Monday, September 18, 2017

Means Trial May be Moved to Union County, 1917

“Gaston Means May Be Tried in Union County,” from the Monroe Journal, Oct. 5, 1917

Tom Bost, in the Greensboro News, Voices the Suspicion that Mr. Armfield Was Brought Into Case for This reason

There is a faint possibility that Gaston Means, charged with the murder of Mrs. Maude King, will be tired in Union County. Mr. Frank Armfield, suspicions Tom Bost, the well-known Raleigh correspondent of the Greensboro News, was brought into the case in order that he might pick the “right kind” of jury in case Means should be tried in this county.

Mr. Bost’s story, sent from Salisbury Wednesday, and contained in yesterday’s Greensboro News, follows:

“Assuming that the grand jury will find a bill against Gaston Means and that there will be a big trial “somewhere in North Carolina” about the close of October, the populace of Rowan, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Union counties finds excuse for its sustained interest in the case through proposed change of venue.

‘Here there is a suspicion that Frank Armfield was bought into the case from Union to make sure of a good jury should the state decide to move the case from Cabarrus County to the place where Andy Jackson, former well-known Salisburian, Governor Bickett and Secretary Frank Dave Houston of President Wilson’s cabinet had the destiny first to open their eyes, and mouths. The assumption of such business is this is positively amazing.

“Then the Cabarrus bar in toto is attached to the Means defense sothere is no danger of a jury of local dunderheads. In Mecklenburg both Cansler and Judge Frank Osborne are known to the vast empire outside Charlotte and they have that division protected against a hostile venire or even a Twelve. It is assumed that Union or Mecklenburg will get the trial for these very potent popular reasons.

“And that’s about all that there is immediately ahead. All hope of the ‘squeal’ promised last week is gone now. All early prospect of the new arrests now has passed. The two men and the star woman who were to have taken last week or early this will not be arrested. The people have only the trial to look forward to and that is four weeks off.”

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