THE MURDER TRIAL OF DR. CHARLES WAYNE McCOY – 1907
Compiled by Thelma J. Cooper
713 Randall Street
Ridgecrest, CA 93555-3309
A jealous husband, John F. Davis, murdered Dr. Charles Wayne McCoy May 1, 1907. The following is an account of the murder and the ensuing trial taken from the local newspaper, the “Semi-Weekly Irontonian”, Ironton, Lawrence Co., OH. The articles were typed just as they were printed in the newspaper–bad grammar, misspelled words, and lack of punctuation. Any other errors belong strictly to the transcriber.
Thursday, May 2, 1907, pg. 2–DR. WAYNE McCOY SHOT AND INSTANTLY KILLED–Capt. John Davis of the Portsmouth Ferry Boat the Slayer. Awful Tragedy at South Point in Which a Ruined Home was Exposed, a Man Forfeited His Life and the Brand of Cain Marks Another: Dr. Wayne McCoy, one of the best known physicians and residents of Lawrence County, is dead at his home in South Point from pistol wounds inflicted by the man who sought to maintain the sanctity of his home, Captain John Davis, also a well know and highly esteemed resident of South Point. The tragedy occurred at 11:10 o’clock Wednesday night at Davis’ home and there were no witnesses but Davis and his wife. McCoy had called at the Davis home sometime previous to his discovery by the wronged husband and was in the house when Davis returned home unexpectedly. What occurred just prior to the shooting is not known as Davis fled after the shooting and his wife could not be seen. It is known, however, that Dr. McCoy was found in the house and that Davis opened fire on him. The first ball struck McCoy over the left eye and produced a flesh wound. It is thought he then started to flee, when the second shot was fired. The bullet from the second discharge penetrated the back of McCoy’s head and caused his instant death. Immediately after the shooting Mrs. Davis ran from her home and notified the Mr. Brubaker and Peral Davidson that her husband had shot McCoy. These men went to the Davis home located just this side of the South Point School building and there found the lifeless body of Dr. McCoy lying in the yard. His hat was on the porch and blood spots showed the trail followed by the death stricken man. The men did not disturb the body, but immediately aroused the neighborhood and a call was sent for coroner Remy. That official responded and authorized the removal of the body to the McCoy home where it was received by Mrs. McCoy. In the meantime, John Davis, the slayer had fled and up to daylight, he had not been apprehended. Indeed no attempt was made to effect his capture or stop his flight. Where he went no one knows, but little or difficulty will be experienced in his capture. Dr. McCoy was 39 years of age, was married, but had no children. He resided a short distance above the Delta School House on the right of the road. His wife was a Miss Bimpson, well know in Ironton and throughout the county. She has many relatives in Ironton. Dr. McCoy was a prominent Mason and in 1892 was appointed a pension examiner under President Cleveland. He had always enjoyed the highest esteem of the citizens of this community. His neighbors stated to an Irontonian reporter that they were unaware of his attentions to Mrs. Davis. The horrible tragedy will cast gloom over the entire county. Undertakers Bingaman and Jones were summoned and prepared the body for burial. Coroner Remy stated that he would hold an inquest Saturday morning. A Complete story of the tragedy will be published in Friday Morning’s paper.
Thursday, May 2, 1907; pg. 4—Shocked to numbness, appalled to a degree of almost incomprehensibility and thoroughly incapable of understanding or realizing the extent of the crime committed, the people of this community learned through the Irontonian Thursday morning that Dr. Wayne McCoy had been shot and killed by a husband, John F. Davis, who had been wantonly wronged. The sanctity of his home; aye his castle had been demoralized; the infidelity of his wife; the mother who bore his five children had been proven, and the hearthstone of HOME, SWEET, SWEET, HOME was forever blasted. What was left for him? Wife, home, children, friends, gone; what he to care. A pistol ball would have and may be welcome in preference to the memory of the once happy days when he returned to his humble cot and was met with a wifely kiss he knew to be pure and the childish glee and chatter of his fledglings as they climbed his knee for a “bear squeeze” and a kiss for papa. God what agony! What could John Davis do when he met the despoiler of his home? Answer this those who can. Dr. Wayne McCoy is dead; a man who ever enjoyed the respect and esteem of his every acquaintance. His life was untimely snuffed out by a man who felt aggrieved at the Dr. for an alleged wrong. Dr. McCoy was a physician; his presence was always for service. In the home a physician is a brother, a father or a son; who can be trusted more? Was John Davis’ wife untrue to him or had she summoned Dr. McCoy for treatment for herself or children? Time will tell. Dr. McCoy may have been honorable, or his call may have been of evil import. Who knows? Who will say that a man who finds a man in his home is justified to kill without investigation? There is no unwritten law. Davis is in prison, his wife and children disgraced; his home destroyed. Dr. McCoy is dead, his death makes a childless widow and destroys and entombs forever the esteem in which he was held. Is revenge worth the price, when the Lord saith: “Vengeance is Mine” or shall a man kill when the Lord saith in one Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Is there an unwritten law? Echo answers: WHAT IS THE UNWRITTEN LAW?”
Semi-Weekly Irontonian, May 2, 1907–A COINCIDENCE.–Just eight years ago Thursday, Wright McCoy, brother of Dr. Wayne McCoy, was buried in Woodland Cemetery. He met death in a tragic manner. A horse he was driving in Coal Grove, running away and throwing Mr. McCoy from the vehicle. He sustained injuries which later resulted in his death. The injuries sustained where not necessarily lethal, but some days later blood poisoning set in and death resulted. There was never a truer gentleman in Lawrence County than Wright McCoy.
Friday, May 3, 1907, pg. 1–CAPTAIN DAVIS SURRENDERS TO LOCAL COUNTY OFFICIALS–Slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy–Is now in the Lawrence County Jail Without Bond, But May be Released Today. Wednesday Night’s Tragedy at South Point was the Only Topic of Conversation in Ironton and Lawrence County Thursday. The Funeral of the Deceased Doctor Will Take Place Saturday Morning at Nine O’clock Standard Time.–Captain John F. Davis, the confessed slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy is in the Lawrence County jail to await the action of the Common Pleas Court today relative to bond. The man who killed Dr. Wayne McCoy does not express regret, nor does he seem to be remorseful. He surrendered without remonstrance.–As told elsewhere Davis left his home after examining the body of his victim. He went directly to the river where he searched for a boat. He finally found a boat owned by Clinton Davidson and by cutting one rope and untying another he succeeded in freeing it. Alarmed at his deed he started down the river and rowed to Limeville, KY. Here he abandoned his boat and took up a tramp to Portsmouth. Arriving in that city, he at once consulted with the law firm of Milner, Miller, and Searl, and upon their advice he concluded to surrender. Davis left Portsmouth on the C&O. train due at Ironton at 12:01p.m. and went to Catlettsburg. There he, or his father telegraphed Deputy Sheriff Kingery and this official went over to Catlettsburg to take Davis in custody, according to the wishes of the man wanted. Kingery found Davis at the Alger House and he quietly submitted to arrest and readily agreed to accompany the officer to Ohio. The officer and his prisoner and a number of friends of Davis, including his father and brother, came over to this city and staid with the prisoner until his commitment. Immediately after the arrival of Davis in this city an Irontonian man met him and to the scribe Davis said that he left Portsmouth on the accommodation train and arrived at Catlettsburg at about 10 o’clock. He crossed the ferry and was on the Ohio side at 10:20 o’clock. He went to his home immediately and there heard mumbling in the house. He went in a side door and saw his wife and Dr. McCoy embraced. He said that Dr. McCoy struck him before he opened fire. The balance of the story is related elsewhere. The funeral services over the remains of Dr. McCoy will be held at 9:30 o’clock standard time Saturday morning from South Point church. The interment will be in Woodland cemetery.
WIFE MAKES CONFESSION–Says That Her Husband Caught Her and Dr. McCoy Together–AN ANONYMOUS LETTER–Which Was Received by Capt. Davis Wednesday Evening Apprised Him of the Fact That All Was Not Well at Home. He Hastened to His Sanctuary Only to Find it Defiled by a Neighbor Whom he had Known and Respected for Many Years.–It is hard to imagine any tragedy which could have caused more genuine surprise or sorrow in this county, especially in the neighborhood of South Point, that the horrible one which was enacted in that peaceful, law abiding village Thursday night, when Captain John Davis shot and instantly killed Dr. Wayne McCoy, one of the most successful and highly respected physicians in Lawrence county. From all the evidence obtainable after a careful and thorough investigation it seems that the homicide was committed after cool and deliberate consideration of the matter by Capt. Davis in defense of the sanctity of his home. Never in the history of South Point have the inhabitants been so shocked and grieved and all business was practically at a stand still Thursday for the citizens of the village and surrounding county could think or talk of little else but the deplorable murder which has brought a dark blot upon their community which has always prided itself upon its freedom from sensationalism and scandal.
NEIGHBORS HORRIFIED–The news of the killing spread like wild fire Thursday night and shortly after Dr. McCoy’s lifeless body was discovered by Pearl Davidson, Elmer Brubaker and J. Roten, the neighbors of the blighted household were upon the streets anxious for the particulars of the tragedy, which had resulted in the death of a man who was known and admired by them all, men, women and children alike, and had placed the brand of Cain upon one, who had for a number of years, been a respected citizen of their town. Men discussed the affair in subdued tones, while many of the women ran hither and thither, crying and wringing their hands, some even in their night clothes, so stunned had they been that they neglected to dress before hastening from their homes to learn if the report was true. The excitement had died down somewhat when and Irontonian representative visited the scene Thursday morning to learn more of the murder, the important details of which had been published in Thursday’s Irontonian bringing such a terrible surprise to its readers, many of whom were well acquainted with the victim of the murder and the slayer.
EMBLEM OF PURITY–The scene of the tragedy is a pretty two story frame house, painted white, the emblem of purity, which stands at the forks of the South Point pike and the road which leads to the ferry, just below the South Point school building. The shooting occurred on a small porch at the upper side of the house adjoining the kitchen and the victim of the wronged husband’s wrath fell dead but a few feet away. According to Capt. Davis’ statement, which is corroborated by his wife and others, he came from Portsmouth, where he is part owner and Captain of the ferryboat Emily which plies between that city and Fullerton, KY, Wednesday night on the evening train which reached Catlettsburg shortly after nine o’clock. He got Wilson Spurlock, the night ferryman to take him across the river in a skiff and after telling the ferryman to wait for him, that he would be back in an hour, he went home which is situated but a short distance from the top of the river bank and slipped around to a small stable on the rear of the lot. There he awaited the coming of the man whom he had been informed in a anonymous letter which he had received Wednesday afternoon, was visiting his home after nightfall. The husband had not long to wait, for soon the despoiler of his home came and entered the house where the children of Capt. Davis and his wife, lay peacefully sleeping, dreaming the dreams of healthy, childhood all unmindful of the awful event which soon to take place beneath the rooms in which they slept, that would ruin two homes, darken their own lives and that of their parents and those of many others who were in no manner responsible for the horrible deed.
FIGHT TO THE DEATH–In a few moments after he was satisfied that his family physician had gone into his house, as the writer of the letter had told him he would, Capt. Davis removed his shoes and stealthily approached the kitchen door. When he reached the door, he softly struck a match so as to find the knob of the door, and then sprang into the room where he found his wife and Dr. McCoy in a compromising position, according to Capt. Davis’ statement. Hence occurred a fierce hand to hand inside in which Capt. Davis first had the advantage of Dr. McCoy, and then the Doctor gained the upper hand and fled to the porch where Capt. Davis followed him and fired at him with a revolver which he had evidently brought with him for that purpose. The first shot was fired from the doorway of the kitchen at an angle of about 15 degrees. The bullet hit the fleeing man a glancing lick over the left eye while he was still staggering from the effects of the encounter which he had just had with the husband of the woman he had called to see clandestinely, and buried itself in the porch about ten feet from where the user of the revolver stood, Dr. McCoy placed his hand to his head and undertook to escape by running through the yard. Just as Dr. McCoy stepped off the porch Capt. Davis fired a second shot at an angle of 45 degrees and this shot caused the instant death of the doctor, who fell on his face but a few feet from the house.
WIFE HURT–During the stubble in the house several blows were struck and Mrs. Davis says her husband struck her in the face when she attempted to separate them and she had a discolored eye Thursday to substantiate her claim. After Dr. McCoy fell, Capt. Davis walked up to him, turned him over and remarked: “Well, he’s dead” and then turning to his young daughter said: “Go tell Uncle John (John Roten, a friend of the family), that I have killed Dr. McCoy and to come and get him”. He then put on his shoes and left the house. The young girl was afraid to go to Mr. Roten’s alone and her mother awoke the rest of the children and took them with her to the home of Mr. Roten, about an eighth of a mile away, where she asked to be given shelter, saying to Mrs. Roten, whom she has known for many years: “Aunt Frank I am not worthy to come into your house but for God’s sake don’t censure me; I have trouble enough. John has shot Dr. McCoy. The woman and her children were taken into the house and Pearl Davidson, a neighbor, and several others were called and they, together with Mr. Roten went to the scene of the tragedy, where they found the lifeless body of Dr. McCoy just as Capt. Davis had left it. The remains were left undisturbed until Coroner Remy arrived and after viewing the body he ordered it removed to his home about one mile away.
WIFE CONFESSES–To Mrs. Roten, Mrs. Davis made a confession of what happened at the house. She said: “John caught us” and she then told the story about as narrated above. When seen by an Irontonian man Thursday morning at the home of the Rotens, where she had come from the house of James Borders, to which place she had taken her children earlier in the day, Mrs. Davis refused to talk. She was defiant and scant decency. She said that she did not intend to make any statement whatever, and the public could think treated the newspaper men with what they pleased, for she did not care. A short time later she went to her home and in forcible language ordered Constable E. D. Soutn, Marshal W. P. McKee, the reporter and others who had gone there to look for some of the property which had dropped from Dr. McCoy’s pockets, from the grounds and threatened to have them all arrested for trespassing should they ever return.
THE LETTER–The letter which was indirectly the cause of the murder was found Thursday morning by Marshall McKee in a bill book on the river bank where Capt. Davis had lost it on his way to the river. The book contained only a few street car tickets and the letter which read as follows: “South Point, O., April 29, 1907. John Davis, Fullerton, KY., You had better look after your home. Your family physician was seen to go there at 10 o’clock night before last and no lights in the house, and staid quite awhile, and went away. Something wrong. “A Friend.”
Pg. 7–WAS CAUTIONED–Dr. McCoy had attended a meeting of the “Mules” a protective order which meets in the Masonic temple at South Point, earlier in the evening on the night he met his death, and had left the lodge before it had adjourned. He left his rig standing at the blacksmith shop, about 1/8 of a mile from the Davis home, and walked to the place where he was killed. At this meeting of the order, a case was brought up in which a member of the lodge was accused of making indecent proposals to a woman and Dr. McCoy is said to have been one of the members present who advised that the matter be disposed of by giving the brother a lecturing and saying nothing further about the matter as the evidence adduced failed to show that he was willfully guilty of any intended offense. A personal friend of Dr. McCoy, who had heard rumors of his misconduct with Mrs. Davis, took this opportunity to talk with him about such actions without specializing and apparently his listener approved of what he was saying. Although Dr. McCoy was a prominent member of the “Free and Accepted Masons” and the Mutual Protective Society, or “Mules”, these orders will not attend his funeral as a lodge, deeming it inadvisable to do so under the circumstances. Quit a number of his friends, however, will go as individuals, should the obsequies be public, for Dr. McCoy was popular with all who knew him.
IDEAL HOME–Dr. McCoy carried $7,000 life insurance, $2,000 of which was paid up policy, the premiums upon which ceased becoming due a few years ago. He was half owner in one of the best farms in Fayette Township besides possessing other valuable property and holdings. His home was an ideal one, presided over by a loving, talented and highly educated wife, is situated in the lower end of South Point, not half a mile away from the Davis house, and is one of the costliest in the vicinity.
DAUGHTER’S STORY–Hazel Davis, the 15 year old daughter of Capt. and Mrs. Davis, who was told by her father to go and tell “Uncle Jack” that he had killed Dr. McCoy, is a girl of uncommon beauty and mind and she discussed the killing Thursday in a very modest and retiring manner only after being urged to do so. She said that she was asleep when the trouble started, that she had heard only two shots, and did not know what caused the shooting. She told of her father telling her he had shot Dr. McCoy but said she was afraid to go to Mr. Roten’s alone.
DAVIS SOLD STOCK–Capt. John Davis sold his stock in the Portsmouth ferry a day or two before the shooting to his father for $3960, with the intention of returning to South Point to live, it is said.
WIDOW’S REQUEST–Out of respect for the feelings of Mrs. McCoy, who is perhaps the greatest sufferer from the awful tragedy, and innocently so, the newspaper men made no attempt to interview her Thursday, but they learned from a reliable source that she said that she had no desire to have the murderer of her husband punished, if matters were as they were reported to be, but would like to see and talk to the woman in whose company he was found when killed. Homer McCoy, the only living brother of Dr. McCoy, who is a banker in Chicago, telegraphed to the widow Thursday evening that he and his wife will arrive in South Point Friday afternoon at 1 o’clock.
DR. WAYNE McCOY–Dr. Wayne McCoy was the son of Dr. and Mrs. Charles McCoy, now deceased, and was born in sight of where he met his death, The funeral of Dr. Wayne McCoy took place from his late residence at South Point. The pallbearers were six of his associates in the medical 39 years ago. He was one of three sons, one of whom was killed eight years ago in a runaway at Coal Grove, the other Homer is a banker in Chicago. He was a most successful physician and had a very promising career before him. He was appointed pension examiner under President Cleveland and gave satisfaction to all concerned. He was earnest companionable man and one who won every one’s friendship with whom he came in contact, and his acquaintances were greatly shocked when they learned of his tragic death and the circumstances which led up to it. He was married about fourteen years ago to Miss Bessie Bimpson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Bimpson. Her mother was Miss Henshaw of one of the county’s oldest and most highly respected families. Dr. and Mrs. McCoy have no children.
The funeral of Dr. Wayne McCoy took place from his late residence at South Point. The pallbearers were six of his associates in the medical profession in this city. The remains were accompanied to beautiful Woodland in this city by a large concourse of friends from his home and up river points.
CAPT. JOHN DAVIS–Capt. John Davis, the murderer is a son of Capt. Wash Davis, one of the best known river men on the Ohio. He is about 40 years of age and has always borne the reputation of a law abiding industrious man. He is employed as Captain of the ferry boat Emily, of Portsmouth, and some time ago moved his family to that city, but Mrs. Davis did not like her new home and returned to South Point. His wife was a Miss Mede Moore, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Moore and a sister of the wife of Robt. Field, the wholesale grocer of Catlettsburg and ex-Sheriff of Boyd County. Her father has been dead for a number of years. Mrs. Davis is about 37 years of age, rather tall, slender and spare boned and of dark complexion. While she is a woman of passing good looks she is not to say attractive in appearance. So far as could be learned no whisper of scandal has ever been connected with her reputation until her name became linked with that of Dr. McCoy. She is the mother of five bright, fine looking children, the oldest of whom Haggard, a boy of 17 years, is employed in a Portsmouth shoe factory, the others are Hazel, aged 15; Olive, aged 12; Doris, aged 7; and Paul the baby, aged 5.
Tuesday, May 7, 1907–DAVIS–Is Suffering with Attack of Acute Nervousness.–I AM NOT SORRY–Are his words when asked to discuss the shooting of Dr. McCoy. He was compelled to consult a physician.–Capt. John Davis, who shot and killed Dr. C. Wayne McCoy, the despoiler of his home has been suffering with an acute attack of nervousness since the shooting. Saturday he was compelled to consult a physician and today was somewhat improved. Davis absolutely refuses to discuss the shooting. His only comment is, “I did the best thing and I am not sorry.”–Portsmouth Blade
MRS. DAVIS CHOOSES–She Selects the Door which Conceals the Tiger and Will Permit the Hidden Beast to Spring Upon the Man She Swore to Honor and Love–Will the fair name of Dr. Wayne McCoy be cleared of the terrible stigma which now rests upon it and will the testimony which will be adduced at the Trial of Capt. John F. Davis, which will perhaps result from the sitting of the special grand jury to be called to hear the evidence connected with the killing of Dr. McCoy by Capt. Davis Wednesday night prove that the murdered physician was at the Davis home at the time of the homicide upon strictly professional business. Such may be the outcome of the trial. It is said on good authority that Mrs. Davis will testify to that effect should she be placed on the witness stand and furthermore it is said that she will swear that Dr. McCoy left some medicine for her to take and that she has the medicine in her possession and will produce it when the proper time comes. In fact, Mrs. Davis made such statements to Coroner Remy when he asked her for her version of the shooting and she further qualified her remarks by saying that when the time came she would prove Dr. McCoy to be guiltless of the crime with which he now stands charged. Mrs. Davis refused to make an affidavit before the Coroner, and although that official had it in his power to compel her to do so, Dr. Remy did not think that her testimony was essential enough in the Coroner’s court to require him to resort to drastic measures to procure it, and under the circumstances, he permitted her to have her own way in the matter. The Coroner’s inquest, failed to verify several rumors which were current about the matter, the day following the murder, especially as to the Doctor’s condition at the time he was found by the gentlemen who were first to reach the body after Mrs. Davis gave the alarm. Never in the history of Lawrence County has a tragedy created so much discussion, nor the cost of the murder more fully realized. Homes have been demoralized, a woman made a widow, a man a corpse and a husband and father a murderer.
CAPT. DAVIS GIVES BOND–Capt. John F. Davis, the slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy, the despoiler of his home, is now out on bond, having been released Friday morning from jail, where he spent the night, Judge Corn heard the application for bail and granted the same, fixing the amount at $5,000. The bond was soon arranged for and was signed by Capt. Geo. W. Davis, his father, of Fullerton, Ky.; ex-Sheriff R. A. Field, his brother-in-law of Catlettsburg; J. R. Morton, the Greenup county, Ky., tie dealer; B. F. Forgey, editor of the Register, a relative by marriage; B. F. Bennett of Fullerton; Jas. Harper, of Catlettsburg; W. T. Greenslait, a merchant of Fullerton; A. L. Frownie, the saloonist and wife, Martha J. Frowine, of this city. After Capt. Davis was released from custody he was seen by an Irontonian man, but said he had no further statements to make, as he had been advised by his attorneys to say nothing more about the murder or the cause which led up to it until he is required to do so in court. He said, however, that he was very thankful for the many kindness’ extended to him by his friends and seemed confident of his acquittal should his case ever come before a jury. Capt. Davis returned to the home of his father at Fullerton, Ky., Friday afternoon accompanied by the friends who had come here with him Thursday when he gave himself up. He expects to again take up his work on the ferry Saturday, and continue the same until his case is disposed of by the court. While Capt. Davis refused to make a statement for publication, he told a friend Friday before leaving for Portsmouth, that he intends to try and get his children, and if successful, will make a home for them at Portsmouth. As to his wife, whose infidelity was the cause of the shooting, he said he never wanted to see her again, nor the town in which he had once lived so happily, but which was now ever be associated with the horrible tragedy, which branded his children, the daughters and sons of a murderer.
CORONER HOLDS INQUEST–Coroner Remy held an inquest over the remains of Dr. McCoy Friday afternoon and examined a number of witnesses. Among the witnesses examined were: Mrs. Davis, wife of Captain John F. Davis, the slayer; Elmer Brubaker, Pearl Davidson, John Roten and others. Coroner Remy did not divulge the evidence adduced, but it is known that he will render a verdict to the effect that Dr. McCoy was killed from pistol wounds inflicted by John F. Davis.
“THE LADY OR THE TIGER”–Upon the sworn testimony of Mrs. John F. Davis, depends very materially the fate of her husband, Capt. John F. Davis, who shot and killed Dr. Wayne McCoy, whom he found in her company in their home Wednesday night. Should she swear that Dr. McCoy was there solely on professional business and that she had asked him to stop on his return from lodge to prescribe for her, it is questionable if a jury would decide that Capt. Davis was justifiable in his action. On the other hand should she swear that her husband’s story of the affair is true, and that he did find her and Dr. McCoy in a compromising position, and that their conduct of late had been unholy, she may free the father of her five bright and pretty children, but she will cast a heavy shadow over their innocent lives and forever make herself an outcast from respectable society. Which course will she pursue?
Ironton Register–May 9, 1907–HORRIBLE TRAGEDY–At South Point in which Dr. Wayne McCoy is killed–One of the most deplorable tragedies ever enacted in the confines of Lawrence county took place at about 11 o’clock Wednesday night at South Point, when Dr. Wayne McCoy was shot and instantly killed by Capt. John Davis, who runs the Portsmouth Ferry, but whose home is in South Point. Davis came home unexpectedly last night, and finding Dr. McCoy in the parlor with his (Davis) wife, shot him twice, from which effects he died almost instantly. Immediately after the shooting, Davis fled and Mrs. Davis ran to her nearest neighbors, John Roten and Pearly Davidson and aroused them, saying her husband had killed Dr. McCoy. They immediately went to the home and found Dr. McCoy lying about 11 feet from the kitchen door with face to the sky and arms outstretched. They unloosened his shirt and found his body still warm, but the heart had stopped beating. A reporter was on the scene this morning and gleaned the following facts of the tragedy: Mr. Davis came up on the C&D train about 8 o’clock and went to the river and aroused the ferryman and wanted to be set across the river. The ferryman got out his ______________________Davis helped to pull across the river. He pulled strongly and seemed to be in a hurry. He came to his home and pulled off his shoes and hid in the coal house. McCoy had gone to South Point, from his home below South Point to attend a meeting of the “Mules”, which was held at the Masonic hall. He hitched his horse to the blacksmith shop, which is about half way between the Davis home and the hall. When the meeting was about half over about 9:15 o’clock; McCoy left his horse at the blacksmith shop and went to the home of Davis, which is about three squares from the hall. Davis, as the report goes, slipped upon the porch and looking in at the window, watched McCoy and his wife who were in the kitchen. After awhile, he pushed the door open and caught them in a comprising position. A scuffle ensured in the kitchen in which McCoy was shot once, the ball entering just behind the ear and coming out above the eye. The gun was so close that the powder burns are seen on the ear and face. After the first shot was fired, the men had passed through the door and were out on the back porch, which is about four and one-half feet wide and ten feet long. Here they must have fell as there is a bullet hole in the porch and blood stains, while about an even distance from the bullet hole is the floor in the yard, there was a pool of dried blood about 6 inches in diameter where the body was found by Pearl Davidson, Elmer Brubaker and Will Freeman. When examined McCoy had a bullet wound in the back of his head, just at the base of the brain, which caused his death. This is the wound which bled so profusely and left the pool of blood on the green grass. After the last bullet was fired, Davis turned McCoy over where he had fallen, just off the porch and saw that he was dead. He then went up stairs and told his oldest daughter “to go and tell Uncle John (Roten) that he had killed Doc McCoy.” He then went down stairs and put on his shoes, which he had left in the coal house, and went upstairs again and repeated the message to his daughter, after which he crossed the river into Catlettsburg and caught the C&O train for Portsmouth. After Davis departed, his wife and all the children, five in number, went to the home of John Rotter who lives about two squares away. Mrs. Davis knocked at the door and said “Aunt Francis, let me in.” I am not worthy to come in, but for God’s sake don’t censure me, I am in trouble enough. After that, her neighbors conversed with her, but when seen by a reporter at the home of her brother at North Kenova, she refused to say a word, and acted very stubborn and defiant, and to all the questions she refused to answer. She was seen again at the Roten home in the afternoon and still refused to say a word, and would not let any of the _____ folks of the Roten family say anything. Marshall McKee found on the ferry grade a letter which seems to be the cause of the whole trouble. The letter is in possession of Postmaster Ross, who refused to let the reporter see it without the consent of the marshal. The marshal also refused to let it be seen, as he thought it might injure him in some way if it was given for publication. In substance, the letter is as follow: “John, you should look after your home. Your family physician was seen to go into the house and stay for quite a while without any lights in the house. I am your friend, as you will see when you find out for yourself.” The letter was written on April 29, mailed in Catlettsburg on April 30, received by Davis on May 1 and he killed McCoy on May 2nd, all events following one another. Dr. McCoy, the murdered man, when found had all his clothes on, including overcoat. He had been a practitioner in that neighborhood for the past 15 years and was beloved by all the people who speak very highly of him, he was well and favorably known in Ironton. He was a prominent Mule and Mason. He was well known in this part of the county, and was a prominent member of the Tri-State Medical Society, of which was president. Mrs. Davis, the woman in the case, is a woman who looks to be about 35 years old, rather tall and slender, complexion dark, teeth prominent, especially two gold filled ones in front, dark hair and spare features. When seen she wore her hair done up loosely on her head and wore a loose dressing jacket, brown skirt and patent leather oxfords, and was sitting in a rocking chair, and seemed not in the least bit worried over the affairs. She is a sister-in-law of Mayor R. A. Fields of Catlettsburg, and has always borne a good reputation, although in the last year, she had dressed more in the manner of a girl than a woman, and has dressed to make herself as attractive as possible. She is the mother of five children, the oldest 16 and the youngest 6, three girls and two boys. She has a black bruise over her left eye, which it is supposed she received in the scuffle. Mrs. McCoy could not be seen by a reporter, but it is said she takes the matter very cooly. Davis has always borne a good reputation and is a prominent Odd Fellow. Dr. Remy, Prosecutor Andrews and Dr. Keeler went to South Point Thursday afternoon and held a post mortem examination over the remains. An inquest was held Friday morning at the McCoy home where the body was taken.
Portsmouth, O., May 2, 1907–Capt. John Davis, who with his father, Capt. G. W. Davis operates the ferryboat Emily at the upper end of this city, was seen by your reporter at 10 o’clock this morning and an interview brought out the following story of the tragedy. Capt. Davis said that on Wednesday afternoon he received an anonymous letter addressed “Capt. John Davis, Portsmouth, Ohio,” which read as follows: “You had better watch your family. Your family physician has been going to your home and staying late at night with the lights all out.” A FRIEND. Capt. Davis said when he got this message, he thought he would go up home and see. He boarded the 8 o’clock C&O train, and arriving at Catlettsburg, crossed over to South Point on a skiff. Slipping up to his home, he opened the door and struck a match at the same time and caught Dr. McCoy and his wife lying on the floor. At the same instant he says, Dr. McCoy arose and struck him and they grappled each other and fought through the house. That he shot him once in the face then they fell on the porch. Thence they rolled off the porch and Dr. McCoy fell on top. He then, after struggling for some time, succeeded in turning the Doctor over, and at the same time he fired the second shot. Realizing in a minute that Dr. McCoy was dead, he ran to the river, procured a skiff and started toward Portsmouth. He rowed all night, and at daylight arrived at Limeville, Ky., where he left the skiff and walked the balance of the way to his father’s home at Fullerton. After discussing the matter at some length with his father, Capt. G. W. Davis, it was decided as best to return to Catlettsburg and surrender to the proper authorities. He accordingly sent a telegram to Sheriff I. Ward Taylor of Ironton, that if he would come to Catlettsburg this afternoon, he would accompany him to Ironton. Sheriff Taylor sent his deputy, D. E. Kingery to Catlettsburg, and he found Mr. Davis at the Alger House, who readily gave himself up and accompanied the officer to this city. They arrived here at 4 in the evening and the prisoner will have a preliminary hearing before Squire Neal this evening. He will doubtless waive examination and be bound over to court.
Ironton Register—May 17, 1907—pg. 2—MRS. DAVIS LEFT COUNTY—And Her Present Whereabouts are Unknown. Attorney Theo. K. Funk of Portsmouth Has Been Employed to conduct Defense Should Indictment Be Found and it is Said That Johnson and Jones Will Assist in the Prosecution.—Attorney Theo K. Funk, of Portsmouth, one of the best criminal lawyers in Southern Ohio, has been employed by Capt. John Davis, to conduct his defense, should the grand jury now in session bring in a bill against him for killing Dr. McCoy. Mr. Funk will be assisted by some of the brightest legal talent in Ironton and will make a strong effort to clear his client upon the “unwritten law” plea, it is said. Mr. Funk, accompanied by his wife, came to Ironton Wednesday to get the “lay of the land” and expected to drive to South Point in the afternoon to the scene of the crime, but was prevented because of the weather. Mr. Funk is still in the city and will quite likely visit the Davis home this morning to view the place where Dr. McCoy met his tragic end. According to good authority, Attorneys Johnson and Jones will not assist in the defense of Capt. Davis as reported, but on the contrary will aid Prosecuting Attorney Andrews, having been employed to do so. It is said by Mrs. McCoy and the Doctor’s brother, Homer, a banker in Chicago, who with many friends believe him guilty of the crime with which Capt. Davis accuses him and who desire that his name be freed from the shadow which now hangs over it. The morning following the tragedy, Mrs. McCoy expressed a desire to see the wife of Capt. Davis, the woman in the case and to hear from her lips the true story of the crime which had blighted both their lives, but in a different manner. Last week the widow wrote to Mrs. Davis and asked when she could see her. Mrs. Davis sent back word that she could be found at home at any time. Saturday Mrs. McCoy accompanied by a lady friend visited the Davis home, and had a long talk with the woman, the jealousy of whom, caused Capt. Davis to become a murderer and Dr. McCoy her family physician a corpse. What passed between the two women at this meeting is not known. It was thought that Mrs. Davis would be a witness before the grand jury but she left home Sunday before she could be subpoenaed. She at first went to the home of her sister, Mrs. Fields, of Catlettsbury, where it is alleged she met her husband. Where she is now is not known. By some it is claimed she is visiting relatives in or near Catlettsburg. Others say that she has joined her husband at Fullerton, Ky. This is not likely, however, as Capt. Davis said before leaving Ironton that he never wanted to see her again. The oldest Davis girl also left home Sunday and is now living with her grandparents at Fullerton opposite Portsmouth. Should the grand jury bring a bill of first degree murder, the trials, which will be a hotly contested one, will attract considerable attention throughout the country owing to its several sensational and unusual features. If the case comes to a trial, Mrs. Davis cannot be called by the state as she cannot testify against her husband. Should she be placed on the stand, however, by the defense, then the state’s attorneys can cross examine her and secure from her testimony that they cannot get otherwise. It is a question if the defense will place her on the stand as it is not known how she will testify when placed under oath.
RELEASED ON $5,000 BOND–John F. Davis, the slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy, was given a preliminary hearing before Squire W. N. Neal Thursday evening, and waiving examination, was bound over to court without bond. He was accordingly taken by deputy Sheriff E. D. Kingery, to whom he had surrendered to the county jail and locked up for the night. Last Friday, Davis was taken from the Justice’s court, before Judge Corn of the Common Pleas court and a formal application made to have the prisoner released on bail. Judge Corn heard the petition and fixed the bond for the appearance of Davis before the grand jury at $5,000. Bond was readily given and signed by the following persons: Geo. W. Davis, R. A. Field, J. R. Morton, R. F. Forgay, James Harper, B. K. Bennett, S. J. Frowine, W. t. Greenslait, and Mrs. Martha J. Frowine. Davis was thereupon released and in company with his father and a number of other friends who had come here to intercede for him, went back to Portsmouth where he will resume his work on the Ferryboat Emily.
NO STATEMENT TO MAKE–To a Register man today, Mr. Davis said that he did not care to talk about the case further but at the proper time and place, the court room–he would tell all. He took the matter cooly and never seemed to doubt this ability to give bond in any amount.
ATTORNEYS IN CASE–Attorney C. M. Searl of Portsmouth appeared for Davis here, but it is understood that his connection with the case was only temporary. It is known that some of the best lawyers in the city have been linked to take the case but whether they have accepted, we cannot say. It is intimated that a special grand jury will be impaneled about May 14, to inquire into the case and some others that need attention.
POST MORTEM–The post mortem examination over the remains of Dr. Wayne McCoy was held Thursday evening at his late home in South Point by Coroner Remy and Dr. Lester Keller. The examination disclosed the fact that death as caused by the bullet which entered the back of the head and severed the spinal cord. Death was instantaneous.
INQUEST HELD–An inquest was held over the remains by corner Remy. Mrs. Davis, John Roten, Elmer Brubaker, Pearl Davidson and other being examined. The coroner found that Dr. Wayne McCoy came to his death from a gunshot wound at the hands of John F. Davis.
FUNERAL SATURDAY–The funeral took place from the South Point church Saturday morning at 9:30 o’clock, after which the remains were brought to beautiful Woodland, where they will be interred.
AT REST–Are Laid the Remains of Dr. Wayne McCoy–All that is mortal of Dr. Wayne McCoy was laid to rest in beautiful Woodland Saturday morning. The funeral was held at 9:30 o’clock at his late home in South Point and was attended by a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives, many of who were from Ironton. The pall bearers were chosen from the Lawrence county Medical Society of which he was formerly president and were Drs. Keller, Moore, Brown, Bakman, Marding and Lynd, all of this city.
SPECIAL–Grand Jury to be Called to Hear Davis Case–A special grand jury will be called for the 14th of this month to hear the evidence in the Davis-McCoy case and about fifteen others which should receive an early consideration.
Semi-Weekly Irontonian—May 17, 1907, pg. 4—FIRST DEGREE IS CHARGE—Found by Special Grand Jury Against John Davis, Slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy. Davis Will be Arrested and Placed in Jail. John Davis, slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy, must face twelve good men and true, to battle for his life, which is demanded in payment for the life he took. The special grand jury called to consider his and other cases returned an indictment, charging him with first degree murder. The finding of the jury is no surprise as such action was anticipated. No attempt has been made to take Davis into custody, but he will probably be brought here and jailed today as his alleged offence admits of no bail. He must be imprisoned until his fate is settled by a jury.
May 17, 1907, pg. 4—DAVIS CASE—Prosecuting Attorney L. R. Andrews, of Ironton was in the city this morning looking up some minor details relative to the McCoy-Davis murder case at South Point and statements purported to have been made by Davis to reporters and others after the shooting. He expressed an opinion that Milner, Miller and Searl would not handle the case at trial but that the defense would be in the hands of a. R. J. Johnson, of Ironton. There have been, the prosecutor stated, some important developments and the evidence adduced for the state will contain some evidence not heretofore made public. A special grand jury will be called tomorrow in Common Pleas court at Ironton, for the consideration of the case. It is a forgone conclusion that an indictment will be returned and that Capt. Davis will have to fight for his life or liberty in court.—Portsmouth Blade.
May 21, 1907, pg. 2, col. 1&2—Mrs. Davis Did Not go to Fullerton—To Live With Her Husband. His Relatives Deny all Knowledge of Her Whereabouts. At Capt. John Davis’ home in Fullerton emphatic denial is made that Mrs. Davis, the alleged cause of the recent South Point tragedy, had come there from South Point, as reported. All knowledge of her present whereabouts were disclaimed although it was admitted that the oldest daughter, Hazel, spent Monday night there. She had come down from South Point to visit her father, who had been feeling ill, but she left again Tuesday morning.—Portsmouth Times.
May 21, 1907, pg. 3, col. 1—JUSTIFICATION IS PLEA—The announcement made by the Irontonian Thursday morning of the fact that Attorney Theo. K. Funk of Portsmouth would have charge of the defense in the Davis-McCoy murder case proved to be quiet a surprise to those interested in the case in Portsmouth. In speaking of the matter the Portsmouth Times says:–“The fact that Attorney Theo. K. Funk had been retained to defend Capt. John Davis in his coming trial for the killing of Dr. McCoy was so closely guarded by him that the announcement came as quite a surprise. “While it was known Mr. Funk had gone to Ironton, Wednesday, he had told no one of his mission and when the suggestion was made that he would take charge of the Davis case it met with a denial from those close to him.” “Asked what would likely be his line of defense Mr. Funk said Thursday he had not fully determined. It would not be the “unwritten law” however, for said he; “There’s no unwritten law about it. He caught McCoy in the act of committing a felony and we will plant the case on the ground of justification.” Mr. Funk is enthusiastic over the outlook for clearing his client and considers that he never before had a case which affords as good opportunities for going before a jury. While it is most probable that Capt. Davis will be indicted Mr. Funk says he found a strong sentiment the jury decline to enter into the case because of its extraordinary features. “Mr. Funk will have no other lawyers associated with him in the conduct of the defense.”
May 21, 1907, pg. 4, col. 6—BROTHER—Of Captain Davis Disappointed Over His Fate.—Gene Davis went over to Ironton, this morning, to see his brother, Capt. John Davis, who was indicted by the Lawrence county grand jury for the murder of Dr. C. Wayne McCoy. Much to the surprise of Captain Davis and his friends, this body charged him with murder in the first degree, which charge denies him bail. He was, therefore, placed in jail to await trial at the June term of court. His friends claim that, if permitted, he could execute bond in any sum demanded. Gene is very much distressed over the confinement of his brother. Catlettsburg Press.
May 21, 1907, pg. 5, col. 4—LOCAL TRAGEDY IS DISCUSSED. By a Writer in the Catlettsburg Press. He Discusses the Case From Every Standpoint.—A writer in the Catlettsburg Press who signs “AN OBSERVER”has the following to say of the Davis-McCoy case: Is there anything more terrible than the killing of Dr. McCoy, a man of many opportunities, of fine physique, a man of education who had seen the different phases of life with its shadows of sin and purity, who had a comfortable home, graced by a pure affectionate wife. Is there anything more terrible than the killing of such a man? Yes, emphatically for the crime for which he was killed. Two homes and six lives have thereby been destroyed. The offenders have proven themselves to have been murderers, thieves and liars. Murderers because they were destroying the life happiness of homes that men established with the promise of peace, love and loyalty. Thieves, because they were stealing their rightful service to their own homes and misusing it for their own sinful purposes. Liars, because they pledged themselves to be faithful and true to the companion they choose for life, yet have shown themselves false and untrue. The condemnation of such sin cannot be too loud or too severe. It is a crime so common that the world seems to be growing indifferent to it. It is just his indifference to which we could call the attention of our community, for in our midst immorality is rampant and raging. Now is the time some decided effort should be moved to check the progress of this vile monster for too many of the innocent are made to suffer with the guilty, men and women who can’t govern themselves, must submit to be governed. It is the duty of every community to prevent wrong doing. That requires vigilance and courage. But let us look into the purity of our people and by sacrifice and service help them to a nobler higher standard of living. Our hotels should employ men instead of depraved women to serve the tables. No home that prizes virtue and desires the atmosphere of home to be pure, should accept a servant who life is questionable unless that life comes to a home for protection, with a desire to live upright. These are difficult problems to solve and to handle but they can and must be managed if we are true citizens. To kill a criminal is a greater kindness to any community than to harbor one and remain silent and submissive while he or she shyly and purposely poison the lives of the innocent and the purity of the home. Let us meet this problem with courage and determination. How shall we do it? Let us hear from the people and the press. We must reform.
May 21, 1907, pg. 6, col. 6—CAPT. DAVIS IS HELD—Capt. John Davis was arraigned Friday afternoon upon the charge of murder in the first degree. Through his attorney, Hon. Theo. K. Funk, he entered a plea of not guilty. The charge being for a capital crime, not being bailable, Capt. Davis was remanded to jail until June 17th at which time his trial is set. Capt. Davis came up from Portsmouth on the noon N&W train and was accompanied by his father, Attorney Theo. Funk, Henry Herr of the Savings and Loan Co, of Portsmouth and Henry Brodbeck who were expecting to go on his bond if he was to be held under bail. R.A. Fields, his brother-in-law of Catlettsburg was also present. Capt. Davis did not look any the worse for having gone through the trying ordeal that he has during the past three weeks, and seems to be in the best of spirits. Of course, upon the advice of his attorney, Davis would not talk. Sometimes it is possible to be able to get the court to admit a capital offense to bail where it can be shown that the degree of indictment is not warranted by the evidence. But to do this such evidence would have to be submitted, and thus the line of defense would be exposed to the prosecution, and this Mr. Funk said he did not desire to do. Mr. Funk did not know just what his line of defense would be, as he had not studied the case very carefully, and whatever line of defense he might intend to make would likely be changed by the prosecution when the trial was begun. It is understood that it will be shown by the defense that a shot was fired on the inside of the building which would make three shots all together which were fired, as one was fired into the floor of the porch, and the fatal shot which entered the back of Dr. McCoy’s head. The trial of a murder case in the first degree is different from any other murder or criminal trial. In a trial of this kind, a special venire of 36 jurors are drawn from the box. These names are placed in the hands of the sheriff for summons. As soon as possible he must make a return to the clerk, stating whether or not all have been served. If all have not been served by the sheriff, by reason of, misnomers death, removal or other causes, another venire must be drawn until the panel of 36 is full. The examination of the jurors cannot be begun until the 36 jurors are present in the jury room. These jurors are examined separately under oath, touching their qualification to sit in the case. Besides having the right to excuse any juror for good and sufficient cause, the state has the right to four peremptory challenges and the defense sixteen. A special venire of thirty-six jurors was ordered drawn and the following names were drawn out of the box: Robert Rucker, Mason township; Oscar Mathews, Upper; Adam Metz, Lawrence; John Shafer, Mason; A.L. Mayenschien, Elizabeth; C.E. Gruber, Windsor; J.H. Lambert, Fourth ward; W.S. Walber, Fayette; Geo. D. Wolfe, Third ward; Lewis Felnup, Washington; Elias Kitts, Union; Sam McCorkel, Union; Thos. B. Edwards, Third ward; G.W. Whitley, Union; C.E. Mossman, Symmes; G.A. Winters, Sheridan; M.D. Bandy, Symmes; Herman Lipker, Third ward; A.C. Lewis, Rome; John A. Neal, Aid; W.A. Snell, Fayette; T.J. Gilbert, Second ward; John Shafer, Upper; Ernest Horschel, Third ward; J.F. Verigan, Third ward; Alonzo Marks, Rome; H.A. Clary, Mason; John Keller, Aid; T.S. Cowden, First ward; Jas. W. Stilliman, Lawrence; C.H. Brubaker, Fayette; Chas. Myers, Fourth ward; J.K. Brammer, Perry; Burton Moore, Fayette, C.G.Waller, Perry; J.H. Malone, Aid.
May 21, 1907, pg. 7, col. 5—McCOY FARM—Handsomest Stock Farm in Ohio For Sale—Since the beautiful McCoy Farm has been advertised for sale, almost every day parties drive there to see it. It is a pleasant ride from this city along one of the prettiest roads in the state, many parts of it densely shaded, making it an ideal drive on a hot day. This farm stretches along the Ohio river, lying between Sheridan and South Point and contains nearly 400 acres. It is an ideal stock farm and many persons wishing to raise fine stock are becoming much interested. A prominent stockman from Michigan is looking at this farm as a favorable location. It has many features that appeal to man of understanding. It is right now ready for occupancy. A large and comfortable farmhouse containing 10 bright, sunny rooms and the locality is said to be exceptionally healthy. If you are interested in land of this kind it would be well to see or address. CHAS. ANKRIM, Sheridan, O.
May 24, 1907, pg. 2, col. 2—MRS. DAVIS HAS RETURNED HOME—The Portsmouth Times has the following to say relative to the Davis case:–Capt. Geo. W. Davis went to Ironton, Monday, to see his son John who is in the county jail charged with the murder of Dr. McCoy. The accused has been sick imprisonment, but is improving somewhat. Capt. John Davis the alleged slayer of Dr. McCoy, and whom the court refused bail, is taking his imprisonment philosophically realizing as he does full well that it does not militate against his case. First degree murder is not bailable under the constitution and before a court can grant bail, it must be satisfied that the grand jury was mistaken in the degree and unless it could be shown that the jury had indicted him for a higher degree he would not be admitted to bail. It would have been necessary for Davis’ counsel to disclose the defenses to show why he should have bail and this attorney Theo. K. Funk refused to do. He declares that in all his practice he has never had a case of which he felt so confident of winning. He expects to introduce an abundance of evidence to show that Davis was justified in his act. Mrs. Davis has returned to her home in South Point, according to reliable information received Sunday and had been simply visiting a sister at Catlettsburg. It was announced at Ironton that she could not be found but the facts are, says Mr. Funk the authorities had reasons for not wanting to locate her. Hagar and Hazel, the oldest son and daughter respectively are with their grandparents at Fullerton, Ky. The former is employed at the Irving Drew shoe factory.
June 4, 1907, pg. 1, col. 2—DAVIS—Is Quite Ill in Lawrence County Jail.—Capt. G. W. Davis, of Portsmouth was summoned to Ironton, Monday by a message announcing that his son, Capt. John Davis, was quite ill in jail. Capt. Davis’ trial will be opened two weeks from Monday. He has been ill for the past few days. Attorney Theo. K. Funk will come to Ironton Wednesday to confer with his client.
June 11, 1907, pg. 9, col. 3—MRS DAVIS TO TAKE STAND—That the wife of Capt. John Davis will go on the witness stand in behalf of her husband to tell the truth of the killing of Dr. Wayne McCoy, for which Davis is indicted for murder, is the interesting information divulged by Attorney Theo. K. Funk upon his return from Ironton Saturday morning, says the Portsmouth Times. Mr. Funk spent all day Friday going over the ground, and among other places visited the Davis home in South Point. There he found Mrs. Davis and had a lengthy talk with her, in which she declared she will tell all she knew about the tragedy. She, herself tabooed the oft repeated stories, evidently created for the purpose of dividing sentiment, that McCoy had paid her a professional visit. She said she had been engaged in house cleaning the day of the tragedy and naturally felt exhausted but did not send for the doctor. The state, it was learned, has two witnesses who will testify they were at the Davis home and that Mrs. Davis was ill and received two calls from McCoy during the course of the day. Mr. Funk said the Davis home was nicely situated on a flat with a sweeping view of the valley and the little children were about the prettiest he had ever seen. Mrs. Davis, herself is a fairly good looking woman, but of delicate health. Capt. Davis himself is taking his imprisonment good naturedly and has the greatest confidence that he will be acquitted. Sentiment at South Point, was found to be in his favor. Mr. Funk was more than pleased with what he found. He says that Judge John F. Hagar and Attorney Edgar Hagar, of Ashland, both of whom are related to the Davis family, will assist in the defense. Mr. Funk will himself lead the defense and local counsel at Ironton will also assist in the impaneling of a jury but there have not as yet been determined upon. It is generally understood that Attorney Yates will assist Prosecuting Attorney Andrews for the state. The trial will begin Monday, June 17th.
Tuesday, June 18, 1907, pg. 1—TRIAL OF CAPTAIN JOHN DAVIS FOR KILLING DR. WAYNE McCOY—Was Started Monday in Common Pleas Court—Jurors Selected—No. 3 From the Nineteen Who Were Examined at Monday Afternoon’s Session of the Court. The Three Selected are From the Country. Court will Re-convene at 8:30 O’clock This Morning.—The Jurors—Robert Rucker, Mason Twp.; John Shafer, Mason, Twp.; Elias Kitts, Union Twp.—A great crowd of interested spectators was in attendance at the opening of Common Pleas court Monday afternoon when the case of the state of Ohio against Captain John Davis, charged with the murder of Dr. Wayne McCoy of South Point several months ago. The case has attracted wide spread attention, owing to its nature and to the prominence of the principals. It was a murder or shooting following Davis’ discover of Dr. McCoy in the former’s home at a late hour of night upon Davis’ unexpected return to his home. Dr. McCoy was shot and instantly killed. Captain Davis fled, but surrendered to the Lawrence county authorities the next day. The grand jury returned a verdict of first degree murder and Davis has been in jail for several weeks. Judge E.E. Corn is presiding at the trial and Prosecuting Attorney J.O. Yates is conducting the prosecution. The defense is being looked after by Hon. Theo. K. Funk of Portsmouth. Attorney Edgar Hager of Ashland and Attorney R.B. Miller, of Ironton and Attorneys Miller & Irish, Ironton. Every indication points to a most bitter and determined fight. Captain Davis, accompanied by his younger brother, was brought into court by Sheriff Taylor. He clearly showed the effects of his confinement. His aged father sat opposite him at the table whereat the lines of the defense are to be worked out. Attorney Funk sprung a surprise before the hearing was a minute old. He moved the court to set aside the panel of the jury on the grounds that Sheriff Taylor had not complied with the statutes that two jurors “were not found.” Mr. Funk thought this was indefinite and that it should have shown “not found in the county.” The court overruled the motion and exceptions were filed. The court then granted the sheriff leave to amend his return. The jury was then called and they arranged themselves around the bar. After the preliminary questions were propounded to the panel as a whole the prospective jurors were dismissed from the room. Before the examination of the first juror as to his eligibility Judge Corn, in reply to an inquiry from Mr. Funk, stated that the preemptory challenge must be exercised at the time of the examination and could not be exercised after the twelve men had been selected. Robert Tucker, of Mason township, was the first juror to be examined. He had read the papers and had formed an opinion, but felt he could hear the case and render a verdict according to the evidence adduced. Mr. Rucker was asked whether or not his verdict would be influenced if the decedent had had illicit relations with the defendant’s wife or if the defendant had a belief that such illicit relations existed. The question was overruled. Mr. Rucker passed a satisfactory examination and was passed for cause on behalf of the State. Mr. Andrews is conducting the inquiry of the jurors for the state. Mr. Miller is conducting the inquiry for the defense. The customary questions were propounded and satisfactorily answered. He was passed for cause by the defense, and quickly accepted by both sides. The first juror was accepted, a rather unusual piece of luck. Mr. Rucker was sworn and took his seat in the jury box. George Kerns, of Center Furnace was next called but was quickly excused because of his connection with the government, in the postoffice department. Oscar Mathews of Coal Grove, was the third juror called and he stated that he had read of the case and had formed an opinion. He said it would take evidence to change the opinion formed. He said his opinion would probably influence his verdict and he was peremptorily challenged. The court excused him. Adam Metz, of Lawrence township, was next called and closely examined along the customary lines. Mr. Metz was passed by the state. He was then examined by the defense and was given a most thorough examination. Mr. Miller wanted Mr. Metz excused on account of his lack of knowledge of the English language. Metz did not know the meaning of the words “bias” and “prejudice,” but the court overruled his motion to this effect. Metz was accepted by the state, but was excused by the defense peremptorily. John Shafer of Mason township, was next called and passed a satisfactory examination and was accepted. He was the second juror chosen. C.E. Gruber, of Windsor township was examined, but was excused for cause. He had formed an opinion. Mr. A.L. Mayenschein, of Elizabeth township, was next. He said he had read and talked about the case and had formed an opinion. He said he could hear the evidence and render a verdict accordingly, but to the court he said he thought his opinion would stand. The defense challenged the juror for cause and the court dismissed. Thomas B. Edwards, colored, of Ironton, was next and he said he had formed an opinion from what he read and heard, but it could be changed by the evidence adduced at the hearing. He said it would take evidence however, to change his opinion. For this reason he was challenged by the defense for cause and Mr. Edwards was excused. J.H. Lambert, tester, of Ironton was next examined. He had formed no opinion, but he was excused upon demand of the defense as Mr. Yates, one of the attorneys, has a case in court for Mr. Lambert. The name of W.S. Waller of Fayette township was next called. It developed that the juror’s correct name was W.L. Waller. Pending a decision as to his eligibility in view of the fact that he had been summoned under a name not his own, a recess of five minutes was taken to give the attorneys an opportunity to look up the law. When court was called to order the state proceeded with its inquiry. Mr. Waller had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. He also had expressed an opinion and it would take evidence to remove his opinion. He thought he could hear the evidence and render a fair verdict. The juror was passed for cause by the state. The inquiry for the defense was then taken up. He had read accounts of the case in both local newspapers. He was challenged on the grounds that he was summoned under a name other than his own. The defense challenged him. Louis Feinup of Washington township was next called. He had formed and expressed an opinion and he thought that no amount of evidence could remove his opinion. He was promptly excused. Elias Kitts of near Bradrick, was next interrogated. He said he felt like he would not be a competent juror in the case, but could hear the case and render a fair verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. For the defense the examination was along the usual lines and the juror was passed for cause by the defense. Neither the state of the defense exercised a preemptory challenge and the juror was accepted. He was the third accepted. W.A. Snell, of Fayette township was next. He knew Captain Davis, but did not know Dr. McCoy. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. He had also expressed his opinion and he still had his opinion. He did not know whether or not evidence could change his opinion and accordingly he was excused. Sam McCorkle of Union township was next on the list. He had formed an opinion from what he had read of the case and was excused after a consultation. D.W. Whitely of Union township followed Mr. McCorkle. He had formed an opinion, but felt that he could render a fair verdict. He said through a misunderstanding of a question propounded to him that he was related to some of the principals in the Shafer murder case. He was passed for cause by the State. Inquiry by the defense developed the fact that it would take evidence to change the juror’s opinion. To the court he said, however, that he would lay aside his opinion. The defense challenged the juror, but the challenge was overruled by the court. After further examination it developed that Mr. Whitely was a brother-in-law of Mrs. Shafer, who was recently killed. He said that the fact that his sister-in-law was recently killed would have no bearing on his verdict in the case. It would have no influence whatever. After repeated inquiries, Mr. Whitely was excused as he finally said he could not lay aside his opinion. Herman Lipker, of Ironton, was examined. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. He felt that he could not change his opinion unless only on the strongest evidence. He was promptly excused. R.C. Lewis, of Rome township followed. He had not formed an opinion of the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He could render a fair and an impartial verdict after hearing the case. He was passed for cause by the State. Inquiry by the defense showed that the juror was a little past 63 years of age, a veteran of the Civil war and a native of Lawrence County. Lewis said the reason he had not formed an opinion from the newspaper reports was because a person could not believe what he read in the papers. Mr. Lewis was excused because he said he entertained a little bias or prejudice. John A. Neal of Aid township had read the papers of the affair and had not formed an opinion. He would observe the law and render a fair verdict from the law and evidence. Neal was passed for cause by the State Inquiry for the defense developed the fact that Neal had expressed an opinion, but it could be change by law and evidence. The defense challenged the juror for cause, but the challenge was overruled. The State had no preemptory challenge but the defense had and the juror was excused. J.K. Brammer of Perry township, an infirmary director of Lawrence County, was next. He had read the papers and had formed an opinion. He thought he could lay aside his opinion and render a fair verdict. He knew Dr. McCoy, the decedent, but does not know the defendant. The juror was passed for cause by the State. The defense inquired of the juror very closely. He said to Mr. Funk that it would take evidence to change his opinion and accordingly he was challenged for cause by the defense. To the court Mr. Brammer said he could lay aside the opinion without evidence. The challenge for cause of the defense was overruled. The State had no preemptory challenge but the defense had and Mr. Brammer was excused. At this juncture the evening adjournment was taken. Judge Corn admonished the three jurors who had been selected and then the remainder of the panel was called in and given similar instructions. Adjournment was taken until 8:30 o’clock Tuesday morning.
Tedious Work—The panel of thirty seven jurors drawn for appearance on the opening of the trial of Captain Davis was more than half exhausted Monday afternoon as nineteen were examined and only three accepted. From present prospects it seems that the panel will be exhausted by noon today, when it will be necessary to make another draw. This may be done this morning to avoid any delay that might follow the exhaustion of the present panel. The greater number of the jury have been excused on the ground that they have formed strong opinions that would require evidence to overcome. The “unwritten law” has not been referred to in the examination of the jurors and but one or two references have been made to whether or not the jurors favored capital punishment.
He Has Friends.—That Captain John F. Davis, the alleged slayer of Dr. Wayne McCoy, is not friendless, is attested by the presence in the court room of his father and brother and a number of friends from this county and from Kentucky. The accused shook hands with his friends after the adjournment of court Monday evening and seemed to have been deeply affected by the kind words bestowed upon. Captain Davis is modestly dressed in a full black suit and is evincing a lively interest in the examination of jurors. He is frequently consulted by his attorneys and he in turn offers many suggestions which his counsel seemingly accepts. Captain Davis’ father sits at his son’s elbow and he also holds frequent consultations with the attorneys.
June 21, 1907, pg. 6–TUESDAY’S SESSION OF THE DAVIS TRIAL.Captain John F. Davis was in court Tuesday morning looking greatly refreshed. His father had a seat to his left and both father and son seemed hopeful and happy. Court was supposed to have opened at 8:30 o’clock, but it was close to 9 when judge Corn rapped for order. There was quite a crowd in attendance when the first juror was called for examination as to his eligibility. T.J. Gilbert, the well known manufacturer was first called. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard, but was able to give a fair and impartial verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. Inquiry by the defence developed the fact that it would take evidence to remove his opinion. He could not discharge or relieve his mind of the opinion formed from newspaper accounts of the tragedy, without strong evidence. Mr. Gilbert was excused for cause by the defence. C.E. Mossman of Waterloo, and aged gentleman, was next examined. He had formed no decided opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused and could render a verdict from the evidence adduced. He does not know the defendant, but did know Dr. McCoy. He was passed for cause by the State. Mr. Mossman was closely examined by the defence and it developed that the juror knew Dr. McCoy’s father. During the examination of the juror Attorneys Andrews and Miller had a little tilt about the conduct of the interrogation. The juror was passed for cause by the defence. The state had no peremptory challenge, but the defence had and the juror was excused. E. Horschel, the butcher, was next called. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard, but could hear the evidence and decide the case on its merits. The juror was passed for cause by the State. Mr. Horschel said it would take evidence to relieve him of his opinion, but he felt that he could render a fair and impartial verdict. The defence excused Mr. Horschel for cause. Alonzo Marks, of Rome township was examined. He felt that he had formed no opinion and could render a fair verdict. The juror was passed for cause by the State. The defence passed the juror for cause and as there were no peremptory challenges the juror was sworn and took his seat in the jury box. Mr. Marks was the fourth juror. John F. Verigan of Ironton was next examined. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. He could lay aside his opinion and render a fair verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. After close inquiry Mr. Verigan was passed for cause by the defence. The State had no peremptory challenge, but the defence had and Mr. Verigan was excused. H.A. Clary, of Mason township had formed no definite opinion and could render a fair verdict. The juror was passed for cause by the state. After close inquiry the juror was passed for cause by the defence. The State had no peremptory challenge and as the defence had none Mr. Clary was sworn as a juror and took his seat in the jury box. Mr. Clary was the fifth juror chosen. John Keller, of Aid township had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion. He was promptly excused for cause by the State. T.S. Cowden, the dry goods merchant of this city, was next examined. He had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. Mr. Cowden could not lay aside his opinion and was excused. C.H. Brubaker of Fayette township was next. He lives within one mile of the scene of the killing of Dr. McCoy. He had an opinion of the guilt or innocence of the defendant and it would take evidence to remove his opinion. He was promptly excused. Charles Meyers of Ironton was next examined. He had an opinion from what he had read and because it was a strong one Mr. Meyers was excused. James W. Sillman of Lawrence township had no opinion and could render a fair verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. After close inquiry the defence passed the juror for cause. The state had no peremptory challenge and as the defence had none Mr. Sillman was sworn as a juror. He was the sixth juror chosen. Burton Moore of Fayette township had formed an opinion from what he had read and heard. It would take evidence to remove his opinion and Mr. Moore was excused. C. G. Waller of Perry township, had an opinion and was excused because he could not lay aside his opinion. J. H. Malone of Aid township had read of the case and had formed an opinion and could not lay it aside. He was excused. G. A. Winters of Perry township, had an opinion that could not be laid aside without evidence and he was excused. William Whitlach of Elizabeth township, had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion which could not be changed. He was promptly excused. S. K. Hastings of Fayette township was next examined. He had read and heard of the case. He had no opinion. He knew both Dr. McCoy and Captain Davis. Mr. Hastings was passed for cause by the State. He was also passed for cause by the defence. The State had no peremptory challenge and when it was known that the defence had none Mr. Hastings was sworn as a juror. He was the seventh juror. At this juncture the noon recess was taken court adjourning until 1 o’clock. A. A. Payne had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion which he could not lay aside. He was excused. Mr. Payne was the last of the first panel and the next juror called was J. W. Berkley. He was the first of the new venire. Mr. Berkley was a member of the grand jury which indicted Davis and he was excused. At this juncture the noon recess was taken, court adjourning until 1 o’clock. The sheriff reported that some members of the new venire could not report until Wednesday morning as they lived a great distance from Ironton. Some were reached by phone and those who lived in Ironton were reached personally. The new jurors summoned were: David Davis, Washington township; J. M. Smith, Elizabeth township; W. W. Griffith, Elizabeth Township; E. F. Shafer , Mason Township; W. W. Wiseman, Symmes township; V. D. Lemley, Union Township; J. W. Berkley, Second ward; Frank Dillon, Windsor Township; John Mayberry, Windsor Township; William Morris, Windsor Township; T. J. Yates, Symmes Township; W. H. Hardy, Symmes Township; T. B. Hall, Third ward; Frank Orthmeyer, Elizabeth Twp; C. L. Steed, Perry Township; William Bowen, Union township; William Weiler, Third ward; M. S. Brammer, Union Township; Fease Hamilton, Union Township; L. F. Howell, Third ward; F. C. Payne, Mason Township; W. C. Thacker, Union township; Frank Kelley, Fourth ward; S. S. Littlejohn, Hamilton Township; Adam Shafer, Aid Township; T. R. Jones, Rome Township; Adam Daniels, Third ward; John Grimes, Decatur Township; Bernard Smith, First ward; Decatur Henderson, Rome Township; George Meyers, upper Township; Grant Dovel, Upper Township; Samuel Loth, Second ward; E. G. Cox, Second ward; Roscoe Waddell, Windsor Township; Clayton Freeman, Perry Township. At the afternoon session the jurors were called to the number of ten or more. Adam Daniels of Ironton was the first to go on the stand for interrogation as to his eligibility as a juror. Mr. Daniels stated that he had read and heard of the case, but had formed no opinion. He thought he could render a fair verdict and the state passed him for cause. Dilligent inquiry by the defence showed Mr. Daniels acceptable as a juror and he was passed for cause. The State had no peremptory challenge and the defence had none. Mr. Daniels was sworn as the eighth juror. Bernard Smith of Ironton was next called. He had read of the case, but had no decided opinion. He thought it would take evidence to change his opinion and he was excused by the State for cause. Sam Loth, the Second street merchant was next called. He had formed an opinion and it would take strong evidence for him to lay aside his opinion. Neither side challenged the juror for this reason and he was passed for cause by the State. After he had been passed by the State the defence challenged him on account of his opinion and the court promptly excused Mr. Loth. B. F. Howell, of Ironton was next. He had formed an opinion from what he had read, but thought he could render a fair verdict. He thought however, that it would take evidence to remove his opinion. On this ground Mr. Howell was excused upon the challenge of the defence for cause. Frank Kelley of Ironton was next. During the inquiry it developed that Mr. Kelley’s wife was a cousin of the defendant. He was passed for cause by the State. The defence also passed the juror for cause. When the State was asked if it had a peremptory challenge Mr. Andrews said he challenged for cause on the grounds of relationship. The court refused to dismiss the juror for cause and then Mr. Andrews peremptorily challenged and the witness stepped aside. S. S. Shafer of near Marlon was next called. He had formed a decided opinion which would require strong evidence to remove. He was excused. T. B. Hall, contractor and builder of Ironton was next. He had read the papers and had formed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He felt that he could not change his opinion under any circumstances and he was excused. C. L. Steed of Perry township had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion. He said it would require evidence to change his opinion. Mr. Steed was excused for cause by the State. William Weiler, of Ironton was next examined. He read the story of the case and had formed an opinion. He said it would take evidence to remove his opinion and he was excused for cause by the State. At this juncture all of the jurors of the second venire who had reported had been exhausted and a recess of an hour was taken. During the recess Davis was surrounded by his friends. Upon the calling to order of the court after the recess of one hour the clerk called the name of David Davis. The jurors did not respond and several other names were called before a juror responded. J. M. Smith of Elizabeth township was the first to answer to his name. He had read and heard of the case, but had not formed an opinion. In explaining his position Mr. Smith stated that he was unalterably opposed to the death penalty. He opposed taking life. Mr. Smith is postmaster at Pedro and claimed exemption from jury duty on account of his government service. He was excused. Clayton Freeman of Perry township, had read the papers and talked to neighbors about the case. He had formed an opinion and thought that evidence would be required to remove his opinion. Mr. Freeman was passed for cause by the state. The inquiry by the defense developed the fact that Dr. McCoy had been the family physician of Mr. Freeman. He knew the Dr. well and his relations with him were very pleasant. He said to the defense that he could not banish his opinion and he was excused for cause upon the challenge of the defense. Grant Dovel of Upper township, was next called and he said he had read the newspapers and had heard of the case but had not formed an opinion. He was passed from cause by the State. The defense passed the juror for cause after diligent examination. The court then called for peremptory challenges and Mr. Andrews exercised the right to reserve his challenge until after the defense had been called upon. This reservation caused a row among the attorneys and Judge Corn finally decided that Mr. Andrews’ position was the correct. The defence excepted to the ruling and had the exceptions noted. The defense finally excused Mr. Dovel peremptorily. E. T Shafer of Mason township was next called. He had read the papers and had heard of the case, but had formed no opinion. He was passed for cause by the State. After close questioning the juror was passed for cause by the defense. The State did not exercise a peremptory challenge; neither did the defense and Mr. Shafer was sworn as the ninth juror. W. W. Wiseman of Symmes Township was next called. He had read of the case and had formed an opinion which nothing could change but evidence. He was promptly excused by the court. This was the last juror present and Judge Corn, after instructing the clerk to draw twenty-five additional names, adjourned court until this morning at 8:30 o’clock. The clerk immediately drew the following names and the sheriff was instructed to summons the gentlemen forthwith: S. B. Corbin, Lawrence Township; John Imes, Elizabeth Township; J. R. Cooper, Symmes, Township; G. W. Lauderman, Union Township; Wesley McDaniels, Union Township; Ollie Kitts, Union Township; B. F. Winters; Hamilton Township; R. l. Jones, Upper Township; D. K. Edwards, Upper Township; J. M. Cook, Washington Township; E. l. Lambert, Fourth ward; John Snyder, Union Township; James Jenkins, Lawrence Township; V. F. Dillon, Rome Township; George Phillips, Decatur Township; C. H. McKee, Perry Township; Joseph A. Swain, Rome Township; John Holschuh, Rome Township; John M. Taylor, Elizabeth Township; J. B. Griffith,. Lawrence Township; James Gallagher, Elizabeth township; John Asberry, Symmes Township; C. C. Freeman, Fayette Township; George Peters, Elizabeth Township; Henry Baker, Windsor township. The examination of jurors will be continued this morning and it is thought that the remaining three men will be chosen before noon.
JUDGE CORN: Judge E. E. Corn, who is presiding at the trail of Captain Davis, has given ample notice that he is indeed a judge. He is in supreme control of the proceedings and is remarkable for his fairness and impartiality in passing on mooted questions. He compels respect, obedience, and civility from attorneys as well as spectators and that he knows the law in an admitted fact everywhere. An incident to show his punctuality is given. He adjourned Tuesday morning’s session of court until 1 o’clock in the afternoon. When 1 o’clock came Judge Corn rapped the court to order. The sheriff was late with the prisoner, the attorneys were not in the room, but this made no difference to the judge. He gave hasty orders to have the principals in the trial summoned to the room and the grind was soon on. During the heat of the afternoon Judge Corn informed the jurors that they could remove their coats if they so desired. When Judge Milner was on the bench he gave the sheriff orders to eject everyone appearing in the courtroom in their shirt sleeves. There is a difference.
June 21, 1907, pg. 7—BRAIN STORM IS ALLEGED AS A GROUND FOR DEFENSE—Fate Of Capt. John F. Davis Rests With These Men.—Robert Rucker, Stock Dealer, Mason, Township; John Shafer, Farmer, Mason Township; Elias Kitts, Farmer, Union Township; Alonzo Macks, Farmer, Rome township; H. A. Clary, Farmer, Mason Township; James W. Silliman, Farmer, Lawrence Township; S. k. Hastings, Justice of Peace, Fayette Township; Adam Daniels, Baker, Ironton; E. T. Shafer, Farmer, Mason Township; John Imes, Teacher, Elizabeth Township; J. R. Cooper, Justice of Peace, Symmes Township; R. L. Jones, Motorman, Upper Township. SUMMARY OF EVENTS—;Last juror chosen Wednesday just before noon adjournment. In all ninety eight jurors were summoned, of whom about seventy were examined. The defense exercised nine peremptory challenges and the State one. Statements of case made to the jury Wednesday afternoon and the examination of witnesses immediately started. Dr. T. H. Remy, county coroner was the first witness examined. The number of witnesses subpoenaed is about seventy and seven were examined Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Funk of counsel for the defense, stated that Davis was the victim of a BRAIN STORM at the time he slew Dr. McCoy. He also said that Dr. McCoy used hypnotic influence over women to accomplish their ruin. He styled him a Dr. Jeckyl in the day time and a Mr. Hyde at night. The trial will not be completed this week.—Wednesday, the third day of the trial of Captain John F. Davis, saw the usual crowd of spectators in attendance. The nine jurors selected had seats in the box when court was called to order at 8:30 o’clock and efforts to get the remaining three jurors was immediately resumed. The first juror called was W. W. Griffith of Elizabeth township. He had read of the case and had talked about it. He had an opinion and had expressed it to others. He said he felt that it would require evidence to remove his opinion and for this reason he was excused by the court. W. D. Lemley of Union township was next. He had heard and read of the case and had formed an opinion. He also said he would have to hear evidence before he could banish the opinion from his mind. He was also excused by the court. John Mayberry, of Windsor township, had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion. He thought it would require evidence to remove his opinion and accordingly he was excused. William Morris of Windsor township had read and heard of the case and had an opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the defendant. He felt, however, that he could render a fair verdict. Closer questioning elicited an answer from Mr. Morris to the effect that evidence would be required to banish his opinion. He was excused for cause by the State. Thomas J. Yates of Symmes township that he cold lay aside his opinion and render a fair verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. Inquire by the defense developed the fact that Mr. Henderson was undesirable as a juror. He was passed for cause, however, by the defense, but a peremptory challenge was exercised later by the defense. This was the seventh peremptory challenged exercised by the defense. E. G. Cox, of Windsor township was not desirable as a juror in anyway. He had read and heard of the case, has an opinion which would require evidence to remove and his wife’s brother had married defendant wife’s sister. He was promptly excused by the court. Roscoe Waddell, of Lawrence township, had read and talked of the case, and had formed no opinion. It developed, however, that Attorneys Millers and Irish were attorneys in a suit in which Mr. Waddell was interested. He was excused for this reason. Issaac D. Hamlin of Union township, had read and heard of the case, but had formed no opinion. He said he could render a fair verdict upon the evidence adduced. He was excused, however, by common consent on account of his physical condition. T. F. Payne, of Mason township, had read and heard of the case. It would require evidence to remove the opinion he had formed and he was excused. W. O. Thacker of Union township, had read and discussed the case. He had formed and expressed an opinion which could not be changed without evidence. He was thereupon excused. S. S. Littlejohn of Hanging Rock, had read of the case but had not formed an opinion. He was passed for cause by the State and the defense had no challenge for cause. Mr. Littlejohn was peremptorily challenged by the defense. This is the eighth exercise of the right to peremptorily challenge by the defense. T. R. Jones of Rome township, had read and talked of the case and had formed an opinion which even evidence could not change. He was accordingly dismissed. M. S. Brammer of Union township, had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion. He could not lay aside his opinion and was excused. At this junction the clerk began calling names from the third venire. John Imes, of Elizabeth township, had read and heard of the case, but had not formed an opinion. He was passed for cause by the State. Mr. Imes was also passed for cause by the defense. Neither side objected to Mr. Imes and he sworn in as the tenth juror. J. R. Cooper, of Symmes township, had read of the case in the papers, but had formed no opinion. He was passed for cause by the State. The defense also passed Mr. Cooper for cause. The State had no peremptory (Note: The paper didn’t finish up with Mr. Cooper, and went onto Mr. Yates—they messed up) ship, had read and heard of the case but had formed no opinion. Mr. Yates said he was a third cousin of Attorney John O. Yates, who is assisting the State in the prosecution. He was excused because of this relationship, upon a challenge from the defense. Decatur Henderson of Rome township, had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion. He felt challenge nor did the defense and Mr. Cooper was sworn as the eleventh juror. (Note: the paper again messed up on their reporting. This is typed as it appeared in the paper) G. W. Landerman of Union township, had read of the case in the papers but had formed no opinion. He was passed for cause by the State and also for cause by the defense. The State had no peremptory challenge. This is the ninth peremptory challenge exercised by the defense. Ollie Kitts, of Proctorville, had read and talked about the case and had formed an opinion which could be removed by evidence. He was excused on these grounds. B. F. Winters, of near hanging Rock, had read and heard of the case and had formed an opinion which evidence alone could remove. He was excused. R. L. Jones, of Sedgwick had read and heard of the case, but had formed no opinion. He felt that he could render a fair verdict. He was passed for cause by the State. Mr. Jones was also passed for cause by the defense. The State had no peremptory challenge and as the defense had no objection to Mr. Jones he was sworn as the twelfth man to decide the fate of the prisoner at the bar. The jury was sworn and then court adjourned until 1 o’clock in the afternoon. AFTERNOON SESSION. The announcement that the jury had been selected caused a great crowd to congregate in the court room and when court was rapped to order every inch of available space was occupied. Davis’ wife over whom the tragedy occurred, his daughter Hazel and son Hager are in town, but they were not in the court room when the session began. His stepmother, Mrs. G. W. Davis, his sister-in-law, Mrs. Edward Roten and other relatives are in town and are interested spectators at the trial. Before the attorneys began their statements to the jury the witnesses summoned for the State, about twenty in number, were sworn and compelled to retire to the witness room. The witnesses for the defense were not called, but were compelled to retire from the court room. The prosecuting attorney, Mr. Andrews, stated that State’s cause to the jury and his lines of statements to jurors. He said the State fully expected to prove that Captain Davis maliciously murdered Dr. McCoy after premeditating the deed. The story of the shooting was detailed to the jury by Mr. Andrews about as it appeared in the newspapers. He said that Dr. McCoy was shot twice in the back of the head. Further that the State expected to prove that it was a physical impossibility for Dr. McCoy to have had illicit relations with Captain Davis’ wife. Mr. Funk, of counsel for the defense, stated the side of the defense to the jury. Very naturally his statement differed materially from that of Mr. Andrews. He said that Captain Davis was born in Paintsville, Ky., in 1872. His mother died when he was a child. He came to Ohio when he was about 12 years old and settled at South Point. He had no opportunity for an education. When he was about 18 years of age he met Meda Moore, a daughter of a widow, who afterwards became his wife. They were married after a courtship of about one year’s duration. Mr. Funk said that at the time of the marriage Meda Moore was a chaste and beautiful girl. Five children, the eldest, Hager, aged 16 years, were born to Captain and Mrs. Davis. Continuing Mr. Funk said that Captain Davis followed the river for a livelihood and oft times was compelled to be absent from his home. After a time rumors began circulating about the Davis home which soon culminated in a storm which wrought death. Mr. Funk described Dr. McCoy’s life and made the assertion that the decedent had led a double life. He styled him as Dr. Jeckyl in the day time and Mr. Hyde in the night time. He said that Dr. McCoy was not true to himself, to his neighbors or to the Christian people of his neighborhood. About twelve years prior to his death Dr. McCoy became the family physician of Captain Davis. A short time prior to the shooting Captain Davis received a letter from his sister notifying him that Dr. McCoy was becoming too familiar with his wife. He took his wife to task about the report and she promised him that she would not see Dr. McCoy. On the evening of May 1 he received another letter, this one being an anonymous communication, telling him of the continued visits of Dr. McCoy. Mr. Funk said that the defense would show that Dr. McCoy accomplished the ruin of Mrs. Davis through hypnotic power and his wiles and machinations. He said that on the night of the shooting Dr. McCoy was at the home of Mrs. Davis early, but that he went away when the N.& W. passed South Point fearing that Captain Davis would come from Portsmouth on the train. He had arranged with Mrs. Davis for her to place a lamp in the window should her husband come. The light did not appear and Dr. McCoy went back to the Davis home where he remained until Captain Davis came up on the C. & O. train and caught them together. When Davis opened the door of his home he saw his wife and Dr. McCoy lying on a comfort which had been spread on the floor. The match which Davis had lighted to enable him to better see the interior of the room went out and then Captain Davis was struck a heavy blow in the face by Dr. McCoy. The latter attempted to strike again before Davis shot at him. After the first shot the men clinched and fell to the floor of the porch where they struggled for some time for the mastery. During the fight both men rolled from the porch and it was then that the revolver spoke again, the bullet striking and killing Dr. McCoy. Mr. Funk stated that the defense would show justification and self defense. Mr. Funk sprung a great surprise when he stated that one of the features of the defense would be that Captain Davis was suffering with a BRAIN STORM at the time of the shooting and that he was not responsible for his acts. He said that Davis did not know what he was doing until after the death of Dr. McCoy. Mr. Funk spoke for almost an hour and his presentation was a most forcible one. At the conclusion of Mr. Funk’s speech the first witness for the State was called. Dr. T. H. Rely, the coroner of Lawrence county. Mr. Andrews conducted the examination. Dr. Remy told of the examination of Dr. McCoy’s body. He said that both shots had entered the back of McCoy’s head, a fact evidenced by powder burns on the hair and scalp. Dr. Remy said McCoy’s death was instantaneous. He said that he searched the clothing of Dr. McCoy and found $3, a piece of tobacco and a handkerchief. The cross examination of Dr. Remy did not develop anything unusual. Mr. Funk tried to show by the witness that Dr. McCoy had not been shot from the back. Dr. Remy maintained, however, that the shots entered from the rear. At this juncture a recess of ten minutes was taken. When court was rapped to order Dr. Keller was called as the next witness. He conducted an autopsy on the body of Dr. McCoy assisted by Dr. Remy. He said that Dr. McCoy had been shot twice from the rear. This was indicated by powder burns on the hair and ear. Death was caused by a bullet which severed Dr. McCoy’s spinal cord. The cross examination was intended to show the nature of the wounds, the point of entrance and the cause of death. Dr. Keller and Dr. Remy agreed on all points. Pearl G. Davidson of South Point was next called and said on the night of the tragedy that he saw Dr. McCoy at 9 or 9:15 o’clock at a meeting of the Mutual Protective Association, otherwise known as “Mules.” He saw Dr. McCoy’s horse hitched in front of the blacksmith shop. The witness said that from his observation Dr. McCoy always went to South Point in the evenings. He was at Davis’ home on the night of the tragedy at about 11:39 o’clock. He found the body of Dr. McCoy lying in the back yard, his feet towards the house and his head away. He examined the body for life, but found none. He did not see any powder burns. He helped take the body to McCoy’s home. CROSS EXAMINATION. Mr. Davidson said he attended the meeting of the Mules on the night of the tragedy. Dr. McCoy was at the meeting, but left about 9:15 or 9:20 o’clock. Davidson did not know why McCoy left the meeting. He said the Dr. went to South Point at about 6 o’clock on the evening of the shooting and tied up in front of the blacksmith shop at a post known as “McCoy’s hitching post.” McCoy then went to the lodge meeting with other members. Mr. Davidson had gone to bed after the meeting and he was awakened by Mr. Roten, who informed him of the shooting. He went immediately to the house where he found the Dr.’s body. None of the Davis family were at home. Mr. Davidson said he saw only one wound on Dr. McCoy’s body and that was the one over the left ear. He said the wound was about three inches in length and that it had the appearance of a cut rather than a puncture. In this Mr. Davidson’s testimony differs from that of Dr. Keller and Dr. Remy, who described the wound as a puncture. Mr. Davidson said McCoy’s clothing was in tact with one exception of which the public has read and heard mention of, which is not necessary here. The Dr.’s hat was found in the kitchen of the Davis home on the floor. He saw a bullet hole in the floor of the porch that looked like it was recently made. He saw the bullet hole the day after the tragedy. The course of the bullet ranged downward and westward. Uncle Jack Roten of South Point, was the next witness. He is related to the defendant by marriage. He lives within three hundred yards of the Davis home. He saw Dr. McCoy at lodge. Later in the night Mr. Roten was awakened by his wife. He went down to the back door of his house to listen for a noise or disturbance at the Davis home and while he was standing in the door Mrs. Davis and her four children came to the door. He was not allowed to say what Mrs. Davis said. He then went to Pearl Davidson’s home and notified him of the tragedy and later notified Elmer Brubaker. These three went to the Davis home and later removed Dr. McCoy’s body to his home. James Borders, of Proctorville saw Davis at Catlettsburg the day after the shooting and the latter said he had killed Dr. McCoy. Mr. Borders was cross examined. He said he met Davis at the Alger House and only had a few words with him. Mr. Borders said that Davis showed him his face where McCoy had struck him claiming that McCoy struck him three or four times. Mr. Borders was a witness before the grand jury in the Davis indictment and upon that occasion he did not testify as to the statement of Davis as relates to McCoy having struck him. William Spurlock, the next witness was the ferryman who took Davis across the river on the night of the tragedy. He said Davis told him to meet him at 3 o’clock the next morning as he wanted to take the fast flyer. At this juncture court adjourned until 8:30 o’clock this morning. MRS. DAVIS. Mrs. Meda Davis, the wife of Capt. Davis, whose alleged infidelity was the cause of the shooting of Dr. McCoy, for which crime her husband is now on trail for his life, is stopping at the Clutts House, where she registered Tuesday. Mrs. Davis went to supper Tuesday evening but did not leave her room Wednesday, being very nervous, in fact almost on the verge of nervous prostration. She refused to see anyone, except her children, Hager and Hazel, who are here with her, and her sister, who is also in Ironton to attend the trial. From the preliminary statement made by Mr. Funk before the jury Wednesday afternoon, it is evident that the defense expect to put Mrs. Davis on the stand before the case closes, as Mr. Funk made several statements which can be substantiated by Mrs. Davis alone. That Mrs. Davis is assisting the defense is evident by the fact that the attorneys for the defense held several conferences with her at the start of Tuesday. Much curiosity has been excited by those interested in the case as to the personal appearance of Mrs. Davis and should she take the stand the court room will be crowded to suffocation by those who want to see the star witness and hear her testimony. Mrs. Davis is a woman of about 37 years of age, rather tall, of slender build, spare boned and dark complexion. She is not a particularly attractive woman and would not cause especial notice in a crowd. She is the mother of five children, Hager, 16; Hazel 15; Olive 12; Doris 7 and Paul 5. Hager the oldest child was named for the Hager family, a leading representative of which is assisting in the defense.
Friday, June 21, 1907, pg. 1—GRAPHIC STORY OF THE WOMAN WHO CAUSED THE SAD TRAGEDY. THE BLUSH OF SHAME DID NOT MANTLE HER BROW, AS SHE CONFESSED—To Her Illicit Relations With Dr. Wayne McCoy. Hundred Heard the Wife and Mother Unblushingly Relate the Shame and Degradation. Mrs. Davis Underwent an Ordeal That Would Have Caused an Ordinary Woman Great concern.—The court of Common Pleas convened promptly at 8:30 o’clock Thursday morning and the largest crowd of the session was in attendance. Mrs. McCoy, the widow of the decedent was in court in deep mourning. She had a seat directly in the rear of the state’s attorneys, but seemingly took no part in the proceedings, aside from a consultation with Mr. Andrews, the prosecutor. The first witness called was R.E. Scott, the local agent of the N.&W. company, who was called to show the time train No. 32 arrived in Kenova on the night of May 1. This train is due at Ironton at 8:33 o’clock p.m. but on the night of the tragedy it ran 13 minutes late. The train reached Kenova on this night at 9:16 o’clock, p.m. Mr. Borders, the witness who was examined Wednesday was recalled. He was not in hearing and an attachment was issued for him. He was soon brought into court and only one question was asked him by the state. He responded to the question that it was John F. Davis, the defendant who told him that he (Davis) had killed Dr. McCoy. Mr. Borders was excused after he had settled the costs on the attachment. At his juncture the State rested and the jury was excused and Mr. Miller of counsel for the defense moved that the defendant be discharged on the grounds that the state had failed to prove the charge in the indictment. The court overruled the motion and the jury was returned to the courtroom. The examination of witnesses for the defence was taken up. Elmer Brubaker of South Point was the first called. He is a blacksmith and it is in front of his shop that Dr. McCoy tied his horse. He had known Dr. McCoy since he was a school boy. He knew Davis, the defendant. He saw McCoy on the evening of May first in the lodge meeting before referred to. Dr. McCoy left the lodge room about an hour before the meeting was over. Mr. Brubaker was awakened by Uncle Jack Roten and he dressed and made a hurried run to the Davis home. He found the body of Dr. McCoy in the yard and alighted a match to enable him to better see it. Mr. Brubaker described the condition of Dr. McCoy’s clothing when he was found. He said everything was in order but the trousers. Mr. Brubaker described the wound in Dr. McCoy’s temple just about as did the physicians who made an examination. Cross Examination—Mr. Brubaker thought Dr. McCoy was shot from the rear as the powder burns on his hair and ear indicated this. Hager Davis, the sixteen year old son of John F. Davis, the defendant was the next witness. He has been employed in a shoe factory in Portsmouth. He said that he had seen Dr. McCoy around his home talking to his mother and on one occasion he ran him away. He had told his father of this occurrence. Cross examination—He said that when McCoy was at his home on the night in question it was between 9 and 10 o’clock. He told his father about the occurrence and said his father did not say a word in reply. Asked if his father sent him to South Point to spy on his mother the witness replied that he had not he said his father looked sad when he told him of the meeting of his mother and Dr. McCoy. John Sutton of Fayette township, knew Davis and as far as he knows Davis always bore a reputation for peace and quiet. He was a character witness. The cross examination developed the fact that Mr. Sutton knew Davis only in a business way. Green Adams of Catlettsburg, knew Davis since he was a boy and said his reputation for peace and quiet was good. Upon cross examination Mr. Adams said that he had heard of Davis being shot at a dance at Manchester, O., while with women. He did not know of other affairs mentioned by Mr. Andrews in which it is alleged that Davis figured. Early Stockwell of Catlettsburg said he was the chief of police of Catlettsburg. He said Davis’ reputation for peace and quiet was good. He did not know how he acted away from home. Fred Eulen a policeman of Catlettsburg testified that Davis bore a good reputation for peace and quiet. He said Davis was quick to resent an insult. He knew nothing about Davis’ actions away from home. Homer Davidson of Catlettsburg knew Davis for twenty years and his reputation was always considered good. He had heard of the Manchester shooting affray in which Davis figured. C.F. Davidson of South Point knew Davis and stated that he had always borne a good reputation. Cross examination developed the fact that Davidson did not know what Davis would do in the heat of passion or when he was involved in a difficulty. Walter Greenslick of Fullerton, Ky. has known Davis about one year and a half and as far as he knew Davis always bore a good reputation. He only knew him at Fullerton. Frank Bennett of Fullerton had known Davis for about two years and that he had a good character. John Morton of Fullerton, has known Davis several years and said that he always bore a good reputation. He said he had seen Davis in trouble on the ferryboat, but he was not allowed to tell what the trouble was. At this juncture court adjourned until one o’clock. AFTERNOON SESSION—Court was called to order for the afternoon session promptly at 1 o’clock. The court room was crowded many people being compelled to stand throughout the session. It was currently rumored that the defendant and his wife were to take the stand during the afternoon and everybody evidenced great expectance. There were many women in the room and they too evidenced a lively interest in the proceedings. Mrs. McCoy the widow sat at the table occupied by counsel for the state. The defence upon the call for its first witness recalled Frank Bennett of Fullerton, a character witness. Mr. Bennett said he saw Davis the morning after the crime and that the defendant’s eye was discolored, evidently from a blow. He said Davis had told him that McCoy had struck him. Mr. Bennett was closely cross examined, but nothing of a startling nature was developed. Mr. Morton was recalled as was Mr. Greenslick and they said about what Mr. Bennett said relative to the discoloration of Davis eye. During the examination of Mr. Greenslick Judge Corn ordered the doors closed and the bailiff was ordered not to admit any other spectators. The crowd was one of the largest, if not the largest, that had ever attended a trial in this city. Peter Wolfe of Portsmouth was called and testified as to Captain Davis’ reputation. He said his reputation for peace and quiet was good. He said he saw Davis a day or so after the shooting and that Davis’ eye was discolored, evidently from a blow. He said Captain Davis told him that “he did the work” during the scuffle with Dr. McCoy. Frank Bennett Sr. of Greenup, Ky., testified that Davis bore a good reputation. He had never been with Davis away from home and had never heard of any of the defendant’s alleged short comings. Hazel Davis, the fourteen year old daughter of Captain Davis was next called and while she was coming from her hotel, the defence examined James Milam of Portsmouth a former resident of South Point. He said that he had driven home with Dr. McCoy on more than one occasion. Mr. Milam was asked if anything occurred to attract his attention to Dr. McCoy on the occasion of any of his drives with the Dr. The State objected to the question and during its discussion the jury was sent out of the room. He was allowed to answer the questions by yes or no, but was not allowed to tell what it was. Mr. Milam said he had talked to Dr. McCoy concerning Mrs. Davis, but he was not permitted to tell what the conversation was. Here Hazel Davis was called. She is 14 years of age and very pretty and attractive child. She took the witness stand with evident reluctance not that she did not want to aid her father, but with a feeling of awe and timidity. Her appearance on the stand was indeed food for sad reflection. She said that Dr. McCoy had visited their home on different occasions and at times when a physician’s services were not needed. She had seen McCoy and her mother in the yard back of the Davis home locked in each others arms. On the night of the tragedy all the children were in bed upstairs. Mrs. Davis slept down stairs. Late that night Hazel was awakened by hearing a scuffle and revolver shots. When quiet had been restored she said her father came upstairs to get a lamp which was burning at the head of the stairs. He got it and started down and she followed him. He went outside to make an examination of Dr. McCoy’s body. The body was lying face downward. Captain Davis turned it over and convinced that McCoy was dead he returned to the house. Mrs. Davis had not as yet viewed the body, but did so later in the night. Mr. Andrews, the prosecutor very considerately refrained from cross examination of the little girl and his generosity in this respect was freely and favorably commented upon. He asked the child two or three questions, none of them touching the worst part of the case. The real sensation of the day, in fact of the entire proceedings, was the examination of Mrs. Davis, the wife of the accused and over whom the sad tragedy was enacted. Her name was called and a buzz of excitement ran through the great crowd. She was not in the room, however, and the bailiff crossed the street to the Clutts House for her. In the meantime court took a recess for five minutes. At the expiration of this time it was announced that that Mrs. Davis was ready to appear. Every eye in that room was turned to the door through which the witness would pass. She stepped gaily into the room and her appearance was vastly different from what was expected. She wore a light flimsy silk waist and a pale blue skirt. Topping this costume was a large picture hat, containing two large feathers. The hat was light, almost white and was ornamented with bunches of flowers. Mrs. Davis’ hair was untidy. She wore rings on both hands and her left wrist was ornamented with a heavy bracelet of gold. The incessant swaying of a fan indicated nervousness, but when she got down to answering questions she was as composed as any person in the room. Her manner, in fact, was defiant. There were no evidences of sorrow or remorse, but on the contrary the witness appeared unconcerned. The usual preliminary questions were propounded to her before Mr. Funk settled to the intensely interesting part of the story. Mrs. Davis said that Dr. McCoy had frequently visited her at home. She would entertain him in the yard and in the house, wherever proved the most convenient. Mr. Funk asked her plainly if Dr. McCoy had ever had illicit intercourse with her and she quickly and just as plainly replied—“YES SIR.” No blush mantled her brow, and no evidences of shame were apparent when she made this confession of guilt, if it be a confession. She was asked how long she had been intimate with the Dr. but an objection from the State which was sustained by the court, prevented an answer. She stated that Dr. McCoy was at her home on Monday preceding the tragedy and that he made an appointment to meet her on the following Wednesday, the day of the tragedy. Dr. McCoy called at her home on this night at about 9:10 o’clock. While he was there they heard the N.&W. train whistle. This is the train that passes Ironton at 8:33 every night. It was thirteen minutes late on this night. When the train whistled at South Point Dr. McCoy upon his own suggestion or one offered by her left the premises for fear that Captain Davis would get off the train, coming to his home from Portsmouth. It was arranged that Mrs. Davis was to place a lamp in the window if her husband came home. In the event of his not coming there was to be no signal and Dr. McCoy could return to the house in safety. The Dr., according to the woman, secreted himself where he could look for the signal, but seeing none and after waiting a reasonable length of time, he went back to the house. This was about 10:30 o’clock. Upon the Dr.’s return he and Mrs. Davis into the house. She said she procured a comfort from her bed which is down stairs. She spread the comfort on the floor of the kitchen or dining room and then she and Dr. McCoy sat down on it. She said they sat together for about fifteen minutes. The back door was left partly ajar purposely to allow Dr. McCoy to escape in the event of any person coming to the house. She said that while she and the Dr. were gratifying their lustful desires they were caught in the act by Captain Davis. She said that his form loomed up in the doorway and that she recognized him. He then lighted a match to better enable him to see. He saw everything but did not move. She screamed and Dr. McCoy hastily scrambled to his feet. He rushed towards the door and she thought he struck Captain Davis. She said she did not see the blow but saw her husband stagger or reel a little to one side. McCoy then sought another part of the kitchen and he and Captain Davis struggled for the mastery. Tables and chairs were knocked over during the fight a shot was fired. It evidently did not find its intended victim for the men continued their fight. They worked their way to the door, both still on their feet. They fought through the door and out on the porch where both fell, the Dr. being under his opponent. Here another shot was fired and then Mrs. Davis, who had gone outside when the fight started, made an attempt to get the revolver away from her husband. She failed, however, and the men still struggling rolled off the porch. Another shot rang out and this shot proved the undoing of Dr. McCoy. Mrs. Davis swooned and fell in the yard. Davis returned to the house, but Mrs. Davis could not tell what happened during the period she was unconscious. Regaining consciousness Mrs. Davis stepped into the kitchen and saw her husband and children. Captain Davis said to her “HOW LONG HAS THING BEEN GOING ON?” She said she did not tell him and he made no further comment. Mrs. Davis said that some time previous to the shooting Captain Davis had sent her two letters which he had received from his sister in Virginia. These letters were written to Captain Davis to notify him of Dr. McCoy’s attentions to his wife. Mrs. Davis read them and some days later when her husband came home they talked the matter over. She agreed never to see the Dr. again and never to have him attend her again even in a professional way. Mrs. Davis here sprung a momentary sensation, but it vanished just as soon as the State’s attorney could get at her. She said that a representative of the State had approached her and offered to clear the record of Dr. McCoy and save her name and not to injure Captain Davis if she would tell two or three things. She said she refused to entertain any proposition of this kind. The direct examination was here concluded and Mrs. Davis was turned over to the tender mercies of the prosecuting attorney for cross examination. CROSS EXAMINATION.—Spectators expected that Mrs. Davis would be handled without gloves by the Prosecutor, but to that gentleman’s credit let it be said that he treated her very considerately and courteously. Mr. Andrews lost no time in getting to the woman’s reference to the State’s representative trying to influence her with promises. He asked her who the representative was that approached her. She replied:–“YOU.” “Yes,” responded Mr. Andrews “it was me and you know that you have made a mis-statement of the conversation I had with you.” Mr. Andrews then set out what he had said to the woman. Every point brought out or touched upon by the direct examination was carefully gone over by the prosecution. Mrs. Davis made a heroic attempt to stand by her original statements but in some instances she failed. She denied telling a young lady, after showing her a box of pills or tablets, that the medicine was the cause of Dr. McCoy’s death. She also denied saying to a young lady that if John Davis was shot every time he had proved untrue to her he would be full of holes. She continued her denials when she said she did not tell Dr. Remy that if she would tell the truth she would clear Dr. McCoy’s name, but it would mean the death of her husband. She admitted to the prosecutor that she told many things immediately after the shooting that were untrue. She maintained the truth of all her assertions made under oath. During her examination her husband looked at her only occasionally. He seemed to try and avoid her. He covered his face with his hands and sat with his back to the woman. At the conclusion of the examination of Mrs. Davis she left the stand and instead of going out of the room by the customary route it seems that she made an effort to pass the seat occupied by her husband. She was compelled to pick her way through a dozen chairs. She gave every evidence of feeling greatly relieved when the examination was concluded. Mrs. Davis may be recalled to the stand at any time for further examination. Mrs. Davis was the last witness and at the conclusion of her examination court adjourned until 8:30 o’clock this morning.
MRS. DAVIS ILL.—Mrs. John F. Davis, whose testimony in behalf of her husband Thursday afternoon, caused such a decided sensation in the court room, was taken suddenly and quite seriously ill, Thursday night at her room in the Clutts House and it was necessary to summon a physician to relieve her sufferings. Her trouble was due chiefly to nervousness.
June 25, 1907, pg. 2—JUDGE CORN’S CORDER—The fifth day of the trial of Captain John Davis for the murder of Dr. Wayne McCoy saw the same great throngs of interested spectators present. Before the proceedings began Judge Corn dismissed the jury from the room and in a strong speech warned the spectators, one in particular to refrain from discussing the case in the presence and hearing of the jurors. A juror had complained to the court that a man had said in his hearing and with evident intention of influencing him, what disposition of the case he would make and what verdict he would render.
June 25, 1907, pg. 2—A THRILLING STORY.—Related by the Man Who Took the Life of Dr. McCoy. He Answered Positively and Firmly Every Question Propounded to Him. The Accused’s Family of Children Saw Him.—The fifth day of the Davis trial was only a little less interesting than the fourth when Mrs. Davis was on the stand. Court was rapped to order and after a lecture from Judge Corn which is detailed elsewhere, the examination of witnesses for the defence was resumed. John Davis, the accused was first called to the stand. He told his name, age, birth place, education, etc. He first met his wife at Manhattan, while working in a saw mill for his father. Courted her for about one year and then married her. He lived with his mother-in-law for about four months and then went to South Point. He detailed in answer to Mr. Funk’s questioning, his work and place of residence business, etc. up until the time of the slaying of Dr. McCoy. Davis said he and his wife had never had any domestic trouble up until a date just prior to the crime. Asked if he loved his wife he replied:–“I CERTAINLY DID”. He said he knew Dr. McCoy; had known him from boyhood. Their relation was always friendly until the rumors of his wife’ infidelity were heard. Dr. McCoy became Davis’ family physician and Mr. Davis stated that his home was always open to Dr. McCoy. He said, however, that he never saw Dr. McCoy in his home on any occasion when his services as a physician were not needed. Captain Davis said that when he accepted employment on the Portsmouth ferry he moved his wife and family to Portsmouth. They remained in Portsmouth about four months when Mrs. Daivs expressed dissatisfaction with Portsmouth as a place of residence and returned to her original home at South Point. After his wife returned to this county Captain Davis said he made a practice of visiting his wife about once every two weeks. He usually came from Portsmouth on the N.& W. railroad. He said he had a sister named Mrs. Forgey who resided in West Virginia and that she had written him two letters, both of which he gave to his wife. Until the receipt of these letters he had entertained no suspicion of his wife’s infidelity. Asked to state the contents of the first letter received from his sister Captain Davis said: “As near as I can remember it said. No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me and will also be surprised at what I am going to tell you. Dr. McCoy is visiting your home too much.” The letter contained other family matters. When Captain Davis visited home the next time he talked with his wife about the letters and she denied the truth of the allegation relative to her illicit relations with Dr. McCoy. He believed his wife was innocent. The second letter received from his sister referred him to a party in South Point who could verify the rumors about his wife’s infidelity. This letter was also shown to his wife and she reiterated her statement of innocence. Again Captain Davis stated that he believed her. The next initiation of his wife’s intimacy with Dr. McCoy came from his son, Hager, aged sixteen years. This information caused him to “reflect back” and made him feel bad, but he still had confidence in his wife. He never told his wife what he had learned from their son. He told of an illness just prior to the shooting and stated that he was very weak from its effect. Captain Davis said on May 1st, the day of the tragedy, that he had received an anonymous letter telling him of this wife’s infidelity. He got this letter at the postoffice in Fullerton, Ky., at about 7:30 o’clock in the evening. He identified the letter and it was offered in evidence as Exhibit B. The envelope which contained the letter was offered in evidence as Exhibit C. The letter follows: ;South Point, Ohio, April 29 07. Mr. John Davis—Dear Sir: I advise you to look a little closer to your home as your family physician was seen to enter your house at about 10 o’clock Thursday night and the house was dark and remained quite awhile and no lights were lit while he was there. I am a friend to you and did not want you to remain ignorant as things are not going on right. When you find out yourself I know you will thank me. A FRIEND. The receipt of this letter did not shake his belief in the fidelity of his wife. He intended to go to his home on the Saturday following the receipt of the letter, but he went the day of its receipt, May 1st, the day of the tragedy. He went home on the C.&O. train and in explaining how he happened to have the revolver he said: I always took the revolver with me from the boat after I quit work and I had it with me on this night. He did not know that Dr. McCoy would be at his home, but still felt that his wife was true to him. He described how he went to his home after being ferrier across the river at South Point. He said he went into his yard by the back way. He went directly to the coal shed because he had heard low talk in his home. He thought it came from the direction of the railroad which runs back of his home. He soon learned that he was mistaken. He then walked to Brubaker’s blacksmith shop to see if McCoy’s horse was hitched there. He saw that it was and he returned to his home. He went to the kitchen door. At this juncture a recess of ten minutes was taken. Proceeding with the examination Mr. Funk carried Captain Davis along; up to the commission of the tragedy. He said when he reached the door he struck a match and entered. He had not thought of his revolver at this time. When the match flashed he saw his wife on the floor and the Dr. with her. They were in the act of illicit intercourse. As soon as he struck the match he heard a scream. Dr. McCoy got up from the floor and struck him below the eye, staggering him against the door. McCoy then ran around the table and was coming back towards Davis. Davis then fired at McCoy and the latter clinched him. A struggle ensued, the men fighting their way out to and on the porch. Davis said he thought McCoy intended killing him. When they got out on the porch they fell to the floor. He said there was no shot fired while on the porch. (THIS IS A FLAT DENIAL OF MRS. DAVIS TESTIMONY WHO SAID A SHOT WAS FIRED WHILE THE MEN WERE ON THE PORCH). He said he felt that his wife and Dr. McCoy were bent on killing him. They both tried to get his revolver from him and he changed it from his right to his left hand. While his wife and McCoy were trying to get his revolver the men rolled off the porch and it was then another shot was fired. McCoy released Davis the instant the shot was fired. Davis then got up from the ground and went into the house and upstairs when he called his daughter, Hazel. They both came down stairs, went out into the yard where they saw Dr. McCoy’s body. They returned to the house. He saw his wife and he said to her: “Well you see what this has brought on”. She replied—“Yes John, you have caught us, we are guilty and have been a long time”. (Captain Davis’ testimony as to what was said between himself and Mrs. Davis is a straight contradiction of his wife’s testimony). Davis testified of leaving his home right after the shooting; going to Fullerton, Ky., to his father’s home. CROSS EXAMINATION. The cross examination was begun at this time Mr. Yates conducting the questioning. He said he heard voices in his house while he cation??( some words were left out here) to his father and told him he was going to South Point. Mr. Yates led Mr. Davis through all the important preliminaries and then on up to the time he arrived at his home. He said there was no light in his home and stated that this condition was not unusual. Here Mr. Davis related in his own way just how he approached his home. This description tallied with that given by him on direct examination. He said that he heard voices in his house while he was standing near the coal shed, a distance of twelve or fifteen feet. Mrs. Davis stated during her examination that she and Dr. McCoy did not speak louder than a whisper. Mr. Davis said he went to Brubaker’s shop to see if Dr. McCoy’s horse was tied there. He found it there and said he then returned home not expecting to find anyone there. He went around the house to enter the kitchen door explaining that he commonly used this door for an entrance. HE TOOK HIS SHOES OFF BACK OF THE HOUSE IN ORDER TO ENTER THE HOUSE WITHOUT MAKING ANY NOISE. HE SAID HE WANTED TO SURPRISE THEM. ASKED WHO HE WANTED TO SURPRISE HE SAID HIS FAMILY AND ANY OTHER PERSON OR PERSONS IN THE HOUSE. At this juncture the noon recess was taken. AFTERNOON SESSION. Captain Davis resumed the witness stand after dinner and the cross examination was taken up. Mr. Davis told of throwing his revolver away while he was going out Ferry Lane towards the river. He told his son Hager where to find the revolver and the boy went and got it. Asked where the revolver was at the present time he replied that it was in the possession of one of his attorneys. After few other important questions Davis was turned over to the defence for re-direct examination. Nothing developed. However, of an interesting nature. Davis was on the stand just about an hour afternoon. He gave pointed and positive answers to all the questions propounded to him. Mrs. G. W. Davis, his stepmother, was called next and she said she noticed the bruised, swollen and discolored eye of the defendant on the day following the shooting. She did not know what caused it. Captain Davis, the defendant’s father, was next called and he testified just as did his wife, who preceded him on the stand. Hazel Davis, the young daughter of the defendant, was recalled to the stand to tell that she had seen Dr. McCoy at her home just about one week previous to the shooting. She told it and was discharged. Here the defence rested and the state began its rebuttal. Johnathan Roten was recalled. In reply to a question Mr. Roten said that Davis told him the following words or words to this effect: In talking about the crime about one week after its commission “I WANTED TO BE SURE BEFORE I WENT IN OR DID ANTHING.’ HE ALSO SAID THAT DAVIS’ WIFE TOLD HIM THAT DR. MCCOY IS DEAD AND CANNOT TELL AND I WOULD RATHR DIE THAN TELL.’ Mr. Roten also said that Mrs. Davis told him that when Mr. Davis entered the kitchen on the night he killed McCoy “she and Dr. McCoy were sitting on two chairs.” E. E. Kingery, who went to Catlettsburg to arrest Davis, was called next. He told of the arrest and of what Mr. Davis had said to him. Dr. Remy was recalled and he was closely examined by both the State and defence. He said that Mrs. Davis told him that she could clear Dr. McCoy, but if she did, it meant the death of her husband, John F. Davis. Dr. Remy said he was present when an examination of the decedent’s underclothing was made. He wore a union suit and not a button was disturbed. His underclothing was intact, and every button was securely closed. Dr. Remy detailed all his talk with Mrs. Davis, and his words were damaging to the defence. He felt and believed that it would have been a physical impossibility for Dr. McCoy to have had sexual intercourse with Mrs. Davis. John Bingaman, the undertaker, told that Dr. McCoy’s under clothing were buttoned. He was in charge of the remains and had occasion to closely examine his clothing. F. J. Ginn, the C.& O. man told what time the C.& O. train arrived at Catlettsburg on May first. Victor Milstead, of South Point was next called and he said that on the day following the tragedy Mrs. Davis exhibited a box of medicine to him. He was asked if she told him that the medicine was the cause of Dr. McCoy’s death. An objection on the part of the defence which was sustained by the court, prevented an answer. He was asked to repeat a certain remark made to him by Mrs. Davis and he said, She said to me: “THIS THING HAS SCANDALIZED ME, BUT ALL I CARE FOR IS THE DEATH OF THAT POOR MAN.” This concluded his examination and he was discharged. Robert French, a Catlettsburg barber was next called. He was supposed to have shaved Mr. Davis but as he was unable to identify the accused, his testimony was not accepted. Mr. French proved to be the last witness as both the State and defence announced that all their witnesses had been examined. The attorneys then submitted a statement of facts relative to the courts charge. An agreement by and between the attorneys to limit their talks to four hours to the side was reached. Court then adjourned until 8 o’clock this morning. A TOUCHING SCENE—Just after the jury had left the court room at the close of Friday afternoon’s session of the Common Pleas court in which Capt. John Davis is on trial for the murder of Dr. Wayne McCoy, three of his fine children, Olive, aged 12, Doris, aged 7 and Paul aged 5, all neatly and attractively attired, came into the room to see their father and there followed one of the most pathetic and heart rending scenes ever enacted in a court room The children all gathered around and fondly hugged and kissed their father. When the little baby boy climbed upon his father’ knees and then threw his innocent arms around his father’s neck, Capt. Davis could no longer conceal his feelings and his manly form shook with sobs. Although the court room was crowded with men there was not a dry eye in the room and many of those who witnessed the touching incident cried audibly and few there were who attempted to hide their tears.
June 25,1907, pg. 2—SLAYING OF DR. McCOY JUSTIFIED BY TWELVE MEN—The trial of Captain John Davis, charged with the murder of Dr. Wayne McCoy was resumed in Common Pleas court Saturday morning and the same great crowds were in attendance. The court room has been packed this entire week (many ladies being in attendance every day.) Upon the opening of court Saturday the State offered nine and the defence ten special charges for the court to give the jury before the arguments. The special charges follow: The court upon the written request of the attorneys for the defence, delivered the following special charges to the jury before the argument: Before the defendant can be convicted of any crime charged in the indictment, you must be satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt of the existence of each and every material allegation constituting the offense charged. I charge you that a verdict of guilty cannot be returned against the defendant without convincing evidence. The law is too humane to demand a conviction, while a rational doubt remains in the minds of the jury. You will be justified and are required to consider a reasonable doubt as existing, if the material facts without which guilt cannot be established, may fairly be reconciled with innocence. I charge you on the ground of self-defense that the defendant was justified in taking the life of the decedent, if the defendant in the careful and proper use of his facilities, under the circumstances, then and there bona fide believed, and had reasonable ground, under the circumstances, to believe that he was in imminent danger of death or of great bodily harm and that his only means of escape from such danger was by taking the life of the decedent, although in fact he was mistaken as to the existence or imminence of that danger. If the defendant was assaulted by the decedent in his own home, he was justified in using such means that were necessary to ______ the assailant from the ____is no mystery ___the life of the ______buy one of the his faculties bona fide are getting the time and had Elgin or Hamilton to believe that the highest qualify ____to repel the _______it appear that the ______more for than was ______telling the decedent, ___________be legally responsible _____should further appear that the force used, under the circumstances, was so dis-proportioned to his apparent danger, as to show wantonness, revenge and a malicious purpose to injure. The defendant, if assaulted in his home, may employ sufficient force to repel his assailant, but the law does not measure nicely the degree of force, which he may use to repel his assailant, and if he uses more force than is necessary, he is not responsible for it, unless it is so dis-proportioned to his apparent danger as to show wantonness, revenge or a malicious purpose to injure his assailant. If you find from the evidence that at the time described in the indictment, the defendant at his own home discovered the decedent in the act of sexual intercourse with defendant’s wife, and the decedent on discovering the defendant immediately assaulted him in a violent manner in the dark and a struggle ensued during which the defendant fired the shot that killed the decedent, then all these circumstances may properly be considered by you in determining whether or not at the time the defendant fired the fatal shot, he was justified in so doing on the ground of self-defense. If from the whole evidence in the case, you should find that the accused shot and killed Wayne McCoy in the manner and by the means and at the time and place charged in the indictment, but should further find that at the time of committing the act or acts resulting in the death of said Wayne McCoy, the accused was impelled thereto by a sudden, insane impulse, controlling his will and judgment and too powerful for him to resist, and said insane impulse arose from a cause not voluntarily induced by himself, then he should be acquitted. In other words, whenever it is proven that a person charged with a crime, committed under an insane and irresistible impulse, if said impulse was irresistible, he is to be acquitted on the ground that the act was not voluntary, and the accused not legally responsible therefor; and if at the time of the commission of the acts charged in the indictment aforesaid, the defendant was laboring under an insane impulse induced by what ever cause sufficient to dethrone his mind and destroy his reasoning power, then he could not be lawfully convicted of the offense charged in the indictment or any offense included therein. If the homicide of Wayne McCoy was the result of a shot fired by the defendant, before the defendant can be responsible for the act you must be satisfied from the evidence that at the time he fired the fatal shot or shots that caused the death of Wayne McCoy he was a free agent, forming the purpose to kill and that at the time he was capable of judging whether the act was right or wrong, and at that time he knew that the act was against the laws of God and man. If you find from the evidence that at the time alleged in the indictment, the decedent came to his own home and there discovered the decedent in the act of sexual intercourse with defendant’s wife, and the decedent thereupon in the dark immediately assaulted defendant and struck him a violent blow in the face and they thereupon engaged in a struggle with each other during which struggle the defendant fired the fatal shot that killed the decedent, then I say that all these facts and circumstances must be considered by you in determining whether the defendant at the time he fired the fatal shot had a sane mind, a mind capable of reason, reflection, and premeditation, and under the control of his will. Before the defendant can be convicted of any crime charged, he must have a sane mind, capable of reason, and reflection, and under the control of his will, and if the jury shall believe from the evidence that at the time of the firing of the fatal shot, under the circumstances surrounding the same, that the defendant was not possessed at that time of such a mind as that above defined, then it is your duty to return a verdict of acquittal. The special charges offered by the State were as follows: 1. To constitute a willful, deliberate and premeditated killing, it is not necessary that the intention to kill should exist any particular length of time prior to the actual killing. 2. Whenever the killing is willful, deliberate and premeditated, the law infers malice from this fact. 3. Malice is inferred from the fact of killing when the killing is proved and is unaccompanied with the circumstances of palliation or legal excuse. 4. The rule of law is that a man shall be taken to intend that which he does, or that which is necessary consequence of his act. 5. Homicide prompted by revenge or jealousy as distinguished from provocation and hot blood is murder. 6. If you find from the evidence in this case that the defendant, John F. Davis, received an anonymous communication purporting to disclose to the defendant the infidelity of his wife with the decedent, Dr. Wayne McCoy, and the defendant thereupon made up his mind that he would investigate and if he found the same to be true, that he would kill the decedent, Dr. McCoy; and you further find that he did investigate and found his wife and decedent in such position and under such circumstances the he inferred that they were having illicit relations, and following out his former determination to kill said decedent, Dr. McCoy, did then and there kill him, then I charge you that this constitutes murder in the first degree. Although the jury may believe that the defendant received great and gross provocation from Dr. McCoy, the decedent, yet, if he willfully and deliberately and premeditatedly, of his own forethought, killed the decedent, Dr. McCoy, he is guilty of murder in the first degree. 8. The law presumes that every person at the age of discretion to be of sufficient capacity to form the criminal purpose to deliberate and premeditate upon the act, which malice, anger, hatred, jealousy, revenge, or other evils dispositions which might impel him to perpetrate; and this presumption operated against him until it is overthrown by the accused by a preponderance of the evidence. 9. If you are not responsible for the consequences of your verdict: provided however, that if you find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree, you may recommend mercy, in which case the punishment shall be imprisonment in the penitentiary for life. The court delivered the charges to the jury and then the arguments were begun. Mr. Yates of counsel for the State, opened and in a strong, forceful plea he asked for a verdict of guilt. He recited the evidence and brought out the points favorable to his cause. Mr. Yates was followed by Mr. Miller, counsel for the defense and Mr. Miller spoke briefly, but feelingly. He grew very eloquent at times and many spectators, especially the women were in tears at frequent intervals. Mr. Miller went through the evidence and discussed and explained that part of it favorable to his side of the case. The oratorical treat, which so many spectators had anticipated with great pleasure, was next in the list of the arguments. Edgar B. Hagar, the brilliant young attorney of Ashland took the floor and with the presence and bearing of the natural orator, and with true Southern courtesy he began his address. Mr. Hagar had not spoken more than one dozen words before it was evident that his speech was to be eloquent and forceful. Mr. Hagar has a splendid voice and a wonderful command of words. The pictures he drew in his efforts to wait on the sympathy of the jurors, were vivid and effective. He also devoted considerable time to a discussion of the evidence. His tribute to Kentucky in answer to Mr. Yates’ imputation that Kentuckians thought it alright to use a gun, was a gem, a bit of oratory that has never been equaled in this court room. Mr. Hagar was followed by Mr. Funk, who in a plain, matter of fact way, presented the evidence in the case from his view point. Mr. Andrews, the prosecutor, an orator of ability and of polish, closed the arguments and his appeal for the observance of the law was indeed a strong one. His presentation of the evidence was effectively done and it carried, or seemingly so, great weight. Judge Corn’s charge to the jury was an exhaustive one and it covered clearly every detail, every feature of the celebrated and bitterly fought case. It was an intelligent charge, intelligently delivered and left no point in law in doubt or unmentioned. The charge and its delivery were characteristic of Judge Corn. His conduct of the entire case which was a trying one, was admirable and the compliments that have been paid him in the past were as many and they were sincere. The case was given to the jury about 5 o’clock, but on account of the hour the jurors were taken to supper before they were went into the jury room.
June 25, 1907, pg. 6—THE VERDICT.—The jury, which decided the case of the state against Captain John F. Davis, took four ballots before the verdict was reached. The first ballot, upon agreement, was one whether or not Captain Davis was guilty of first degree murder, the charge alleged in the indictment, it resulted in twelve notes against a verdict of this kind. The second ballot was on a second degree murder verdict and it resulted in twelve votes against this verdict. The third ballot was on a mans laughter verdict and here a difference of opinion was evidenced. Ten men voted for acquittal and two for manslaughter. This difference of opinion was responsible for the deliberation of two hours. At the conclusion of the deliberation and a few moments before the jury reported the last ballot was taken and it resulted in twelve votes for acquittal. The announcement of the verdict was heard, with bated breath by the spectators as well as by Captain Davis. Mr. Davis, when he learned that the jury of his peers had decreed that he did right in slaying the despoiler of his home he went to the jury box and grasped the hand of every man. He did it feelingly and with great appreciation. Then followed a reception at which John Davis was the principal. Almost everybody in the room, including the ladies shook his hand and gave him a congratulatory message. When the court discharged him he went to his hotel where hundreds of people called to pay their respects.
NOT GUILTY—NOT GUILTY! What a world of meaning these words had for Captain John F. Davis as he heard them fall from the lips of Clerk Belcher Saturday night as he read the verdict of the twelve good men and true, who heard the evidence and who justified Captain Davis and completely vindicated him. NOT GUILTY! What a word of meaning these words had for Davis’ aged father, who has been his friend and comforter, and for his family of beautiful children. NOT GUILTY! But what was the cost? The wife he married who bore him as fine a lot of fledglings as any man could desire, published her shame to the world, declared herself to be tainted and corrupt, scandalized her children and outraged the morals of the community. This was as it should be in so far as she is personally concerned, she should have told, as she did, the facts that caused her husband to kill. She is an admitted adulteress, but remember the story of Mary Magdaline. NOT GUILTY! When these words rang out they sounded a warning to men who seek to debauch womanhood and who batter at the GATES OF VIRTUE with outrageous and unclean instruments. The sacredness of the home, the preservation of maids and matrons and the protection of children echoes in thunderous tones from the words NOT-GUILTY!
WHO CAN SAY? To Mrs. John F. Davis, one of the three principals in the tragedy which resulted in the death of Dr. Wayne McCoy, for which Capt. Davis was tried, last week and acquitted, was presented one of the most serious questions any woman ever had to decide. By acknowledging that she was guilty of having illicit intercourse with Dr. McCoy she could save the life of her husband and the branding of her five bright innocent children as the children of a man whose life had been taken by law for the killing of a fellow man without justification but she would forever be known as an adulteress one of the unclean. On the other hand, she could save her own reputation and save her little ones the stigma of a mother’s sin. SHE SACRIFICED HER OWN NAME THAT HER HUSBAND AND THE FATHER OF HER CHILDREN MIGHT BE FREED. WHO KNOWS BUT WHAT HER SACRIFICE MAY ATONE HER SELF CONFESSED SIN?
DID NOT WAIT.—Mrs. John F. Davis and four of her children, Hazel and the three little ones, left Ironton at 5 o’clock Saturday afternoon for her home in South Point. She, of course, did not learn of her husband’s acquittal until a late hour Saturday night. What she said and her conduct when she learned of his acquittal is not known.
DEEP INTEREST—The interest in the trial of Captain John F. Davis, which was concluded Saturday night was intense. The Irontonian office, in addition to hundreds of telephone calls from Ironton people received telephone inquires from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Portsmouth, Greenup, Fullerton, Ashland, Catlettsburg, Huntington and Charleston. Every caller wanted to know about the verdict. A feature connected with the verdict that is extremely unusual is that not one person expressed anything but satisfaction over the outcome of the trial.
June 25, 1907, pg. 1—Will Sell His Home—Captain John F. Davis will soon sell his South Point home. His children will be reared for by him at the home of his father in Fullerton.
DAVIS GOES HOME SUNDAY MORNING—He will Re-purchase His Interest in Ferry Boat, And Will Resume His Work—Just as Soon as His Boat is Ordered Released by the Government Inspectors. The Ferry Must Undergo Extensive Repairs and Get New Equipment.—Captain John F. Davis, who was acquitted for the killing of Dr. C. Wayne McCoy, spent Saturday night at the Clutts House along with his numerous relatives who were here to attend his trial. He left this city Sunday morning on the Greyhound for his home in Portsmouth. Captain Davis has arranged to buy back his interest in the upper ferry at Portsmouth and as soon as the transfer is made he will resume his work on the boat. However, the boat will not resume operations until she has undergone extensive repairs as Government inspectors Dameron and Peyton of the local district, at Cincinnati refused to issue a certificate to the ferryboat Emily, at Fullerton, Ky., on account of the bad condition of the boat’s outfit and equipment.
July 1, 1907—Capt. John F. Davis went to Huntington where he secured the Cricket, a nifty little packet, which will be used to carry hundreds of people, who will go to Coney island to spend the fourth. It will make hourly trips from the foot of Chilipoote Street. Everything is in readiness for the Excelesor outing and field day exercises.
NOTES: So ends the trial of Captain John F. Davis for the murder of Dr. C. Wayne McCoy. Captain Davis went back to work on a ferry boat, I don’t know what happened to his wife, Dr. McCoy’s wife moved to Ironton and never remarried. She is buried beside him in Woodlawn Cemetery.