Elk City, Idaho County, Idaho
(Part 3 Murder)
from: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
Main Street Elk City, Idaho
View of Main Street, Elk City, Idaho
From the Mike Fritz Collection
courtesy Heather Heber Callahan Idaho History 1860s to 1960s
(click for source – larger image)
— — — — — — — — — —
Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County
Idaho County Free Press – Friday, December 14, 1888
Another Good Heathen
Lee Chung, the Moose Creek Murderer, is Shot and Killed on the Clearwater, While Resisting Arrest.
Our readers’ are familiar with the fact that on November 12, Lee Chung, a Chinese desperado, shot and killed two of his partners, Wong Goon Yen and Lin Ok Goon, on the well-known Moose creek mining company’s claim, near Elk City. The double murder made a considerable stir among the county officials and also in the Chinese settlements hereabouts. Several Chinamen went to Moose creek to arrest him, but failed in the attempt and it was reported that he had passed through Lewiston a month ago on his way to Portland, and that he was halfway back to China by this time. The company to which the murdered men belonged offered $600 reward for his arrest, and his description was widely advertised.
Meanwhile sheriff Talkington had received information that the murderer had been seen on the Clearwater, and being an active and zealous official he proceeded to investigate, and found it a sure enough fact. There are a good many Chinamen living on the Clearwater for fifteen or twenty miles above the Jackson bridge – packers, miners and gardeners, who inhabit the little truck patches on the margin of the stream and it soon became evident to the mind of the sheriff that the murderer had been levying upon them for the means of subsistence, and that on account of their fear of the desperado he could never capture the convict while they remained on the river, and he determined upon their removal. A posse was therefore organized and sent into the Clearwater with under sheriff White in charge to bring back to Mt. Idaho every Chinaman found in the canyon. This was done without difficulty when it was explained to them that the object was to facilitate the capture of Lee Chung, when they all went willingly enough, save for a natural aversion to leaving their cabins and gardens unprotected, and by and by, the entire outfit fled into Mt. Idaho and were cautioned to remain there until further orders.
Having thus cleared the decks for action sheriff Talkington and his deputy, C.B. Wood, proceeded to occupy the cabin of Lee Ham, situated about 600 yards above the bridge, and there they awaited developments. Nor had they long to wait, for on Friday night, after fifteen hours of patient waiting, December 7, at eight o’clock, the murderer approached the cabin, pushed the door slightly ajar and thrust in a lighted Chinese taper, as though his suspicions were aroused he desired to light up the room before entering. A Chinaman’s dog had been previously sniffing around the cabin and got the white men’s’ scent, for he barked prodigiously, and this circumstance may have awakened the suspicions of the celestial, who had probably been skulking in the neighborhood of the cabin all day. At any rate the light was silently withdrawn, and after a moment cautiously thrust in again. As he was about to withdraw it for the second time, the sheriff and Wood fired simultaneously. They were random shots, as it was eight o’clock at night, and very dark. Their only guide as a target was the position of the light, which was presumably in his outstretched hand, and from this they guessed the corresponding position of the body and blazed away. They were armed with Winchester shot guns, loaded with twelve buckshot, and a heavy grunt told them he was hit. They then went out and found him around the corner of the house sitting on a pile of brush, with a buckshot in his head, having entered square between the eyes. His left arm was also torn to pieces by a charge. His pistol and taper lay on the ground beside him, and he lived for an hour before yielding up the ghost. Examination showed that the charge from sheriff Talkington’s gun had pierced the door and top button, and then made a center shot plumb between the eyes while Mr. Wood’s shot had taken effect in the arm. It was good work well and skillfully done, and white men and Chinese alike are thankful that the affair terminated as it did – the white people because the county is saved the cost of a criminal trial with no hope of conviction, and the Chinese because they were all so afraid of him that not one would have dared to testify against him if he had been brought to trial, although several of them saw him commit the Moose creek murders.
The body was brought to Mt. Idaho Saturday morning and a coroner’s inquest held and a verdict rendered according to the evidence. Two Chinese merchants from Portland and Spokane Falls, who belonged to the same company as the murdered man had come up to investigate the affair, and had authorized the reward of $600. Within an hour after the rendering of the verdict they had weighed out and paid over the full amount and acted very honorably in the matter from beginning to end. The Chinese here, with the exception of a few who belong to his company, are very glad the miscreant is killed, as he was regarded as a desperado among them, and is known to have killed two men in China and two in California and had besides threatened to kill two more of his partners in the Moose creek claim. He was a deadly shot with a pistol and posed as a holy terror among the “little yellow men.” There is a possibility of a feud growing out of the affair among the rival companies, and it is highly probable in the event that there is any more bloodshed between them the white men will take a hand and run the whole measly gang out of the county. They are a constant source of expense to the bounty treasury and were never known to benefit any community. Their room is preferable to their company at any time.
Transcribed from original microfilm by Penny Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
Believed to be the Chinese Laundry in Elk City 1910
source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
Elk City 1901
Hotel Parr and Restaurant, Big Buffalo Saloon, Drug Store, Miners Supply.
Copyright Idaho state Historical Society 2012.
source: Idaho State Historical Society
More photos of the Parr Hotel
link: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
1914 Elk City Murder
The following are newspaper accounts of the murder trial of Frank Hye. Accused of murdering his wife Alma Litchfield Hye and Hugh Kennedy in Elk City on October 4, 1914.
There were many typos in the articles, which I have left as they were. Below is Frank Hye’s mug shot from his prison file, which I located at the Idaho Historical Society. Frank was sentenced to hard labor in the penitentiary for the indeterminate term of from 10 years to his natural life. Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey
Frank Hye’s mug shot from Boise State Penitentiary
submitted by: Penny Bennett Casey
Hugh Kennedy – murdered by Frank Hye
Photo submitted by: Bill Salmon
Alma Hye & baby Tommie – Alma was murdered by her husband Frank Hye
Photo submitted by: Penny Bennett Casey
These pages may not be reproduced for profit. Copyright: Penny Casey 2004
— — — —
Free Press, Thursday, October 8, 1914
Tragedy at Elk Ends in Double Killing
Mrs. Frank Hye and Hugh Kennedy Killed by Woman’s Husband
Act Done Sunday Evening
Alleged The Man and Woman Found Together
After the Shooting, Hye Gave Himself Up To The Law.
The Elk City community was stunned last Sunday evening by the news that Frank Hye, a well known mining man of the Elk City district and the owner of the Elk City and Stites Stage line had shot and killed his wife and Hugh Kennedy, who had been in Hye’s employ as stage driver.
It is reported that Hye, who had just returned from a visit to Spokane, had reason to suspect certain irregularities and came home Sunday evening unexpected and went to his home in Elk City where he found his wife in bed and the other party disrobing. In the scene which followed and of which nothing is known, the shooting occurred which resulted in the death of both of the victims. After the shooting Hye took his eight-months-old babe and left it in the care of Mrs. Parr, the proprietress of the Elk City Hotel where he told what he had done and immediately took steps to give himself up.
He at once started for Grangeville in the custody of “Slivers” Thompson. Sheriff Eimers, who was at Stites at the time started for Elk City as soon as he heard the news and met the two on the Switchback and brought them on into Grangeville from there, Deputy Sheriff William Webb started for Elk City from Grangeville Monday morning as soon as he heard the news but Sheriff Eimers had already taken the steps indicated to bring the prisoner in.
Hye is in jail here at present and under the advice of his attorney, Wallace N. Scales has nothing whatever to say concerning the affair. The house was locked by Elk City citizens soon after the shooting so that an investigation could be made by the county officers when the proper time arrived.
Coroner Blake, county attorney M. R. Hattabaugh and B. Auger, county stenographer have gone to Elk City to investigate the affair and to hold an inquest and Hye is held in jail pending the investigations and until further steps can be determined upon after the county attorney returns from Elk City.
Frank Hye is a man of splendid reputation in the Elk City country and is well known in mining circles, coming to the county some time ago for the purpose of engaging in mining and to develop some properties which he owned in the Elk City district. He has conducted a store in the camp for a time and was a saloon keeper there for a while. Some short time ago he took the mail contract between Stites and Elk City and bought the interests of Pettibone in the stage line.
Hye is 40 years old and was married to Miss Alma Litchfield two or three years ago. She is about 27 years old and comes from a well known and highly respected family who have resided in the Elk City district and has resided in this county for a long time.
Hugh Kennedy, the man killed, was just 20 years, 11 months and three days of age at the time of his death and was employed by Hye as a stage driver between Elk City and Stites. Kennedy formerly resided with his parents in Grangeville and he is well known in the community having attended the public schools here. His father died here about 12 years ago in 1902 and is buried in the Grangeville cemetery. After the death of the father the deceased removed with his mother and brother to Stites. The brother A.D. Kennedy, removed from Stites to Orofino where he is a highly respected business man. A.D. Kennedy is in Grangeville today and has arranged to have the body brought in from Elk City for burial with the deceased father in the local cemetery. The arrival of the remains is expected today and will be buried from the undertaking parlors tomorrow.
The tragedy comes as a great shock to the citizens of Elk City as Hye and his wife have always been held high in the esteem of the citizens of that community and there was no knowledge but that there was the best of understanding between the two parties. No charge as yet has been filed against Hye and further developments will await the return of Attorney Hattabaugh from Elk City.
— — — —
Free Press, October 15, 1914
Hye Will Answer to Charge of Murder – a Strict Silence Is Being Maintained by the Prosecution and Accused
Preliminary Next Friday
Single Charge of Murder of His Wife Alma Hye is Brought Against Defendant by the State.
Little is revealed of the particulars of the tragedy which took place at Elk City last week and the officers who investigated the affair are maintaining a strict silence about the case and the inner facts of the shooting will not in any probability he revealed until the trial of Hye when he is called to answer by the law.
The coroner’s inquest was completed at Elk on Wednesday of last week and no news of the matters brought out at the hearing have been revealed. The Hye home was guarded from the time of the shooting until the county officers arrived to take matters in hand in conducting an investigation. County Attorney Hattabaugh returned from Elk City the later part of the week.
The coroner’s jury brought in a verdict that the deceased victims came to their deaths from gun shot wounds inflicted by Frank Hye with homicidal intent. A charge of murder was filed against Hye last Saturday evening, he being charged with the murder of his wife, Alma Hye.
The county prosecutor has seen fit to bring only a charge of murder against Hye on a single charge and has elected to try the defendant on the one charge of murdering his wife instead of a joint offense. Therefore Hye will be tried on the one charge and will have another facing him at the conclusion of the trial for the present charges.
Considerable interest has been aroused in the case but the strictest silence is being maintained by both the officers who represent the state and those who represent the accused. John Eimers has been in at Elk City this week and subpoenaed 12 witnesses for the state and 3 for the defense to testify at the preliminary hearing which has been set for next Friday the 16th of October.
It is reported that in all four shots were fired by Hye of which three took effect in the body of Hugh Kennedy and that Mrs. Hye was struck by only one bullet. Hye has been visited in the county jail by his brother who arrived from Spokane last week. He has declined to receive visits from anyone but his brother and his attorney, W.N. Scales. His interests in connection with the stage line between Elk City and Stites are being attended by Mr. Pettibone who formerly owned the line and sold it to Mr. Hye.
— — — —
Free Press, October 19, 1914
Hye Out on Bonds
The Necessary Seven Thousand Dollars Raised this Week.
The bond of $3000, which was set in the case of the State of Idaho vs. Frank Hye, who was charged with the killing of Hugh Kennedy, said case being passed upon by Judge Garets upon the testimony brought out in the preliminary in which he was charged with the killing of his wife, was provided Monday by the defendant who is now at liberty. The total bond for the two cases was $7000. Hye left the first of the week for Stites where he will spend several days looking after business and will later return to Spokane to remain until the next term of the district court. The three thousand dollar bond was signed by John Skedgel, T.B. York, R.M. Hannaford, R.Anderson, T.C. Benoy, N. Bowman and Frank Hye. In conversation with the writer the defendant stated there was absolutely no foundation to the rumor that he would not be here when district court sets and stated he had no reason to leave the country.
— — — —
Free Press, October 22, 1914
Preliminary Held Behind Closed Doors
Hearing of Frank Hye on Murder Charge Grinds From Friday to Tuesday.
Hye Permitted to Give Bail
Defendant Held on Murder Charge
News of Evidence Gets Out in Spite of Secrecy of Hearing
Before the hearing of Frank Hye was commenced last Friday morning Judge DeHaven sustained a motion of W.N. Scales, attorney for Frank Hye, to exclude the public and members of the bar from the hearing, allowing only the officers and attorney for accused to remain and the room was cleared. After the order was enforced the hearing proceeded.
Two witnesses were put on the stand Friday. One of the witnesses, Mrs. Baskett, of Elk City, testified as to her acquaintance with Mrs. Hye and Hugh Kennedy, the two victims, for along time dating to the childhood of both of deceased and that her position in the hotel at Elk City allowed her to know intimately the habits and dispositions of both of them. She said there had never been a thing that would indicate improper relations between Mrs. Hye and Kennedy and that no person in Elk City had reported any knowledge of such relations. Mrs. Baskett gave testimony as to the clothing worn by Mrs. Hye when she left the hotel scarcely an hour before she was killed. She said it was not the same as found on a chair in the dining room of the Hye home after the woman and Kennedy had been killed.
James H. Lysle, the Stites liveryman and the second witness put on by the state on Monday gave testimony intended to show premeditation on the part of Hye, two instances being shown where he had left Stites on horseback in the evening, one time saying he was going to Kooskia and at another time that he was going out to look for horses but each time he made a night ride to Elk City and had prepared himself with food, candles and other equipment necessary to stay out in the woods. One of these occasions was on September 26 and the other on October 3, the night before the killing at Elk City.
William Walker, a farmer, residing between Clearwater and the Switchback station testified that Hye endeavored to avoid the station by riding around but was seen on the road before reaching the station and after passing it.
Saturday only two witnesses were put on the stand, being Coroner Blake and H.T. Thompson who started out from Elk City with Hye after the per?(unreadable) of the deed.
The witness told of Hye having spent all of Sunday, Oct 4, before the shooting in the woods near Elk City, hiding his horse in a gulch where he spent the day and that he had a supply of food, candles and other things needed in staying out in the open and brought out that Mrs. Hye was either in a kneeling or pleading position when she was shot. The range of the bullet indicating this; that the clothing worn by Mrs. Hye when she left the Elk City hotel an hour before she was killed was partially burned in the parlor stove at the Hye home; that the beads worn about her neck the evening before she was shot were taken from the parlor stove at the Hye home in a partially melted condition; that the clothing taken from the chair in the Hye dining room had not been worn by Mrs. Hye; that a broken comb, buttons torn from a woman’s clothing and other women’s articles were found on the floor where Mrs. Hye and Hugh Kennedy were shot by Hye.
The cross examination by Attorney Wallace N. Seales indicated that the defense is endeavoring to lay a foundation for a contention that a fierce struggle took place in the Hye home before the shooting.
Coroner Blake testified also as the the bullet wound which passed out about five inches below where it entered Mrs. Hye’s breast, and as to certain scratches found on her head and of a bruise on her chin. Three bullets entered the body of Hugh Kennedy and there were two bullet wounds on his wrist which he could not say were inflicted by the bullets which passed through the body.
Dr. Blake also told of finding buttons on the floor which had been torn from a woman’s dress, and of a broken hair comb found on the floor and of burned buttons recovered from the ashes taken from the parlor stove at the Hye house. A woman’s blood-stained sweater was found on a chair and he said Mrs. Hye’s hair was matted with blood, the body lying on the floor near a couch. He found blood spot on the wall above the couch and blood on a woman’s stocking found behind the stove several feet away from the body.
Some beads were identified as being found in the ashes of the stove and which were identified as being worn by Mrs. Hye a short time before she was killed. Thompson testified as to the candle and food found where Hye had tied his horse.
Monday the trial was resumed and Mrs. L.A. Painter, sister of the murdered woman, testified as to the hair pins found in Mrs. Hye’s hair, showing that she had not prepared for bed and that the corset and little of the clothing found in the dining room on the chair after the shooting was worn by Mrs. Hye on the day she was killed. She also testified that the clothing worn by Mrs. Hye when last seen at the hotel was not found and had disappeared, the house being guarded from the time Hye informed others of his deed to the time of the coroner’s inquest. She identified a piece of ribbon from the corset cover worn by Mrs. Hye on the day she was killed and the beads and clover leaf pin, all found in the stove, as being worn by Mrs. Hye on the day of the tragedy.
The state concluded its evidence Monday and Tuesday after the defense had put five witnesses on the stand and Judge James DeHaven has ordered held the accused to answer to a charge of murder in the first degree, and to appear for trial before the District Court. He also provided that he should be released upon his putting up a bond in the sum of $4000, although his release on a bond was resisted on the ground that the offense was unbailable. The evidence of the witnesses put on by the defense corroborated the evidence of the state in many respects.
— — — —
Free Press, November 12, 1914
Hye Gave $4000 Bonds But Is Arrested on Second Charge
Now Held on Another Charge of Killing Hugh Kennedy
Justice Garrets Fixes Bail at $3000
Last Saturday Hye gained the freedom which was afforded by bail which was furnished by him in the amount of $4000, and which was fixed by Judge DeHaven after the preliminary hearing held sometime ago on a charge preferred against him for murdering his wife. The bonds were given by John Skedgel of Stites and George Trader of Dixie and these sureties were accepted as sufficient by Judge DeHaven.
The moment of liberty from the jail was short, however, as he was almost immediately taken up on a second warrant sworn out against him before Justice of the Peace, Garets, and charging him with the murder of Hugh Kennedy. He was seen on the streets of Grangeville Saturday morning but was then in the custody of Sheriff Eimers.
As a second preliminary hearing on a second charge would put great expense on the county, and as the same witnesses would testify in the second hearing, it was stipulated between Judge W.N. Scales, the attorney for the defendant, and M. R. Hattabaugh, county prosecutor, that the evidence taken in the first preliminary, should stand in the case on the second charge, to be read by Justice Garrets and from which the opinion should be formulated.
County stenographer B. Auger was immediately urged to complete the transcription of the testimony offered in the preliminary so that the same could be read by Justice Garets, and same was completed last Tuesday. This morning Judge Garets held the accused on the second charge and he is to be admitted to bail upon his furnishing and has not been forthcoming.
The substance of the transcript is bond in the sum of $3000, which as yet not revealed and will be filed in the clerk of the district court as records of the court.
— — — —
Free Press, February 4, 1915
Jurymen Drawn and Summoned to Appear Monday Morning
Thirty Jurors Summoned to Sit on Civil and Criminal Cases
Three Weeks of Jury Work
The criminal cases which will be tried at this term have all been set and the most of them will be tried during next week. The civil jury cases which have been set will take up the entire third week of the term commencing Monday, February 15. The Frank Hye case is set for trial on Monday, Feb. 22. This will be during the fourth week of the spring term of court and will probably mark the end of the jury work.
The jurors who are to serve during this term and who will render the verdicts between man and man and the state and man were drawn this week. There are thirty of them and the following is the list:
Wm. C. Brewer, Kamiah; W.B. VanWert, Grangeville; J.H. Johnson, Ferdinand, Riley Roby, Cottonwood; Albert Gregg, Grangeville; Fred Huffman, Stites; Robert Barnett, Grangeville; Wm. F. Han?, Grangeville; ? Finney, Kamiah; John F. Oliver, Grangeville; John Kerr, Harpster; C.M. Day, Kooskia; John Meyers, Cottonwood; T.W. McCune, Joseph; M.S. Martin, Grangeville; John L. Lamb, Winona; Theo P. Tollefson, Stites; J. G. Rowton, Kooskia; Fred Cullison, Grangeville; Ben Terwillegar, Greencreek; J.D. Standberry, Winona; M.I. Cross, Grangeville; James L. Mchugh, Tharp; Chas Salee, Boles; Lee Yates, Grangeville; Frank Forsman, Cottonwood; W.H. Giles, Newsome; E.W. Barnum, Clearwater; Peter Aschenbrenner, Ferdinand; Barney Stubbers, Greencreek.
— — — —
Free Press, February 18, 1915
More Jurors Are Summoned for Monday
Necessary for the Trial of the Hye Case the Coming Week
One Week More for Jury
Several Cases Continued for the Term
Verdict of $7500 for Plaintiff in Case of Murphy vs. Brown
Saturday it was ordered that 35 additional jurors be drawn from the jury box of Idaho County to become a part of the regular panel. The necessity for this if found in the coming trial of the Hye case and the jurors are to report on Monday morning.
The jurors who were summoned to report are: L.H. Kerlee, Thomas S. Galloway, C.W. McLaughlin, Robert Markham, L.C. Adams, Geo. W. Stephens, Geo Simons, Robert Griffith, Howard McKinley, William E. Canfield, John A Powell, W.W. Blackburn, B.H. Abell, F.M. Bowman, George Fenn, N.F. King, C.E. McCulley, N.B. Young, W.J. Harrah, Jake Crooks, William Badgero, W.J. Braybrook, C.L. Rive, D.A. Jordan, M.S. McMurry, Dave Pugh, J.M. Foldon, John S. Warden, T.B. Fuller, J.R. McConnel, Charles Holt, A.C. Meisner, John R. Tallman, Fred Painter, N.M. Ashbaugh.
Two cases were disposed of since last week by continuance being continued by agreement, one being Davis Bros. vs. Stacey, and the other being Davis Bros. vs. Samuel Bicklet. Friday the case of the State vs. Deering was continued for the term. Deering is charged with stealing horses.
The jury cases will all be disposed of by the end of the week and next week the trial of the Hye case will commence on Monday. Following this case several other jury cases will be tried which will close the jury work for the term.
— — — —
Free Press, Thursday, February 25, 1915
(Headline on Front Page)
Hye Trial Opened Monday
Preliminary Facts Established by State
The Trial Grinds Slowly
Jury Completed Tuesday
Trial Commenced Tuesday Afternoon
Statements By State and Defense
Monday morning the case of the State vs. Frank Hye, on a charge of murder of Alma Hye, wife of defendant, on October 4, last, was called for trial at 9:00 o’clock a.m. A.S. Hardy was entered as associate counsel to assist W. N Scales in the defense of the case. The witnesses, 60 or more were present and after having been sworn upon motion of counsel for the defense were excluded from the court room during the trial of the case. Mr. and Mrs. Litchfield, mother and father of the deceased and Tom Hye of Spokane, brother of defendant were permitted to remain in the courtroom. The defense objected to more than one witness for the state remaining in the room but on request of the state, L.A. Painter, a brother-in-law of the deceased wife of defendant was permitted to remain, as having been one who has assisted materially in gathering evidence for the state.
Jury Completed by Tuesday
All of Monday and Tuesday forenoon were consumed in selecting a jury and the jurymen as finally selected to hear the case and render a verdict are as follows:
Barney Steubbers, Greencreek, farmer; J.H. Johnson, Ferdinand, farmer; John Tollman, Westlake, farmer; John F. Oliver, Grangeville, farmer; W.G. Hanson, Grangeville, farmer; E.W. Barnum, Clearwater, liveryman; W.J. Braybrook, Grangeville, farmer; T.S. McCune, Joseph, farmer; L.C. Adams, Caribel, farmer; Albert Gregg, Grangeville, farmer; C.N. McLaughlin, Cottonwood, liveryman,; Peter Aschenbrenner, Ferdinand, farmer.
Of about 60 jurymen summoned and present, 45 were examined before the jury was finally completed. A large number were challenged and dismissed for cause, 14 in all. The state when the panel was finally complete accepted the jury as constituted and on its second and tenth peremptory challenges accepted the jury, exercising only 7 of the 10 peremptory challenges which the law gives. The defense, however, used all of its ten. Only 3 men of the panel first selected were retained when the jury was finally complete.
In questioning the jurors, the state invariably asked every jurymen drawn from the box to take the place of the one dismissed for cause or excused peremptorily, whether he considered the offense of adultery any more reprehensible in a woman that in a man, and also put the questions to whether if the defendant should endeavor to establish that he had discovered his wife in criminal relations with another whether that would influence a verdict on the part of the juror.
The defense very diligently endeavored to ascertain whether the jurors were acquainted with any of the Litchfield family and also asked if any of the jurors had been approached to sign a petition to be presented to the board of commissioners to raise funds for the prosecution of the case.
Trial Commences Tuesday
After the jury was empanelled just before noon, Tuesday, the court adjourned until 2:00 o’clock p.m. At that hour, it again convened for the trial of the case and upon the motion of Judge James F. Aishie, who is engaged in the trial of the cause to assist the prosecution, requested a recess of a half or three quarters of an hour to examine the exhibits in the case as he had had no previous opportunity to examine the same theretofore. An hour and and five minutes were consumed in this and then the attorneys were brought into court and directed by Judge Steele to proceed with the case.
Statement by James F. Ailshie
The statement of the prosecution was made by Judge Ailshie; and was brief, giving a short recital concerning the relationship between the defendant and decease wife from time of their marriage until her decease and mentioned the fact that he had just recently to the act for which he is tried engaged in handling the mail contract and that one of his drivers was Hugh Kennedy, also a victim in the Elk City tragedy. That a son was born to defendant and Alma Hye and that the state would attempt to prove that defendant attempted to have an abortion committed upon his wife shortly before the birth of the son. That the parties lived in Elk City making that their home and on the eve of October 4, three persons were in a room at the Hye residence, Hugh Kennedy, Alma Hye and defendant and that the former two were killed that evening by defendant. That 6 or 7 citizens visited the scene of the tragedy shortly after it occurred and that they found the dead bodies and that the body of Alma Hye had several bruises. That the act of defendant in trying to have an abortion performed would be attempted to be shown as a part of the malice in the act which ended in death and finally that the case would be developed by the evidence of the witnesses introduced in the trial of the case.
Statement by W.N. Scales
W.N. Scales briefly stated the outline of the defense, following the statement by Judge Ailshie and stated that the defense would endeavor to prove that Alma Hye and Hugh Kennedy were in the house together on the night of the tragedy and found by the defendant, the former almost devoid of clothing and the latter in the act of disrobing. Mr. Scales stated that they would show that the death of Alma Hye was connected with the death of Hugh Kennedy and grew out of the presence of the latter on the night the shooting occurred. That the case of the defense would be developed by the witnesses as they testified.
Witnesses Called by the State
Mrs. Baskett was called as the first witness for the prosecution but as she was ill at the Imperial hotel, the order of the witnesses was changed and E. M. Watson, a butcher in Elk was called. Watson has lived in Elk City about 1 1/2 years and 19 years in Idaho. The witness testified as to seeing the defendant about 10 o’clock of the night of the tragedy and had been at the Parr hotel early in the evening, later going across to his store and after reading a while, went to bed. Shortly after he had retired he was aroused by “Sliver” Thompson who told him to come over to the hotel as something awful had happened. That they went over to the hotel where they found Hye in the living room moaning and saying something about “Why did you do it Alma.”
Witness stated that Thompson advised Hye that he had better go out and give himself up as the Litchfields were very hot headed and that it would not be safe for him to remain until they heard of the act and that preparations were then made for him to leave.
A party consisting of the witness, Cora Hansen, Mrs. Baskett, H.P. Thompson, Al Austin, Fred Painter and Fred Hopwood later went to the house where the two victims were to ascertain if they were yet dead.
They went in by the way of the woodshed according to the testimony and from there into the kitchen and from the kitchen into the parlor or living room where the body of Mrs. Hye and Kennedy lay. Witness said she had nothing on but an undervest without sleeves and that next he saw the feet of Kennedy and went around the table and saw him propped up against the wall.
His testimony also established the position of Mrs. Hye and of Kennedy, he stating that Mrs. Hye was lying on her back with her left hand on her stomach and right out on the floor, her head slightly to the right and her feet pointed towards the stove. She was laying near a couch in the room.
Kennedy’s body was laying near the window in the room witness stated. Witness thought that he was dressed and that he had something red on and stated that the excitement had caused him to do little else but ascertain if the two were dead and that after this had been discovered the body of Mrs. Hye was covered with a sheet which Thompson got out of the adjoining bed room and the party went back to the hotel.
Witness served on the coroner’s jury and the bodies when he saw them again were lying practically where they were before, Kennedy being away from the wall. He stated that the bullet which killed Mrs. Hye entered above the left nipple and went out about 5 inches below on the back. He did not discover any bruises on Mrs. Hye and stated that the way the body of defendant’s wife lay, she could hardly fall in that position. He did not discover any wearing apparel about the room he stated and was not sure of this point as he was excited and did not look for any.
Witness further testified as to going back to the hotel and seeing Hye get in the buggy and leave, and before leaving he shook hands with him and that Baskett shook hands with defendant and defendant asking if Baskett wanted to shake a hand that was stained.
Following Watson, L.A. Painter, a brother-in-law of the Alma Hye, was put on the stand and testified as to making certain measurements of the Hye home and around the premises about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and identified a map of the house and premises made by C.E. Skoglar of Elk City and verified the distances as designated in the map. John P. Eimers was next put on the stand and testified as to taking certain distances and measures in the house and about the Hye place and verified the distances as designated on the map made by Mr. Skoglar. C.E. Skoglar was next put on the stand and testified as to making the drawing, the house being drawn to scale and other distances just being marked.
Mr. Painter was again put on the stand and examined and identified a drawing of the room in which the tragedy occurred and which was drawn to scale from measurements made by himself and “Slivers” Thompson. This was marked in evidence for further use in the trial. Mrs. George B. McDonald from Elk City was next put on the stand by the prosecution and testified as to particulars which were recorded, subsequent to the shooting and the proceedings at the coroner’s inquest. Mrs. McDonald proved to be a good witness and answered questions swiftly and without hesitancy.
She testified as to coming up from the Grangeville mine where she was keeping boarders and that on October 7 she went to the Hye home to help prepare the body of the deceased, Alma Hye and that she first saw the body on that day. The next day she went back with Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Painter to assist in preparing the body for burial.
She described the condition of the body stating that there was a cut in the scalp about 4 inches above the left ear; that there was a bruise on the left side of the chin; that a piece was gone out of the lip on the right side and a little piece out of the corner of the lip. Also that there was a small piece of skin gone from the little finger of the left hand between the knuckle and the second joint of the hand.
She described the gunshot wound on the left side of Mrs. Hye and stating that the bullet went out in the back, lower than where it entered the body. She helped wash the body of the deceased, she washing one side and Mrs. Painter, deceased’s sister washing the other side.
She stated that the hair of Mrs. Hye was clotted with blood and that the blood was worse on the left side where the scalp wound was but that it had run down into the hair and matted. There was blood in the left ear, in the mouth and the nostrils were full of blood according to the statement of the witness. She stated that she and Mrs. Painter raised the head from the floor and placed it in a basin of warm water to try to get the blood out and that the water was changed three times but they were unable to get all of it out of the hair. She stated that she measured the hair of Mrs. Hye and that it was about 54 inches long and that it was heavy.
Mrs. McDonald testified whether as to having seen the body when it was exhumed last week and that the wound in the scapl had shrunken. She said that Mr. Thompson and Mr. Painter had measured the wound when the body was prepared for bural and that it was about one and three eights inches long. She described the wound as going to the skull and being clean cut.
The state here put the hair of Mrs. Hye in evidence, which witness identified and testified that she cut from the head of the deceased when she was prepared for burial. She stated that it was cut about six inches from the head and that it had been washed but pointed out blood which remained in it and which was not washed out.
Mr. Hardy examined the witness on cross examination and the witness followed what she had formerly testified to and added further testimony as to the head lying on the left side and that Mrs. Hye’s hair was done up in a coil on that side of her head. She further testified as to taking five hair pins out of the hair of deceased and the Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Painter had some which they took out of her hair. Some hairpins which were offered at the preliminary hearing were then identified by witness as being like those she had taken out of the hair and were offered and marked in evidence over the objections of the defense. This concluded the work of the trial for Tuesday and court adjourned until 9:00 o’clock Wednesday.
Trial Resumed Wednesday
The trial of the case was resumed Wednesday morning. Mrs. McDonald was recalled and gave further testimony as to the condition of the rooms of the house. She stated that she found blood stains on the wall back of the couch in the parlor of the Hye home about 2 or 3 feet above the floor. She described the stains as a blotch on the wall about 3 or 4 inches in diameter and that there were stringy marks as if the head of Mrs. Hye had hit the wall. She stated that there were some blood stains on the couch cover and on the pillow cover and also on the table cover on the center table in the room. The pillow on which the blood stains were found was lying on the couch according to the witness when she discovered them and she stated that there were blood stains on the end of the cover which was over the lounge next to the wall. She testified that she saw three drops of blood on the floor of the porch which was in front of the wood shed and near the door and that they had been tramped over considerably
She testified as to seeing some women’s clothing in the dining room, which was also used as a kitchen and that they were laying on a chair. These were a white petticoat, a blue dress, a sailor suit, a corset and a pair of supporters. The chair was standing near the dining room table in the room which adjoined the wood shed and also the parlor in which the tragedy occurred. Here various articles of clothing was identified by the witness as having been seen on the chair. A pair of tan stocking and a pair of red shoes were also identified by the witness who stated that they were found in the parlor behind the stove and she pointed out a blood stain on one of the stockings stating further that the stockings were stuffed in the shoes when found.
Mr. Hardy here cross examined the witness and asked if witness had stated to Mrs. Basket and Mrs. Wm. Myers that Mrs. Hye’s skull was crushed and she admitted that she told them that she thought that the skull was crushed. These were the main points brought out and the defense having concluded their examination of witness the state elicited further testimony from witness. She said that they had found a pair of ear rings in deceased’s ears when they were preparing the body for burial and that she had a bracelet on one wrist. She testified as to seeing Mrs. Painter take a pin from the stove which she had seen Mrs. Hye wear while alive. She testified as to charred fragments of some gingham, a safety pin on a piece of pink ribbon, some beads and other articles being found in the ashes in the stove. These things were identified by the witness and offered and marked in evidence.
She stated that there was a bullet hole in the right hand wall of the parlor of the Hye home and as one would go into the room from the dining room and one in the left hand wall, also one in the corner of the room where the two walls meet and she stated that a bullet was dug out of this hole. The bullet hole in the corner was about 22 inches from the wall according to the testimony of the witness. She stated that a bullet was picked up under the double window in the room, to the left of the holes in the walls and about four feet from the wall. On re-cross examination nothing further was developed.
Testimony of Cora Hanson
Cora Hanson who teaches school in Elk was the next witness put on by the state and testified that she roomed at the Parr Hotel and saw Alma Hye last on the night of the tragedy between the hours of 8 o’clock and 8:30. That deceased remained at the hotel till about 15 minutes till 9 o’clock to the best of her knowledge and that she then left for home taking her little baby with her.
She stated that she was called from her room by Mrs. Baskett at 20 minutes past 10 o’clock and that she knew the exact time having looked at her watch which was lying on her dresser when called by Mrs. Baskett. She testified that she went down to Mrs. Baskett’s room where she found Hye, the defendant, Jessie Baskett and Mrs. Baskett and that Jessie was in bed.
As she went into the room she said that she heard the defendant say, “Alma, Alma, why did you do it.” and that she said to defendant, “You didn’t shoot them, Mr. Hye” to which he replied that he had, and in answer to her question where Mrs. Hye was he stated that she was in the parlor.
The witness then told of the party gathering to go up to the Hye home and retold practically the same story as told by Lisha Watson who was one of the party and whose testimony is given above. She told of going to the house in which the two deceased victims were and that the party entered by the way of the wood house, going on into the kitchen and from the kitchen into the parlor where she saw the bodies.
She testified that she was under a nervous strain when she entered the house and that Mr. Painter when they first entered called out the name of Alma. She testified as to the position of the body of Mrs. Hye stating that deceased was laying on her back and that her hands were crossed over her stomach and that she was laying in a straight position with her head turned slightly to the right towards the bedroom door.
She described the dress of the deceased, Alma Hye, when she last saw her alive at the hotel and stated that she was wearing a pair of red shoes, had on a lavender colored dress, a small apron and had a beaded velvet band around her neck and that she noticed a bracelet on her arm. The witness was unable to give further testimony in this way. She testified as to going into the bedroom which goes out from the kitchen, with Mrs. Baskett, one of the party, to gather up the baby’s clothes and that she went into the pantry with Mrs. Baskett to get some milk for the baby. Court here adjourned until 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.
Wednesday afternoon Cora Harris (typo, probably Hanson) was recalled for cross examination. She testified that she last saw Hugh Kennedy at noon Sunday and heard him in the hotel office in the early afternoon. She testified that Mrs. Hye was in the office, that when she saw Hye after the tragedy has occurred, she has seen no blood on his hands and clothing. She testified as to the clothing Kennedy had on when she saw him lying in the Hye house, and said it consisted of a light shirt, dark trousers, no coat and shoes on. She saw some clothing on a chair which was near the center table. Witness stated that when she left the room in which the bodies were laying she put her muff up over her face and went out into the kitchen and kept her face covered and therefore she stated that she was not in position to see much in the rooms and besides the only light was lantern light which was very poor.
Mrs. G.L.L. Baskett Testifies
Mrs. Baskett, proprietress of the Parr Hotel, was the next witness put on by the state and as she has been ill since the trial of the case commenced and she had not entirely recovered at the time she testified. She stated that she last saw Mrs. Hye on October 4 between nine and ten when she was leaving the hotel to go home and that she had been there all the afternoon. She did not see Hye during the day and first saw him about 10:15 when he came to the hotel with the baby which he handed to her saying he had killed Alma and Hughie. She stated that he said “I know Hugh is dead but I don’t think Alma is,” or words to that effect., and she stated that she would go over and then she went up and called Miss Hanson.
She stated that Hye had said that he didn’t intend to shoot when he went into the room but that Hugh called him a vile name and that that was more than he could stand. She took the baby from defendant and put it in bed with her daughter Jessie. She testified that she thought that it had the same clothes on that it was dressed in when Mrs. Hye was at the hotel in the afternoon.
Mrs. Baskett recounted the facts connected with the gathering of a party together to go up to the Hye home and going up to the house, which testimony was substantially the same as that of witnesses Watson and Cora Hanson. As to what she saw at the house she testified as to the position of the bodies which corresponded with testimony of other witnesses who have testified and stated that Alma Hye was laying on her back with both hands crossed on her abdomen. She saw some clothes on a chair by the table in the dining room but could not tell what they were.
As to the clothes which Kennedy had on when she saw him in the Hye home she stated that she only saw him from the waist up and thought that he had the same clothes on that he had worn when she saw him at the hotel, but stated that he did not have the sweater on when she saw him on the floor. She also stated that she saw a coat and hat laying on a chair in the room where the bodies were. As to the clothes Kennedy wore when she saw him alive, she stated that he was dressed in a light shirt, dark navy blue pants, had a light felt hat on his head and wore a red sweater.
She also testified as to the clothing worn by Mrs. Hye on the date of the shooting and described a red sweater she wore, also a black beaded velvet band which she wore around her neck. She stated that she had on a pair of red shoes and identified the shoes offered in evidence as being similar to the ones worn by Alma. The pansy pin found in the stove was also examined by Mrs. Baskett and she stated that it looked like a pin frequently worn by Mrs. Hye before her decease. She testified as to the manner in which Mrs. Hye wore here hair. Other testimony was given with reference to what occurred at the hotel when she returned from the Hye home and which immediately proceeded the time when Hye left for Grangeville. She had prepared a meal for the party, and stated that Hye ate before leaving and drank some tea.
Mrs. Baskett was excused and Mrs. Bell was next called by the state she testifying that she came in from her home at Orogrande to assist in preparing the body of Alma Hye for burial and that she was present at the Hye home and assisted Mrs. G.B. McDonald and Mrs. Painter in caring for the body.
She said that they had tried to wash the blood out of Alma’s hair and changed the water three times and that each time it was quite bloody and that finally Mrs. McDonald cut the hair off about six inches from the head. She saw Mrs. Painter take some hair pins out of the hair and picked up some herself. According to her testimony the hair was coiled and the blood had matted it. She described the scalp wound above the left ear and also stated that a small piece was gone from the corner of the mouth and that there was a bruise on the chin of the body. Also that there was a small piece of flesh gone from the little finger of the left hand. That the left ear of deceased and her nostrils were filled with blood and that there was blood in her mouth. She saw Mrs. Painter take a pansy pin from the stove and saw the beads that Thompson had taken ??(unreadable). The witness was excused, court adjourned until Thursday morning at 8:30.
L.A. Painter was called to the stand Thursday morning and testified concerning going to the house with the party to investigate and upon entering the woodshed he called Alma’s name twice. He testified as to the position of the bodies and said that he touched Mrs. Hye’s body and it was not cold.
Upon his return to the hotel he went to the kitchen where the defendant, Mrs. Baskett and Slivers Thompson were, and they were talking about going to Grangeville and he suggested that they had better get him out before the folks found it out and he suggested that defendant take the South Fork trail.
Witness testified as to seeing blood stains on the wall and as to examining the stove with Mr. Thompson, and that they took the ash pan out, and stated that some burnt cloth, a piece of pink ribbon with safety pin, and some beads were taken from the stove and identified the articles which had been placed in evidence. He saw some hair pins picked up from the floor and saw the wound on Mrs. Hye’s head, stating that he had measured it and that it was 1 and 3/8 inches long. The cross examination brought out nothing new the witness stating that he did not see a red sweater in the room, nor a hat and coat.
Testimony of Coroner
Coroner H.B. Blake was next called and testified as to holding the inquest. He stated that the deceased came to her death from a shot wound 1 and 1/2 inches left of the medium line in front and 3 1/4 inches above the left nipple; and the would on the back was 5 inches below the wound in front and 1 1/2 inches from the medium line of the back. In his opinion the wounds were caused by the same bullet and that the heart had probably been struck. The body was lying on the back when he first saw it and to the best of his knowledge the hands were on the abdomen, the head being slightly turned to the right. Other information was brought out concerning the holding of the inquest and taking the jury to view the bodies in the afternoon of the day the inquest was held.
Mrs. L.A Painter Called
Mrs. L.C.Painter, sister of deceased was called after coroner Blake left the stand and testified as to living in the upper part of town and saw Mrs. Hye on October 4 as she was going to her mother’s place. She passed the Hye house and her sister was at home but was not feeling very well when she left eh house at 1 o’clock. As she left her sister was in the school house yard holding her baby and she stated that Mrs. Hye was going to the Parr Hotel for dinner. She saw her sister dress before she left and she put on a pair of red shoes and tan stockings, a white petticoat, a new corset, white corset cover with pink ribbons, a lavender dress, an apron and red sweater. She had put on a white hat, and a black velvet band around her neck with beads on it, and a heavy black comb in her hair. She stated that the deceased was not wearing the clothes offered in evidence and which were found on the chair in the dining room after the tragedy. She identified the ? offered in evidence and the red shoes and tan stockings. She had found pieces of a broken comb behind the couch in the living room which were similar to the comb which her sister was wearing in her hair on the day of the tragedy and these were marked in evidence. Witness stated that the comb was not broken when her sister put it on.
She testified that she and the coroner looked for the clothes the deceased had worn on the day of October 4 and looked thru the house and in the stove where she found some small pearl buttons which she gave to Coroner Blake and these were identified and marked in evidence. This was on the day of the inquest and she left the house first according to her testimony. These were the main points brought out by the testimony of the witness and court adjourned until 1:30 p.m.
— — — —
Free Press, March 4, 1915
(Front Page Headline)
Hye Tells His Story to Jury
(Note: There are two stories of the Hye Trial headlined in this issue)
Defendant on Stand Wednesday and Recites Gruesome Tale
Made Three Secret Trips One Sept 13, A Second Sept 26, And The Fatal Trip Oct 3.
Case Closed This Afternoon
Testimony in the Hye case was closed at 3:35 this afternoon and Court adjourned until tomorrow when the arguments will be made. It is probable that the case will go to the jury along about four o’clock, tomorrow afternoon.
Defendant on Stand Wednesday
When court was convened Wednesday morning the room was jammed to the doors, the aisles being filled between the seats as far down as the officers would permit the crowd to push. The defense having announced Tuesday night that they would put the defendant on stand Wednesday morning, and eager crowd gathered to hear the testimony he would give. Two witnesses Mr. Titler, a mining engineer from Elk City and Doctor Stockton were put on the stand preceding the defendant. The former testified as to rooming at the Parr hotel and hearing Hugh Kennedy go to his room the night he was shot. Dr. Stockton was recalled for further cross examination by the state and was questioned with reference to certain instruments placed in evidence and which the state contends belonged to the defendant and were procured to commit an abortion on his wife and as to the physical examination of defendant recently made.
The defendant kept good control of himself all during the time he was being examined by his attorney, W.N. Scales, and while being cross examined by judge Ailshie. He spoke in a low tone of voice and was requested several times to speak louder so that the court, the jury and the attorneys could hear the testimony.
He gave his age as 43, and stated that he was a resident of Elk City, having resided at that place for 14 years. First engaged in mining for 4 or 5 years and then was away from Elk for about a year on a ranch. He then came back and superintended some mining work at Dixie for about three months and then bought a saloon in Elk City from Kelley and Frank McGrain, the latter having a mortgage on it, running it about 3 or 4 years. He then had a confectionery store in Elk, and after he disposed of that engaged in farming and mining, up to July 1, 1914 when he secured the government mail contract.
Defendant was married September 29, 1906 to Alma Litchfield and a son was born, Thomas Francis Hye, Jan. 27, 1914. Was engaged in mining at Dixie when informed of his wife’s confinement and testified as to starting for Elk on snow shoes and getting in after the baby was born. He states that the child was prematurely born, being a 7 months baby, and that they thought that the child would be born the last of February or the first of March instead of January and that he had intended that his wife should be sent to Spokane when the child was to be born, and to put her under his sister, Mrs. Colland’s care in Spokane.
It was at this stage of the testimony that witness explained how he got the bottle of ergot put in evidence by the state, saying that he had phoned out to Dr. Stockton for instructions how to attend to certain complications that had developed in his wife’s condition after the birth and that he had procured the ergot on advice of Dr. Stockton. Dr. Stockton had testified this morning when put on the stand as to Hye having phone to him.
Here the defendant’s attorney presented an instrument which Mrs. Painter has testified that defendant had procured to commit an abortion and witness denied ever having seen it before. Certain other of the instruments were presented to the defendant and some of them he denied ever having seen before, and explained that two speculums had been left by a doctor in Elk City when called to attend to his wife. He denied ever making an attempt to borrow $25 from Mrs. Painter in Spokane to have a criminal operation preformed on his wife, and stated he never got $10 from her but that Mrs. Painter left $10 with his wife when he was away and that he had paid it back.
He stated that Mrs. Hye objected to having children and that precautions were taken to prevent conception and that the baby was born by reason of carelessness. He stated that he wanted children and desired two. Defendant denied ever having tried to perform a criminal operation on his wife at any time with her consent or otherwise, and stated that he did not know how to use any of the instruments placed in evidence and did not know that they were in the house.
He testified that during their married life their domestic relations had been congenial and that they always got along fine, and that she was affectionate towards him and he towards her. That he wrote to his wife every day he was away from home and after he took the stage business, and that he always wrote on a typewriter when he could get one. He said Mrs. Hye wrote him once a week and that they talked a great deal over the phone.
With reference to the wills which were placed in evidence he stated that they had talked the matter of making wills over and both had agreed to leave their property to the one who survived and that in accordance with this agreement they both executed wills and that he signed his in Lish Watson’s store and that he gave it to her and requested that her will and his be put in G.L.L. Baskett’s safe. He explained an erasure of the name of a witness in his will stating that he had typewritten both the wills at Stites and that in his will he had written in the name of one Harrison as witness and that his wife objected to this man signing the will as a witness and suggested that he get Hugh Kennedy to witness the will which he stated he did; hence the erasures. He said that this did not cause him to suspect his wife of infidelity.
First Suspicion of Infidelity
Witness testified that the first time that he had cause to suspect his wife of being unfaithful was on the 6th day of September, 1914, and he detailed a conversation which took place between him and his wife when defendant was taking a bath and he mentioned circumstances during the conversation which brought out the name of Hugh Kennedy, and he stated that he accused his wife then. Witness was directed to speak in a low tone of voice when he was telling of this circumstance, this being suggested by his attorney Judge Scales, and the witness spoke so low that the entire jury nor the attorneys were unable to hear him and the court requested on demand of the attorneys for the state that the witnesses speak up. He stated that he told his wife then that if there was anything between her and Kennedy that he would step out, and that she denied any relations between herself and Hugh Kennedy. He stated that he warned her to keep Hugh Kennedy away.
He further stated that he went to Stites the following day and that Hugh Kennedy was driving the stage as far as Newsome and that he had a conversation with Kennedy and in the course of the conversation warned Hugh that he should not go near his home. He stated that Hugh expressed himself as to unfaithful women pretty strongly. Witness stated that he further warned Kennedy before he left Newsome to go to Stites to keep away from his home in Elk City and not go near it.
Went Back to Elk on 15th
The defendant next told of making a trip back to Elk City about the 15th of September, arriving in the afternoon and that he rode to the further corner of the ranch, unsaddle his horse, left his saddle in the brush and watched the house. He said he staid out until about 11 o’clock that night and that he then went to the house not having seen anyone about the house but his wife and that he had no key and knocked to call his wife to come and let him in which she did. He then went out in the wood shed to get wood to build a fire to prepare something to eat and noticed that the wood shed door was open which was kept locked according to witness, and he called his wife’s attention to this and she stated something about having forgotten to lock it and he thought no further about that.
He stated that he went in then and built the fire and took the baby up and later went into the bed room of his wife and found that both pillows had been slept upon and he accused his wife of being unfaithful but that she denied it. He again brought the matter up next morning and she again denied any improper relations between her and anyone. He said that he suggested that if such a condition of affairs existed and there was anything wrong that he would give her everything and get out.
He stated that he told her that he would be gone for a month when he went out to Stites and made her promise when he left that she would be faithful and that she would not permit Kennedy to come near the house and that she made the promise.
Made Another Secret Trip
Defendant stated that he went to Stites after the visit mentioned the above statement and remained several days and started from Stites again for Elk City about the 26th of September and that he got a horse from liveryman Lyle, telling Skedgell, his stage manager that he was going to Kooskia and possibly Spokane, but that he had no such intent and intended to go into Elk that night. He took some crackers and canned meat along for a lunch and said that they were wrapped in his rain coat and tied behind his saddle. He said he had the flash light and the gun in evidence along on this trip also.
The defendant stated that he rode all that night and arrived in Elk City early the next morning. He stated that he did not eat anything coming in and in answer to Judge Scales’ question whether he had any whiskey along, he replied that he did not and never took a drink in his life. He stated that he watched the house until dark, and as darkness came on came down and watched the house from a closer view point but that he did not see anybody around the house. At daylight the next morning he stated that he went down and hid in the hay barn, covering himself with hay and that about 7:30 Monday morning he saw Hugh Kennedy go down in the meadow and try to catch his saddle horse and that he failed to do this, and that Mrs. Hye came out of the house, went out to the barn and saddle up her horse and went out and helped Kennedy catch his horse. Kennedy then rode down to the stage barn and that later he came up to the house and was around there for a while. That later Kennedy and his wife rode out in the timber and he saw them several times after that. Later Kennedy went down town and about 11 o’clock Mrs. Hye took the baby and went down town.
Defendant stated that after his wife went down town that he went into the house and made a milk shake. That he later left Elk about noon for Stites to be ahead of the stage and got in Stites Tuesday morning. He stated that he called his wife up from Stites about 8:30 Tuesday morning and accused her of being out riding with Kennedy which she denied. He said he rung off shortly after and later called her up about 11 o’clock, telling her that he was going to stay away for about a month. He said she called him “Hydie” and he called her “A” and that these were nicknames they used towards each other.
The Last Trip To Elk
The witness having told the occurrences above noted, was next questioned by his attorney W.N. Scales concerning the trip which ended in the death of Kennedy and defendant’s wife. The defendant stated that he started from Stites about 15 minutes to 3 o’clock on the 3rd of October which was Saturday and before he left he told Skedgell that he was going up the river to look for horses. He stated that he had the gun which was placed in evidence, the flash light, some food and a few other things along with him tied back of the saddle and that he got into Elk City at 5:30 Sunday morning.
After arriving at Elk City he hid his horse in a gulch and went over to the barn and got two sacks of grain hay for the horse and later went back and covered up in the hay in the hay barn so that he could see what was going on about his home. Hye gave a description of the location of the buildings about the place and stated that the stage barn was about 1200 feet south-west of the house and that the hay barn was directly north. He stated that the barn at the house is about 100 feet away from the house. He stated in answer to questions put by his attorney that the house barn and the hay barn are absolutely separated and that the stage on its arrival is left at the Parr hotel and the hustler takes the horses to the stage barn and that the drivers do not have to attend to the stage horses.
The witness then testified as to what he saw from his hiding place in the hay barn. He stated that George Trout, the Orogrande driver, who did the chores at his place and split wood came by about 8 o’clock in the morning and that he saw Helen Litchfield, Trout and his wife out in the yard. Later Helen and Trout left and he saw Mrs. Painter come to the house about 10 minutes to 11 and that she went into the house and staid about 20 minutes and he testified as to them coming out of the house and Mrs. Painter and his wife bidding goodbye to each other in the school house yard, Mrs. Painter going to her mother’s home and Mrs. Hye down town.
Witness stated that he went into the house about 3 o’clock and later took hay out from the house barn and fed his horse going back and hiding in the hay in the hay barn after that and staying there till dusk when he again went into the house, and after he came out of the home he went out into the brush and stood behind a tree and saw Mrs. Hye come home. He was about 100 yards east of the house out of sight of the road and could see the east side of the wood shed and the windows on the south side of the house.
He saw a man whom he took to be Scott come along about 5 minutes to 9 and shortly afterwards defendant stated he saw Mrs. Hye come home, go into the house and light a lamp in the dining room, and that the light went from there into the baby’s bed room and then came out again into the dining room. He testified as to Jones coming down and getting milk and heard him speak to some one in the yard as he went away but did not hear what was said or know who he spoke to. Then the lights went out in the house and shortly later another person went down the valley.
Witness said that a man then appeared near the wood pile and walked up to the woodpile and went around it three times. The man then went to the house barn and he said he saw two flashes of light as if matches were struck and that the person came out and walked west and made a complete circle of the house and came back and stood by the wood pile. From here the individual went over to a pile of machinery and looked around and then went back to the wood pile again. He then went out of sight behind the house and soon walked to the wood pile and from there went to the wood house door and reached up to a secret place where he and his wife kept the key to the door , unlocked the door and went in.
Hye Followed Man
Hye stated that he then climbed over the fence and went up to the wood house door and entered the woodshed. He said he entered carefully and flashed his light around the wood shed, then opened the kitchen door quietly and could see from there into the parlor and that there was light coming from the bed room which opened off of the parlor. He had rubbers on and went into the kitchen and started for the parlor door and had gone part way across the floor when the wood shed door slammed shut. Said that Kennedy then exclaimed; “Whats that,” and Mrs. Hye answered. “Nothing, come on.”
He then flashed light back over shoulder and lost his balance and stepped into the parlor and he says that he threw the flashlight into the bedroom and saw Kennedy back in the bed room, and that Kennedy had his pant down and commenced to put them up and buttoned the top. “Then Kennedy started for me.” witness stated, and called him a vile name saying I’ll get you,” and as he came he says Kennedy reached behind his back. Just then Mrs. Hye pushed past Kennedy and towards the defendant and grabbed the gun and he put both hands on the gun and pushed her back and as she went back he said that he heard her grunt. He said he pushed her towards the bed room door and then he shot at Kennedy not knowing whether he had hit him or not. Mrs. Hye then rushed back towards him again defendant stated and he pushed her over on the couch and his light flashed on the red sweater and the white hat and then he shot again. He said Alma then jumped up from the couch and started around the stove and that he thought that she was trying to get away out of the house and the next thing he knew someone threw a garment over his head, from the side. He did not know what kind of a garment it was and that the flashlight was knocked out of his hand to the floor. He says he pushed her away and that he reached down for the flash light and some one grabbed the back of his head and started to push it to the floor and that he (paper smudged) that the form came back towards him, he couldn’t see who it was and that he shot and the body fell over near the bed room door. Defendant said, “I flashed the light on the body and I saw it was Alma”.
Defendant stated he did not know what he was doing from that time on and remembers that he first heard the baby crying and that he went to it and took it up, going out and lighting the kitchen lamp. He says that he saw some clothes lying on a chair near the dining table and that he saw the dress Alma wore that day lying on the chair. He says that he saw several other articles but that he did not know what they were. He then took the baby to the Parr hotel. He had wrapped the baby in some blankets but he did not know whether the baby was dressed or not when he took it up or whether he dressed it or not. The defendant next identified the clothes worn at Elk on the day of the killing and up to the time he was lodged in jail. The defense then turned the witness over for cross examination.
In the course of the cross examination Judge Ailshie failed to shake the original outline of the story as told by the witness and the questions put more fully developed some of the many points brought out in the case. He questioned witness about making preparations for the trip for some time before and asked witness if he did not have a telephone conversation with his wife on the Thursday before the occurrence and whether Alma did not ask if she could come out and live at Stites and whether his wife had not stated that if he did not send for her she would come out anyway as she had had enough of living the way they did, and whether the defendant had refused the request. Defendant stated that he had talked with her and said if she wanted to come out to come out. He stated that she said he wanted to come out and leave the baby and he said she could not do that but must bring the baby along. Defendant was asked why he did not discharge Hugh and he stated that he did want to change him to the Stites end but that Hugh refused to go to Stites and that he did not want to discharge him as he was a good driver.
Defendant testified on cross examination that he did not have the gun in his hand when he went into the parlor and only reached for the gun when Kennedy started for him. Under the cross examination Judge Scales asked defendant what his intentions were when he went into the house and stated that he intended to expose them and get a divorce and that he had not intended to kill anyone. After further re-cross examination defendant left the stand.
With the calling of Howard Wetherbee to testify to the financial affairs of Hye and of Dr. J.W. Givens, superintendent of the asylum at Orofino to answer certain hypothetical questions as to Hye’s sanity at the time of the commission of the crime, the defense rested at four forty Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Givens stated in answer to the hypothetical question put to him that the defendant was probably insane at the time of the commission of the tragedy.
— — — —
Free Press, March 4, 1915
Intense Interest Manifested in Trial and Court Room Jammed
Defense Commenced Its Case Saturday Afternoon
Trial Will Consume Rest of this Week
A sufferer of nervous trouble for the past five years and brought to an acute stage through the tragedy which resulted in the killing of her sister and the subsequent recital of the scene which greeted her as one of the party which visited the house of sorrow. Mrs. L.A. Painter, a sister of the deceased, while being cross examined by Judge Scales last Thursday afternoon, gave away to her feelings and turning in the witness chair, faced the defendant and the dramatic gestures, pointed to Hye and in these words denounced him as the murderer of her sister. “I don’t want to face that man; he killed my poor sister. The dirty dog!”.
Mrs. Painter composed herself and went on answering the interrogations of the defendant’s council but in a few brief minutes swooned and fainted away. She was carried from the court room to the waiting room and medical help occurred, being later removed to the hotel and was not able to again take the stand until Saturday afternoon, a brief of her testimony at that time appearing later.
Heard Shots at 9:30
According to testimony brought out Friday, the shooting occurred fully twenty minutes before Hye reported the affair to the people at the Hotel Parr. The state is working on the theory that Hye undressed both his wife and Kennedy after the shooting and this testimony, it is said will go long ways toward establishing such a theory. This was brought out during the examination of a brother of the deceased, a lad who has just about reached his majority. He testified that he was at the Parr Hotel on the evening of the shooting, leaving there at 9:30 for his home to which he passed within 400 feet of the Hye house, being near the same at 9:40 at which time he heard several shots fired and after a brief pause another.
The sound came from the direction of the Hye house, but as there was more or less shooting at night in a mining camp, he thought nothing about it. The state contends that this was the time the tragedy was enacted.
Witness Who Assisted Coroner Examined
James A. McKinnon, who acted as one of the guards at the Hye home from the morning of the shooting until the coroner arrived, was the first witness put on the stand Friday and testified as follows:
Stated that he was appointed guard by Constable Mitchell and that a Mr. Kincaid also served as guard. He said when he was not on duty, that either Constable Mitchell or Mr. Kincaid relieved him.
Witness testified he entered the Hye home on the morning of October 7 with Coroner Blake and they spent about four hours examining the house before any other person was admitted. He said Coroner Blake made the examination and he assisted him. He said they found the body of Mrs. Hye covered with a sheet and he testified as to the positions of the bodies in the rooms. He said the shades were drawn and that the windows were all fastened except one and that he could not open that one.
Mr. McKinnon told of Mrs. Hye’s hair being matted with blood on the right side and that Coroner Blake felt of her head and said she had received a severe bruise over the ear. He told of the bruise on the chin and said that Mrs. Hye had blood on her hands. He said that she wore only a short vest and that on a chair were a man’s coat and hat and also a red sweater. He told of the women’s wearing apparel on a chair in an adjoining room and said it looked as though it had been taken from a line and laid across the chair.
Mr. McKinnon said he noticed a woman’s white hat on the floor between the body of Mrs. Hye and the wall and that Dr. Blake picked up the hat and examined it. He saw Dr. Blake take hold of an article and that it was a head comb. The hat was offered in evidence and the witness said it looked like the one he had seen in the house.
The witness demonstrated for the jury how Kennedy’s body was lying on the floor. He said Kennedy was dressed with a light shirt, blue trousers and shoes. He said the shoes were very muddy, the mud fairly clinging to them. He said the pants were unbuttoned at the top and he thought the belt was unbuckled. He said there were two bullet holes in Kennedy’s left arm and three bullet holes in the body. He said there were powder stains about two of the wounds.
Mr. McKinnon told of the furnishings in the room and said there was a spot of blood on the wall. He identified a piece of wall paper containing a blood stain and said he cut it from the wall of the Hye home. He said he noticed a woman’s shoes and stockings behind the stove and that he saw Dr. Blake pick up a button from the floor and that there were fragments of the material to which the button had been attached still held by the threads. The witness described the bullet holes in the walls of the room, saying they were near a corner and that one bullet entered one wall and one another. He said the bullets entered the walls about three and one-half feet from the floor. He said he and Dr. Blake removed the bullets and they were offered in evidence.
Witness said Dr. Blake and himself took about four hours to examine the house and the first person admitted was Mrs. L.A. Painter, sister of Mrs. Hye.
Hye Deputizes Thompson to Bring Him Out
H.F. Thompson was next called and stated he had been deputized by Hye, who was justice of the peace in the Elk precinct at the time of the shooting, to bring him out to Grangeville following the tragedy.
He said he saw Hye on the night of October 4 at about 10 o’clock and that Hye gave him the gun with which he said he did the shooting. Witness told of being a member of the committee that visited the Hye house and his evidence in this respect was the same as given by other members of the committee. He told of securing a buggy and departing from Elk City with Frank Hye for Grangeville. He said that when they were about a mile out of Elk that Hye left the buggy and went up a gulch and soon returned with a saddle horse. He said there were two sacks tied to the saddle and Hye placed these in the rear of the buggy. He stated he examined one of these sacks later and found it contained a “Palouse” lantern and candles. The lantern being made out of a bucket to be used with candles and is in common use with men who travel through the woods at night.
Mr. Thompson stated that while he and Hye were on the road Monday, that Hye gave him a searchlight and that about 3:30 o’clock in the afternoon they met Sheriff J.P. Eimers at the Nolan place and that he turned Hye over to the sheriff.
On cross-examination he said he was with Hye from about 4 until 3:30 o’clock the following afternoon with the exception of the short time he was with the committee at the Hye home following the shooting.
Former Sheriff Testifies
Former Sheriff Eimers was next placed on the stand and testified as tot he condition of the house upon October 11 at which time, at the request of Prosecutor Hattabaugh, he made an examination of the same. He stated the bullet holes in the wall were about forty inches from the floor and the course of the bullets had been traced by a stick and judging from the same the person firing them had stood near the heating stove. All windows of the house were fastened with the exception of one. He testified as to blood spots on the carpets in the bedroom and parlor, the partition wall of the bed room and parlor and on wall paper back of a couch.
The Mother’s Testimony
Mrs. J.C. Litchfield, the mother of Mrs. Hye was then called and identified a picture of her daughter, a postcard view of the daughter, the defendant and the baby. When cross examined by council for defense as to whose baby it was she stated: “It is my daughter Alma’s boy.” She further stated her daughter had never wanted to name the child “Tommy,” but had often referred to him as “my cute little baby boy.” She stated her daughter was of slight build and had a wealth of hair which she wore done up high on her head. At this juncture state introduced two wills, executed August 29 of last year, one by the defendant and the other by his wife. Each gave the other all property and named the survivors as the executor of executrix of the estate.
John Skedgell, the manager of the stage line for Hye with headquarters at Stites, was placed upon the stand following Mrs. Litchfield. He testified as to Hye getting a saddle horse an September 26 from the Lyle barn at Stites and stating he was going to Kooskia and might possibly go on to Spokane before returning. He went in a northern direction from Stites. Saw him next Monday or Tuesday forenoon following. States on Saturday, October 3 Hye again secured the horse, leaving town between five thirty and six in the afternoon, stating he was going up the river to look for some horses. Had rain coat tied to back of saddle, wore soft slouch hat and pair of overalls. Horse was brought in back of stage following Wednesday. Identified gun state alleges killing was done with as one which has been in the drawer of the desk in the stage office at Stites. Also search light Hye turned over to officers after the shooting. Testified as to meeting the sheriff at Nolan’s on October 5 and recalled the two sacks of exhibits transferred from one rig to another at that time. On cross examination said he had received a telephone call from Elk Sunday night, October 4, between 7:30 and 8 o’clock. Stated party asked where Hye was and he had answered Hye was up the river looking for horses and had not returned.
Testified as to Telephone Conversation
Henry Foulke, who conducts the Switchback Station, was placed on the stand to testify as to certain telephone conversation between Hye and his wife which took place September 29. He said Hye told his wife he had just gotten back from Spokane and the man with whom the deal was to be made had died. That his brother, Tom was greatly disappointed because they , the Hye’s did not come up for the fair but that they would go up in November as soon as he secured his check from the government. Foulke stated Mrs. Hye asked her husband how long it would be until he came in and when he stated a month she stated she believed she would take Tommy, the baby, and come out to Stites. Hye replied that he would come just as soon as he got his check and settle up on things. Witnesses stated that Hye addressed his wife as “Dear” on several occasions during the conversation and asked how “Cutey” the baby was. That Mrs. Hye referred to her husband as “Hidie” during the talk.
Testimony of Minor Import
E.M. Watson was recalled by the state and testified as to the wounds in Kennedy’s body. Said he would judge he had been shot from the back. That there were no powder marks on the body or clothing that he noticed.
O.A. Hammond, a stage driver for Hye was called and testified to meeting Hye at about five o’clock on the night of October 3. Hye was riding a saddle horse and he met him between Clearwater and Switchback, going toward Elk City. Had bundle tied behind saddle. Sheriff Yates was placed on the stand to identify some bullets taken from the gun and his cross examination was perhaps the briefest so far any witness has been subject to, Attorney Scales simply having him answer the question as to his official position.
Case Costing $30 an Hour
This concluded the testimony up to four o’clock Friday afternoon at which time the state asked for a recess until Saturday because its next witness, Mrs. Painter, was in such a physical condition that she could not be placed on the stand. Judge Ailshie stated that with her testimony and several others, which would be very brief, the state would rest its case. The court spoke of his desire to hurry the case along as rapidly as would be consistent with fairness and justice and incidentally remarked that his case was costing the county thirty dollars an hour and he would insist that things move along with a little more rapidity. Adjournment was taken until eight thirty Saturday morning.
Testify Kennedy Was Seeking Hye to Collect Money
The early morning session was taken up with the introduction of several witnesses who testified that when Kennedy reached Elk from Newsome, he asked if Hye had come in as he had seen tracks on the road. Other testimony was that Kennedy had stated that Hye had been in the habit of slipping into Elk City and out again without he (Kennedy) being able to see him and that Kennedy made two trips to the Hye house during the afternoon to see if Hye was there. Witnesses gave testimony to the effect that Kennedy had not been paid for a long time, that Hye owed him more than $100 and it had been necessary for Kennedy to borrow money from friends to take care of his personal expenses because he could not get hold of Hye to get money from him.
Testimony as to Criminal Operations
Mrs. L.A. Painter, who was unable to finish her testimony Thursday was then called to the stand and identified certain clothing of her sister and testified as to the place where same was found. Mrs. Painter, who is a sister of the deceased has had a most trying ordeal to go through and as a result of the recital of the terrible tragedy is on the verge of a breakdown. She has been called upon to furnish some of the most important testimony and as one of the principal witnesses for the state has had to relate circumstances and repeat conversation which only a feeling of justice and duty would prompt one to.
She identified a set of instruments found by her in Hye’s trunk and introduced by the state and which it is alleged were used by the defendant in performing abortions on his wife. She stated he had shown her these instruments several years ago, stated he had purchased them of a doctor then practicing in Elk. Stated Hye had said he did not want to be bothered with children, did not want to be tied down and not be able to go anywhere, that he did not care for children. Testified to meeting him in September 1913 when she was returning from the east. Called him up from the Pacific Hotel at Spokane, met him at Brown’s addition in the presence of her sister. Stated he wanted to borrow $25 of her to be used in having a criminal operation performed on his wife. Stated she told him he would keep that work up until he killed Alma. That he made no reply. Stated she let him have ten dollars at that time which he later paid back. Said his mind was just on those sort of things at all times and he tried to insult every woman he could.
On cross examination said the furniture in the Hye home and the clothing of Mrs. Hye had been taken from the house at the suggestions and request of Tom Hye who ask her to tell her mother to come and take it and told her she should take anything she wanted but all she had was one piece of furniture and a small personal remembrance of her deceased sister.
Said as far as she knew the Hye baby had no name. Did not know where it was now. Said she had written defendant’s sister about the baby but had received no answer.
Following Mrs. Painter, Abe House was placed on the stand and testified that he saw a man passing along the rear of a field near his road house on the Elk City road on the afternoon of October 4, and that he was carrying two bundles on his horse and hurried out of sight when seen.
John Skedgell, state manager for Hye at Stites gave testimony concerning a letter received at Stites on the night of October 4th, and Miss Bessie Zornes, telephone operator at Stites testified that Skedgell showed her the letter and read its contents.
Powder Burns on Mrs. Hye
Mrs. G.B. McDonald testified as to having seen powder burns on the chest of Mrs. Hye above the point covered by her corset and other garments when she was helping prepare her for burial and Mrs. Bell gave corroborating testimony in this regard.
George Trout testified that a few days before Kennedy was killed that Kennedy said that Hye owed him about $100 and that he had been unable to see Hye to get any money from him. Witness testified that Kennedy charged that Hye slipped in and out of Elk City without he (Kennedy) being able to see him. Witness said Kennedy stated Hye was promising to make the payments as soon as he received the big check from the government.
William Myers testified that he had known Kennedy since he was a boy and that on October 4 he saw Kennedy go to the Hye house twice but he did not enter the house. He said he knew Kennedy was broke as he had loaned him money.
Joseph Dysard testified that when the stage arrived at the Parr hotel Sunday, October 4, Kennedy turned the rig over to the hustler and carried the mail, whip and robes into the hotel. That about the first question he asked was whether Frank Hye had come in. He said he saw horse tracks in the road and thought Hye was in. Witness said Mrs. Baskett spoke up and said if Hye had arrived he had not showed up at the hotel. Witness said Mrs. Baskett suggested if anyone came in it might have been McNutt as he was due home and if he had arrived he had gone directly to his room.
State Rests, Defense Begins
The first witness for the defense was Joseph Coverly who gave testimony to the effect that he took dinner with some boys who were camping near the Hye home. He said while there he saw Hugh Kennedy come down by the Hye house and work on his stage rig that was standing near the stage barn.
Charles Moore, testifying for the defense, said he was employed in the Hye stage barn at Stites about the time of the Hye killing. He said he had noticed that Hye was agitated, nervous, absent minded and apparently under a great mental strain. He said Hye had not been himself for some time prior to the shooting.
On cross examination he testified that after Hye returned to Stites, following the killing and his release on bonds, that he appeared to be all right and was able to transact business.
John Skedgell, testifying for the defense, said Hye had been nervous, absent minded and not able to take care of his business for some time prior to the killing.
On cross examination he said Hye was indebted to his drivers and practically all of the men along the line. He said every driver had been dunning Hye for his pay and that Hye had adopted a policy of dodging them and not giving his men an opportunity to ask him for their wages.
Trial Resumed Monday Morning
Monday morning the trial was again resumed, the defense putting on 5 witnesses. The evidence educed was largely repetition and noting new developed to speak of. The first witness called was Mr. Skedgell who is the bookkeeper for Hye in his stage and express business. A letter was introduced and marked in evidence which Mrs. Hye had sent to Hye and which was received at Stites on the evening of October 4, and which was dated October 3rd.
In the letter, Mrs. Hye referred to Mr. Hye as dear and contained nothing other than would be expected in a letter from a wife to a husband. The letter refers to Dear “A” and the writer expressed herself as desiring to come down and ride in that party’s automobile. The letter was marked with kisses from Tommy, the Hye baby and from Mrs. Hye also.
Dr. Blake Again Testifies
The state next called Dr. H. B. Blake, coroner of Idaho County and in connection with his examination two dummy figures, one of a man and another of a woman were used in demonstrating the position of the gunshot wounds on their entrance and upon leaving the bodies of the two victims.
In his testimony he recounted many of the facts formerly testified to when put on the stand by the state and testified as to going to the Hye home about 7 o’clock on the 7th day of October and taking McKinnon who was on guard to assist him and that he remained in the house until about 11:30 conducting an investigation of the bodies and the rooms of the Hye home.
He testified as to going into the house by way of the woodshed and from there into the dining room where he saw some clothing on a chair of his examination he arranged the clothing which has been placed in exhibition on a chair as he found it at the time.
From the dining room he went into the living room or parlor where the bodies lay and stated that Mrs. Hye was lying with her head about 2 inches from the wall and 6 inches from the couch in the room, and that her feet extended about 3 and 1/2 feet beyond the bed room in the north wall of the room and that her feet were about 11 inches from the wall.
He described the wounds again as he did on his examination by the state and stated that he did not make the examination for any other purpose than to discover the cause of the death, and that he did not pay attention to superficial injuries, although he noticed a bruise on the head and that the nostrils and mouth of Mrs. Hye contained blood. He stated that there were scratches on the scalp of Mrs. Hye and four or five bullets may have made the wounds in Kennedy’s body. There could be no more than five bullets fired as the testimony so far has revealed no more than five shots. This was a point which the state was laying.
He further testified as to finding a white hat introduced into evidence, between the body of Mrs. Hye and the wall and that there was a comb and some broken teeth in it. He also testified as to entering the house to search for clothing worn by Mrs. Hye on the afternoon before she was killed. Mrs. Painter went with him and he first pointed to the clothing on the chair in the dining room but that Mrs. Painter stated that none of it had been worn by Mrs. Hye on the day she was killed.
Further search was made in the bed room which opened off from the living room and also in the ashes of the stove. The witness stated that they found nothing in the stove except three small pearl buttons which were found in the ash pan. He also saw an unburnt stick of wood in the stove. The ashes were not gone over carefully and the wood was not lifted out of the stove. Witness also testified as to finding three buttons on the floor of the room when he first went in with Mac Kinnon. Other articles subsequently taken from the stove were shown the doctor and he stated that he did not see them when he made his examination.
Found Some Blood Stains
He stated that he found blood stains near the wood house door and he testified that he was sure that they were blood stains. The stockings found behind the stove were identified by the doctor and he stated on direct examination that the smear of blood on one of them might have come from menstrual discharges, and on cross examination he stated that there was no indication of a menstrual period.
The doctor identified several instruments introduced by the state as being instruments procured by defendant to commit an abortion on the deceased and stated that he has seen a part, not all, of the instruments shown to him the same having been found in a trunk in the house by Mrs. Painter and shown to him by her while they were in the house. He stated that some of the instruments could be used for performing an operation but that they were not abortion instruments.
Mrs. Baskett Recalled
The defense recalled Mrs. G.L Baskett for further examination and practically nothing new was testified to by her, she merely recounting testimony which she gave when put on the stand by the state. She testified as to giving Kennedy $10 on the day of the tragedy, as a part of his wages due from Hye and that she was authorized by Hye to make payments to certain drivers. She also testified as to hearing someone walk lightly across the back porch about half past nine, when she was in the kitchen, and that later she was in the front office and heard the same person come out on the walk which goes to the drug store and which leads out on Main street. This latter was brought out by the state and who further elicited that the shortest way to the Hye home would be by going out of a gate in the back yard and cutting across.
“Slivers” Thompson Testifies
Mrs. Baskett and the other witnesses which followed her Monday were all asked if they smelled burning clothing when they stood under a tree on the night of the tragedy, when they were gathering to go to the Hye home to investigate the results of the shooting and each testified that they had not. Thompson testified as to seeing a red sweater partly under Mrs. Hye’s body and the rest between her and the wall, on the night when they visited the house and that a hair comb was lying on the sweater between her and the wall. This is the sweater marked in evidence and which other witnesses testified as to having seen laying on a chair in the room on the night of the shooting.
He testified to other points which he told of on his examination by the state and testified further as to spots on the floor of the wood house and in the room where the bodies lay, and stated that they were paint marks. He said he and Tom Hye made the examination in January. The state tried to have witness state whether they were paint or wood stain marks and witness stated that he did not know whether a stain or paint was used in painting wood work around the house but he was sure that the spots were not blood spots.
He also saw Tom Hye illustrate how one might enter the house and never be seen on the school house side, which faces the entrance through the wood house of the Hye home, and that in the presence of Lisha Watson, Mr. Hye walked out of sight and about five minutes later emerged from the wood house door and that they had not seen him enter the house. Witness Watson testified as to not having smelled burning clothing on the night of the tragedy and as to watching Hye illustrate how one might enter the house and not be seen from the school house side. The court here adjourned until 8:30 Tuesday morning.
16 Witnesses Tuesday
The defense put 16 witnesses on the stand Tuesday and the trial was tense at points during the rigid cross examination of Judge Ailshie. That most of the witnesses put on the defense had already testified and the defense was trying to make a point by showing that none of the crowd that visited the Hye home the night of the shooting smelled burning clothes, either outside the house or when they got inside. The defense also showed that it was possible for one to enter the Hye home without being seen from the school house side.
Dr. Stockton Testified First
Doctor G.S. Stockton, who was sent in to Elk when the body was exhumed to represent the defense was the first witness called this morning. His testimony as to the conditions of the body of Alma Hye when exhumed corresponded in every respect with the testimony of Dr. Jessie Rains who represented the state. Questions were put to the doctor with reference to the condition of Defendant Hye while he was in jail, the doctor having visited him at the time. Witness stated that his temperature was about 103 degrees, and that defendant was in a nervous state. On cross examination by Judge Ailshie the doctor stated that the excitement which followed the events at Elk City would tend to raise the temperature of the defendant and make him nervous.
Further testimony was given by the doctor with reference to the possibility of committing an abortion with instruments which are in evidence and which were found in the Hye home. He stated that some of them could be used for the purpose. Witness stated that he had examined the body of Hugh Kennedy as it lay in Graham’s undertaking parlors here in Grangeville and that he could not ascertain where the point of entrance and exit of the bullets were in the body. On cross examination Judge Alshie asked the doctor if powder burns had been found on the back of defendant after the shooting, whether that would indicate that he had been shot from behind and witness answered yes.
B.F. Shaw Put on Stand
B.F. Shaw, deputy sheriff, who went in when the body was exhumed a short time ago, and who officially carried out the order of the court that the body should exhumed, was next put on the stand and testified as to what took place when the doctors examined the body of Alma Hye. Questions were put as to who were present and as to whether he saw any demonstrations and he stated that he did not. He was asked on cross examination if he saw Tom Hye shedding tears and he stated that he did not.
Smelled No Burning Clothes
Miss Cora Hanson, Fred Hopwood and Al Austin were next put on the stand and questioned as to whether they had smelled burning clothes on the night of the shooting while they were standing under a tree waiting for the party to gather to go to the Hye home, and whether they smelled burning clothes in the house after they went in to look at the bodies and they all stated that they did not.
Al Austin was questioned as to whether he saw a coat of Hugh Kennedy in the house when they went in, also a hat and sweater and he stated that he did. On cross examination witness stated that he held a lantern while in the house and stood about three feet from the body of Mrs. Hye when “Slivers” Thompson covered the body with a sheet and that he did not see a red sweater under the body, thus controverting the testimony of Thompson at yesterday’s proceedings. Witness also testified as to seeing Tom Hye make a test of entering the Hye home without being seen, several others being present at the time.
Made Test of Entering House
Several besides the above witness testified as to seeing Tom Hye walk away from the school house where the witnesses were standing and entering the Hye home unseen, later appearing at the wood house door. U.G. Kinkaid was one of the witnesses who saw the test also Cornelius Jones. Posey Mitchell, constable at Elk testified as to guarding the house from Monday to Wednesday being assisted by Kinkaid and McKinnon.
John Eimers, sheriff at the time of the tragedy, and Herman Hussman, John Byrom and Wm. Webb were questioned as to whether they saw blood spots on defendant’s clothes or whether he washed any clothes in the jail and they all testified that they did not. Wm. Webb and John Eimers testified as to this point from the time when they took the defendant in custody and stated they saw no blood spots. Eimers testified concerning his trip into Elk on the 11th of October to make a search around the Hye premises for clothing and other things which might be of assistance to the state in the trial of the case. He testified as to gathering the exhibits which consist of clothing placed in evidence, getting them from Mrs. Baskett.
Mr. Thomas Hye was placed on the stand and gave testimony as to going out to Elk City with her husband on the 11th of October to get the Hye baby, which she took up to Spokane later and left in the care of Mrs. Calland of Spokane, who is a sister of the defendant.
Heard the Shots Fired
The next witness put on by the state was Cornelius Jones who testified that he was in his cabin, which is about a hundred yards from the Hye home, on the night of the killing and that he went to the scene of the tragedy about 8 o’clock to get some milk and that when he was leaving he met Hugh Kennedy in the school house yard, both saying Hellos, and they passed one Kennedy going towards the Hye house and he going home. He testified as to having seen Kennedy there before, generally in the evening between 9 and 11 o’clock.
Witness stated that he first heard three shots and then in a short space of time he heard a fourth shot. That the time was about 15 or 20 minutes to ten o’clock or thereabouts.
On cross examination Judge Ailshie brought out that the witness was married but that he has not been living with his wife for more than a year and that he has been addicted to the use of intoxicants to a great extent. When the question was asked on cross examination as to how witness knew it was about 9 o’clock when he went for the milk, witness answered, “They said it was” and when the further inquiry was put as to whom, “they” were, witness stated that “they said that that was about the time she came home” or words to that effect.
Witness testified also on cross examination that he heard the shots he rushed out in the yard but decided that the shots, were fired down town. When the question was asked by Judge Ailshie whether the witness first heard three shots and then heard a woman scream, and then heard a fourth shot, witness denied at first that he heard a woman scream and then upon further examination he stated that he thought that he heard someone scream.
Jones stated that he had been intoxicated for several days and that might account for his poor memory. The witness was then asked whether he had not made a statement in Wesley Packer’s store in Stites in the presence of another witness that he had gone to the Hye home for some milk about 9 o’clock and as he left he met Hugh Kennedy, and that they said hello to each other and that Kennedy then asked if Hye was home, and when he answered that he was not Kennedy then said, “He must be home for he came in ahead of me today.” and witness denied having made such a statement.
Judge Ailshie further cross examined the witness as to whether he had not made certain statements in a saloon at Elk to one Krunk in the presence of other witnesses, which witness denied. The question was also put as to whether Jones had not seen Hye on the day of the killing and whether the witness had not gone up to the Hye home as a decoy for Hye. Hye being in his cabin at the time, later whether Hye left his house and went up to his home place perpetrated the killing of Mrs. Hye and Kennedy, which witness denied. The state brought out that witness was addicted strongly to drink and that he had been in an inebriate condition for some time before the shooting occurred and that he was so drunk that Sheriff Eimers had to roll him into the stage when he was brought down to the preliminary hearing at Grangeville and that later and soon after the preliminary witness went to a sanitarium to take the Keeley cure. The questions being pointed so as to ascertain whether he had not obtained the money working for Hye since the tragedy. Witness stated that Hye did not furnish the money and later on re-direct examination stated that his brother-in-law sent him to the sanitarium. Witness stated, however, that he had been working for Hye since the killing, but denied making statements to the effect that he was not doing much of anything but trivial things.
Mrs. U.G. Kinkaid was next put on the stand and testified that she had heard Alma state, about seven years ago, while she was single and working for her that she hated children and did not want to have any of her own. The state brought out that witness and Mrs. Hye were not on good terms at the time Mrs. Hye was killed and for some time prior, thereto, and that they did not speak. George Trader, a former owner of the stage line, was put on the stand and stated that when Kennedy drove stage for him that he carried a gun, but stated that other drivers who carried the mail also carried guns.
Testimony of Tom Hye
Thomas Hye, brother of the defendant, was next put on the stand and testified for the defense. Witness stated that he lived in Spokane and that he came to Grangeville on Tuesday following the killing and that he slept in the jail with the defendant, spending in all about thirty nights in the jail, this fact being brought out by Judge Ailshie on cross examination. He stated that his brother did not sleep and wanted to talk most of the time, ate little and was in poor physical condition.
He testified as to himself and wife going to Elk City about the 10th when Sheriff Eimers went in to make an investigation and that his wife went along to bring out the Hye baby and take it up to Spokane. While there in Elk City he made certain investigations and described the bullet holes and where the gun must have been fired in the room to make the bullet holes. He also testified as to certain paint spots on the floors of the room which were dropped evidently when the wood work of the house and the door casings were painted, and stated that they were painted with a red paint or stain. He testified as to scraping up some of the spots in the wood house where blood spots were said to have been found and that he made tests as to whether they were paint or blood, placing them in water and stating that they did not dissolve and that he was satisfied that they were not blood. He also testified as to giving exhibitions before several witnesses on entering the house without being seen on the school house side.
The defense endeavored to put a book alleged to be a diary of the defendant in evidence, which book, witness stated he had found in a trunk in the defendant’s room in the Hye home, but the state objecting, the court sustained the objection and would not allow it to be marked in evidence. Three letters which Thomas Hye stated that he had found on a writing desk which the defendant used in his home at Elk City were marked in evidence, the state not objecting. The letters were dated August 14, August 19, August 21, respectively and purported to have been written with a typewriter at Stites and mailed to Mrs. Alma Hye at Elk City, Idaho. Each was commenced, “Dear sweet little wife and dear tiny “A” and related in the defendant’s stage business at Stites, and expressed his regrets at not being able to be home at Elk, one closing with love and kisses to “Tiny little “A”. After the testimony of the witness was concluded at 5 o’clock, court adjourned until 8:30 Wednesday.
— — — —
Free Press, Thursday, March 11, 1915
Sentence of Ten Years to Life Given Hye Yesterday
Conclusion of the Testimony and the Arguments
Yesterday morning, at nine 0’clock, Frank Hye was brought into court and an indeterminate sentence of from ten years to natural life at hard labor in the state penitentiary was given by Judge Steele. Before pronouncing sentence the court asked the defendant if he had any thing to say why sentence should not be passed and his council, Judge Scales stated nothing at that time. He was immediately taken to the county jail to await the arrival of the prison guard and will probably be taken to Boise Friday or Saturday. Judge Scales has stated the case will be appealed.
The first witness called by the state in rebuttal was Wesley Packer of Stites who testified as to remarks Cornelus Jones is alleged to have made in the store of the witness shortly after Thanksgiving. Witness testified that Jones had said he had met Kennedy on the night of the tragedy near the Hye home and that Kennedy had asked him if Hye was at home to which he answered in the negative to which Kennedy replied that he thought he had seen tracks of Hye’s horse in the snow as he was coming in with the stage that afternoon. A.A. Howard of Stites was next called and practically substantiated Packer’s testimony.
Damaging to Defendant
Jesse Baldwin of Stites was next called and testified to having talked with Hye since the shooting and of Hye having stated that when he went to the house he had his coat buttoned over his gun, that he did not want to shoot Kennedy but was afraid he might lose his temper. Witness stated Hye said when he shot his wife, “she fell like a beef.”
Miss Bessie Fitzgerald, who had charge of the central of the Stites telephone exchange was called and testified as to a certain conversation she had heard Hye have with his wife at which time the witness stated Mrs. Hye wanted to come out to Stites and defendant would not permit her to do so.
Mother Testifies Again
Mrs. Litchfield was next called and stated her daughter was exceedingly fond of children. That her daughter had stated to her that Hye did not desire children. Stated daughter had told her of husband committing several abortions. Stated daughter had told her husband has been unkind to her and she would have to leave him. This conversation took place last September. After he got mail contract he abused her and she told him she loved him no longer. On cross-examination stated Hye home was furnished in a manner good enough for anyone. Mrs. Hye had all she desired in the way of home comforts. Stated Hugh Kennedy and Jesse Baskett were devoted lovers.
Recall the Father
J.C. Litchfield, the father of Mrs. Hye was next called and testified to having met Kennedy on the day of the killing and in conversation Kennedy had asked if Hye was in town, that he had to have some money and was going over that afternoon. That Kennedy had said he had noticed a man on horseback coming in and thought it was Hye. Said he had very little to do with Hye. Thought his daughter loved the man as much as his wife did him. Said Hye’s had as nice a home as any one in Elk City. Said had he known of abortions having been performed it would have been a cold day for Hye.
Stable Man Called
Leo Zelgaski, a stable man at the Hye barn, was then called and testified as to Mrs. Hye practically having charge of things during the absence of her husband, of the location of the repair house and stated the day Kennedy and Mrs. Hye were out horseback riding driving cattle out of a field they were never out of his sight. Stated Kennedy and Jesse Basket were sweet-hearts.
Miss Hanson, the Elk City school teacher was called and testified that Jesse Baskett had told her she was engaged to Hugh Kennedy and on cross-examination stated she was the sweet-heart of Arden Litchfield.
Testifies as to Experiments
County Stenographer Auger was called and testified as to the results of some experiments he had conducted in the burning of cloth and stated his experiments had convinced him that clothing could be burned and the smell not detected in the room. Said he had burned a cotton dress Tuesday night in eleven minutes time demonstrating that it was possible for Hye to destroy his wife’s clothing on the night of the tragedy and report at the hotel in 20 minutes after the killing.
W.E Graham was called to testify as to the size of Kennedy and the condition of the body after its arrival from Elk City .
More Exhibits Introduced
A series of experiments to determine the effects of revolver shots at close range had been conducted at the Geo. Gilbert farm on Sunday and Geo. Gilbert and L.A. Painter were called to give testimony in regard to the exhibits of which there were eight.
Oliver Froberg of Elk was called and testified to a conversation between Jones and Krunk which occurred after the shooting and during which Krunk accused Jones of helping Hye dispose of the clothes and to which Jones replied Krunk was crazy.
Say Hye was Sane
Phil Hartman, Theo. Tollefson and A.J. Stuart, all of Stites, were called and testified as to Hye being a sane man at the time of the shooting.
Dr. J.L. Rains was called and in answer to the hypothetical question put to Dr. Givens by the defense replied that Hye was sane at the time of the shooting. With the examination of Dr. Rains the state closed its case.
David Natwich was placed on the stand in sur-rebuttal by the defense and stated he got on the stage a mile and a half from Elk on the day of the tragedy and rode to town with Kennedy. Had conversation with Kennedy in which Kennedy stated Hye would be away about two weeks or until he received his check from the government. On cross-examination witness admitted Hye was in debt to him for the sum of a thousand dollars. John Eimers was the last witness called and testified to certain distances.
The defense closed at 4:25 Thursday afternoon and court adjourned until Friday morning when the arguments were made.
Mr. Hattabaugh Open Argument
M.R. Hattabaugh opened the argument for the state Friday morning. He was followed by A.S. Hardy who made the opening argument for the defense and those two consumed the entire forenoon in their arguments, court adjourning until 2:00 p.m. when W.N. Scales made the closing argument for the defense and he was followed by Judge Ailshie, who closed the argument for the state.
Mr. Hattabaugh in opening his argument stated that the case of the State of Idaho vs. Frank Hye was one of the most important in the history of Idaho county and he then read a portion of the letter written by Alma Hye on the 2rd of October; just a day before she was shot, to her husband, and which was mailed and received in Stites on the 4th. This letter breathed the affection which the deceased bore the defendant and she begged that she might come to Stites.
Mr. Hattabaugh’s argument was exceptionally strong and closely followed by the jury and the throng which filled the court room. Following the reading of the letter he called the attention of the jury to the telephone conversation which passed between the defendant and Alma Hye and in which she had requested that she be permitted to come to Stites and join the defendant and his refusing to permit her to come stating that he would go away if she came.
Mr. Hattabaugh said there had been no rumor in Elk City against the character of Mrs. Hye and that after Hye had told her he would not be in for a month, that he had admitted he made three trips secretly. He reviewed the arrival of Kennedy in Elk City on the morning of the killing, told how Kennedy had asked for Hye because he saw horse tracks on the road and thought Hye had come in; reviewed how Kennedy had visited the Hye house during the day, had knocked at the door when he knew that Mrs. Hye was at the hotel; reviewed the conversation of Kennedy with friends and relative to being broke, needing clothes, not having been paid by Hye and that he wanted to see Hye and get some money. He reviewed the circumstances of Kennedy going to the Hye home on the night of the killing, how he met Jones near the door and according to two witnesses told Jones that he thought Hye was in the house, that he was going to see and would try and get some money.
Mr. Hattabaugh stated it was possible that Hye met Kennedy outside the door, forced him to enter the house at the point of the gun and the shooting followed or that there may have been trouble between Hye and his wife when Kennedy reached the house and that Kennedy rushed in to the defense of the woman and was shot down by Hye. He reviewed the testimony as to the clothing worn by Mrs. Hye the day she was killed and the fact that the clothing was missing from the house after the shooting. He told of the search that had been made for the clothing, but that buttons, burned materials, and the pin worn by Mrs. Hye had been recovered from the ashes of the stove. He told of the experiments made relative to burning clothing and given in testimony by witnesses for the state and reviewed the circumstances of the blood stains on the stockings worn by Mrs. Hye, of the blood on the pillow of the lounge and the blood on the wall of the room. He closed with the statement that in Idaho county the people demanded that persons guilty of stealing stock or grain be punished and that the state asked for a conviction of the defendant for the killing of his wife at Elk City on the night of October 4, 1911.
A.S. Hardy for Defense
Following county prosecutor M.R. Hattabaugh, Mr. Hardy opened the argument for the defense and after reviewing the actions of the defendant at the hotel at ? after he had come with the baby and told Mrs. Parr of the killing, and he mentioned the highly nervous state of the defendant and his actions in continually calling the name of his wife. That Hye had affection for his wife was shown by the letters introduced in evidence and written by Hye to Mrs. Hye. Mr. Hardy stated and he pointed to the fact that the defendant had provided one of the best furnished homes in Elk City and that it had been a happy home until its sanctity had been destroyed by Kennedy.
Mr. Hardy reviewed the circumstances of the making of the wills by Hye and his wife. He said Hye owned about all of the property but at that it did not amount to much, so that little importance could be attached to the wills. He referred to the abortion tools found in the Hye home and the fact the defendant had testified that he had no knowledge of the use of such tools. He reviewed the statement of Mrs. Hye to her mother wherein she said she was going to leave Hye. Attorney Hardy holding that his was a corroboration of the testimony of the defendant that a separation had been talked of between himself and wife.
Mr. Hardy then took up the story of Hye relative to his first suspicions concerning his wife; how Hye had endeavored to find out to a certainty whether there were any grounds for such suspicions; how he had ridden to Elk City in the night, remained hidden about the place and saw his wife and Kennedy ride away together and the next day when he asked her about it over the telephone, she had denied that she had been riding with Kennedy. He reviewed the testimony of Kennedy going to his room in the hotel, of slipping out later and the manner in which he approached the Hye home. Mr. Hardy said when a man is caught in a compromising position with another man’s wife, there is one of two things for him to do; he must either flee or he must try to bluff it out and the latter course was the one attempted by Kennedy. He said Kennedy threatened to “get” Hye and reached for his hip pocket and Hye had reason to believe he was going after a gun and that Hye was justified in shooting. He said no person living had witnessed the tragedy but Hye, but it is not reasonable to believe that a man will destroy his won home without reason.
He compared the testimony of Dr. Rains to that of Dr. Givens as to the indication of insanity. He reviewed the testimony of Dr. Blake, the coroner, who conducted the inquest and made a search of the Hye home. He said Dr. Blake had looked in the stove, had examined the ashes and found nothing. He said had the clothing been burned in the stove, that more buttons would have been found. He reviewed the testimony of Thompson as to seeing the red sweater beneath the body of Mrs. Hye immediately after the shooting and when Dr. Blake entered the house three days later this same sweater was on a chair. He said had the body of Mrs. Hye been dragged about as would have been necessary to remove the clothing, that there would have been more blood on the floor.
Mr. Hardy suggested the wound found on the head of Mrs. Hye might have been inflicted by her being hurled against a door jam when she attacked Hye at the time of the shooting. He told of Hye calling the name of his wife after his arrival at the Parr hotel and said the shooting of Mrs. Hye was accidental.
Argument by Judge Scales
Court adjourned until 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon following Mr. Hardy’s argument and the court room was filled to overflowing for an hour before Judge Scales opened, the crowd overflowing out on the stairs, filling the aisles between the seats.
Judge W. N. Scales opened the closing argument for the defense prefacing his speech with the statement that if he approached the case as merely a battle between opposing counsel he would approach it with trepidation, but that as the defense approached it on the ground of justification for the deed done he felt confident in the righteousness of his cause.
He invoked the rule that the jury must be convinced of the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt and directed the attention of the jurors to their oaths when they were sworn to try the case and render their verdict. The first thing referred to in this argument was the instruments introduced in evidence by the state and alleged to have been procured by the defendant to perform an abortion on his wife. He chided the state for unfairness in introducing these instruments and pointed to the fact that there were no instruments among those introduced in evidence which were properly so called abortion instruments while admitting that some of them could be used for that purpose. And he pointed to the fact that the defendant had absolutely no knowledge as to certain of the instruments and that he had never seen them before.
He called attention to the facts which indicated the unfaithfulness of the deceased, Alma Hye and stated that he had no desire except as his duty in the case demanded it, to cause pain to the parents of Mrs. Hye, and that he wished that the shame and guilt could be buried with her in her resting place.
He recounted the events which caused suspicions of the defendant and recounted that Mrs. Hye had requested Mrs. Baskett to ask over the phone if Hye was in Stites. He pointed to the fact that Kennedy went to his room in the hotel as if going to bed and then slipped out later to appear at the Hye home. He also pointed to the fact that the state had introduced testimony tending to show by the statements of Kennedy to certain persons that Hye was owing his $100 in wages and that he probably went to see Hye at his home and to get his money, and then stated that the defense had showed that Kennedy had only $22.00 coming at the time of his death and that Hye had settled with Hugh’s brothers.
With reference to the testimony of Thompson as to the red sweater under the body of Alma Hye and the other witnesses stating to the contrary he stated that the witnesses had testified to more at the trial than they knew at the preliminary.
He reviewed the testimony of Dr. Blake, to whom he referred as a disinterested party, although appearing for the state and that Dr. Blake had failed to perceive or discover many of the things later alleged to have been discovered and he indicated that the clothing had been burned by someone following the preliminary hearing. And he argued that Dr. Blake had investigated the stove and failed to find the things later found in the stove.
He ridiculed the testimony of Mrs. Painter, Mrs. Bell and Mrs. McDonald and stated that they all had testified that the chunk of flesh which they stated was gone from the corner of Alma’s mouth was about the size of a grain of wheat or some other grain, and that the other piece gone from the lip was about the size of their finger nail. He also referred to Mrs. Painter’s evidences of emotion while on the stand and referred to the fact that while she was attending the body of Alma in preparing it for burial and when she stepped across it to go into the bedroom, and later at the grave when she watched the doctors conducting the investigation that she evidenced no emotion.
He referred to the testimony as to powder burns on the body of Alma Hye, to which the three women testified to was unreasonable in view of the fact that there was no evidences of powder burns on the vest which was in evidence.
He argued that the only thing the state had relied upon and upon which they hoped for a verdict was the statement that they did not believe Hye’s story, and then he mentioned that Judge Ailshie, one of the most able lawyers in the northwest was unable to shake his story in a single respect during the cross examination.
He endeavored to establish in his argument that the indications were that some one had entered the house after the killing and had disturbed things and stated that the fact that the house was guarded would not prevent someone entering as Thomas Hye had demonstrated in the presence of several witnesses that he could enter without being discovered.
This briefly covers some of the main points considered by Judge Scales in his argument which lasted about an hour. Mr. Scales was ill at the time of the address to the jury and was not in fit condition to appear and argue the case and mentioned the fact to the jury that he had not gone over everything, he would if it were not for his physical condition. In conclusion, he invoked the unwritten law as a defense, and stated, “We don’t have to rely on that, however, for the act was committed in self-defense.” And again he stated that they had shown that it was justified and that Alma Hye was not intentionally shot by the defendant. Besides this he stated that according to the testimony of Dr. Givens that the defendant was in a condition at the time of the killing which indicated that he was in effect insane. Also that there were aggravating circumstances which would arouse the heat of the defendant’s passion, alluding to Kennedy having called the defendant a vile name. His argument was closely followed and given the best of attention by the jury.
Judge Ailshie for the State
In opening Judge Ailshie stated that we are called upon to perform various duties, pleasant and unpleasant and he directed the attention of the jury to the fact that they were called upon to perform an unpleasant on in sitting in judgment of the defendant, but that it was a duty which they owed society and the state, and that that duty was sacred to administer justice between 400,000 people and the defendant. It is an honor he stated. He stated that no more important case of homicide had ever come before him in all his experience as a judge or a practitioner and he trusted that they would not be led astray by the ingenuity of counsel and matter of evidence. There were several dramatic incidents in his statement when he faced the defendant and denounced his act in killing his wife.
“The defendant admits that he killed his wife.” Judge Ailshie stated, and he expressed himself as surprised that counsel had not dwelt on the conduct of the defendant before he killed his wife when he used cool deliberation and premeditation. “One sign of his sanity.” said Judge Ailshie, “is his selection of counsel.” In that respect the defendant was fortunate he argued, for his counsel have put in evidence a multitude of matters to distract the attention of the jury from the homicide. And he reiterated his statement made before the witnesses were put on the stand that his charge was not for the killing of Hugh Kennedy but for the killing of defendant’s wife.
Judge Ailshie addressed himself to the jury, the court and turned to the auditors in the court room and stated that he disliked using indecent and improper language but that his duty would require him to use language improper in good usage with reference to certain matters brought out in this case. and that he only did no reluctantly. He referred to matters testified to by the defendant and which he later referred to in the words by the defendant on the stand.
The defendant deliberately and with premeditation, prepared himself to do the net for which he is being tried Mr. Ailshie stated and as a result two voices are silent never to tell their story, and so he pointed that it was necessary to rely on the silent evidence of what had actually transpired on the fatal night.
Judge Ailshie complimented Mr. Hattabaugh highly for his fairness in the case in striving to not inject prejudice or bias in the case and he stated that as long as he was prosecutor there would be no danger of a man being convicted unjustly. And he then referred to the charges made by the attorneys for the defense as to unfairness and hurled them back to them.
“The statements of the defendant himself justify a verdict of murder in the first degree,” Judge Ailshie stated, for he had planned this act and it had culmination as a direct result of his plans. His evidence shows a cool, premeditated preparation to do the act done and he should be convicted on his own story if it stood alone.
The Judge stated that Hye shot his wife to silence her and stated that he did not nor no one but the defendant knew the actual circumstances. “Did he shoot his wife standing up,” he demanded turning toward the defendant, and he answered the question by stating that he shot her at an angle of 45 degrees as shown by the course of the bullet. He stated that it would be possible for her to be standing up when he shot her and then he turned to the defendant and said, “She was under him and pleading for her life.”
Taking up the dispute as to powder burns he stated that if Mrs. Hye had only been dressed in the under vest and shot at the distance of 15 or 18 inches that there would have been powder stains on the vest and he argued that the vest must have been covered with other garments and a corset.
As to the blood on the collar of the sweater he showed that it was both on the outside of the collar and on the inside of the neck, and that it was on the left side directly below the wound in the scalp and he stated that she must have had the sweater on when shot and that the blood dripped down from he scalp wound. He showed that it would be impossible for blood to get on the sweater on both the collar and the neck, the way Thompson stated it was folded and lying under the body of Alma Hye.
In referring to the pleas invoking the unwritten law, Judge Ailshie stated that this case is altogether different from any case where that rule is invoked, in this the defendant had planned for some time and prepared for the act he did and then consummated it, whereas in the case of a man walking into the bosom of his family and discovering an act of adultery, unsuspectingly the case is different, the heat of passion being suddenly aroused and there being no premeditation.
The evidence as to insanity of the defendant he called a fake insanity, and then termed it “Shuttlecock insanity, now your on and now your off.” He pointed to the fact that the defendant has been more rational since the killing and that it was testified that he could give more intense attention to his business since he killed his wife than before and that the killing of his wife seemed to calm and soothe him. He said that to refer to the defendant’s insanity was in insult to the intelligence of the jury.
At one point in the argument Judge Ailshie turned to the defendant and said, “He asked Watson as he was leaving Elk City if he would shake a tainted hand. It is tainted and from those lecherous fingers the blood of Alma Hye and Hugh Kennedy is dripping, dripping.”
His last appeal to the jury was to uphold the law and the honor of Idaho county and mentioned that several forms of verdicts would be handed to them by the court. He said the state did not demand blood and that if any of the jury felt that they would not care to impose the death sentence that they should agree on a form of verdict other than death. All that the state demands he said was justice. His argument lasted about two hours.
At five o’clock Judge Steele gave his instructions to the jury consuming a half hour of time in so doing and giving to the jury six forms of verdict: Murder in first degree, punishment by death; murder in first degree, punishment by imprisonment by life; murder in the second degree, manslaughter, not guilty by reason of insanity and a verdict of not guilty.
Guilty of Murder in Second Degree
The jury retired to the jury room at 5:30 Friday afternoon and deliberated over the case eighteen hours, arriving at a verdict at eleven thirty Saturday forenoon. Immediately upon arriving at a verdict the defendant was brought into court and the jury filed in. The defendant was without council, Judge Scales being ill at his home and Atty. Hardy being absent from the city and Judge Steele offered to call an attorney from those present if the defendant so desired before the delivering of the verdict but he stated he had no objection to the reading of the verdict and the clerk proceeded. The court commanded the defendant to rise and face the jury as the verdict was read.
The foreman of the jury passed the verdict up to Clerk Harris who read the same which was as follows: “We the jury find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree.” At the reading of the word “guilty” the defendant collapsed in a chair he had previously occupied and buried his head in grief; sobbing audibly. His brothers comforted him as best they could and at the order of the court Sheriff Yates took him in charge and shortly after left for the jail where he was placed in confinement awaiting the pronouncement of sentence. There was no demonstration on the part of the audience and with the exception of an altercation at the foot of the stairway as the sheriff was leaving with the prisoner no trouble of any kind.
How the Jury Stood
It is said the first ballot the jury stood one for acquittal, three for manslaughter one for murder in the first degree and seven for murder in second degree, the next ballot showed three for acquittal and nine for conviction, the next ballot, eleven for conviction and one for acquittal and thus it stood until late Saturday forenoon.
— — — —
Free Press, March 18, 1915
Prisoners Taken to Boise
H.S. Coburn traveling guard for the state prison, arrived in Grangeville Friday night and left Saturday morning with Frank Hye and Allen McKinnon, the two prisoners sent from Idaho county this term. According to Lewiston reports Hye made the remark at Lewiston when enroute to Boise that his case would be appealed and he did not expect to serve more than three or four months. Guard Coburn stated that Gabriel, who was sent down from Idaho county last year for cattle stealing, is a model prisoner and now a “Trusty” being employed in the power house outside outside of the wall.
— — — —
Free Press, April 1, 1915
Mail Contract be Re-Let
Present Contract of Elk City – Stites Stage Co. Will be Canceled
The Stites-Elk City mail contract, which has been held the past ten months by Frank J. Hye, now serving a sentence at Boise for the murder of his wife at Elk City, will be re-let, according to notices which are posted in the post office at this point and along the route. All bids must be in by April 27 and the new contract will take effect on May 16 of this year. Bids are called for on an entirely different basis than the one under which the present carrier is now operating. Under the present contract the contractor was permitted to send the grain for his own stage stock by parcel post and this has been done. The postage on a fifty pound sack of grain in the first zone is 54 cents while the contractor received two cents a pound for $1 for hauling the same package. Some for the grain was billed to Clearwater, where it was rolled and then re-billed to Elk City. On these shipments the contractor received double compensation of $4 per hundred and paid in postage $2.16 per hundred pounds.
All of this will be changed now as the contractor is not allowed to receive parcel post, either directly or indirectly along the mail route. It is expected that a number of bids will be submitted under the new call.
— — — —
Free Press March 25, 1915
Frank Hye a Musician
Frank Hye, of Idaho county, who was received at the prison last week, to serve a term for killing his wife and Hugh Kennedy at Elk City, plays a good piano accompaniment in the prison orchestra. The writer saw him and heard him today at rehearsal held in the general dining room, the larger number of those convicts not in the line-up or coaching at the ball game, being the audience. Hye is anew member of the orchestra organization, which is led by Rev. Hand, the Moscow clergyman who was convicted of rape several years ago and who is serving a life sentence.
(Note: This article was very long and contained information about many different prison inmates. I have chosen to just type up what was written about Frank Hye. -PBC)
— — — —
Free Press, September 27, 1917
Hye Is Pardoned!
At the meeting of the State Board of Parole, held at Boise on Tuesday of this week, Frank Hye, convicted in this county three years ago of second degree murder, was granted a full pardon and will be given his liberty Christmas. Hye killed his wife and a young man by the name of Hugh Kennedy at Elk City on October 4, 1914 and was tried during the March term of 1915. Hye’s defense was temporary insanity and the unwritten law.
When the matter of voting upon the application for pardon came up two voted for granting the same and Governor Alexander against.
Copyright Notice: All materials contained on these pages are furnished for the free use of those engaged in researching their family origins. Any commercial use or distribution, without the consent of the host/author of these pages is prohibited. All images used on these pages were obtained from sources permitting free distribution, or generated by the author, and are subject to the same restrictions/permissions. All persons contributing material for posting on these pages do so in recognition of their free, non-commercial distribution, and further, is responsible to assure that no copyright is violated by their submission.
source: Murders, Poisonings and Executions in Idaho County from Area Newspaper Articles compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
Elk City – Mrs. Bell, Noel Litchfield
Mrs. Bell, Noel Litchfield & daughters, Lillian & Helen
Contributed by: Jamie Edmonson
source: © PBC Compiled by Penny Bennett Casey, Idaho County GenWeb
— — — — — — — — — —
Litchfield Family History
This information was submitted by: Bill Salmon of Elk City.
— — — — — — — — — —
Litchfield Family Graveyard
submitted by the late Bill Salmon
Photos were taken in 2012 by Penny Bennett Casey.
— — — — — — — — — —
Elk City I.O.O.F. Cemetery
The original burial ground for Elk City was in the woods above the present location of the school. There were no records and no permanent markers. Bones were sometimes found in that area when excavation was done for the school or other buildings. The later Elk City Odd Fellows Cemetery was located on the hill above the intersection of Sweeney Hill Road and Elk Creek Road. There used to be a list of all the graves, but it is said that the list was sent to Kooskia for safekeeping and the Odd Fellows Hall there burned down, so the list was lost. At present, there are residents of Elk City trying to reconstruct it, but information is very hard to find.
In 2004 Bill Salmon of Elk City compiled this listing, which I have updated with photos and other information since.
Listing of burials: Penny Bennett Casey and Bill Salmon of Elk City, Idaho County GenWeb
page updated Aug 19, 2020