Mail Tribune 100, Nov. 1, 1919
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Nov. 1, 1919
ARREST OF EVANS WAS CAUSED BY MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Lark Evans, the erstwhile robber suspect, accompanied by his wife left this morning for Klamath Falls to resume his employment at a garage in that city which was interruptedby his arrest last Sunday at the request of the Jackson county authorities becauseof his indictment last week by the grand jury here on the charge of robbing J. G. White, the Grants Pass jitney owner, on Sept. 13th last.
Evans was exonerated from the robbery charge by County Attorney Roberts when it was demonstrated that Reynolds was working at a garage in Medford on Sept. 13 long over 13 hours and when witnesses, who had identified his picture from the rogues gallery at the Portland police headquarters as that of the man who with a woman accomplice hired White at Grants Pass to drive them ostensibly to a camp near that city, when they saw Evans after his arrest declared that he was not the man.
“We had not a thing to hold Evans on,” said Prosecutor Roberts yesterday, “and in justice to him I release him. The fact that suspicion was case on him and his arrest were due to a case of mistaken identity.”
Evans was released on his promise to report frequently to Prosecutor Roberts from wherever he was located. At the time he was released White was in Phoenix, Ariz., where he had gone to spend the winter with his son, and the authorities here had not yet received an answer to their telegram to him to return here to prosecute the case. Yesterday afternoon, however, White telegraphed Sheriff Terrell that he would leave Phoenix on Nov. 9 for Medford.
It was a peculiar case of mistaken identity, as Evans answered very closely to the description given by White and others of the jitney robber. He is not a paroled convict, but was arrested on a burglary charge last January in Portland and was paroled by the police court there.
The Jackson county authorities still think that when the real robber is found he will know something about the Jacksonville mountain murder mystery.
“I bear no ill will against anybody because of my being suspected and arrested, and the notoriety I have received in consequence” said Evans just before leaving the city today.
“It was purely a case of mistaken identity caused by my resemblance to the description of the robber. I am merely the victim of a strange mix-up. I have nothing but the kindest feelings, especially for Sheriff Terrell who is a fine man and has treated me like a prince all the way thru. I am glad White is coming back and I want to appear before him in order that not a particle of suspicion may yet remain that I was the man who robbed him.”