Griffith's Murder Trial Delayed in 1921

(04/23/2002)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/3/1921.

Griffith Arraigned on Murder Charge

Moundsville, W. Va., Feb 24 - W.H. "Holly" Griffith, inmate of the State Prison here, was removed to Pt. Pleasant last night, where today he was arraigned on a charge growing out of the death of Ira Roush, Antiquity, Ohio, several weeks ago.  At the time the dead body of Roush was found, Griffith was at large having previously escaped from the State prison.  He was later captured at Greenwood, S.C., and removed to the institution.  Upon his arrival at the prison, the father and (illegible) of Roush are said to have identified clothing worn by the convict as being Roush's property.

At the arraignment, a plea of abatement was entered by Attorney J. Howard Holt, on the ground that the county is without jurisdiction to try the (illegible), in view of a special statute of the state of West Virginia, which provides that prisoners in the penitentiary must be tried before the Marshall County.  Prosecuting Attorney Hogg demurred to the plea and was sustained by Judge O'Brian who presided.

At the arraignment this morning in the Mason county circuit court, Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Hogg (illegible) to the plea and was sustained by Presiding Judge O'Brian.  (illegible) both sides then agreed to bring the (illegible) in the case to the Supreme Court of West Virginia and the trial was delayed pending a decision by that tribunal.  Griffith was taken back to the Moundsville prison

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W.H. Griffith, who was arraigned on a charge of murdering Ira Roush at Point Pleasant this morning was a brief visitor in Parkersburg for a few moments Wednesday night.  His stay was necessarily a short one and no one has been found who regretted the fact.

Griffith is said to have been heavily shackled and in charge of three guards while on the Ohio River division train which took him from the Moundsville penitentiary to Point Pleasant.  The trip was a secret one and no one was aware that he would be arraigned in Point Pleasant until the hour of the hearing this morning.

He will probably be taken through this city on the return trip although the route is secret and will not be known until the trip is completed - Thursday's Parkersburg Sentinel.


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