Martin you naughty, naughty boy…maybe

Well seeing as today is St. Patrick’s day, I have decided to stick to the Irish theme I started last week as regards Martin Cain. So here is a real doozy for you.

On August 31, 1874 after 3:00 in the afternoon the examination of Owen Keogh and Martin Kane was commenced, they were charged with assaulting Charles Tourtellot and Samuel Hicks on the night of August 24th. The room was stuffed to the rafters with excited spectators.

“Tourtellot swore that the two respondents, with one other, came out of Owen’s place and approached himself and Hicks on Plainfield street. They stood on the corner of the streets near Owen’s shop when the three men came out. He and Hicks walked down toward the railroad and the men followed them. Kane has a pistol and fired at the witness, a ball passing through his coat. At the same time his companion, Hicks, was struck with a slung shot, or something similar, which he held in his hand. Hicks was quite badly hurt, went to the Sixth Police Station for help, and returned to Owen’s place, when Kane was arrested. This was the gist of Tourtellot’s testimony, as elicited by State Constable Wilson, who conducted the case for the prosecution. He was closely cross-examined by Mr. Mowry, for the defense.

Samuel Hicks swore that he was with Tourtellot on the night of August 24th; was followed by three men near Owen’s place; heard a pistol fired, and at the same instant fell to the ground hit by a slung-shot; heard someone say, “Keough, you’ve hit him in a good place;” witness thought so, too; saw the flash of a pistol, and thought I was shot when I was struck at first; jumped up in about five seconds and ran to Dr. Eldy’s [sp.?] office; didn’t wait to see who was there when I jumped up; doctor told me it was only a blow from a slung-shot, and I’d better go and put my head in a watering trough.

Officer Bowen testified to arresting Kane in Owen’s shop; was trying to escape by the door through which two or three others had already escaped; Officer Southwick and myself arrested him; Officer Conway, of the Johnston force, came in at the front door afterwards.

Mrs. Mary McLaughlin testified that she heard a noise on the Johnston road, about a quarter past ten; looked out of her window and saw a man lying the road; he got up, and ran away; saw two other men running in the another direction; heard a pistol fired and the cry of “MURDER!”

This closed the evidence for the prosecution. Mr. Mowry observed that his defense was that the respondents were not at the place when the assault is alleged at the time in question, and knew nothing about it.

Martin Kane swore that he was at John Grady’s house, on or near Sampson street; got him to write a letter for him; was there an hour; came out with him; stopped at one or two places; stopped at a tavern; himself, John Grady and Peter Flynn went to Thomas Owen’s place; saw no disturbance; never owned or fired a pistol; never had or owned a slung-shot; never knew Owen Keogh; was arrested at Owen’s place; didn’t know that anyone had been assaulted.

To Mr. Wilson.–Have had no particular reason for keeping the letter a week after it was written before mailing it; got to Mr. Grady’s about half-mast seven; left there about nine; was in Owen’s place about fifteen minutes before the officers came; took his pocketbook out in Owen’ place to hand over the bar, but put it back in his pocket.

Jon Grady swore that Kane, whom he had known twenty-five years, came to his house in the Tenth Ward, Aug. 24th, went to Owen’s place after writing a letter; met Owen Keough there; never saw either Hicks or Tourtellot till after the row; saw no pistol or slung shot that night; told officer Conway they had got the wrong man.

To Mr. Wilson.–Didn’t know there had been a fight; didn’t see any one run from Owen’s place.

 Michael Leonard, Owen’t bartender, swore that Hicks and Tourtellot passed by Owen’s place on the night of Aug. 24, and in a few minuted the city police rushed in, “and tha’t all I know about it.” Owen Keogh was not in the sop that night; the shop is two or three rods from the railroad’ didn’t hear any pistol fired or any cry of murder; was no three men in the saloon at the time; saw no one in the shop but Kane, Grady and Flynn.

To Mr. Wilson.–Am sure I can tell the time within three minutes; Kane said then he came in, “We’ve walked all the way from North Providence to have a glass of hop beer.”

Thomas Owen swore that Kane, Grady and Flynn came to his shop between ten and eleven; had been in but a few minutes when the officers came; heard no pistol and knew of no disturbance till the officers rushed in; saw no pistol.

To Mr. Wilson.–Tink it was near eleven when Kane and the others came in; Kane seemed to have a little down, but was not drunk; I can give a pretty food guess about that.

Owen Keogh swore that he was “round Olneyville” on the evening of Aug. 24; was with Michael McDonough all the evening; had no slung shot that evening; never saw Hicks before to-day; was not on the Johnston road that night; didn’t hear any one say “Owen Keough has given Hicks a good one, now give Tourtellott a good one.”

Here the evidence was concluded.

The counsel on both sides spoke with ability, but not at such length as in the previous case, for human nature is not invulnerable, and the appeals of an empty stomach are not to be entirely disregarded. It was after five o’clock, and beads of perspiration stood thickly on the foreheads of the weary group. There remarks of the counsel for the prosecution were commendable for their pointed character and brevity.

The Court found the respondents not probably guilty, and they were discharged.”1

So the question still remains. Was he guilty or not guilty? I’m thinking he and his pals got lucky in court that day.


Crusade Of The State Constables. A Camp Meeting Visited–A Liquor Case in a Johnston; Paper: Providence Evening Press Date: 09-01-1874; Volume: XXXI; Issue: 146; Page: [1]; Location: Providence, Rhode Island  

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