Supreme Court Frees Local Attorney in 1901


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 4/30/1901.

An Unique Case

Possibly one of the most unique cases on record, is that of J.B. Ellison, an attorney of Washington district.  About a year ago Mr. Ellison, with some others, was indicted in the Circuit Court of Braxton county, for a felony.  He was tried on the charge, convicted and sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of years.  Not being in affluent circumstances, he conducted his own defense and when incarcerated in the penitentiary, he continued to work on his case, and carried it to the Supreme Court of Appeals on a writ of error.  He prepared his argument for the supreme court while in his cell of nights after he had performed his day's labor, and when the case came up for hearing, he was sustained in every point he raised, and was released and is now at home among his family and friends, again enjoying the liberties of a free man.  It is the claim of a great many people that he was not guilty of the crime for which he was convicted, but was the victim of a scheme planned by his enemies to ruin him.  We do not know whether this be true or false, but we believe Mr. Ellison by his honest and upright living, will demonstrate to the world that whatever his past might have been, he his henceforth a useful citizen of our county.