Friday, December 24, 2010

More Than Smell Needed To Prove Man Guilty of Bootlegging, Court Says

The Marietta Daily Times, December 8, 1922

That it requires more than the sense of smell on which to convict a man of bootlegging, was the statement of Judge David H. Thomas, in common pleas court on Friday, when he intimated that he would over-rule the verdict of Mayor Sandford in the case of Frank G. Peters, convicted last summer on a charge of dispensing intoxicating liquors at his Front street cafe.

Peters was arrested by the police when they raided his place, and found what they believed to be evidence of liquor.  Peters was behind the bar at the time, and is alleged to have beat the police to it by turning over a glass of whiskey into the sink.  The police got the empty glass and declared there was sufficient corn liquor sticking to the sides of it to prove that Peters was selling corn.

When the case came on for trial before Mayor Sandford, the fact that the glass gave off a strong odor of whiskey was the chief evidence introduced by the police and on the strength of that the mayor found Peters guilty.  An appeal was taken, and it was argued before Judge Thomas on Friday morning.  Asa Ward and Everett F. Folger appeared on behalf of Peters, while City Solicitor Ogle defended the mayor's action.

While Judge Thomas expects to review the record of the case more fully, he stated informally that it was apparent that Peters has been convicted more on his past reputation than on real facts, and stated that it was apparent to him that for the first time in cases of this sort he would be called upon to reverse the finding of Mayor Sandford.

The case of Harry Needs, who was convicted of operating a moonshine outfit at his home in this city, also was argued on error, B. E. Guyton and Everett F. Folger representing him.  This case also came from the court of the mayor, and the appeal was opposed by City Solicitor Ogle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Judge Thomas was my great-grandfather, and by all accounts was held in high regard as a fair judge. Thanks for this interesting story!