|Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm
of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 6/2/1921.
Griffith to be Tried on 9th
W. "Holly" Griffith, desperate criminal already serving two life sentences
in the state prison for murder, will go on trial once again for murder
in Mason county Thursday, June 9th.
Word was received at Moundsville through an official source that the
tentative date for the trial has been named, and the Mason county prosecutor
is preparing for the trial of the important case.
Griffith is charged with the murder of Ira Roush a young man of Antiquity,
Ohio. The criminal steadfastly maintains that he is innocent and
that the Mason county authorities have nothing on him.
The father and uncle of the murdered boy were at the prison in Moundsville
when Griffith was returned after his spectacular escape and a lone-handed
capture in South Carolina. As Griffith stepped into the prison the
father of Roush openly accused him of murdering his son. Griffith
denied the charge and the father and uncle grew almost uncontrollable when
they recognized the coat worn by Griffith as the one last seen on the murdered
A fight was made by J. Howard Holt, Moundsville attorney retained as
counsel for Griffith, to prevent the trial of Griffith in Mason county,
contending that Mason county was without jurisdiction to take the prisoner
to that county for trial. The state supreme court ruled that Mason
county was empowered to cause the removal of the prisoner to that county
and preparations for the trial went forward.
Griffith is still in solitary confinement in the state prison.
He is apparently worrying very little over future events, and taking life
easy. He chats with anyone who will stop at his cell, and always
seems in a fairly good humor.
Griffith was convicted about two months ago in the Marshall county circuit
court of the murder of Henry Lewis, a fellow convict whom he cut down while
breaking away at the prison last January after having fired the institution.
He was given a life sentence, which was really no hardship as the murderer
was already under one life sentence.
The crime for which Griffith originally started spending the remainder
of his days in the state prison was committed in Braxton county on April
30, 1915, when he shot down C. Ord Thompson, a policeman. He was
indicted May 31, 1915, and was convicted on July 16, 1915. He started
sentence July 23, 1915. Griffith at that time had several aliases.
His education is very meager.