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April 26th 1894
The Herald and Torch Light — Hagerstown, Maryland
KING CONVICTED OF BIGAMY
The Wiley Doctor May Escape by a Bad Indictment
PERJURY CHARGE NOT SUSTAINED
Not Shown That The Deputy Clerk Shade Was Legally Qualified To Administer An Oath — All the Evidence Against the Much Married Quack
Monday at 3:30 o’clock the trial of Dr. Joseph Henry King, charged with bigamy, was begun in the Franklin county court, at Chambersburg. The wiley doctor appeared in court wearing a frock coat and light trousers and carried that same bold and fearless look so much in keeping with his general demeanor.
Mrs. King number 1 wore a dark blue suite and a heavy dark blue veil and appeared somewhat affected and downhearted. She is a tall and fairly well built woman, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Rev. I. M. Beaver, of the Reformed church, of Marion, Franklin county, was the first witness called.
He testified that he was ordained about three years ago and was ready to accommodate the doctor when he called there on the first of November last to be married. Dr. King presented his license and the minister performed the ceremony. The lady King married was said to be L. V. Brewer, Philadelphia. The knot being tied the doctor handed the minister an envelope which contained one of the doctor’s cards, a letter and a $2 bill. The doctor told Rev. Beaver he was from Hagerstown and came to Marion to avoid publicity.
The next witness called was Daniel Barnett, proprietor of the Leland Hotel, Wayensboro. King registered there Oct. 29, 1893, and had a lady with him. They took supper and left. He next registered there November 23 and said his wife would be there during the afternoon. The woman was brought to the hotel by a young man in a buggy and was shown to his room. They remained all night leaving the next forenoon.
E. M. Shade, deputy clerk of the court said he issued the marriage license Nov. 1. King told him that he was married but his wife, who now seems to have a dead grip on him, had died, Dec. 23, 1886.
Sergeant Clowe, Baltimore, was the next witness. He is the man who arrested this wonderful doctor the evening of Feb. 23. When arrested he was with his attorney, Elijah Bond, Esq. He said his name was Wm. Osborne. He was identified by Mrs. King’s brother. He denied being a bigamist and insisted that Maryland laws had no hold on him. He was taken to western police station, in charge of Lieutenant Fullem.
John Camphaus was next called. He is a brother of Mrs. King. He told of their marriage and the manner in which they lived while in Baltimore. They were married in May, 1892, and spent the next year in Lowell, Mass.
Katie Camphaus, sister of the prosecutor, was called yesterday morning. In May of 1892 the doctor requested her to go along to Washington to witness the marriage.
Attorneys Suesserott and Walter delivered the addresses. The jury retired at 11:45 o’clock.
At about 1:30 o’clock the jury returned a verdict of guilty of bigamy as indicted.
IMPORTANT QUESTION RAISED
Dr. Jos. Henry King was put on trial yesterday for the crime of perjury. There was a lengthy argument by counsel as the whether E. M. Shade, who issued the license had been sworn in as a deputy clerk of the courts when he issued this license.
Mr. Stewart, counsel for defendant, claimed that the appointment of E. M. Shade as deputy clerk of the courts must be shown to have been made in writing or deed and not by parole or word of mouth. No record of his appointment could be found (except the oath) but the court held that the parole appointment was sufficient, and sealed a bill of exceptions for the defendant. Counsel for the defendant objected to the admission of the oath in testimony on the ground that it did not state what court Shade was deputy of, whether the orphans’ or quarter sessions’, oyer and terminerand that this being a criminal proceeding when the defendant’s liberty was at stake, the legal authority of the deputy must be shown more clearly. Judge Stewart said that the manner of the appointment of a deputy was an exceedingly loose method of conducting business and he was surprised by it. He held that the objection was well taken and that it had not been shown that Shade was legally qualified to administer an oath, consequently King could not be convicted of swearing falsely before him. He directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty and to place costs upon the county.
This settles the case against King as far as the charge of perjury is concerned. He has been convicted of bigamy but there is a motion in arrest o judgement because the indictment is defective. This will probably be argued on Saturday when King is called up for sentence. The court may hold that the indictment is defective and knock the bottom out of the case. In that event he may order King held at Chambersburg until September, when another bill of indictment can be found and King tried again. Shade has been acting as deputy clerk of the courts for over two years and it is likely that interesting questions will be raised at to the legality of his acts.