Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mute From Obstinacy

American Friend & Marietta Gazette, April 11, 1829

Robert Bruce, the person who broke into the shop of Mr. David B. Anderson, in December last, took therefrom a large number of watches, &c., had his trial before the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, held in this town this week.  When brought to the bar to answer to the indictment, he remained mute, and for sometime previous thereto, he endeavored to induce a belief that he was insane; but his artfulness was too evident to confirm that belief in any person.

It was, however, deemed expedient to empanel a jury to examine him before he should be put on trial, who after hearing all the evidence of the case, after a few minutes retirement, returned a verdict of "mute from obstinacy."  He was then tried, found guilty, and sentenced to the Penitentiary for seven years.

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