Gilbert Spillman , Hester , Cole and McDonald Robbed Joseph's Store

PARAGOULD SOLIPHONE - MONDAY , DECEMBER 13, 1920

RESEARCHED BY : TINA EASLEY

tina@grnco.net

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ar/county/greene/

---------

( FROM FRIDAY'S DAILY PRESS )

THE FIRST WITNESS CALLED BY THE STATE AFTER NOON WAS GILBERT SPILLMAN WHO WAS EXAMINED BY MR. HUDDLESTON . WITNESS IS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAS BEEN CLERKING IN A DRUG STORE AT CORNING. WITNESS WAS WITH RAY HESTER ON THE NIGHT JOSEPH'S STORE WAS BROKEN INTO BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST ROBBERY HE HAD PARTICIPATED IN . HE MET HESTER , MCDONALD AND COLE TWO OR THREE NIGHTS BEFORE THE ROBBERY NEAR THE MAJESTIC THEATER AND COLE INTIMATED TO WITNESS THAT HE COULD GET IN ON THE DEAL AND THEY WALKED UP TO THE STORE , WHICH WAS OPENED BY MCDONALD , WHO STATED THAT THEY ALL WOULD GO HOME AND RETURN THE NEXT NIGHT. THE FOLLOWING NIGHT THEY MET AT THE CAFE AND THEY ALL WENT UP TO A POINT NEAR FISHER'S STORE , BUT SAW A MAN AND WOMAN . LATER THEY CAME TO THE O.K. BARBER SHOP , THEN TO THE STORE AND WENT IN AND GOT ELEVEN SUIT CASES .

RAY AND COLE WENT TO GET A CAR WHILE WITNESS AND SANDY WAITED AT THE MEAT MARKET , BUT LATER THEY ALL GOT TOGETHER . THEY STASHED THE GOODS AT MCALLISTER'S HOME AND HIDDEN FOR TWO WEEKS . WITNESS TOOK HIS FATHERS CAR TWO WEEKS LATER AND TOOK THE GOODS TWO OR THREE MILES SOUTH OF TOWN . WHERE THEY DIVIDED THE GOODS AND MCDONALD GATHERED UP ALL WRAPPING PAPER , PRICE TAGS ETC... AND SET FIRE TO THEM . BUT IT RAINED THAT NIGHT AND THE REFUSE WAS NOT ALL DESTROYED . WITNESS THEN DROVE THE CAR HOME AND TOOK HIS PART OF THE SWAG AND HIDE IT UNDER HIS FATHERS HOME WHERE IT REMAINED UNTIL COLE'S ARREST . WITNESS THEN MADE CONFESSION TO HIS FATHER AND TURNED THE GOODS OVER TO HIM , MAKING A CLEAN BREAST OF THE AFFAIR. WITNESS SAYS THAT AT ANOTHER TIME THEY MET AT HESTER'S BUTCHER SHOP AND REMAINED PRACTICALLY ALL NIGHT , DURING WHICH TIME THEY DISCUSSED BREAKING INTO THOMPSON'S TOGGERY BUT DECIDED NOT TO DO SO.

ON CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. BANDY WITNESS TESTIFIED THAT WHILE HE HAD KNOWN RAY HESTER FOR SOME TIME HE HAD NOT BEEN CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH HIM , BUT THAT HE HAD KNOWN WALTER COLE INTIMATELY FOR SOME TIME . MR. BANDY ENDEAVORED TO INDUCE WITNESS TO ADMIT THAT THE ROBBERY WAS PLANNED AND EXECUTED BY HIM AND COLE , BUT HE STOOD FIRMLY ON HIS ORIGINAL STORY . WITNESS SWORE POSITIVELY THAT ALTHOUGH HE HAD SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS WITH MR. HUDDLESTON , A DETECTIVE NAMED O'HAVER , SHERIFF ELMORE AND PERHAPS L.D. WOLF , NO PROMISE HAD BEEN MADE TO HIM WITH REFERENCE TO HIS OWN IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION.

ON RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. HUDDLESTON , WITNESS STATED THAT ON THE NIGHT HE , MCDONALD , COLE AND HESTER WERE IN THE BUTCHER SHOP A NEW FLOOR WAS BEING PUT DOWN AND THAT THE GOODS HAD ALL BEEN MOVED OVER TO ONE SIDE OF THE BUILDING .

BILL WOOD , 21 YEARS OF AGE WAS NEXT CALLED AND STATED THAT HE HAD KNOWN RAY HESTER FOR TEN OR TWELVE YEARS AND THAT HE KNEW WALTER COLE , SANDY MCDONALD AND GILBERT SPILLMAN .

WITNESS HAD A CONVERSATION WITH PARTIES FOLLOWING THE JOSEPH ROBBERY BEFORE THE GOODS HAD BEEN DIVIDED , HE HAD A CONVERSATION WITH RAY HESTER EITHER AT THE POOL HALL OR HARDESTY AND LACKEY'S . ON THE OCCASSION OF HIS FORST CONVERSATION , HESTER FIRST DENIED KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT THE ROBBERY BUT ON SECOND OCCASION HESTER ASKED HIM WHY HE WAS RUNNING AROUND WITH WALTER COLE . WITNESS ASKED HESTER IF THEY HAD DIVIDED THE GOODS BUT HESTER TOLD HIM SOMEONE STOLED HIS . WITNESS TOLD HESTER HE WAS A LIAR .

THE NIGHT WITNESS AND COLE LEFT PARAGOULD FOR JONESBORO HE SAW RAY HESTER WHO ACCUSED HIM OF HAVING PLANNED TO STEAL SPILLMAN'S PART OF THE SWAG. HESTER TELLING HIM THAT HE HAD BETTER LOOK OUT OR SPILLMAN , WILL SMOKE YOU OUT.

ON CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. BANDY , WOOD STATED THAT HE WAS CAUGHT AT JONESBORO WITH COLE , THAT THE TWO HAD THREE SUIT CASES , TWO OF WHICH BELONGED TO COLE AND ONE BELONGING TO WITNESS . WHEN ARRESTED COLE STATED TO THE OFFICERS THAT HE HAD BOUGHT THE GOODS , BUT DID NOT SAY FROM WHOM . WITNESS DENIED THAT HE WAS OFFERED ANYTHING TO HELP COLE GET THE GOODS OUT OF THE STATE AND CONTENDED THAT HE HAD NEVER SEEN THE GOODS UNTIL THE SUIT CASES WERE OPENED , BUT THAT HE KNEW THE GOODS WERE STOLEN . HE DENIED THAT HE HELPED COLE PACK THE GRIPS AFTER BEING BROUGHT TO PARAGOULD WITNESS WAS PUT IN JAIL AND REMAINED TWO DAY BUT WAS BAILED OUT . WITNESS WAS INDICTED AND BOUND OVER TO THE GRAND JURY AND HAS NEVER BEEN PROMISED ANY KIND OF IMMUNITY BUT ADMITTED THAT I.D. WOLF HAD PROMISED TO HELP HIM OUT OF THE CASE IF HE WOULD TELL THE TRUTH.

WITNESS WOOD DENIED THAT HE HAD EVER STOLEN AN AUTOMOBILE FROM JOHN SPENCE , BUT ADMITTED THAT HE HAD BEEN IN JAIL IN KANSAS CHARGED WITH STEALING CLOTHING , THAT HE HAD ALSO BEEN IN JAIL AT CARUTHERSVILLE CHARGED WITH STEALING CLOTHING . HE WAS IN JAIL ONE MONTH BUT WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY.

"RED" R.E. CARR TESTIFIED THAT PRIOR TO THE ROBBERY OF JOSEPH'S STORE IN APRIL HE PASSED HESTER'S BUTCHER SHOP BETWEEN 9 AND 9:15 AND SAW RAY HESTER AND WALTER COLE AND SANDY MCDONALD . THE SHOP FLOOR WAS TORN UP AND ALL OF THE MERCHANDISE WAS ON ONE SIDE , WITNESS MARRIED COLE'S FATHER'S HALF SISTER . HE LATER IDENTIFIED THE NIGHT OF THIS OCCURRENCE AS APRIL 11 TH , WHICH WAS SUNDAY NIGHT.

ED COLE , FATHER OF WALTER COLE TESTIFIED THAT ON TWO OR THREE OCCASIONS HE HAD SEEN RAY HESTER AND WALTER COLE TOGETHER AT HIS STORE . THE FACT OF RAY'S PRESENCE WAS IMPRESSED ON COLE'S MIND BECAUSE OF THE FACT RAY HESTER HAD BEEN ACCUSED BEFORE .

JOHN BUCHANAN WHO CLERKS FOR ED COLE AND WHO WAS IN COLE'S STORE LAST APRIL TESTIFIED THAT RAY HESTER WAS AROUND THE STORE WITH WALTER COLE ON SEVERAL OCCASSIONS .

BOB HAYS WAS CALLED AS A WITNESS AND SWORE THAT THE FOLLOWING THE JOSEPH ROBBERY HE WAS GOING TO HIS FARM AND WHEN ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF DOWN THE PEKIN ROAD HE FOUND WHERE AN ATTEMPT HAD BEEN MADE TO DESTROY SUIT CASES , PRICE TAGS AND WRAPPINGS . THESE THINGS HAD BEEN PILED TOGETHER IN A FENCE CORNER AND SET ON FIRE BUT RAIN PUT OUT THE BLAZE . WITNESS FOUND TIRE TRACKS BY THE RUBBISH . WITNESS GATHERED UP SOME OF THE PRICE TAGS AND SENT THEM TO THE JOSEPH COMPANY BY HIS DAUGHTER WHO WORKS AT JOSEPH'S .

WHEN THE STATE RESTED ITS CASE AT THIS POINT THE DEFENSE MOVED THAT THE JUDGE ORDER A VERDICT OF ACQUITAL ON THE GROUND THAT THE PROSECUTION HAD FAILED TO PROVE HESTER'S CONNECTION WITH THE CRIME . THE MOTION WAS OVERULED BY JUDGE JOHNSTON WHO ORDERED THAT THE TRIAL BE CONTINUED.

FRIDAY MORNING

MRS. T.C. HESTER MOTHER OF RAY HESTER TOOK THE STAND THIS MORNING AND TESTIFIED THAT SHE WAS TOLD OF THE JOSEPH ROBBERY BY HER HUSBAND AT NOON FOLLOWING THE NIGHT OF OCCURENCES . SHE HAD BEEN UP THREE OR FOUR TIMES WITH A SICK CHILD ON THE NIGHT OF THE ROBBERY. HER SON RAY , SHE TESTIFIED CAME IN ABOUT ELEVEN O'CLOCK . SHE ENTERED HIS ROOM TWO OR THREE TIMES THAT NIGHT AND WAS SURE RAY WAS IN BED . EARL CLAYTON WAS IN A ROOM ADJOINIG THAT OCCUPIED BY RAY AND CLYDE HESTER AND A CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE A FACT WAS IMPRESSED UPON HER MIND.

T.C. HESTER , RAY'S FATHER FOLLOWED MRS. HESTER A WITNESS AND REPEATED MRS. HESTER'S STATEMENT TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAD SPOLEN OF THE ROBBERY AT THE DINNER TABLE ON SATURDAY .

CAT MCALLISTER WHO FOR 12 R 15 YEARS HAS WORKED FOR T.C. HESTER SWORE THAT THE HOUSE HE OCCUPIED ON EAST COURT STREET HAD A DOOR CLOSING UP THE UNDERPINNING THAT THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY TO GET UNDER THE HOUSE AND THAT IN HIS OPINION THIS DOOR COULD NOT HAVE BEEN OPENED WITHOUT MAKING A NOISE.

SANDY MCDONALD TESTIFIED THAT HE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ROBBERY AND DID NOT KNOW IT OCCURED UNTIL HE READ IT IN THE PRESS .

AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS ATTORNEYS FOR THE STATE AND THE DEFENSE WERE WORKING OUT DETAILS OT INSTRUCTIONS TO THE JURY TO BE GIVEN BY JUDGE JOHNSON .

THE CASE WILL PROBABLY BE ARGUED DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE AFTERNOON ANSD WILL LIKELY GO TO THE JURY TONIGHT.