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Daily Gleaner (Jamaica)
14 January 1889

The continuation of the report of the Magisterial investigation into the murder of Estina Crawford by Ranger, will be found on our first page. The investigation will be resumed tomorrow by H . J. Bicknell, Esq., at Spanish Town.

Spanish Town.

(Before H. J. Bicknell, Esq., Resident Magistrate.)

(Concluded from Friday’s issue.)

Mary Ann Richards was next sworn.—I live in Old Harbour. I am not married. On Thursday 29th Dec. I was in Free Town at a dance. I left at 11 o’clock with Louisa Armstrong and a man named Bonner. We were walking, we heard a cart coming behind us. It overtook us. Prisoner was driving it. A woman was in the cart. Bonner asked for a light. Prisoner refused Bonner. I asked him to give me a lift. Prisoner questioned the woman in the cart in Spanish. I heard the woman say yes. Prisoner said he would give the two women a lift, but not Bonner, as he could stand the journey best. Louisa Armstrong and myself got in and sat on the grass. The other woman with prisoner, laid her in my lap. I covered her with part of my shawl. She said she had come from Costa Rica and had left her things in Kingston. She called prisoner Benjy, and said her hat was being crushed in the bundle. Benjy took the hat out of the bundle and it was passed to Armstrong and myself to examine. It was a white hat with a black ribbon round it. The woman asked prisoner for matches to light a cigar. I asked for two matches to use when I got home. The woman told me her name was Estina Crawford. I told my name. The prisoner is the man who was in the cart that night. We got out at my gate about a quarter of a mile from Old Harbour. The woman’s head was tied up in a handkerchief. She had on a dress, pieces of which were shown me by Solan the Constable. I saw the dress when the woman drew the matches. There was a bundle of grass in the cart, and a bundle in a red shawl, out of which the woman took the hat. She said her clean clothes were in the bundle. I saw the deceased after she was dug up. It is the same woman whom I saw in the cart. Prisoner never spoke except about the hat, during the whole time.

Louisa Armstrong sworn; I live with Mary Ann Elizabeth Richards. I was with her at Freetown on 27th December. We left the dance before midnight. Bonner, Mary Ann Richards and myself. We were overtaken by a cart coming from there. The prisoner was in the cart with a woman. He was asked for a lift. He spoke to the woman, who said he might give the female a lift but not the man.

Mary Ann Richards said—I got into the cart; I sat in front by the side of the prisoner on a piece of board placed across the cart. Prisoner had on a blue jacket and trowser and a brown felt hat, with a black ribbon round it. The woman asked him for a light, calling him Benjy. The woman lighted a cigar and smoked. Prisoner also lighted a cigar. After going some distance the woman asked for her hat out of the bundle. She took I tout of the bundle and held it in her hand. The woman’s head was tied up with a red handkerchief. We got out, and the prisoner and the woman drove on.

Chas. Langley, sworn—I am cook at the Spanish Town Leapers’ Home. On Friday morning, 28th Dec., at 5 a.m. I was going to my work; I saw the prisoner at Oxford Road on that morning a little after five. He was walking from the railway station. He asked me for a light for his pipe; I drew a match for him and gave it to him and he lighted his pipe. He asked me if I could tell him where he could put a mule and a cart till he came back from Kingston. I said “follow me.” I took him to Mrs. Bryan, in Oxford Road, and they arranged about the cart remaining there. I saw no cart. I could not see how he was dressed. We parted, and I went to my work.

Rosanna Bryan sworn—I live at Oxford Road, I am a widow. On Friday 28th December, Langley brought the prisoner to me, saying that he wanted to put up his mule and dray while he went to Kingston. I consented. The prisoner went away and returned with a mule and cart from the Railway. There was no lady in the cart. There was no grass. There was no driving board. Prisoner led the mule. The cart was left outside and the mule taken out. Prisoner asked for a cup of coffee, which I gave him. He gave me sixpence to buy some grass for the beast. He went to Kingston. He returned in the evening with a large Colon trunk and a red blanket, a tin pan and a large basket. He slept in my yard and went away early next morning with the things in the cart. He paid me a shilling. When he left for Kingston he had on a grey kind of flannel coat. I did not notice the trowsers. He wore a different hat to the one he now has on. He remained in the yard all night.

William Dailey Neish, sworn—I am District Medical Officer of Old Harbour. On Dec. 28th I made an examination of the dead body of a woman lying on the Spanish Town and Old Harbour road. I judged her age to have been about 25. She was a black woman. She had not been identified at the time of examination. I was not called to examine the body after exhumation. I made a post mortem examination. This is my report. (Report read.) The blow on the face was, in my opinion, first delivered, and would ultimately have caused death. Death resulted from hemorrhage and shock from the division of the left carotid artery. The injury to the face was caused by some blunt instrument. One heavy blow would have caused the injuries to the head. The upper and lower jaws, the nasal bones, and the left orbit and forehead bones were fractured. The woman had been dead some fourteen or sixteen hours when examined at about 2 p.m.. The feet were soft, and she had been accustomed to wear boots. Two teeth were found lying loose in the mouth. I think it likely that she was sitting or lying down in the cart when she received the blows. The traces of blood kept a straight line from the milestone to the place where she was found. Her throat was cut afterwards, when she had been thrown by the side of the road. Here a large pool of blood from the carotid artery was found. The piece of wood from the cart would, if used edgewise, have caused the injuries to the head described. (Photographs of the deceased taken after death were here produced, which Dr. Neish had taken much trouble to produce.) The Doctor here signed a statement of his evidence.

Henry Nathan Hibbert, sworn: I live at 138 Barry Street, Kingston. I am a shopkeeper, and rent rooms in my yard. I rented a room to the prisoner and a female, who was with him about the 6th or 7th of December, when the steamer arrived from Colon. The woman’s name was Justina or Estina. I don’t know the other name. I identify the photograph as that of the woman. They left about Dec. 18 to go into the country. I heard the woman say, to introduce her to his mother and family, to be married. When they left they locked the door, and left some things in the room. I never saw the woman again, but I saw the prisoner on the morning of the 28th Decr. After the 9 o’clock train had come in. He came to the premises for his things and gave up the room. My wife asked him for his “lady,” and he said she was sick and had sent to saw “how d’ye do.” He took away a trunk; he had a red blanket; he took nothing else. He gave away a few things in the yard. He left for the train in the afternoon. He came in the morning with a little bundle tied in a red handkerchief. The prisoner and the woman were both intemperate. I have seen them both in liquor; mostly the woman.

Eliza Reid, sworn. My husband is William Reid. I live at McCook’s pen on the Old Harbor Road. On 28th December, I was placed in charge of the dead body of a woman by the Corporal. (Photograph shown.) I identify this photographs as that of the woman. I saw the prisoner while I was watching the dead body. The prisoner came up in a cart on the 29th (Saturday) as I was watching the body. He came from the direction of Spanish Town. I took him to the body. Constable Thomas asked prisoner to come and see the body. I raised the cloth from the face and asked him if he knew the face. He said “no”. He commenced to tremble, I asked him why he trembled so much. He rubbed his eyes with his hand. He said he had a cold in his eyes. I asked him when he went up to town, and he replied, “Wednesday.” He had come by the boat on Tuesday from Colon. He was going back to fetch his things from Kingston. I asked him why he did not bring his things with him instead of having to return with a cart for them. He made no reply. He afterwards moved the cart and went away. He sat on a trunk in the cart. At this time the body had not been identified. The body was buried by Thomas the constable on the afternoon of 28th. I took off the clothes from the body.

Joseph Easy, sworn—I live at Hartlands. I am a planter. About 2 or 3 chains from the cross [road?]. About 7 o’clock on the morning of 28th Dec., I saw a dead body on the road side, on the right hand going towards the Spanish Town. I saw the blood on the neck. There was a covering on the head. The face was covered. I saw three men coming, and I told them. This was the body examined by the Doctor. When I returned from a funeral, to which I had to go I saw a crowd round the body but I did not stop. About three chains from where the body law I found this earring, in the centre of the road. I afterwards gave the ring to the constabulary.

Rosannah Chambers, a girl of about twelve years old.—sworn—I live at McCook’s pen with Mrs. Sea[t?]on. On Friday the day they found the dead body, I went for water at the water bridge and found a female’s hat on the bank of the river. It was a white straw hat with a black ribbon. There was blood on the hat. I washed it in the river. This man pointing to the Detective Hewett took the hat. At this point the Court adjourned till Tuesday next. (to-morrow.)

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