Friday, March 25, 2016

PEOPLE v DAVID THOMPSON: TRANSCRIPT OF THE COURT FILE FROM A MURDER CASE DEFENDED BY LINCOLN

Set forth below is a transcript which I made of the important documents in the court file from a murder case which Lincoln defended.

The document numbers in the right hand column represent the document numbers assigned to the documents by the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln website.




PEOPLE v DAVID THOMPSON: TRANSCRIPT OF THE COURT FILE
FROM A MURDER CASE DEFENDED BY LINCOLN

DATE
DOCUMENT
DOC. #

9/27/55

COURT MINUTES

People vs David Thompson | for Murder

Norman H. Purple, Henry Grove, & John Clark assigned as counsel

Committed to jail & continued


57218
9/25/55
INDICTMENT

Of the September Term of the Woodford Circuit Court in the Year of Our Lord Eighteen Hundred and fifty five

State of Illinois, Woodford County } ss

The Grand Jurors chosen selected and sworn in and for the county of Woodford in the name and by the authority of the People of the State of Illinois upon their oaths present that on the third day of August in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and fifty five  at the county of Woodford in the State of Illinois aforesaid David Thompson not having the fear of God before his eyes but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil with force and arms at the county aforesaid in and upon one Patrick Morgan in the peace of God and the people then and there being, feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought did make an assault and that the said David Thompson a certain shotgun of the value of ten dollars then and there loaded and charged with gunpowder with gunpowder and twenty leaden grain shot and ten buck shot (which said shotgun he the said David Thompson in his two hands then and there held) to, against, and upon the said Patrick Morgan then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did shoot and discharge; and that the said David Thompson with the leaden shot aforesaid out of the shotgun aforesaid then and there by force of the gunpowder and shot sent forth as aforesaid, the Said Patrick Morgan in and upon the right side of the neck and a little below the right ear of him the said Patrick Morgan, then and there feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought did strike penetrate and wound giving to the said Patrick Morgan then and there with the leaden shot aforesaid, so as aforesaid shot discharged and sent forth out of the pistol aforesaid by the said David Thompson in and against the right side of the neck of him the said Patrick Morgan a little below the right ear of him the said Patrick Morgan one mortal wound of the depth of six inches and of the breadth of two inches; of which said mortal wound the said Patrick Morgan from the third day of August in the Year aforesaid until the fourteenth day of the same month August in the year aforesaid at the county aforesaid did languish, and languishing did live, on which said fourteenth day of August in the year aforesaid the said Patrick Morgan at the county aforesaid of the said mortal wound died. And so the jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid thus say that the said David Thompson the said Patrick Morgan in manner and form aforesaid feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the said people of the State of Illinois.

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid in the name and by the authority aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do further present that that in the day and year last aforesaid at the county and state aforesaid David Thompson not having the fear of God before his eyes but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil with force and arms at the county aforesaid in and upon one Patrick Morgan in the peace of the People then and there being feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did make an assault; and that the said David Thompson with a certain pistol of the value of five dollars then and there loaded and charged with gunpowder and twenty leaden shot (which pistol he the said David Thompson in his right hand then and there held and had) to, against, and upon the said Patrick Morgan then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did shoot and discharge; and that the said David Thompson with the leaden gunshot aforesaid out of the pistol aforesaid then and there by force of the gunpowder and shot sent forth as aforesaid, the Said Patrick Morgan in and upon the right side of the neck and a little below the right ear of him the said Patrick Morgan, then and there feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought did strike penetrate and wound giving to the said Patrick Morgan then and there with the leaden gunshot aforesaid, so as aforesaid shot discharged and sent forth out of the shotgun aforesaid by the said David Thompson in and against the right side of the neck of him the said Patrick Morgan a little below the right ear of him the said Patrick Morgan one mortal wound of the depth of six inches and of the breadth of two inches; of which said mortal wound the said Patrick Morgan from the third day of August in the Year aforesaid until the fourteenth day of the same month August in the year aforesaid at the county aforesaid did languish, and languishing did live, on which said fourteenth day of August in the year aforesaid the said Patrick Morgan at the county aforesaid of the said mortal wound died. And so the jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid thus say that the said David Thompson the said Patrick Morgan in manner and form aforesaid feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did kill and murder contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the said people of the State of Illinois.

Amzi McWilliams, State Attorney

Woodford Circuit Court, Sept. 1855

The People vs David Thompson } Indict for Murder

Filed Sept. 25, 1855, Peter Doty, Clerk

A True Bill, Jefsn. Hammond, Foreman of the Grand Jury

Witnesses for Prosecution: Joel Pruitt; David Degan; Samuel Nock; Jr English; Martin Parker; [illegible]

57215
4/22/56
JUDGE’S DOCKET

State’s Attorney: Amzi McWilliams

Def’s Attorney: Norman H. Purple, Henry Grove, & John Clark

People vs David Thompson | for Murder

Arraigned & pled not guilty – Copy of Indictnt & list of Jurors & witnesses furnished – Jury sworn – Verdict guilty of Manslaughter and to serve in Penitentiary eight years.

Sentenced to Penetentiary for Eight years – 22nd 24 hours in Solitary Confinement, residual time hard labor.

The Shf to have 10 days to convey him over to Alton –

57224
4/22/56
VERDICT

We the jury do find the Defendant guilty of manslaughter and agree he shall serve eight years in the State prison

Samuel Bliss; Samson Maxwell; Ruben R. Grady; John Snider; Wm. T. Atterbery; Anderson Van[illegible]; Cyrus Nesmith; Joseph Brubaker; James N Finley; Andrew J Kirby; H.F. Caton; N. F. Switzer

57226
4/22/56
ABSTRACT OF TESTIMONY

People vs. Thompson; Abstract of Testimony

I Joel Pratt swore I saw a great confusion at Morgan Frazier and I ran and met Thompson at the road and Thompson said he had shot a man. I went in to the house and found Morgan shot and I helped him. Morgan on the bed I supposed he would die.

I Daniel [illegible] swore that I was in the house that Morgan lived in and I heard the report of a gun saw Morgan fall down the stairs shot and in a few minutes Thompson came down and said if any one wanted to [illegible] him opened his breast and said he was ready. This was about the 3 of August. Morgan died in about two weeks. I saw him after he was dead.

57225
4/22/56
COURT MINUTES

The People vs David Thompson } Indicted for Murder

This day came the People by A. McWilliams their attorney – and the defendant by N.H. Purple, Lincoln, and John Clark his attorneys. And on Motion of the defendant by his attorneys a copy of the Indictment and a list of the jurors and witnesses was furnished to the defendant.

Thereupon the defendant being arraigned plead Not Guilty and thereafter came the following jury to wit: Anderson Van[illegible]; Samuel Bliss; Andrew J. Kirby; John Snider; Cyrus Nesmith; Joseph Brubaker; Nathan F. Switzer; Ruben R. Grady; H.F. Caton; Wm.  Atterbery; James Finley; and Samson Maxwell; who being sworn well and truly to try the issue joined between the People and the defendant – after hearing the evidence and arguments of counsel retired to consider of their verdict in charge of a sworn officer.

And afterwards came into court with the following verdict We the Jury do find the defendant Guilty of Manslaughter and that the serve in the Penitentiary for the period of Eight Years. And the defendant saying nothing why the Judgment of the court should not be pronounced on the verdict of the jury

It is therefore ordered and adjudged by the court that the defendant be imprisoned in the state penitentiary at Alton for the period of Eight Years – that of said time he shall be placed in twenty four (24) hours in Solitary confinement and the residue thereof at hard labor – and that the Sheriff of Woodford County have ten days from the adjournment of the court to convey said prisoner and deliver him to the warden of the penitentiary at Alton. It is further ordered that the defendant pay the cost of this prosecution and that execution [illegible] therefor

5221
4/30/56
RECEIPT

Illinois Penitentiary Alton April 30th 1856

Received from George Ray Sheriff of Woodford County Illinois: the body of David Thompson who was tried, convicted and sentenced at the April term 1856 of the Circuit Court of said County holden at Metamora

S.A. Buckmaster, Warden of the Penitentiary, J Woolsey

5222

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