Tales from the Morgue: Deadly road trip, Part 11

2014-08-20T00:00:00Z Tales from the Morgue: Deadly road trip, Part 11Johanna Eubank Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 20, 2014 12:00 am  • 

William Estaver, aka Paul Hadley, went on trial for the second time in Pima County, for the murder of Anna Johnson.

This trial was faster because much of the testimony from the previous trial was read into the record since those witnesses were not available again.

The articles from the second trial will not be reprinted here because they are so similar to those of the first trial. We will go directly to the verdict.

From the Arizona Daily Star, Sunday, May 28, 1922:

 

Jury Asks Death Penalty for Estaver

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VERDICT OF GUILTY RETURNED AFTER A BRIEF DELIBERATION; PRISONER PALES AT DECISION

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Case Goes to Jury Late Yesterday After Closing Argument; Judge to Pronouce Sentence Saturday

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After deliberating for only 15 minutes the jury in the case of Paul V. Hadley, alias William S. Estaver, returned a verdict yesterday afternoon of first-degree murder and recommended that the death penalty be imposed. Judge Samuel Pattee will impose sentence on the prisoner next Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Deputy prosecutor Ben B. Mathews finished his argument to the jury yesterday morning. Attorney Louis R. Kempf opened arguments for the defense and the closing statement was made for the defense by attorney James R. Dunseath. Prosecutor George R. Darnell closed the arguments for the state.

Immediately after Prosecutor Darnell had closed his argument at [unreadable] p.m., the fate of the defendant was given into the hands of the jury. The jurymen retired to their room, and after deliberation of 15 minutes sent word that they had reached a verdict. Only one ballot had been taken.

Judge Pattee instructed that the jury be brought to the court room. The defendant was brought to the court room in the custody of a deputy sheriff. Although the calm appearance that had characterized his demeanor throughout the trial was still apparent in the bearing of the defendant when the jury filed into the court room, it was noticed that his face was much whiter than usual. This was the only sign given by the prisoner that he was deeply moved.

During the reading of the verdict the defendant sat unmoved.

The verdict of the jury, which was signed by Foreman J. W. McDonald, follows:

"State of Arizona, plaintiff, vs. Paul V. Hadley informed against as William S. Estaver, defendant – we the jury impaneled and sworn in this above entitled cause, upon our oath do find the defendant Paul V. Hadley informed against as William S. Estaver, guilty of murder in the first degree, and fix the penalty at death."

The names of the jurors in the case follow: J. W. McDonald, foreman; R. Roy Rist, Albert C. Lent, Eugene F. Enrique, Ed S. Wells, John A. Harris, O. Z. Kane, L. B. Williams, Alexander McAdams, C. M. Lincoln, Pedro P. Lopes and Ernest E. Hughes.

Prosecution of the case against the defendant was conducted by County Attorney George R. Darnell and his assistant Ben B. Mathews. Attorneys James R. Dunseath, K. Berry Peterson and Louis R. Kempf comprised the defense counsel.

Charged With Murder

The defendant was charged with the slaying of Mrs. Anna C. Johnson, who was shot and killed at a lonely spot on the Ajo-Stovall road on the night of November 15, 1921. The woman's husband was also shot, but recovered from his wounds.

The defendant was tried on the same charge under the name William S. Estaver several months ago, but the jury failed to agree and was discharged. It took 12 days to try the case.

It required just eight days to re-try the case. One reason for expediting of the proceedings was the fact that owing to the absence of several witnesses it was necessary to only read transcript of their previous testimony. Night sessions were also held in the last trial for the purpose of winding up the case as soon as possible.

Both the prosecutor and his assistant during their arguments laid stress upon the discrepancies in the defendant's testimony. The prosecution pointed out that on a number of instances during the cross-examination during the last trial, the defendant had admitted that his testimony in the first trial was untrue.

The attention of the jury was particularly called by the prosecution to the testimony of Hadley that Mrs. Johnson was shot by a man from the front and right of the car. In reality the woman was shot from behind, the bullets entering her back and left side. Hadley occupied the rear seat of the Johnson car and was sitting on the left side, while Mrs. Johnson was seated in the front seat of the car on the right side.

In commenting last night on the verdict brought in by the jury in the Hadley trial, Prosecutor George R. Darnell declared that he was perfectly satisfied. He declared that from the study of the case he was convinced that there was no question of the guilt of the convicted man.

A. J. Jedlicka, assistant warden of the state prison at McAlester, Okla., in commenting on the verdict said that after hearing Peter Johnson's story of the crime, he was confident Hadley would be convicted.

Mr. Jedlicka declared further that during his conversations with Tucsonans regarding the Hadley case, the belief was invariably expressed that the man charged with the murder of Mrs. Anna C. Johnson was guilty.

Today Assistant Warden Jedlicka will leave for Oklahoma City, Okla.

Following the reading of the verdict yesterday James R. Dunseath, one of the members of the counsel of the defense in the Hadley case, declared that he had worked with diligence in defense of his client, but that the jury was the final court and its decision as to the guilt or innocence of the accused must be accepted. K. Berry Peterson and Louis R. Kempf, also defense lawyers, made similar statements.

The judge did sign the death warrant the following Saturday and set the execution date for Aug. 18, 1922.

It looked as if the penitentiary in Oklahoma might not get their prisoner back after all. 

Next: The rest of the story.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com

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