|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm
of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 3/31/1921.
Griffith Sentenced for Life
Moundsville, W. Va., March 29, - W.H. Griffith owes his life to the
Bible, according to one of the jurymen who found the convict "guilty with
a recommendation for mercy," last night of the slaying of Henry Lewis in
the penitentiary here January 6th.
The juror declared that on the pleas of the defense on arguments culled
from the Bible that capital punishment was not justifiable the twelve men
On five occasions the Court stopped Defense Attorney J. Howard Holt,
in his arguments on the grounds he was quoting the Bible and not clinging
to the matter adduced in the trial.
Griffith, upon being informed of the incident, remarked that he had
always been a firm believer in the "Old Book."
Moundsville W. Va., March 28 - Agreeing upon their verdict at 5:5_ o'clock
tonight, the jury in the Marshall county circuit court, trying W.H. (Holly)
Griffith for the murder of Henry Lewis, a fellow convict in the West Virginia
Penitentiary, on the occasion of his escape from that institution, found
Griffith guilty of murder, in the first degree, with a recommendation of
life imprisonment and five months solitary confinement. The jury
had been out since Saturday afternoon.
Griffith's lawyers presented a motion for a stay of judgment, which
will be acted upon later. Whether Griffith will be tried in Marshall
or Mason counties in connection with the death of Ira Roush, of Antiquity,
Ohio, remains to be decided by the state supreme court of appeals.
A decision covering the jurisdiction in that case is expected to be handed
Griffith, serving a life term for a murder in Braxton county, is alleged
on January 9th, to have fired the prison work shop, disabled the power
plant machinery, throwing the prison into darkness. The testimony
(illegible) to show that Griffith cut Lewis, who opposed him, and then
made his escape over the prison walls. It is alleged that while fleeing
down the Ohio river, he met Roush at Point Pleasant, W. Va. and robbed
him of a large sum of money after having negotiated with his victim for
the purchase of a motor boat. Later Roush's body was found in the
river. Griffith was last reported at Portsmouth, Ohio, near Cincinnati,
but a month later a country constable in South Carolina placed him under
arrest, though he was armed with three pistols and had sworn never to be
taken alive. His return to Moundsville and the trial ending today