Saturday, September 16, 2017

At Preliminary Hearing, Witnesses Say Physically Impossible for Mrs. King to Have Shot Herself, 1917

“State Concludes Case at Means’ Preliminary Hearing,” from the Monroe Journal, Sept. 25, 1917

At First Day of Sensational Murder Case, Experts Testified That Woman Couldn’t Have Killed Herself as Described

Concord, Sept. 24—The state concluded its case at the preliminary hearing here today of Gaston B. Means on a warrant charging him with the murder of Mrs. Maude A. King, without giving any hint of a possible motive. It confined itself to an effort to show “probably cause” which would be sufficient to bind Means over to the grand jury.

An adjournment until tomorrow was taken immediately after the state finished presenting witnesses, the defense requesting time to confer before announcing what steps it would take.

Among the witnesses who testified for the prosecution were two experts who declared that in their opinion it would have been a physical impossibility for Mrs. King to have shot herself in the manner in which she received her fatal wound near here early in the evening of August 29, last. Means, who was the business agent of the wealthy widow, was with her at target practice at Blackwelder Springs when the shooting occurred and he told the coroner’s jury that she shot herself accidentally.

The hearing was held before Magistrate C.A. Pitts, counsel for Means declining to have him examined before Magistrate A.B. Palmer.

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