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Mail Tribune 100, Feb. 4, 1919

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.

Feb. 4, 1919

PRISONER SAWS JAIL SKY-LIGHT BARS AND ESCAPES

The first county jail escape under the administration of Sheriff Chas. Terrell took place some time last night and was not discovered until this morning. The erstwhile prisoner who escaped is Joe Martin of Ashland who was held in $3,000 bail on the charge of criminal assault on a young Ashland girl. The sheriff and deputies are scouring the country for him today and the police of all surrounding towns were notified by telephone or telegraph to look out for the escaped man.

Martin made his escape by sawing off one of the one-half inch bars across the skylight of the jail corridor with an old case knife, crawling thru the skylight and letting himself down to the ground by means of a rope improvised by cutting his bedding into strips. He was not locked in his cell last night and had the freedom of the corridor. By piling up tables beneath the skylight he was able to reach the latter and saw the bar off.

During the time of Ralph Jennings as sheriff the county jail was thought to have been made reasonably escape proof, but Martin’s absence exposed this fallacy, and hereafter all prisoners will be locked in cells for the night. Martin is thought to be speeding south on a freight train.

He is 23 years old, a Slavonian in nationality, 5 feet and 9 or 10 inches in height, dark complexion and smooth shaven. He took with him from the jail his bundle of clothes, and is supposed to be wearing a gray and brown mackinaw, gray trousers, high-topped shoes and a black hat. He also had a blue serge suit and $20 in money.

TAXI DRIVER CLEARED BY JURY OF SPEED CHARGE

Jim Leslie, the taxi cab proprietor, is now Mr. James Leslie to all — his friends and a town hero besides, because of his having beaten Speed Cop McDonald in a jury trial yesterday afternoon before Justice Taylor, where he was charged with driving his taxi at a speed of 35 miles an hour between Medford and Phoenix.

Leslie testified that he was not going faster than 25 miles an hour, and this was corroborated by S. H. Clay, his passenger. Both Leslie and Clay, however testified that they did not look at the speedometer, but they each guessed that the taxi could not be going faster than 25 miles an hour. The jury preferred to believe their guess as against the motorcycle cop’s statement and speedometer. H. A. Cainday was Leslie’s attorney and County Prosecutor Roberts conducted the prosecution. The jurymen were L. R. Bingham, P. J. Halley, T. B. Ellison, G. F. Kincheloe, L. Larkin and R. L. Taylor.

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