RobbHaas Family Pages
Amasa J. Foulke
Newspaper Accounts - 2nd Murder Trial
9 - 14 Feb 1875
Amasa J. Foulke
Murder Trials Page
Murder Trial Participants
12 Feb 1875, page 1
19 Feb 1875, page 1 (Newspapers.com Link)
19 Feb 1875, Page 1, Col. 1 - Commentary
19 Feb 1875, page 3 (Newspapers.com Link)
15 Feb 1875
A Celebrated Case (From Local History Book)
|Noblesville Ledger - 12 Feb 1875, page 1 S1, Doc2087.pdf|
Second Trial of Amasa J. Foulke for the Murder of his Wife
Two Days’ Proceedings
Testimony of Witnesses for State
Only one New Witness thus far examined
The Jury and other Matters of Interest
Judge Craven having been absent on Monday, Court for the trial of the cause of the State of Indiana Vs. Amasa J. Foulke, indicted for the murder of his wife on the 16th day of November, 1873, did not convene until Tuesday morning, when at 8:30 promptly, Judge Hervey Craven appeared in his place on the bench and by the proper officer the Hamilton Circuit Court was declared to be in session for the transaction of business. The attendance of curious spectators was small, and the interest manifested at the previous trial materially decreased. There was but little apparent curiosity on the part of those present when the prisoner, looking in fine health and spirits and neatly dressed, appeared, in company with Major Jonathan W. Gordon, of Indianapolis who had since the other trial been retained for the defense.
Getting A Jury
In addition to the regular panel of jurymen, a large venire had been issued from
which to select in case the regular panel, or any portion of it, proved
incompetent. The regular panel of jurors took their places in the box, when His
Honor Judge Craven, called “The State Vs. Amasa J. Foulke.” Thereupon the jury
was duly “sworn in,” when the indictment of the Grand Jurors was distinctly read
by Thomas J. Kane, charging that Amasa J. Foulke, on the 16th day of November,
A. D. 1873, at the County of Hamilton, did then and there, unlawfully,
feloniously, purposely, and with premeditated malice, shoot and mortally wound Lucette Foulke with a certain pistol, then and there loaded with gunpowder and
leaden ball, which he, the said Amasa J. Foulke, then and there held in both his
hands, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided and
against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana. Thereupon the several
jurors were promptly challenged, and for proper reasons excused from service.
Then the new venire were called, and the forenoon was exhausted in filling the
The gentlemen composing the jury are not remarkable for their attainments, nor
distinguished in appearance. Indeed, one would not regard them as well
calculated to master the intricate questions involved in this most important
case. As compared with the jury which sat in the former trial, they are as a
body greatly inferior. The following list comprises their respective names:
lived at our house since September 15; came from Tipton; had lived in Tipton about 1-1/2 years; was in the baker business at Tipton; kept grocery for some time in Tipton, and at times worked as carpenter trade; have lived in house where murder occurred before going to Tipton; I saw her first about quarter past three o’clock on the morning of the murder; think my time was right; Amasa came to my house and called me; I was asleep; he told me what had taken place; had no coat on but a shawl; was not very warm; he said: “I am shot; there had been robbers at the house and shot me through the arm; Lucette is shot and may be killed;” he said the report of a pistol woke him; he saw two men, one a short, chunky man and the other a tall man; when he jumped out of bed they ran into the kitchen; the tall man shot him in the arm; when he was shot the men ran out of house; and saw no more of them; he said they generally fastened the door but did not recollect of fastening the door that night; undressed in kitchen, where he went to bed evening before; think he said he called his wife’s name, but couldn’t say positively; he told me to go to this house; expected Lucette was dead, and wanted me to go and see after children; he said he wanted some one to go to Deming with him; he wanted to get his arm dressed and get doctor to go to house; wanted me to get some one to go with me and see if his wife was dead; told him was afraid he couldn’t stand it to ride to town; said he thought he could stand it; looked at his arm and found hole in sleeve and blood on the sleeve; went to barn and got horse for him to ride to Deming; I asked him why he didn’t go into the room his wife before he came over; he said he was afraid he would be so affected if he found her badly hurt that he could not go from the house; I was scared myself, and don’t remember distinct; as I went over to Merris’ I saw the moon, and know there was moonlight; was about fifteen minutes going over to Amasa’s; Temple Merris went with me to Amasa’s house. When I came to the door I shook it, and called; L. spoke distinctly, said door was fastened and she was shot and could not get up to open it; "go round to the kitchen door;" we went round to south door and went into the house; found the door locked. (Here followed a long description of positions of furniture, lamp, stoves, etc] I went to the bed and asked her if she was hurt; she said she was shot in the side; found her lying in middle of bed, with cover down to her waist; one child on each side, one child was awake, and said she was not hurt; I found on drawing the clothes down that the ball had penetrated her left breast near the middle; said she did not know who shot her; said she was asleep when shot; said she did not see any one in the house; complained of cold and soreness, and said her head was too low; I raised her up and put quilt and pillow under her; she called for something warm, and said her stomach pained her. [Another long description of furniture]. Went to kitchen and got stuff to make fire; put coal oil on it; asked her if she knew where the matches were; she told me where they were; I put water on the stove; I asked some questions during the time I was doing this, but she didn’t answer; requested me every three or four minutes to rub her limbs; was suffering; Dr. Pettijohn came over soon; some persons came with him; I had no further conversation with her after that; (after he told me all about being shot, I told him the robbers didn’t get much money; he said, “no; if they got my pocket book, they didn’t get more than $2;”
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they said Lucette was shot through the breast; we went over to the house and
went in at the east door; Amasa was the last to enter, and went on into the
kitchen; Lucette raised up on her elbow an said “he killed me.”
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(Dr. E. C. Loehr was called but rejected; in consequence of having been
in the room during trial contrary to instruction of Judge Craven; - Rep.)
|Noblesville Ledger - 19 Feb 1875, page 1 , beginning at Col. 3 S2, Doc2085.pdf|
THE FOULKE TRIAL
The readers of the Ledger will find on the inside [page 3] of this paper the conclusion of the testimony in this case. Last week [12 Feb 1875] we gave the proceedings up to Thursday morning; our report this week begins with Thursday morning and continues up to the rendering of the verdict on Sunday morning. It will be found of great interest. The following is the charge of Judge Craven to the Jury, which he concluded reading at 11:30 Saturday night. It is in many respects similar to his charge at the last trial:
Gentlemen of the Jury:
The defendant has been indicted and is now on trial before you on a charge that he, Amasa J. Foulke, on the 16th day of November, AD 1873, at the county of Hamilton, in the State of Indiana, did, then and there, unlawfully feloniously and purposely and with premeditated malice kill and murder Lucette Foulke, by then and there unlawful, feloniously, purposely, and with premeditated malice shooting and mortally wounding the said Lucette Foulke, with a certain pistol, then and there loaded with gun-power and leaden ball, which the said Amasa J Foulke then and there had and held in both his hands, contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided , and against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana.
The statute provides that if any person of sound mind shall purposely and with premeditated malice, or in the perpetration or attempt to perpetrate any rape, arson, robbery, or burglary, or by administering poison, or causing the same to be done, kill any human being, such person shall be deemed guilty of murder in the first degree and upon conviction thereof shall suffer death.
The statute further provides that any person convicted of treason or murder in the first degree may, instead of being sentenced to death, in the discretion of the jury, be imprisoned in the state prison during life.
The indictment is for murder in the first degree, but under the charge in the indictment the defendant may be found not guilty of murder in the first degree, and guilty of murder in the second degree, and if you believe from the evidence, that the defendant is not guilty of premeditated murder, but that the defendant did purposely and maliciously, but without premeditation, kill and murder the said Lucetta [sic] Foulke on or about the time alleged in the indictment, in the county and state aforesaid. And the statute provides that “if any person shall purposely, maliciously, but without premeditation, kill any human being, every such person shall be deemed guilty of murder in the second degree, and on conviction thereof shall be imprisoned in the state prison for life.”
The statute further provides that “if any person shall unlawfully kill any human being without malice express or implied, either voluntarily, upon a sudden heat, or involuntarily, but in the commission of some unlawful act, such person shall be deemed guilty of manslaughter, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the State prison not more than twenty one, nor less than two years.”
But with the
various shades and distinctions of homicide as provided in the our statute, I
deem it unnecessary to dwell, but simply to refer to them, as I understand the
counsel for the State to assume, and the counsel for the defense to concede,
that the offense under the circumstance so this case, by whomsoever committed,
is murder in the first degree, and
that, if the defendant is guilty at all, that his crime is that of murder in the first degree.
But to the charge thus made against the defendant he has been arraigned before you, and pleads not guilty.
Under the issue thus joined before you the burden of proof is on the State, and the State is bound to prove to your satisfaction, beyond a reasonable doubt, each and every material allegation of the offense so charged in said indictment.
Your oaths, under the provisions of the statute, require that you will well and truly try the matters in issue between the parties, that is, between the State and defendant, and a true verdict give, according to the law and evidence.
This oath is significant, and ought not to be overlooked by you, nor should it be misunderstood, and you will discern at once that it requires you to regard the law, and to draw your conclusions of fact from the evidence, as introduced and testified to before you.
You will therefore discard all suggestions and deductions from any hypothesis assumed in the case, that does not have a foundation in the actual evidence, as adduced and testified to before you. It is upon that rock of truth, established by the evidence in the cause beyond a reasonable doubt that you start from in every deduction and conclusion that you arrive at in this case.
Testimony may be direct and positive, as when an eye witness has stood by and observed the commission of a crime and in his own proper person appears in Court and testifies to the commission of the crime.
Again, testimony may consist in admissions of the accused of his guilt.
Or, it may
consist of proof of circumstance without any direct testimony of any eye witness
to the deed or any admissions of the accused as to his guilt and in such case
the evidence is purely circumstantial, and in view of the fact that the State is
demanding the conviction of the defendant in this case upon the circumstances
proved, I desire to say that State of Indiana, vs. Amasa J. Foulke in the
Hamilton Circuit C.
The defendant asks the Court
in the above entitled cause, to charge the Jury in Writing, and to charge as
1. Before a conviction upon circumstantial evidence alone can be sustained the circumstances must be of such a character as to exclude every other hypothesis except that of guilt. And each and every circumstance in the chain must be proven by the State beyond a reasonable doubt. And a failure by the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any one circumstance necessary to make the chain of evidence complete entitles the defendant to an acquittal.
2. The fact that the defendant was present and in the room when the deceased received her fatal wound is not controverted but is admitted by the defendant. That it was physically possible for him to shoot and kill her in the manner she was shot and killed is also admitted by the defendant, if the State has proved him at the time possessed of a pistol with which she was shot. Bit it was no crime for him to be present. She was his wife and it was both his right and duty to be there. And the fact that it was physically possible for him to shoot and kill her is by itself no proof even tending to show or prove that he did the act.
3. And in connection with the preceding instruction you should review the whole evidence and determine for yourselves whether the defendant had any motive that would likely induce him to murder her. Had their lives together been unhappy? Had either of them been in habit of abusing the other so as to create a bitterness or ill feeling between them? Was he jealous of her love or doubting her chastity? Was he engaged in illicit loves himself? Was her life insured that he might reap a pecuniary reward from her death? Did she have any estate that he or her surviving husband would inherit at her death? Does the evidence show any one or all of these facts to exist, so as to create a motive in him to take her life? If so you will consider such fact or facts as a circumstance in the chain of evidence against him tending to establish a motive. But if on the contrary the evidence shows that during all their married life they have lived happily together manifesting a fondness and tenderness for each other and a desire for each other’s society , and that neither cruel treatment by either of the other has occurred; that illicit loves have never estranged them from each other; that no jealousy has been proven to exist between them; that pecuniary benefit to him has not been shown to be anticipate by him in her death, you should treat such condition of affairs as a strong circumstance in his favor tending to disprove the existence of any motive on his part for taking her life.
4. Again, you may take into consideration any evidence tending to show a natural viciousness or a tendency on the part of the defendant to acts of cruelty or murder or the absences of any such tendency as developed by the evidence on either side for the purpose of determining whether he would out of a spirit of wanton cruelty or a diabolical wickedness seek the destruction of his wife without any other motive than such natural organization. On this question the defendant has put his own character in issue before you, and thus opened the way for the State to prove all she can on the subject, and if the State has so proven that he has sustained heretofore such a character for acts of cruelty and bloodshed, it is a strong circumstance against him. But if the evidence on this question sustains his good character, it is just as strong a circumstance in his favor.
If you discover any apparent conflict in the evidence on any material
question, it will be your duty to try and reconcile such testimony, so as to
believe it all if you can reasonably do so. But if you cannot reconcile such
conflicting evidence so as to believe it all, then you will believe such
portions of the testimony as you may think the most worthy of credit, and
disbelieve such as you think the least worthy of credit. And if you find such
apparent conflict in the testimony to be upon an immaterial question, then you
will pay no attention whatever to it nor make any effort to reconcile it.
6. The State has made an effort to prove that the defendant has made contradictory statements out of Court as to whether the tall man, the small man, or the short man shot him, while the defendant insists that he always meant to say that his belief was that he was shot by the tall man. Now it is wholly immaterial in this case as a matter of fact, which shot him, or whether either of them shot him, or whether he was shot at all. The testimony on this question is only admitted as an incident connected with the whole case and can establish no link in the consistent chain of circumstances which the State is required to prove to sustain her case against the defendant.
7. Then if you believe from the evidence that the defendant did shortly after the homicide, say in answer to questions on that subject, that the small man, or the short man, or the low heavy set man shot him and that he on this trial testifies and has heretofore said to others, that it was the tall man that shot him, then it will be proper for you to consider this fact in all its bearings and judge for yourselves what it amounts to in the light of human experience. If he encompassed the death of his wife, if as the indictment charges and the prosecution insists, he planned and premeditated her death and deliberately executed his purpose by shooting her, would he in a few hours afterwards by telling to different persons different and contradictory stories as to the events that transpired in connection with the murder thus deliberately premeditated, planned and executed by him? Or would he if thus guilty, have had his story for the public well studied and matured in his mind, and have told it at all times and in all places, and to all persons, precisely the same so as to avoid exciting suspicion against himself by reason of contradictory statements? These are vital questions in this case for you to determine, and you determine them for yourselves, judging from human experience and human transactions.
8. If the defendant was guilty of the crime charges, the law presumes that all his statements on the subject at the time of its occurrence or afterwards were deliberately and willfully made in his own interest for the purpose of covering up and concealing his guilt. But if he was innocent of the crime, and was laboring under the effects of fright; was suffering bodily (Column #3) pain and was distracted by the sudden calamity that had befallen his household, it would not only be contrary to law, but contrary to reason and all human experience to hold him responsible of any statements or acts made or done under such circumstances. And I charge you gentlemen, that the defendant cannot be convicted of the offense charged in this case upon circumstantial evidence until the State has proved to your satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was present at the time of her murder with the necessary weapon of death; and the physical ability to commit the act. But the physical ability, I will say, is sufficiently proved by his presence in ordinary health. But that fact raises no presumption whatsoever, as to the weapon used, and you will bear in mind that the defendant is not required to prove his innocence, but that the State is required to make the necessary proof and if the State has not made such proof, it is your duty to acquit the defendant. And this is true whether the evidence be circumstantial or direct.
9. Again, did he make contradictory statements as to the amount of money he had on hand at the time; or contradictory statements as to his big pocket book, or on any other subject about which he ought to be well informed? If so, you will apply the rule laid down above for the purpose of determining for yourselves why he should make different statements on these subjects to different witnesses about the same time, if he did make such contradictory statements at all. If he deliberately planned and executed this murder, you may well ask yourselves why he did not deliberately plan and tell to every one the same story?
But you will determine for yourselves, whether he made such contradictory
statement all or not; whether he may not have been misunderstood, or did not,
under excitement, fright and grief, fail to fully or clearly express his own
meaning. And this leads me to the consideration of the subject of admissions or
confessions of guilt, or the statements of parties out of Court which are
testified to in Court by other parties. Mr. Greenleaf, in his excellent work on
evidence, says: “with respect to all verbal admissions, it may be observed that
they might to be received with great caution. The evidence, consisting as it
does in the more repletion of oral statements, is subject to much imperfections
and mistake; the party himself either being misinformed, or not having clearly
expressed his own meaning, or the witness having misunderstood him. It
frequently happens, also, that the witness, by unintentionally altering a few of
the expressions really used, gives an effect to the statement completely at
variance with what the party actually did say.” Much of the testimony in this
case is of and concerning facts and circumstances that were transpiring in the
midst of very exciting circumstances, and the admissions and statements of
witness as to what the defendant said and did, relate to the same time
generally, and were received under the same circumstances, and therefore it is
but reasonable to suppose that they would be less accurate and less reliable,
that if given and received under different circumstances; and you have only to
refer to the testimony of witnesses of, and concerning the scenes at the bed of
the deceased in her last hour, and her statements then and there made, and you
find among all the witnesses testifying in relation to her statements, perhaps
no two witnesses can be found that exactly corroborate each others statements.
Why should the witness in regard to the defendant’s statements be more accurate?
And why should he be accused of mis-stating the facts because the witnesses do
not agree as to what he said? Do they not agree as well on that as anything
11. The theory assumed by the defense in this case is, that the statements and admissions of the defendant, of and concerning the alleged murder are true, and that he in his statements and in his testimony on that matter stands uncontradicted by any witness on the main and most material points of his evidence; not only that he stands uncontradicted, but that he is corroborated in this , that two suspicious characters were seen in the vicinity of the murder, from some time on Friday evening until three o’clock, on Saturday evening of the night on which the murder was committed; that they then mysteriously disappeared from the sight of the people of the neighborhood, and did not leave by usual route of travel, but by some means unknown to the people of the neighborhood, they disappeared, and have not been seen since. That in addition to that, the house of a near neighbor was disturbed the evening previous, and that in the neighborhood a man was seen by the wayside standing, at about the hour of three o’clock in the morning. That in addition to that, horse tracks were seen, that were made from indications at an early hour in the morning, and before daylight. These facts and circumstances are well worthy of your serious consideration, and may tend to an intelligible solution of this mysterious crime. And if these facts, taken in connection with all the other evidence given in the cause raise a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, he is entitled to the benefit of such doubt, and it is your duty to acquit him.
12. Our statute law provides and says that: “The defendant is presumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved.” “When there is a reasonable doubt whether his guilt is satisfactorily shown he must be acquitted.” “When there is a reasonable doubt in which of two or more degrees of an offense he is guilty, he may be convicted of the lowest degree only.”
13. On the subject of reasonable doubt, our Supreme Court of this State says: “A juror in a criminal case, ought not to condemn unless the evidence excludes from his mind all reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused – that is, unless he be so convinced by the evidence, no matter what the class of the evidence of the defendant’s guilt, that a prudent man would feel safe to act upon that conviction in matters of the highest concern and importance to his own dearest personal interests under circumstances where there was no compulsion resting upon him to act at all’ [81 Ind. 493.]
14. As I stated to you in one of the previous charges, the evidence in this case on the part of the State is largely circumstantial, and to sustain a conviction for murder on circumstantial evidence, the facts proved, must be susceptible of explanation upon no reasonable ground consistent with the innocence of he accused. It is not enough that the mystery of the crime cannot be solved from the evidence, except upon the supposition of the defendant’s guilt. [20 Ind. ???; Shulser case].
It has been gravely assumed in argument in this case that a burglar would
not be guilty of murdering an innocent and inoffensive woman in the robbing of a
house; and it is assumed by the same counsel that a husband without any evidence
of malice, or apparent motive, did do the act. The probability and
improbability of such an act, and of such a marked difference in favor of the
burglar and against the husband, is a matter that I leave to your determination,
from your knowledge of human nature and human experience, for I know no better
way of judging human transactions than by human experience. You will bear in
mind, however, that you are the exclusive judges of all questions of fact.
But I would not have you overlook the theory of the prosecution in this case. That the whole admissions and statements of the defendant in relation to the commission of the alleged crime are false and a fabrication on his part, for the deliberate purpose of screening himself from the merited infamy and punishment that would inevitably befall him in case he made an honest and truthful disclosure of the facts in relation to the crime; and for the purpose of sustaining that theory of the case they call your attention to his conduct after the commission of the crime, claiming that he made much ado over a slight wound, that he says was inflicted by one of the robbers; that he was concerned about himself, and that he manifested little or no concern about his wife; that he went after the doctor to get his wound dressed when he should have staid at home and taken care of his wife; that after arriving at home, instead of coming around the sick and dying bed of his wife, that he went into the kitchen and feigned sickness pretending to vomit that he made a show outwardly of weeping by feigning tears; that his statements are contradictory in relation to the man that
he says shot him in the kitchen, and some other matters too tedious for to allude to here.
Now in relation to these facts and circumstances, so far as they are satisfactorily proved before you, they are properly matters for your calm and deliberate consideration; and if you believe from the facts and circumstances established in evidence before you, that the statements and admissions of the defendant are untrue , it will be your duty to disregard his evidence as unworthy of belief; and if you so believe in your deliberations, you will discard that evidence in toto and look to the other evidence as testified to before you for the purpose of determining the guilt or innocence of the defendant. But I will say to you that I know of no rule of evidence by which the testimony of witnesses is accepted in evidence to prove the contrary of what the witness testifies to. He may be unworthy of credit; and if so, ought to be disbelieved; but to assume that because he is incredible and unworthy of belief, that therefore his testimony shall be taken as evidence contrary to what he has testified to, is a rule unknown to the law.
Again; it is assumed in argument that the defendant acted strangely under the circumstances and many suggestions have been made to you as how the defendant would have acted had he been innocent, and had his wife been murdered as he testifies she was murdered. It is not sufficient for the State to show that he acted strangely, but the State must show he acted as a criminal and not as an innocent man would do; and upon that question as to how a man would act, I am unable to advise you. Counsel may know, I do not, having had no experience under such unfortunate circumstances, and therefore have no suggestions to make, knowing no rule of conduct recognized by the law of the land or by human experience as to how a man would act under the circumstances. If you do apply it in this case, for is it your right and duty to judge human transactions by human experience.
If it is your deliberate judgment that if he was innocent, he should have set down by the bedside of his wife and waited for something to turn up, instead of calling in his neighbors, relatives, and a physician, hold him responsible for his act. But, if calling his neighbors, relatives, and a physician, was rational and humane transaction, give him credit for it.
gentlemen, you will not lose sight of the real issue in this case, and will not
therefore imagine that the real question in the case is whether the long man, or
the short man, or the heavy set man, or the low chunky man shot the defendant
Amasa J. Foulke, but did Amasa J. Foulke shoot, kill and murder his wife,
For the purpose of establishing that fact, the State introduces the admissions and statements of the defendant, Amasa J. Foulke, before the coroner’s inquest, and to numerous outside parties, each and all, so far as I can discover without contradiction or disagreement, testify substantially to the same fact as to the death of Lucette Foulke, and as to the person by whom she was killed, vis: the man that stood by the bedside. And the defense offers the defendant himself as a witness, who testifies to you in open Court before you, to the same fact, and it would seem to be a happy state of facts in this case, that the on the part of the defendant, each perfectly harmonizes with the other on the essential and all important facts of this case – that is, that Lucette Foulke was killed and murdered by a robber at her bedside, and there it would seem that the case might rest quietly forever, or until such time as the burglar might be ferreted out and bro’t [sic] to punishment.
But the counsel for the State say true, we prove that, but not because we believe it, but for the purpose of showing how he has twisted the facts, for they tell us that that statement is wholly untrue. Now, I have already suggested to you, that you act upon the evidence before you, and not upon the beliefs or unbeliefs of any men, but upon the facts established by the evidence; and I therefore respectfully inquire of you, which inquiry you will answer in your deliberations, what man, woman or child testified that that statement is untrue? What fact or circumstance in evidence in this case is established beyond a reasonable doubt, (and if any fact or circumstance is not established beyond a reasonable doubt in this case, you cannot consider such fact or circumstance as evidence, in the case, but must wholly discard such fact or circumstance from your consideration, then I say, what fact or circumstance so established contradicts that statement as to her manner of death?
Now I will say, that if a witness lies sworn to the contrary of such facts, or any circumstance so proved contradicts this fact, it will be your duty to consider such evidence; but if nothing has been proved to the country, it is your duty to recognize as true the corroborating evidence of the State and this defendant, and to act upon it, and to acquit the defendant without hesitancy.
But as already suggested to you, the prosecution denies the truthfulness of said evidence, and gravely assume that is false as told. Of the truthfulness or falsity of that evidence you are the sole judges; therefore let us consider the case in that light to the end that you may see where you land as sworn jurors in this case.
Now understand, we admit for the sake of the argument, that the prosecution has put in successive hours of time in this court, proving that which they do not believe, and the defense has proven the same fact, and that after all that is done, we are agreeing that the whole evidence of that kind is a falsehood, and a willful fabrication, then I respectfully ask what evidence is there left in this case for you to count upon, for you convict upon the evidence, or acquit upon the want of evidence and not upon the faith or want of faith of counsel.
But have I yet presented to
your consideration fairly the position of counsel for the prosecution? I think
not. They go one step further; they assume that the defendant has lied about
the transaction, and that therefore he should be convicted. I will say to you
that I know of no law of this State that authorizes a jury of the County or the
Courts to suspend any man by the neck until he is dead, or to send him to the
penitentiary for life for lying. Nor do I know of any law on our statute, or in
the law books, nor any law of logic or ethics, that admits and takes for granted
as true, the very reverse of what is proved. So far as I know this is a new
proposition in this generation of men, and the first time in the world’s
civilizations, announced in this case
But gentlemen, I would not have you misunderstand the situation, your duties and responsibilities.
For the time being the responsibility of the case is upon you. I could not relieve you from it if I would. I could only instruct touching the law and the evidence of the case but, after that is done the responsibility of the case passes completely under your control, and you are the judges of the law and of the facts, without regard to what I may say.
Yes, gentlemen, the liberty or the life imprisonment of the defendant is in your hands; nay, more, his life and his death.
Deal with him according to the law and the evidence in the case, and you shall have done your duty
If you find the defendant guilty, the form of your verdict will be:
We, the jury, find the defendant guilty as charged in the indictment, of murder in the first degree, and that he suffer death.
Or may be:
We, the jury, find the defendant guilty as charged in the indictment, of murder in the first degree, and that he be imprisoned to the State’s prison during life.
Or if you believe the evidence makes a case of murder in the second degree only then the form of your verdict will be:
We, the jury, find the defendant guilty as charged in the indictment of murder in the second degree, and that he shall be imprisoned to the State’s prison during life.
If you find the defendant not guilty the form of your verdict will be:
We, the jury, find the defendant not guilty.
You will appoint one of your number foreman, whose duty it will be to ??? your verdict for you..
|Noblesville Ledger - 19 Feb 1875, page 3 S3, Doc2084.pdf|
Second Trial of Amasa J. Foulke for the Murder of his Wife.
Testimony of Prisoner and Others
A verdict of Acquital, and the Prisoner goes free.
How the News was received.
Our report last week [12 Feb 1875] contained the proceedings up to Thursday. The following is a conclusion of the proceedings of the entire trial, excepting the Judge’s charge to the jury, which will be found printed on the inside of this paper [page 1]:
William Owens Testified:
I remember being at defendant’s next morning after the murder; got there about five o’clock; was there before she died; Mr. and Mrs. Foulke, Kersey Baker and wife and my wife were there; defendant was not there when I first got there; don’t know how long it was before he came; had some conversation with him about half past five; this conversation was in the yard, at the north west side of the house; no one present but us two; he was walking backwards and forwards; I asked him to give me some clew as to the robbers; he said he could give nothing only as to their size; that one was a tall man and the other a low man, and that they were disguised; told him there were men enough to “surround” them if he could give them a clew; he said: “It isn’t worth while, for they will never be caught anyhow.”
Cross-examined – Am not certain as to his exact words.
[This closed the examination of witnesses for the prosecution.]
Examination of witnesses
Temple C Marris testified:
I live in Jackson township quarter of a mile from defendant’s house; remember the circumstance of the murder of Lucette Foulke; was called upon by Mr. Foulke to go to defendant’s house; got there about four o’clock; it was dark yet, the moon just rising; we went to the east door; Lucette said she couldn’t get up, and told us to go round to the kitchen door; we went into the house; the light was burning dimly; Jesse turned the light up; we went up to her bed side; said she had not seen anybody; I saw where she was shot; was shot just below the nipple; the clock and book case was open; the lounge cover was thrown back, as if some one had jumped out of it; I went back, at the request of Jesse, to meet Mrs. Mary Foulke, Jenny Jones, and old Mr. Baker; met them and returned with them to the house; we found the pocket-book on the way; had a lantern; deceased was very restless; said something like, “kill me,” or “shoot me,” and was wanting to be raised up in bed; I was at John Foulke’s when she died; don’t remember of her saying anything else. When we first got there she was lying on her back between her two children; no examination was made by us of the pocket-book at the time of finding it; afterwards I saw some one looking at it; several came in after that; I endeavored to find some trail of the robbers, after daylight; but couldn’t find any trail close to the house; east of where the Deming road comes into the pike I found horse tracks, which indicated that the horses were running; there were three or four of them; they were fresh, and the ground frozen a little; they had been made after the ground was frozen; I followed them on to the state road; our party had separated; when the party I was with had kept the trail some distance, we learned that men on tired horses had passed that way; we then left the trail and went on rapidly overtaking the horsemen, who proved to be the men who had separated from us, am acquainted with defendant; his general moral character was good; his general character for truth and veracity, so far as I know, was good.
[At this point a number of witnesses from Tipton were sworn in and instructed by Judge Craven.]
Same witness resumed saying: As a husband, he was good to his wife so far as I know. [Was shown a diagram of the interior of the house, but did not understand it, and proceeded to explain things as he understood them.] He said: The lamp was sitting on the table in the kitchen, and shining into the room in such a manner as to throw more light upon the bed than the lounge.
Cross-examined – This was some time after the murder; a portion of the furniture had been removed; several persons were with me when the experiment was made; the lounge was there, and also the bed.
Re-examined – I know the little girl who found the pocketbook; she has fits sometimes.
Noah W Parker testified:
I reside in Tipton; am an attorney; have lived there about twenty-eight years; was acquainted with defendant and his family; knew them some four years ago; remember the death of defendant’s wife; the defendant had been in Tipton some days previous to the murder; had paid me some three hundred dollars during that week; don’t know the source of the realization of the money; his general moral character was good; and his general reputation for truth and veracity good; knew of his family relations at Tipton; they were very amicable.
Cross-examined – He was at Tipton, I think, twice that week; heard of his wife’s death on Sunday morning.
Dr. Martin Van Buren Newcomer testified:
I reside at Tipton; have lived there thirteen years; was acquainted with defendant while he lived there; was his family physician; was frequently at his house; his general moral character was good; and his general character for truth and veracity was good; his intercourse with his family was apparently of a loving nature.
Robert W. Wright testified:
I reside in Tipton and have lived there nine years; defendant moved from Tipton the latter part of September before the death of his wife; I lived only a short distance from defendant when he lived at Tipton; his general moral character was good, and his general character for truth and veracity was good; his intercourse with his family seemed to be very pleasant; my wife visited his home some few times.
Cross-examination – No new developments.
John Harding testified.
I reside in Tipton; have lived there three years; was acquainted with defendant between two and three years; his general moral character was good; his general character for truth and veracity seemed to be good; his wife visited my family frequently, which visits were returned by my wife; saw no unkindness pass between them.
Cross-examined – I have lived in Tipton three years, within a short distance of defendant’s house; he left there some time last fall a year ago.
Mrs. Mary E. Harding testified:
Reside in Tipton; lived there three years; was acquainted with defendant’s family some two years, and lived close to them; was intimately acquainted with his family; their family relations were always kind as far as I ever saw; his general moral character, as far as I know, was good.
Cross-examined – Was here on former trial; I was back and forth at her house during sickness very often
Joel Reece testified:
Reside in Marion, Grant county; have lived there about a month; resided in Tipton nearly two and a half years; knew defendant while there; I lived for some two or three months in a portion of the same house with defendant; a partition divided us; a part of the partition was ????, and a part was of boards, set up and down; I think my opportunities for observing their family relations were good; these relations, so far as I knew, were pleasant and [Column #2] agreeable; his general moral character was good; above the average; his general character for truth and veracity was good.
Moses Orbaugh testified:
I reside in Jackson township, Hamilton county, Indiana; have lived there twenty-three years; am acquainted with Temple Marris, Jesse Foulke and defendant; was at defendant’s house making some experiments with a lamp; it was in the night time; it was the same lamp; it sat on the table in the kitchen, the light turned down; could see whether a man or woman was lying in the bed, by stooping down; could distinguish the beard on a man; the bed sat in a corner, head to the west; head of the lounge north; have known defendant since he was a little boy; his general moral character was good, and his general character for truth and veracity good; have known defendant for twenty or twenty-one years; he was a peaceable and law-abiding man.
Cross-examined – Defendant had lived out of the neighborhood for some time.
The court then adjourned until 1:30 P.M.
Howland D. Wilson, testified:
Reside in the west part of Jackson township, within a quarter of a mile of defendant’s house; made some experiments with a lamp there after the murder; could have told if a man with beard occupied the bed. [Testimony similar to Orbaugh and others.]
Have been acquainted with defendant for about ten years.
Elwood Wilson testified:
Reside in Noblesville; lived at that time in Jackson township, ten miles northwest of this place; am acquainted with defendant and his father; lived near them at the time of the murder; [testimony in reference to experiment with lamp similar to the other witnesses;] thought his general moral character good; his reputation for truth and veracity was good.
Cross-examined: Have heard nothing contrary to his good character; couldn’t distinguish a beardless man from a woman.
Jesse Foulke, testified:
exhibited a diagram of the interior of the house, and testified similar to the
other witnesses.] And continues – Am nearly seventy years old; defendant and
wife staid at my house some time after they were married; they lived in the same
house, but with apartments to themselves; we moved to Westfield some time after
their marriage, and rented the farm to defendant and his brother George; we
continued to live in Westfield for some time, and then moved back to the farm;
then put up the house in which the murder occurred for defendant; defendant soon
moved to Groomsville, Tipton county; lived there a year and then moved to Tipton
town; lived there some time, and then moved back to the farm, in the house with
us; they were at our house after moving back from Tipton, about three weeks, and
then moved over in the house where the murder occurred; their family relations
were perfectly agreeable; he always provided for them, as far as I knew; was at
defendant’s the day before the death of his wife; had been at Cicero, where I
got some beef and a spool of thread; as I came by defendant came out to the road
and got them; that is the last I saw of him until the next morning, when he came
to wake me up; saw nothing out of the way with him that evening; seemed to be in
his usual frame of mind; he is about twenty-five years of age.
Re-examined by defense:
Mrs. Mary Foulke testified:
The defendant lived with us when first married, a little over a year; their first babe was born at our house; then we built them a house on our place; they lived in that house when we moved to Westfield; after we came back from Westfield we built the house for them; their relations to each other were kind all the time; after they came back from Tipton their relations were friendly inclined also; after moving over to the house where Lucetta was killed, I was over several times, as they had a sick child at the time; I staid with her several times while defendant was at Indianapolis, shipping lumber.
Cross-examined: [Nothing new elicited].
Mrs. Nancy Owens testified:
I live four miles west of Cicero, within a quarter mile of defendant’s; remember the occurrence of the murder; was at the house at the time of her death; was at meeting at the Wesleyan Church the evening before; retired a short time after getting home; had been lying down but a short time when I hear a noise as if somebody was slipping along; heard the door-knob click; was scared worse than ever before in my life; the time was not far from ten o’clock; a light was burning brightly in the room; there were no animals in the yard; didn’t hear the noise any more during the night; we were sent for to go to defendant’s house some time in the morning; Lucette was living when we got there; Dr. Pettijohn was there, I think; there were several there; I remained there until she died; was in the room part of the time; while defendant was in the room Lucette said nothing; she called for tea twice; twice she said “kill me,” as well as I can recollect; she was suffering right smartly; there was an interval between the times she said ”kill me;” didn’t say who had killed her; I saw defendant in the room when his wife was making right smart of noise; he was making a noise as if he was crying; when those expressions were made by his wife, I don’t know where defendant was.
I went to meeting with my husband the night of the murder; retired shortly after getting home; my husband didn’t come home with me; he returned after I heard those noises; my husband had went out with others to see about some timber that was being cut by coon hunters.
Henry Wall testified:
I live in Jackson township, a quarter mile from defendant’s house, and very near due north; remember the occurrence of the murder; had no clock; I had been ordered by the proprietor of the land on which I was living to keep off hunters; I heard the reports of two guns that were fired; the first report was the loudest; got up and went out; heard nothing after that; moon was just up; the ground was tolerably level between my house and defendant’s and no timber intervening.
Live about north of defendant about quarter of a mile; heard reports of fire
arms; got up and stepped out of the door on south side of the house; could have
heard hollowing easily, if there had been any; could have heard horses running
on the pike; staid out a minute or two, but didn’t hear any one calling; the
toll gate is about a quarter of a mile from my house; I went back to bed; was up
about five minutes; didn’t get up any more until about day break.
Kersey Baker testified:
Am an uncle of defendant’s wife; am acquainted with Amasa; remember the death of Lucette; was notified by my son and his wife, as near as I can recollect, about four o’clock in the morning; I got right up, made ready, and went to defendant’s house; my son went with me; we passed several persons on the way; it wasn’t daylight yet when we got to defendant’s. Jesse Foulke was there when we got there; he was standing at the bedside when I went in at the door; heard no conversation between her and Jesse; was there a very few minutes when Mrs. Foulke and Temple Marris came; I went in at the east door of the house; the lounge was “tumbled up;” the cover was thrown to the back of the lounge; don’t remember whether the book-case and clock were open; Lucette requested to have some tea made; don’t know who gave it to her; didn’t notice any fire in the kitchen; Dr Amos Pettijohn got there some twenty or thirty minutes after I did; I was in the room when the doctor got there; didn’t hear any conversation after the Doctor got there; didn’t hear any conversation after the Doctor came, from the deceased; she died about half past five o’clock; about half an hour before she died she said “kill me,” “Kill me,” she made an effort to raise up when she said this; I couldn’t say whether Clark Cammack or Lewis Pettijohn were there at the time or not; Dr. Pettijohn went to kitchen and told defendant his wife was dead; defendant appeared to be much affected at the announcement of Lucette’s death, and the Doctor told him to cheer up, his moral character was good; his reputation for truth and veracity was good; their family relations were amicable; I lived within one hundred and twenty rods of them, and was acquainted with them when they lived at their father’s house.
He showed me where he was when he received [Column #3] his wound; it was about three feet from the kitchen door.
Mrs. Kersey Baker testified:
Was acquainted with defendant and his wife; live between a quarter and half a mile of defendant; got there the morning of the murder about daylight; was called up by my son John and his wife; there were several there; was acquainted with defendant’s family; they visited at our house; saw them out to meeting frequently; their manner toward each other appeared as kind as man wife “should;” his moral character was good as far as I know; am aunt to deceased by marriage; kersey baker is my husband.
I never visited at defendant’s; they had been to
Tipton and moved back to the house where the murder occurred; Lucette’s child
was sick at the time of murder; I hadn’t seen much of them for the two years
previous to this occurrence.
Dr. Warford testified:
Live in Cicero; have lived there 9 years; am a physician and have been practicing medicine ever since 1854; have had a general practice during that time; was present at the defendant’s house at the time of the post mortem examination; was present at this examination most all the time; Dr’s Moore, Tucker and Jay made the examination; saw an effort by Dr. Moore to find the ball with a probe; the head of the probe inclined toward the foot of the body; I have had some experience with gun shot wounds; was a surgeon in the army nearly three years; the wound was as much as two and a half inches below the nipple. [Another anatomical explanation which we could not get]. I resided at Cicero at the time of the murder; two unknown persons were there on Saturday previous, passing up and down the streets, their manner was so strange as to cause persons to inquire concerning their business; the tall man came in to my store; he was very shabbily dressed; the heavy set man passed up and down past the door several times while the tall man was in the store; I never saw them before nor afterwards; a great many inquiries were made of them after this murder.
I saw them last at about three o’clock; strangers are often seen in the place; it is nothing unusual for them to be seen there.
Elmsly D. Tisler testified:
I reside in Cicero; have lived there six years; I know where defendant lives; lives about four and a quarter miles from Cicero; heard of the death of his wife the next morning after it occurred; saw a couple of strangers in town the day before; one was a tall man with beard, and the other a low heavy set man; didn’t know what they were doing there; I saw them in the evening after the train had passed south; I went with a lot of others to Tipton Sunday morning looking for them.
John Kreag testified:
Reside in Cicero; have lived there six years; kept a hotel there at time of murder; there were two hotels there at the time; I remember the time of the murder; first heard of it at ten o’clock Sunday morning; I was then in the habit of attending the depot on arrival of the trains day and night; didn’t see any strangers get on or off on Saturday.
Don’t attend freight trains as a general thing.
Re-examined by defense:
After four o’clock P.M. at that time, but one train went north, and that about nine o’clock.
Lewis H. Sims testified:
Reside about a half mile west of Cicero; am acquainted with defendant; have known him almost all my life; remember the murder; it was in the latter part of that night that I was going home; I came into the pike half a mile east of the toll gate; I had left my father-in-law’s house at about fifteen minutes before three o’clock; it was a little after three when I got to the pike; when I came out on to the pike I saw a person standing about twenty steps from me; I didn’t speak; I couldn’t tell who it was; he had on dark clothes, and was about my size; he didn’t move; my attention was attracted by a sound as if some one had stepped on a twig or limb that snapped and broke; he was standing about fifteen steps from the road putting into the pike; it isn’t a cross road; I went on eight or ten rods, and thought I heard something else; it seemed as if some one was coming down from Mr. Owen’s house; sounded like some one walking on boards or plank; I was about thirty rods distant from where I saw the man; I then went east.
The moon was not up. Question by Gordon – How far was this from defendant’s house? Answer – About three-quarters of a mile. It was star-light; I think it was a man standing there; I testified on this subject before; didn’t see any movement on the part of the object; didn’t see anything up at Owen’s; when I got within a quarter of a mile of home the moon rose.
Re-examined by defense:
Have passed that place several times since, and have examined, but could see nothing as to objects like I saw at that time.
Jacob Griffin re-called:
the physicians at the post mortem examination probing the wound; the head of the
probe inclined downward toward the feet of the deceased; have been acquainted
with the defendant ever since he was a child; his general moral character, I
think, was good; and his reputation for truth and veracity was good; Dr Moore
inserted the probe into the wound.
John F. Sims re-called:
Knew defendant from a small boy; his general moral character was good; his general character for truth and veracity was good.
W. R. Thomas testified:
Live one mile west of Cicero; was at defendant’s house on the day of the murder; was present at the post mortem examination; they supposed that the ball had lodged against the shoulder blade; this was before the dissection; I have but one eye, but that is a pretty good one; have known defendant from time he was a small boy.
Uriah Hodson testified:
I live in Adams township; have lived there thirty-six years; live within a mile and a half of Jesse Foulke; Foulke has lived there twenty years; have been acquainted with the defendant about twenty years; his wife was a niece of my wife; have been acquainted with defendant’s reputation it has been good as far as I know; his general character for truth and veracity I never heard disputed
Witness was cross-examined but nothing new was developed.
Mrs. Ann Hodson testified:
Am the wife of Uriah Hodson; was acquainted with the defendant’s wife; she was a niece of mine; the defendant was the son of my first cousin; am acquainted with defendant’s family; visited there sometimes; not very often; never knew anything of a discordant nature between them.
Visited them after they came back from Tipton; he was not at the house at the time.
Re-examined by defendant –
Nehemiah Baker testified –
I was related to Mrs. Amasa Foulke; was a cousin of hers; I got there about nine o’clock on the morning of the murder; the defendant was not there; was there during the post mortem examination; Dr. Moore inserted the probe; it ranged up slightly; I was living at Noblesville at the time; his moral character was good.
Am related to them.
Mrs. Anna Baker testified –
Reside in Noblesville; was present at the habeas corpus trial. At this juncture there was a discussion as to the admissibility of this evidence, when the court adjourned to seven o’clock P.M.
Court met promptly at the hour adjourned to.
George Foulke testified –
Am an elder brother of defendant; lived with them after they were first married, on father’s farm and until defendant went to Tipton; they went to Tipton in 1871; they had one child while they lived at father’s; we were running a saw mill in Tipton county, fourteen miles form Tipton; we were there in the business together something over six months; he moved then to the town of Tipton; I was there a great many times; as much as about a half dozen times a month; I boarded with him about a year and a half altogether, they always appeared to get along all right; they staid at father’s a short time when they came back from Tipton; I boarded there at the time; they then went to housekeeping at the place where she was shot.
I live in Jackson township.
Re-examined by defense –
W. J. Pfaff testified:
I resided at Tipton during the time that Amasa live there; his character was good/
Dr. W. B. Graham testified:
Reside in Noblesville; have been a physician and surgeon thirteen years; was surgeon in the army two years and four months. Here defendant’s arm was examined by the Doctor, who said the ball must have passed near the ulna; the ulna artery is in that vicinity, and the bullet must have passed very near it; such a wound wouldn’t bleed very much’ gunshot wounds don’t bleed very much, if no important vessels are touched.
A ball passing directly through from the entrance of the wound received by Lucette Foulke, would strike the tenth vertebrae.
I use this language in an anatomical sense; and with reference to normally constituted persons.
Mrs. Mary Foulke recalled:
I staid at
Amasa’s some four or five nights when he was absent; one night we left the lamp
in the room, and the balance of the time in the kitchen on the table, turned
down; our reason for moving it to the kitchen was that Lucette had been told by
a physician that it was unhealthy to keep a light burning in a sleeping room.
Amasa J. Foulke testified:
Am the defendant in this case; was twenty-five years old last August; my wife and I live together five years before she was killed; we got along together very well; we had two children; the oldest one was at the death of its mother about five years old, and the youngest fifteen months; the little girl died last fall; I had no pistol at the time of the murder, and it had been over a year since I had had one; I had traded it to my brother in Iowa for a shawl; the first knowledge I had of the murder, a pistol shot woke me up; one was a tall man; one was standing at the bed, and the other at the book-case; I jumped up and threw the cover of the lounge back to the west; they ran out into the kitchen; I followed them and about the middle of the kitchen one man shot me; It was the tall man that shot me; the men then ran out of the house; I threw my shawl on, put on my shoes, and started off to the tollgate; I called at the toll-gate, a quarter of a mile from the house, and called up the keeper; I told him I was shot; and probably my wife was shot too, and wanted him to go to father’s house with me; he said his wife wouldn’t’ let him go; I then went up to father’s house, and got a horse to go to Deming; I stopped at Griffin’s on the way and asked him to go to my house; he said he would go over; I then went on to Deming, went to Dr. Pettijohn’s and hollowed him up; he came to the door and asked me what I wanted; I told them if they got anything at all, they got my pocket-book, with one or two dollars in it; nothing was said on the subject of the drawers and book-case or the clock being opened; I was feeling very bad at the time; my arm pained me very much; had no knowledge of the situation of the pocket-book being changed; I had some conversation, perhaps, with Griffin on that day; a great many persons asked me about the matter; I think I told him that the tall man shot me; I called four or five times to my wife, and she did not answer, and I supposed she was killed; the tall man was standing pretty close to the lounge when I woke up; the lamp was sitting in the kitchen on the extension table, and turned down, so that it wouldn’t give very much light; I didn’t turn it up; my clothes were in the kitchen, as my wife and I had undressed in there; we had been sitting in there during the evening; we staid in the kitchen until nearly ten o’clock; my wife was sewing, and I was knitting a mitten; I had no pistol or fire-arms of any description about the house; I had never borrowed any fire arms of anybody, nor had I done any shooting that night; when I came back from Dr. Pettijohn’s I went in at the east door, and went up close to the foot of the bed; I didn’t speak to her, nor she to me: I then went on into the kitchen.
I had a pistol about a year before; I owned one in partnership with my brother; it was a large one; I wanted Wilson Wall to go to my father’s house for me.
Re-examined by defense:
Parted with the smaller pistol one year ago last march.
The evidence in the case having been concluded Thursday, the argument of counsel began Friday morning, court having been convened at the usual hour. We did not pursue the argument, and have not the space to either give substance or comment. Prosecutor Stafford opened in behalf of the State in a speech which was spoken as one of the best he had delivered. He was followed in a masterly effort by J. W. Evans, in behalf of the prisoner. He in turn was followed by Judge Wm. Garver on behalf of the State, who fully sustained his reputation as an attorney at this bar. Thomas J. Kane, Esq., followed in a very deliberate and measured argument, which was not concluded when court adjourned for Saturday. He closed early Saturday, and was followed by Gen. Moss in a most powerful argument, which lasted until the afternoon. Maj. Gorden for the prisoner, followed, delivering a most convincing logical argument. This effort continued until about nine o’clock at night, when General Moss in a speech of several hours closed the argument in the case. Judge Craven then delivered his charge to the Jury, and at 11:30 Saturday night the court adjourned, and the jury retired with the fate of the prisoner in their hands.
Sunday Morning the people who heard the ringing of the bell turned out, knowing that meant an agreement of the jury upon the verdict. At half past seven, about twenty persons having come in, and the officers of the court being present, with several of the attorney interested, as well as the prisoner, court was organized. The Sheriff called the roll of jurors all answering to their names from their proper places in the “box.” Judge Craven then addressed the jury as follows:
“Gentlemen of the jury, have you agreed upon a verdict in the case of the State of Indiana vs. Amasa J. Foulke”?
Foreman – “We have.”
Judge – “The bailiff will pass it to the bench, wherefore John Patty, the bailiff, received from the foreman of the jury, James A. Brandom, a paper containing the written verdict of the jury. The Judge received, carefully opened, and during the most marked silence, the prisoner sitting in terrible suspense, read the following:
“We, the jury, do hereby find the defendant not guilty.”
James A Brandom, Foreman
Eliab G Brattain Milton Hadley
William M. Osborne George Armentrout
J. W. Barnes Alfred Hess
Benjamin Lennen W. W. Reynolds
W. F. Pearce Robert Stout
George P. Huntsinger
Thus ends the Foulke trial. Those in attendance scattered to tell the news to those who had not heard it. All day Sunday the matter was the theme of conversation on the streets and in the houses of the people; public opinion expressed itself about as it always has, rather against the prisoner. And not a little complaint was urged against Judge Craven, it being urged by those who did not approve of the verdict that the Judge in his charge, and throughout the trial, had evinced a spirit of partiality toward the defendant. Under the circumstances we are heartily glad the case has been judicially disposed of; may our courts never be annoyed with another case of murder so cruel and mysterious.
Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Indiana), 19 Feb 1875, Page 1, Col.
RUMORED DEATH OF JESSE FOULKE
It was rumored on the street Thursday evening that Jesse Foulke, father of Amasa, had expired at his home during the day, of hemorrhage of lungs. We hear this as our forms are going to press, and have not the time to investigate as to its correcthess.
Let the Commissioners build a court house as well as a jail.
We are about out of debt. Why not build a decent court house?
Our columns are so crowded this week that many subjects are neglected. Will catch up soon
The problem solvers must have patience; we will reach them after awhile. Several articles upon the subject appear this week.
Every man who enters the court house does so at the risk of his life. There is no telling at what minute it will tumble.
People were frightened out of the court house Saturday by the evidences of its weakness. Is Hamilton county so poor that a respectable building can not be put up?
While the argument in the Foulke case was progressing on Saturday the walls of the court house cracked, and it seemed as though it would fall. Is it possible that the people would sooner risk their lives in listening to important trials than build a new house?
The Foulke Trial.
By reference to the proceedings on the inside of to-day's Ledger, the reader will find the conclusion of the evidence in this important trial. It will be observed that the jury acquitted the prisoner. There is about the same division of public opinion that existed at the conclusion of the former trial. The friends of the prisoner point to the law, while the opposition point to the circumstances. But the question is settled forever by the verdict of the jury.
A MAD JURYMAN.
We have received the following through the mail, which we publish as received, just for the fun of the thing.
Mr. Foulke's case was by the jury acquitted. After careful attention to all the evidence, it was not positively clear to my mind that he was innocent. But there is room for reasonable doubt concerning his being guilty.
The description given of the jury by Mr. Bodenhamer, is by no means discriminate. He says: "The jury are not remarkable for their attainments, nor distinguished in appearance." Which we do not deny, but we think they will compare favorably with the editor's appearance before the court last Sabbath morning. I was credibly informed whilst in your midst that the editor of the Ledger was, by one it his citizens, taken for one who had escaped the poor-house. So those who are in glass houses should be careful how they throw stones. Robert Stout.
We did think there was enough salt in the jury to save it, and regarded Robert as one of the lumps; but after reading the above explanation of the work of the jury we are inclined to think that his preserving qualities were not equal to fish-salt. When an old gentleman was asked his opinion as to whether it was a sin to hunt coons on Sunday, he replied that as the question was a matter that deeply affected the rights and privileges of society, and at the same time the very foundation of the Christian religion, ed desired to be "uncommittal." Mr. Stout desires to be considered by the public a little mixed on the question. No one would ever mistake Mr. Stout of a poor house refugee. He never ran away from a luxury that didn't cost him anything. But, Bob, What's the use of getting mad?
|Indianapolis Sentinel - 15 Feb 1875 S4,|
A MYSTERIOUS CASE
THE TRIAL OF AMASA FOULKE CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF HIS WIFE – THE EXCITEMENT AT NOBLESVILLE – EPISODES OF THE TRIAL – THE DEFENDANT ACQUITTED.
The second trial of the Foulke murder case is still the sensation of the town of Noblesville and throughout the county contiguous thereto. As heretofore reported in the Sentinel, the second trial of this celebrated case commenced in the Hamilton Circuit Court before Judge Cravens, last Tuesday. There appeared for the state Messrs. Moses, Garver and Stafford; for the defense, Messrs. Gordon, Kane & Evans. The first day was consumed in securing a jury. On the morning of the second day the examination of the 75 witnesses subpoenaed was begun. The evidence was all in at the close of the third day (Friday), the excitement increasing rapidly meanwhile until a lawless spirit almost prevailed. But as many of the readers of the Sentinel have had their minds absorbed with other cases of like character since this one occurred, a review of the circumstances of the case may not be uninteresting.
Amasa Foulke, his wife and
two children resided on a farm near the town of Cicero. Late on the night of
the 16th of November, 1873, the husband called in the neighbors,
saying he was shot, and that his wife was also shot, and he did not know but
fatally. Upon being interrogated, he said two men had been at his house, and
awakened him by firing a pistol shot, which he feared HAD KILLED HIS WIFE, that
he followed them into the kitchen, where one of them fired at him, hitting his
arm. He described them, one as a tall, the other as a chunky man, both wearing
masks. They went to his house and found the wife in a critical condition, the
result of a wound in the region of the heart. It was soon ascertained that she
could not recover. So great was her suffering she asked some one to kill her.
Just before her death her husband entered the room. At her request Mrs. Foulk
was raised up in bed and as the movement was made she murmured something about
being shot, which was variously understood, some who heard her contending that
she said “they have killed me.” Others that “he killed me,” her husband passing
in view of her at the time. She said before her death that she was awakened by
the pistol shot that struck her, and did not hear but one report. Her husband
slept on the sofa and she in the bed between the two children. The theory of
the defense was that burglars did the deed, mistaking the wife for the husband,
their design being robbery. It appeared in evidence that two such men as were
described by the defendant had been seen PROWLING AROUND in the
neighborhood the day before the night of the tragedy, and that an attempt was
made by some one to enter another house in the vicinity.
When the wife died, a post-mortem examination was had, which resulted in the husband being held in custody, charged with having committed the crime. The grand jury found an indictment of murder in the first degree. About a year ago the first trial was had on that indictment, and the defendant was found guilty, the jury assessing his punishment at imprisonment for life. The court (Judge Cravens on the bench), however, granted a new trial on the grounds that the evidence adduced did not warrant so severe a verdict, and some informality on the part of the jury or jurors. The case came to trial again as reported in Wednesday’s Sentinel. The testimony taken was substantially the same as on the first trial, though both sides had made desperate efforts to secure something new and strengthening. Judge Moss was retained by citizens who were interested in the prosecution almost to a prejudicial degree. Maj. Gordon was not engaged in the first trial, but he was as much interested in his client as usual, and, of course, threw his whole soul into the defense. During the progress of the trial the major indulged in a witticism which wrought up the sensitive spirit of Judge Cravens, of counsel for the prosecution, to THE FIGHTING POINT, He nervously arose and said if Major Gordon wanted to make a fool of himself he was welcome to do it, but he did not want his name connected with said foolishness. The Major retorted in a mild manner, (for him) but the judge insisted that the prosecution would not be bullied by imported talent. The major demurred to having any trouble, and the matter ended for the time being. But upon the adjournment of the court the judge renewed the quarrel, and the major laid his hand on the judicial collar in a menacing way, whereupon a bystander grappled him about the waist, then the sheriff interfered and the court retraced his way and commanded order, and order reigned. Saturday was spent in summing up the evidence, Maj. Gordon making a six hours’ speech, closing the case for the defense. Judge Moss closed the case for the prosecution.
The instructions of the court are reported as having been favorable to the defendant. So sure were the people that he would be acquitted, an indignation meeting was held at Cicero, near which place the crime was committed. The Sentinel last afternoon sent a dispatch to the editor of the Ledger for the result of the jury’s deliberation, and last night received an answer announcing that the Defendant was acquitted.
So this ends a long and a tedious case, based on a mysterious murder. This seems to be a lucky season for men charged with murder. Hall was last week acquitted for the murder of Welman at Franklin, and Morrow was only awarded four years in prison, and yet has hopes of a pardon.
|A CELEBRATED CASE|
On the night of November 16, 1873, at her country home between Cicero and Sheridan, a few miles north of Deming, Mrs. Lucetta Foulke, while sleeping between her two small children, was shot through the breast and mortally wounded. She lingered some hours, suffering intensely, until relieved by death. Her husband, Amasa J. Foulke, twenty-five years old, a short time after the crime was committed, called upon Dr. Amos Pettijohn, at Deming, to have a flesh wound in his forearm dressed and reported to the doctor and others that robbers had entered his home, shot and killed his wife, and that in contact with the criminals, he received the injury mentioned. A whirlwind of excitement swept the community and county, and crowds visited the cottage where the murdered wife and mother lay. Search was quickly made for the alleged robbers, but they were never found. Suspicion rested sternly upon the husband. He was indicted and tried, the jury returning a verdict of guilty with life imprisonment. Defendant made a motion for a new trial, which the court sustained. On the second hearing the public still manifested a deep interest and the old court house was thronged, although it was rumored that the building was in danger of falling down. At the end of a bitter contest the second jury acquitted Foulke. Public sentiment was divided, with probably the majority view against the defendant, and sharp complaint was made that the court's instructions were partial to him. S5,
|S1||Newspaper: Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana) "Second Murder Trial of Amasa J. Foulke for the Murder of his Wife" 12 Feb 1875, page 1. Microfilm, Repository: Hamilton East Public Library, Indiana State Library Acc000889/Doc2087.pdf (Original Newspaper Article)|
|S2||Newspaper: Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana) "The Foulke Trial: Charge of Judge Craven to the Jury" 19 Feb 1875, page 1. Microfilm, Repository: Hamilton East Public Library, Indiana State Library Acc000887/Doc2085.pdf (Original Newspaper Article) - (Newspapers.com Link)|
|S3||Newspaper: Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana) "Murder: Second Trial of Amasa J. Foulke for the Murder of his Wife" 19 Feb 1875, page 3. Microfilm, Repository: Hamilton East Public Library, Indiana State Library Acc000888/Doc2084.pdf (Original Newspaper Article) - (Newspapers.com Link)|
|S4||Newspaper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, Marion county, Indiana) "Murder a Mysterious Case the Trial of Amasa Foulke Charged with the Murder of His Wife" Date: Monday, February 15, 1875 Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, Indiana) Volume: XXIII Issue: 229 Page: 8. www.genealogybank.com, accessed 18 Nov 2007. Repository: Genealogy Bank Indiana State Library Acc000975/Doc3845.pdf.|
|S5||Book: History of Hamilton County, Indiana by John F. Haines. Indianapolis, Ind: B. F. Bowen, 1915, page 395 - Bk2922 - Doc2088.pdf -|
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