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F. W. Bozarth ~ Trial and Aquittal
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield-Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: November 08, 2002 at 14:54:16
  of 915



Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, February 4, l896

E.W. Curry departed yesterday for Sidney, Neb., where he will defend FRANK BOZARTH who is accused of murdering a young Englishman about a year ago. Mr. Curry will be assisted by Geo. W. Heist, of Sidney. Young BOZARTH was a former resident of this county, and his parents still reside near Davis City. He was always considered an exemplary young man, and it is hard to believe he would murder a man in cold blood as is charged. We gave a full account of the tragedy at the time it occurred.



Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, February 27, l896

As announced in The Reporter last Thursday, the jury at Sidney, Neb. acquitted FERNANDO BOZARTH on the charge of murdering Robert W. Fawcus, a young Englishman in a quarrel over an irrigating ditch. The verdict was a bit of a surprise to not only the friends of MR. BOZARTH in this county, but the citizens of Sidney, for it was the opinion of nine out of every ten that he would be found guilty of murder in the first degree.

It was the greatest case ever tried in that part of Nebraska, as the friends of the murdered man employed the best legal talent in the State to assist in the prosecution, and were ably assisted by Judge Fawcus, of England, an uncle of the murdered man, who is recognized as one of the leading barristers of England, and came to America specially to assist in prosecuting this case. The defense was made almost wholly by Mr. E.W. Curry, of the firm of Curry & McGinnis, of this city, being assisted by only a local attorney at Sidney. The Sidney Poniard, in speaking of the trial says, "Harder work is seldom done in a court than did the defendant's attorneys all through the trial, and in cross examination few men could approach the skill shown by Judge Curry, who almost inevitably punctured the testimony at some vital point by his adroitly put questions."

The defense established the fact that for two years previous Fawcus had been systematically persecuting young BOZARTH, had repeatedly cut off his water supply from the irrigating ditch, and had on several occasions threatened to kill him. That BOZARTH had on more than one occasion left his home and the country on account of his fear of Fawcus, and that when he fired the fatal shots that he believed Fawcus was about to kill him, and that the killing of Fawcus was in self defense.

The jury took this view of the case, and after being out only a short time brought in a verdict of "not guilty." Only two ballots were taken, the first standing l0 to 2 in favor of acquittal. The friends of Fawcus had made their threats that in case of acquittal they would kill BOZARTH before he left town, but the sheriff took the precaution of having thirty armed deputies to escort MR. BOZARTH and his parents to the train that same afternoon. He is now visiting his parents at their farm near Davis City.

A big indignation meeting was held at Sidney on Friday, at which resolutions were past (sic) censuring the jury and also the sheriff for not exercising care and impartiality in selecting the jury.



Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, February 27, l896

FERNANDO BOZARTH accompanied by his parents, returned home last Friday, from Sidney, Neb., he having been acquitted by the jury. MR. BOZARTH and his parents have always been regarded as among the best citizens here, and they have the united respect of all who know them. The case in question was an aggravated one, and FERNANDO would never have committed the deed, could he have evaded it, without sacrificing his own life. We welcome him home, and assure him that he is once more among his friends and to congratulate his escape from the enmity of "Johny Bull."



Copied by Cordelia Suzann
November 8, 2002





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