42 N.E. 123 (Ill. 1895), Campbell v. People

Citation:42 N.E. 123, 159 Ill. 9
Opinion Judge:[159 Ill. 18] CARTER, J. (after stating the facts).
Party Name:CAMPBELL v. PEOPLE. [1]
Attorney:[159 Ill. 17]T. B. Stelle, for plaintiff in error. Maurice T. Maloney, Atty. Gen., and Isaac H. Webb, State's Atty. (T. J. Scofield and M. L. New ell, of counsel), for the People.
Case Date:November 22, 1895
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

Page 123

42 N.E. 123 (Ill. 1895)

159 Ill. 9




Supreme Court of Illinois

November 22, 1895

Error to circuit court, Hamilton county; C. C. Boggs, Judge.

Indictment of John Campbell for murder. Defendant was convicted, and he brings error. Reversed.

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[159 Ill. 17]T. B. Stelle, for plaintiff in error.

Maurice T. Maloney, Atty. Gen., and Isaac H. Webb, State's Atty. (T. J. Scofield and M. L. New ell, of counsel), for the People.

[159 Ill. 10]John Campbell, the plaintiff in error, and Nancy Cook, the prosecuting witness, were jointly indicted at the February term, 1894, of the Hamilton circuit court, for the murder of the newly-born babe of said Nacy. Campbell alone was tried. He was convicted, and sentenced to imprisonment for 14 years in the penitentiary, principally upon her testimony, there being little or no other evidence tending to fasten the crime on him. She testified in substance as follows: 'My name is Nancy Cook. Dick is my nickname. Am 27 years old. Am confined in jail. I was never married. Am the mother of three children. One, a boy 9 years old, is living. Two are dead. Defendant is the father of my last child. It was born at the home of defendant, in Hamilton county, Illinois, at about 10 o'clock Tuesday night, in the last week of October, 1893, about 7 months after I became pregnant. Do not know whether it was a boy or girl. Do not know whether or not it is living. Have never seen it. It might be living, for all I know. I have never inquired about it. Never asked defendant about it. It was not named. I got acquainted with defendant 13 or 14 years ago, in Kentucky. Moved with him to Arkansas. Went with his family from Arkansas to [159 Ill. 11] Indiana, and thence to Illinois. Have lived the last few years since uncle died with defendant. Kept house for defendant and his brothers, as one of the family, until defendant married, in June, 1893. Have lived in Hamilton county four years. I never had any beaux. Never had connection with others in this country. In September, 1893, I told defendant I was going to law him, and he said, 'If you will never pester me when the child is born, you shall never be bothered with it.' We had no more talk about it. At about 4 o'clock of the afternoon previous to the night the child was born, I went out to a barrel of water that was in a wagon, to get some water for the fattening hogs, and I jumped out of the wagon and hurt myself. Had queer feelings, and soon had pains. I helped defendant and Clark skinning and dressing a beef after getting hurt. Was feeling curious then. Saw the blood. Labor pains commenced about 7 o'clock that evening. Was eating supper and doing up the work after the pains began. After supper I told defendant I was going to be sick, and for him to get some one. He said to wait and see. Said he would after awhile, if needed any one. Defendant, his wife, and Henry Campbell, his brother, Billy Williams, and Jimmy Williams, his nephews, occupied the east room of the house that night, and I and my little boy the west room. There was only a partition of studding and ceiling, with door, between the rooms. Two beds in my room, and three beds in defendant's room. My bed had feather bed on top of straw tick. Had two quilts, a blanket, and white sheet. Had no oil cloth on bed. Defendant, his wife, and the boys all went to bed about eight o'clock. I was in their room when they went to bed. After 8 o'clock I undressed and went to bed. I left partition door partly open. I could see when I went to bed. I never got up after laying down on the bed, and did not go out of doors that night. I know it was not time for child to be born. Expected to have a [159 Ill. 12] miscarriage. Was suffering. Soon after I went to bed, boy went out of doors. Defendant came through my room, and asked me how I was getting along. He came through my room 4 or 5 times. He went out on back porch to get water, and made a fire in stove,and

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stood by stove until child was born. Defendant put on his shoes. He came to the bed and took it out a minute or two after it was born. It was born on an old qquilt. I helped myself at delivering the child. No one helped me. Was in great pain and agony at time of childbirth. Felt child move, and heard noise. Cried like it was getting its breath. I mean it made a fuss like crying. Made fuss only once. Only heard noise once, almost immediately after it was born. It moved. He raised cover, and took child out of bed. It made no noise after he took it. It moved after he took it, and made fuss. He cut the cord before he took it. It did not move or make fuss after he cut cord. It kind o' cried directly after it was born, and before it was separated. He took it out and wrapped it up. Saw him go out of the door, with his back towards me. That was the south door. I lay with my head north, and he went out at the south door. Not a word was said betwixt us. I had no idea what defendant was going to do with child when he took it. Child was born naturally, but it come too quick. After defendant went out with child, he came back, in about thirty minutes, and asked if I wanted anything. Told him no, and he went to bed. My little boy was in bed with me when the child was born. He was asleep. Defendant made fire next morning at about 4 o'clock, and told me to tell his wife I had a chill. I got up at 11 or 12 o'clock next day. Told defendant's wife had chill. She went to her mothers that day. Afterbirth came from me while she was at her mother's. I was walking around in house, and it dropped, and I picked it up and put it in the heating stove. After the afterbirth dropped I lay [159 Ill. 13] down awhile, and then got up and got supper. Bedclothing did not get soiled. Was nothing on the sheets. Was nothing about the bed. I had on several undergarments. I had talk with Thomas Campbell once. Did not tell him that it was just a little wad of something that came from me, and that there was no more life in it than a stick of wood. I told him John Campbell had accused me of concealing my child, and had kept Uncle Joe from going on my bond. I had conversation with Sheriff Crouch. Never told him child was born dead. The trouble between me and Mrs. Campbell was, she was jealous-hearted, and quarreled and kept up a fuss, and was determined to carry news betwixt me and John. She got mad at me first about Jimmy. I got mad at her because she had a high temper and would fuss and quarrel. I did not state on my trial before justice of the peace what I stated here. I testified there. Don't have to tell to whom I first told it. I never told any one that I was going to swear against John Campbell. I told Van Winkle about it. I know I am charged with the murder of my child. Rosina Campbell did it. She got out writ for that, I understand. Mrs. Campbell stated in court that I was in a family way. I understood they were trying me for the murder of my baby, and therefore I went before the grand jury to tell them the true facts. I understand I am indicted for the murder of my baby. I did not harm it. He carried it out. I never saw the child. I only saw the bulk of it, wrapped up in a quilt. When I got up I looked, and the sheet was not soiled. Nobody promised to dismiss my murder case if I would testify in this case. I did not tell this before because I did not want to tell all I knowed. Van Winkle said I could acknowledge to it. I did not want to tell it before the justice of the peace. Defendant told me once that when the child was born he would take it where I would not see it. Never spoke to him since about it. Defendant said that if I thought I was going to be sick he would send for some [159 Ill. 14] one. He came in and asked me if I wanted anything, and I told him no; that is all. I never could get a word of secret talk with him after that. I did not tell about this at my first trial. They did not ask me about it. Never got mad at defendant. He got mad at me. It was his wife that was the trouble. Don't think there would have been any trouble if he had not got any wife. His wife has stirred up trouble ever since she has been in it. I want to punish the one that helped do the work. Mrs. Campbell kept trotting back and forth to her mother's. She went every morning. I do not know exactly what the nature of an oath is. Do not know the consequences of swearing a lie. Have no idea of any punishment but cross-examination. Do not know the nature of an oath.' Said that before giving her evidence she heard the state's attorney say that her evidence should not be used against her on her trial. Testified with that understanding, and on advice of her counsel. Understood that she was to be protected. Other witnesses testified that in October Nancy Cook appeared to be pregnant; also that plaintiff in error had said that he believed she had had a bastard child and concealed it; also that he testified before the justice of the peace that

on the night in question he heard a noise; that his wife called his attention to it, and said, 'Dick has got her baby,' but that he replied that he thought it was a cat; that he always talked freely about it, and told the same story; that search had been made, but no trace of the child was found.

On behalf of defendant below, Willie Williams testified: 'Lived with defendant last October. Nancy Cook lived there. Henry Campbell, Jimmy Williams, I, and Rosina Campbell lived there. Remember the night they killed the beef. Nancy Cook and her boy slept in west room. John Campbell, Rosina Campbell, Henry Campbell, Jimmy Williams, and I slept in east room. We went to bed about 8 o'clock. Had supper at [159 Ill. 15] 7 o'clock. I had earache that night. I went to sleep about 9 o'clock. My earache waked me about 1 o'clock. Did not sleep any more that night. About five o'clock in the morning John Campbell got up, and went out a minute. Heard no noise...

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