'Shea, said he never said so, "that's silly enough." Could not recollect that he had talked with one Fred Barrett in the presence of Cas. Smith or Leroy Smith about this pitchfork; would not contradict Sheriff Borthwick's testimony, as he had been too kind to him during his term of imprisonment; had always practiced with a revolver; might have shot at the pan Jay referred to, but did not make the remark as claimed; got his firearms in trade and again traded off if he saw a good deal. Thought roadways shown on people's map was not quite accurate on the windings of the wood road—more sharp curvatures; illustrated the position of O'Shea when shot; stooping, hand about 12 inches from the ground; that he was about 24 or 30 inches from muzzle of gun. From the threats of O'Shea while chasing him it was witness' impression that he had a revolver; he was in terror of his life. Am writing in book form; it may sell and help my family in future.
A. M. Schermerhorn testified to having been in company with George Hakes about one month since and made seven targets with the gun produced in this case, having had considerable experience with firearms.
The first target produced was at a distance of 2 feet from muzzle of gun, 2 drams of powder and 1 oz. of shut being the size of charge. The hole closely resembled the one in vest of deceased as shown in evidence, being 2 1/4 inches in diameter. The second target was made at 2 feet distance, 3 3/4 oz. shot and same amount of powder used, making a 3 inch hole. The third, same amount of powder and 1 1/4 oz. of shot, hole 2 1/2 inches; fourth at 20 feet, 1 1/4 oz. shot, same powder, shot holes in target scattered over great surface and some even went outside of target, the other three were made at 10 and 15 feet, with scattered shot holes. The amount of ammunition used had been turned out in hand by prisoner in jail and measured by party testing as about the amount used as a basis for operation.
Witnesses were then sworn on the question of reputation of prisoner, nothing detrimental being adduced.
Isaac N. Chollar, of Homer, was produced on the question of sanity of the prisoner, and as establishing him an expert to judge of actions or insane persons said he had been in insane asylums as follows: April 22, '54, at Brattleboro, Vt., 13 weeks; July, '61, 3 weeks at Blackwell's Island; 27 weeks at Utica, July 31, 1861; ten days in Cortland county asylum in March, 1862, eight weeks in Canandaigua, February 5,1871, and again for 13 weeks Feb. 5, 1877; ext. in Cortland six or eight weeks; Middletown for 13 weeks, May 30, 1883, and on two other occasions. Knew Griswold 49 years ago in the town of Solon; was his teacher; he was a good mathematician but only fair in other studies. Never saw any peculiarities in his actions.
Wednesday was denoted to the evidence of witnesses as to queer, insane inclination of the action of prisoner during late years.