Monday, March 28, 2016

PEOPLE v JOHN BANTZHOUSE: TRANSCRIPT OF 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 JOHN BANTZHOUSE: 
TRANSCRIPT  OF  COURT  FILE
DATE
DOCUMENT
DOC. #
2/22/57
ARREST WARRANT
21086

State of Illinois, Sangamon County} The People of the State of Illinois to all Sheriffs [illegible] and Constables of said County, Greetings

Young M. Hudson and George M Maxwell and complains that there has been murder committed at the County of Sangamon in the State of Illinois on the 21st day of Feb., 1857 and that they have just grounds to suspect that one John Banthouse has committed the same. You are hereby commanded in the name and by the authority of the said People to arrest the said John Banthouse and bring him forthwith before me or some other Justice of the Peace of said county to answer said complaint and be further dealt with according to law.

Given under my hand and seal this 22nd Feb 1857,
H.M. Harmon, J.P.

5/1/57
COURT MINUTES
121602

The People against John Bantzhouse} For Murder

A True Bill J.B. Weber Foreman of the Grand Jury

5/2/57
INDICTMENT
21087

Of the April Term of the Sangamon Circuit Court in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty four

State of Illinois, Sangamon County} SS

The Grand chosen selected and sworn in and for the County of Sangamon in the name and by the authority of the People of the State of Illinois upon their oaths present that on the twenty third day of February in the Year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty seven at the County of Sangamon and in the aforesaid State of Illinois John Bantzhouse with force and arms in and upon one Walter Clark 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 John Bantzhouse with a certain gun of the value of ten dollars then and loaded and charged with gunpowder and twenty five leaden shots (which said gun he said John Bantzhouse in his two hands then and there had and held) to against and upon the said Walter Clark then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did shoot and discharge and that the said John Bantzhouse with the leaden shots aforesaid out of gun aforesaid there and then by force of the gun powder, shot and sent forth as aforesaid the Walter Clark in and upon the breast and side of him the said Walter Clark then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did strike penetrate and wound given to the said Walter Clark then and there with the leaden shots aforesaid out of the gun aforesaid by the said John Bantzhouse in and upon the breast and side of him the said Walter Clark one mortal wound of the depth of four inches, of which mortal wound the said Walter Clark then and there instantly died; and so the Grand Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that he the said John Bantzhouse the said Walter Clark in manner and form aforesaid feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did then and there kill and murder contrary to the form of the statutes in such case 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 on the twenty second day of February in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty seven at the county and state aforesaid John Bantzhouse with force and arms in and upon Walter Clark 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 John Bantzhouse with a certain double barreled shotgun of the value of ten dollars then and there loaded and charged with gun powder and twenty five leaden shots (which gun he said John Bantzhouse in his two hands then and there had and held) to against and upon the said Walter Clark then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did shoot and discharge and that the said John Bantzhouse with the leaden shots aforesaid out of the gun aforesaid then and there by force of the gunpowder shot sent forth and discharged as aforesaid in and upon the breast and side of him the said Walter Clark, then and there feloniously willfully and of his malice aforethought did strike puncture and wound, given to the said Walter Clark then and there with the leaden shots aforesaid so as aforesaid shot discharged and sent forth out of the gun aforesaid by the said John Bantzhouse in and upon him the said Walter Calrk in and upon his breast and side, one mortal wound of the depth of [illegible] inches, of which said mortal wound he the said Walter Clark then and there instantly died; and so the Jurors aforesaid upon their oaths aforesaid do say that the said John Bantzhouse the said Walter Clark 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 case made and provided and against the peace and dignity of the said people of the state of Illinois

J.B. White, State’s atty 8 Jud Circuit

[ENDORSEMENT]

The People v John Bantzhouse; Indictment for Murder; “A True Bill”; J.B. Weber Foreman of the Grand Jury; Witnesses [list of names]

 Filed May 2, 1857 P. Nichols Clk

5/2/57             
COURT MINUTES
21091

State of Illinois, Sangamon County} Sangamon Circuit Court April Term A.D. 1857

This day, to wit the 2nd day of May of the April Term A.D. 1857 the Grand Jury returned into court, and presented the following indictment; which was ordered to be filed and the case docketed.

5/8/57
COURT MINUTES
121605
People vs Bantzhouse} Murder

And now on this day came the said parties by their attorneys and upon the mutual agreement the trial of this cause is set for Wednesday next.

8/12/57
AFFIDAVIT FOR CHANGE OF VENUE
21093

State of Illinois, Sangamon County} SS

John Bantzhouse, the defendant in a certain indictment now pending in the Circuit Court of the county aforesaid for the supposed murder of one Walter Clark, being first duly sworn, states on oath that he fears he will not receive a fair and impartial trial in the court in which the trial is pending, on account that the minds of the inhabitants of the said county of Sangamon are prejudiced against him and that the knowledge of such prejudice of said inhabitants has come to him since the last term of this court – He therefore prays that the venue be changed to some county where such prejudice does not exist –
John Bantzhouse

Subscribed & Sworn to before me this 12th day of August AD 1857
G. Wright, Clerk

8/12/57
COURT MINUTES
21091

And now at this day came the said Defendant by his attorney and filed his affidavit and entered his motion for a change of venue herein. And the Court after considering said motion and the affidavit filed and being sufficiently advised; orders that said motion be allowed and that the venue in this case be changed to the county of Macoupin in State of Illinois. And it is further ordered by the court that the clerk of this court transmit to the clerk of the circuit court of said Macoupin County all the papers filed and a copy of all the proceedings had herein, immediately.

8/12/57
NOTICE
20194

State of Illinois, Sangamon County} SS

Of the August Term of the Sangamon Circuit Court AD 1857

The People vs Jno Bantzhouse

On an indictment for murder

Messrs McClernand and Herndon, Wyatt, Lincoln and Herndon, and G.W. Schutt, Defendants attorneys. You are hereby notified that the People on the part of the prosecution by J.B. White their attorney will introduce on the trial of said cause the following additional witnesses not endorsed on the back of the said indictment to wit: John F. McLauflin, Henry Davis, John Kriss, B. [illegible] and Frederick Dubirk

J.B. White, States Attorney

We acknowledge service of the above notice on the 12th day of August 1857

McClernand & Herndon, Lincoln & Herndon, Geo W. Schutt, W.D. Wyatt

10/1/57
AFFIDAVIT FOR ARREST WARRANT
21089


George W. Clark being of lawful age being further duly sworn according to law upon his oath deposeth and says that at and in the County of Sangamon in the State of Illinois on or about the twenty-third day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty seven in and upon the person of one Walter Clark a murder was then and there committed and this affiant is informed and verily believes that one John Bantzhouse did then and there unlawfully feloniously and with malice aforethought kill and murder him the said Walter Clark.

This affiant being the brother of the said Walter Clark and feeling a deep interest in having the murder of his brother brought to a fair and impartial rial moves the court to commit the said John Bantzhouse to await the action of the next grand jury for the County of Sangamon aforesaid.

G.W. Clark

Subscribed & sworn to before me this 1st day of October 1857, A McKim Dubois, Clk [Macoupin County]

10/1/57
JUDGE’S DOCKET
21096

Motion to quash second count sustained

Deft arraigned & pleads not guilty –

States atty moves to nolle pros & to [illegible]

[illegible] key witness – [illegible]

& attachment ordered

Ordered that attachment issue for [illegible]

10/2/57
JUDGE’S DOCKET
21096

Motion to Nolle pros withdrawn by States atty

Motion to quash Indictment sustained

Prisoner discharged

 

No comments:

Post a Comment