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Mail Tribune 100, March 12, 1921

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

March 12, 1921

BEN COLLINS NOT GUILTY BANK CASE

After Deliberating Five Hours Jury in Second Jacksonville Bank Case Acquits Ben Collins of Criminal Charge — Further Instructions From Court Requested at Noon.

*At 2:30 this afternoon the jury returned a verdict of not guilty in the Collins case.*

The jury in the case of Ben M. Collins began its deliberations at 9:40 o’clock this morning, and at noon had reached no verdict. At eleven o’clock the jury asked for further instructions, and returned to the jury box.

Juror W. R. Lamb, a farmer of Medford asked the court:

“If the defendant borrowed over $2,200 would it be a crime, your honor?”

The court replied in line with its previous instructions that such would not be a crime, and that further, the borrowing of a greater amount from a bank would not in itself constitute a crime. The court also instructed that it must be proven that the defendant conspired with the cashier of a bank to defraud. This point is based on the Oregon state law, prohibiting a bank to loan over ten percent of its capital to one person, and is probably the point upon which the decision hinges. The jury retired immediately and resumed their deliberations.

Little, if any interest, is being taken in the case by the citizens of Jacksonville, only five people not court attaches waiting for the verdict.

Court Adjourns to March 21

With the completion of the trial of Ben M. Collins the circuit court took a continuance until Monday, March 21, when the docket will be resumed. This action was made necessary largely by the calling of Marshall Hooper, assistant bank superintendent, to Klamath Falls, where he was called on official business in connection with the re-opening of the J. W. Siemens bank of that city. Hooper is an important witness in the remaining Jacksonville bank cases.

When the court resumes its sessions it will be occupied by civil actions and the hearing of the evidence in the indictments against Chester C. Kubli, S.T. Johnson, and J. E. Bartlett, in connection with the Bank of Jacksonville failure, and that of W. F. DeWitt, Ashland jitney driver, indicted on a manslaughter charge as a result of the death of Mrs. Nona Jennings of this city in an auto accident near Talent last Christmas Eve.

— Alissa Corman;acorman@rosebudmedia.com

News from 100 years ago