Murder Trial Opens in Supreme Court

Charles Anthony Williams Charged With The Shooting Of Richard Nurse Of Pool’s Cove

The trial of Charles Anthony Williams for the murder of Richard Nurse, his father by adoption, began in the Supreme Court this morning before Hon. Sir William Horwood, Chief Justice, and a special jury.

Nurse was killed at Pool’s Cove, by a charge from a shot-gun which entered his breast. The tragedy occurred near the home of the deceased at 7 o’clock in the morning, on November 21st last.

The accused was born at Pool’s Cove about 27 years ago. He was adopted by Nurse and his wife when 8 years of age, and lived with them until he was 18 years old, when he enlisted in the Naval Reserve, and went overseas. About 9 years ago he returned to Pool’s Cove with his wife, Lillian Morton, daughter of a miner, belonging to Newport, South Wales, and took up residence at the Nurse home. After a year he moved to a home of his own close by and started a shop. They have four children, the youngest being about 2 years of age.

Williams had residing with him his wife’s sister, Muriel Morton, who came out from Wales in 1926. She is about 18 years of age, and is one of the Crown witnesses.

Richard Nurse, who was a man of 64 years of age, was born in Trinity Bay. He went to the West Coast when comparatively young, engaged in the Bank fishery, and was comparatively successful. He was also for a number of years master on the mail packet Gypsy Smith and S.S. Wren. Up to the time of his death he was engaged in the shore fishery. About 30 years ago he married a distant relative of Williams and settled at Pool’s Cove. The couple had no children. Mrs. Nurse will probably be called as a Crown witness.

Mr. C.E. Hunt and Mr. Jas. Conroy appear on behalf of the Crown.
Mr. H.A. Winter and Mr. H. Carter are acting on behalf of the accused.
The jury is as follows:-
Philip Voitch, William Howlett, Frank Warren, John O’Driscoll, Neil Patrick, Enos Clark, Walter J. Barnes, P.J. Halleran, William Butt, C.J. Stuart, John Inkpen, James Martin.

Case For The Crown Opened
Mr. Jas Conroy opened the case for the Crown in an address in which he outlined for the Jury brief particulars of the tragedy, and the evidence which the Crown proposed to produce. This included the evidence of two witnesses who saw the gun discharged and a statement made by the prisoner in which he claimed he did the shooting in self-defence.

Michael J. James, sworn, examined by Mr. Conroy:
I am a surveyor at the Crown Lands Office and went to Pool’s Cove and made plans of the scene of the tragedy. (Plans identified and explained to jury.) Photographs of scene explained and put in evidence. The witness was cross-examined by Mr. Carter re certain distances marked on the plan.

Testimony of Lemuel Perham.

Adjournment for recess was taken at 1 pm until 2:30 pm.
(The Evening Telegram, Feb 20, 1928)

Murder Trial Opens in Supreme Court
Following recess yesterday afternoon, Lemuel Perham, who was recalled to the stand and re-examined by Mr. Hunt, said it was three of four seconds after he saw the object go over the fence that he heard the shot. Witness asked to describe the deceased said he was a quarrelsome man. He was Captain of the 'WrenI'. He never saw him attempt to hit Williams nor ever saw him quarrel with anybody.

Williams always left his gun anywhere around the store. It was weeks before the Saturday that he saw the gun and he could not say of his own knowledge where it was before the tragedy.

Testimony of Berkley Nurse
Testimony of Dr. Conrad Fitzgerald
Testimony of Eliza Nurse
Testimony of Muriel Morton

At 5:45 the court adjourned till 10 o’clock this morning.
(Evening Telegram, February 21, 1928.)

Supreme Court … (This morning’s session)

Testimony of George Williams
Testimony of Hugh J. McDermott
Testimony of Constable J. Morgan & Sergeant R. Pittmam, including Statement of Charles Williams as read by Sergeant Pittman

Mr. Hunt informed the Court that this finished the case for the Crown, and adjournment was taken until 2:30 pm.

(The Evening Telegram, February 21, 1928)

Supreme Court
King Vs. Charles Anthony Williams Afternoon Session … Feb 21st

Mr. Carter opened the case for the defence in a well reasoned address in which he thanked the Crown prosecutor for the fairness shown in the conduct of the case and expressed regret that it was necessary that evidence had to be submitted by the defence reflecting on the character of the deceased. He then defined the different degrees of murder and pointed out that the defence would show that the shooting was done in self defence, although the evidence indicated provocation which would be sufficient justification. Before concluding, Mr. Carter gave an outline of the evidence which he intended to submit.

The Accused Gives Evidence

Testimony of Charles Williams

At this stage adjournment was taken until 10 o’clock this morning.
(The Evening Telegram, February 22, 1928)

Suprpeme Court - King VS Charles A. Williams

Jury Returns Verdict of Not Guilty: The trial of Charles Anthony Williams for the murder of Richard Nurse at Pool’s Cove on Nov. 21st, 1927, which began at the Supreme Court on Monday morning, concluded last night when he was acquitted. The Jury through their foreman Captain C.J. Stuart returned the verdict of ‘Not Guilty’ after a little over an hour’s deliberation.

At adjournment on Tuesday evening the cross-examination of the accused by Mr. Hunt, Crown Counsel, had not been completed. When Williams was again placed on the stand Wednesday morning he was questioned by Mr. Winter regarding the telegram which he had sent to the G.W.V.A. last August. The witness identified the message. It was dated Aug. 15th, addressed to Secretary Quenton and read as follows: ‘In serious trouble, life threatened will send full statement first chance.’

The telegram was put in as an exhibit.

Cross-examination of Charles A. Williams
Testimony of Lillian Williams
Testimony of William Parsons

(The Evening Telegram, February 23, 1928)

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