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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 10, 1917


Circuit Judge F.M. Calkins is expected to give his decision within a few days in the habeas corpus proceedings brought by Attorney O.C. Boggs to obtain the release of William Butler, accused of the murder of Donald Stewart on October 29, in the Browsboro section.

Attorney Boggs filed the petition Friday night and Saturday morning the case was argued in circuit court on a demurrer. The contention by Boggs was that no good reason has been shown by the state as to why Butler should be held for the crime of which he is accused, and that evidence of guilt is lacking. The main point made by Boggs is that Prosecuting Attorney Roberts has not placed and refuses to place on file the stenographic report taken at the coroner's inquest into Stewart's death, as the law provides.

He argued that this evidence was illegally withheld at Butler's preliminary hearing before Justice Taylor, and that Butler was held to the charge of murder on insufficient evidence. He asked for an absolute release of Butler from the murder charge or that he be admitted to bail. Boggs contended that the law holds that the evidence taken before the coroner, which was taken down by Roberts' stenographer, must be transcribed and filed with the coroner's verdict with the examining magistrate before whom Butler had his hearing.

Prosecutor Roberts and his stenographer did not so file the testimony and both he and his stenographer refused to allow Boggs to see the testimony. Last week Boggs got a writ from Judge Calkins to serve on Mr. Forbes, the prosecutor's stenographer, ordering him to file the evidence, but the writ could not be served, as Forbes is in a Portland hospital. Then on Saturday afternoon, learning that Roberts had the transcribed evidence, Boggs obtained a similar writ from the judge to serve on Roberts, but the latter had left for Cincinnati to be gone until January 1, before it could be served.