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Mail Tribune 100

Feb. 11, 1918


The bootlegging arrest of last week were cleared up in Judge Taylor's court Monday when Earl Jessiman, who was convicted by a jury Saturday afternoon of selling intoxicating liquor was fined $300 and costs and Floyd Milligan, the taxicab driver, who pleaded guilty to the same charge and testified for the state against Jessamin, was given a fine of $100 and costs and a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail.

It now develops that as far as Jessiman is concerned he was not connected with the bootlegging ring. County Prosecutor Roberts is convinced that the sale of the bottle of liquor by Jessiman to Milligan was his first one. It was for this reason and also because of the fact that Jessiman has borne a good reputation and the jury and Prosecutor Roberts recommended leniency that no jail sentence was imposed on Jessiman.

Earl Short, proprietor of the Optimo restaurant, at which Jessiman has long been employed, deeply deplored that the restaurant's name was mentioned in connection with Jessiman's arrest. The Optimo restaurant has a high class of trade and no liquor has ever been allowed in the place or any employee allowed top handle it. Mr. Short also feels that a great injustice has been done Jessiman, who he says has been a faithful employee of good character. "It is ridiculous to talk of Jessiman being a bootlegger," said Mr. Short today. "I am as much opposed to bootleggers as anyone and would like to see bootlegging stopped, but Jessiman was no bootlegger. If he is guilty, as the jury found him, he only gave that bottle to Milligan as on accommodation. "Jessiman has money in the bank, owns an auto and I pay him a salary of $125 a month, so you see he would have no financial occasion to bootleg. If a jail sentence had been imposed on him I would have backed him in having his case appealed to circuit court. That's what I think of him."